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15 Opening Lines That Hook You Right in to Read the Whole Book ...

By Deeceebee

I love opening lines that hook you right in. You picked a book because it’s a favorite author, or it’s highly recommended by a friend who read it, or just because you fancied it. And when you read the opening line, you’re gripped. You can’t wait to read the rest of the story. Only time will tell if the story lives up to the promise you felt in those first words. Here are some great opening lines that will make you want to read the whole book.

1 My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

text, font, product,“There was a time, and it was many years ago now, when I had to stay in a hospital for almost nine weeks”.

Oooh, why was she in hospital? Did someone hurt her?

Buy at: amazon.com

2 The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

text, wood, wood stain, texture, varnish,“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.”

A classic beginning to an all-time classic American Dream novel!

Buy at: amazon.com

3 1984 by George Orwell

text, font, product, product design, fur,“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking 13.”

What, the clocks struck 13? What does he mean? Must keep reading!

Buy at: amazon.com

4 Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

poster, eyewear, text, vision care, font,“The first annoying thing is when I ask Dad what he thinks happened to Mom, he always says, ‘what’s most important is for you to understand it’s not your fault’”.

Woah, what happened to her mom? WAS it her fault?

Buy at: amazon.com

5 One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

text, green, product, font, advertising,“There are some men who enter a woman’s life and screw it up forever.”

This is relatable on so many levels! Better keep reading to see what happened!

Buy at: amazon.com

6 Undertow by Elizabeth Bear

nature, phenomenon, poster, advertising, grass,“The morning after he killed Eugene Shapiro, Andre Deschenes woke early.”

Oh snap, why is he so calm? What’s he going to do so early in the morning?

Buy at: amazon.com

7 Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

text, font, poster, advertising, brand,“Very little is known, though much has been written, about the true nature of the jinn, the creatures made of smokeless fire.”

I love a good magical mystery! Smokeless fire creatures are a sure fire way to hook me in!

Buy at: amazon.com

8 The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay

text, font, advertising, book, brand,“I am Moth, a girl from the lowest part of Chrystie Street, born to a slum-house mystic and the man who broker her heart.”

This is the set up to what sounds like a really interesting story, don’t you think?

Buy at: amazon.com

9 The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

text, font, line, product, calligraphy,“The letter that would change everything arrived on a Tuesday.”

This is the perfect kind of opening line, it’s impossible to know want to know everything immediately!

Buy at: amazon.com

10 Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray

grass, plant, flora, tree, shrub,“I first noticed I was missing on a Thursday.”

The confusing nature of this opening line instantly makes it a page turner.

Buy at: amazon.com

11 The Light between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

sky, text, poster, font, phenomenon,“One the day of the miracle, Isabel was kneeling at the cliff’s edge, tending the small, newly made driftwood cross.”

Any talk of a miracle in the first line of a book is going to have me hooked from the off.

Buy at: amazon.com

12 Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

text, font, advertising,“Lydia is dead, but they don’t know this yet.”

I love this kind of mysterious, creepy, short opening line. There are so many different possibilities!

Buy at: amazon.com

13 The Secret History by Donna Tartt

text, font, document, book,“The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we understood the gravity of our situation.”

Donna Tartt is a master at pulling readers in with only one sentence.

Buy at amazon.com

14 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

text, font, book, brand, advertising,“We slept in what once had been the gymnasium.”

Why not supplement your viewing of this year’s hit TV show by reading the even more amazing novel?

Buy at: amazon.com

15 A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

text, font, graphic design, art, poster,“It began in the usual way, in the bathroom of the Lassimo Hotel.”

Things that begin in hotel bathrooms never tend to end well, don’t you agree!?

Buy at: amazon.com

I’d love to know which are your favorite opening lines. Please share.

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