Oh, heck yeah. Opening lines are my favorite. There’s definitely a theme going with mine, too, as you’ll see below, and uh, I’m not ashamed, I pretty much do the same thing with my opening lines. They’re so important, though. If you can hook someone with a powerful opening line, damn, you’ve got them for the rest of the book. Some of these, I remember reading and just thinking yup I’m gonna love this.
The desert sings of loss, always loss, and if you stand quiet with your eyes closed, it will grieve you too.
Gosh, all of The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad is just beautiful, but this opening line really sells the language that’s about to follow. The descriptions are so lush and lovely, and there’s not a single thing I don’t love about this book.
The calming echo of a holy chant filtered down
from the sanctuary and into the cellars.
I’ve definitely got a thing for churches and religion in books, so it’s no surprise to me that I love the opening line for Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan. This is, like, four of my boxes checked at once.
A boy went missing the night of the storm.
Gosh, this book. There’s so many reasons to say this book about this book, but the opening line is definitely among the top reasons. I wanted to be outside under the cold moon surrounded by trees at night while reading this entire book, and this line just sets the stage for that perfectly.
They said the only folks who belonged in Deadshot after dark were the ones who were up to no good.
Man, I haven’t talked about Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton in so long! I remember loving it so, so much, and these opening chapters are just phenomenal. There’s so much action, so much potential, and so much damn excitement. It drags you in right away, and it holds on fiercely.
When I was seven, I found a door.
I tried not to include books on here that were mostly just nostalgia (ie: no Harry Potter) or lines too specific to the story (Kell wore a very peculiar coat) because that felt like cheating, and while this one is definitely very specific to The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, I also had this very distinct sense of okay, why would a door be so interesting, though? Sure, doors are important int his story, but the fact that they’re this important, to include them in the opening line, was going to hook me into reading this no matter what.
The Magician stood at the edge of his world
and took one last look at the city.
Oh, Harte. It’s so sad when a line pulls you in, and then, at the end of the book, you realize what that line means, and your heart just breaks. The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell is outstanding for a lot of reasons, but I particularly love this use of foreshadowing that we don’t quite understand yet as an opening line.
In the moonlit room overlooking the City of Faith, a priest knelt before Ephyra and begged for his life.
This was one of those instances where I basically keysmashed my way onto Instagram to scream about There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool because a) a priest, b) moonlit, and c) begged for his life. I seem to lean heavily toward loving opening lines that depict some kind of violence, and you know what, they go hard and immediately catch my attention, so I get why I like them.
Four people were supposed to die at sunrise.
Again, violence, it’s over the top, but I’m here for it, and this entire first chapter is fantastic, and I just want to reread Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria right the heck now.
It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.
Look, I tried to only do one per author, or you would’ve had three separate opening lines in this exact spot, so if I’ve got to only pick one Maggie Stiefvater, it’s absolutely going to be for The Scorpio Races. Along with Shiver, it’s the only other book I can really think of that I’d like to get a line from tattooed on me (the sea, the sky, the sand, and Corr), and since I’ve already got one from Shiver (he was just Sam), I’m going for arguably the best opening line in this list.
I’m pretty much fucked.
Okay, actually, I lied, The Martian by Andy Weir has not only the best opening line of this list, but the best lines in general of all books ever. You can’t argue with me, that’s just fact.