Popsugar Prompt #3 – A Book With a Great First Line

Some prompts are very straight forward like #2, you find a trans or nonbinary author, you read their book, and check… you’ve got that prompt satisfied. This prompt is a subjective and everyone is entitled to their opinion on what they think is a Great First Line.

There are some very well known first lines which could lead to the characterization that they are a Great First Line because they are the classics…

“Call me Ishmael.” Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” 1984 by George Orwell
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of dispair” A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Before I knew that this was going to be a prompt for this year there is a book that I read last year whose first line has really stuck with me… “Late one evening toward the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barrelled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else’s forehead and pulled the trigger.” Beartown by Fredrick Backman. I think that would be a great selection for this prompt.

Really though, I think every book has a great first line. I mean, it’s that the point. The author tries to immediately pull you into their story? I decided to test this theory that all books have a great first line and look at the first lines of the books closest to me…

“Sally.” The Stand by Stephen King … hmm… ok… this one may not be a great first line as it’s just a name. Although, there is so much potential in a person’s name being the first line, especially since it was someone saying it. Makes me think we are going to jump right into the action.
“I always left my window open at night, despite the warnings I’d been given.” The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman … oooo mysterious… what are these warnings that she was given?? Very ominous.
“When I was eleven years old, I moved in with my aunt after my mom was sent to prison.” The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorpe … Immediately sets a the stage and tone. Not my favorite.
“I never meant for any of this to happen.” A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight … Again, mysterious… what happened?
“I may have found a solution to the Wife Problem.” The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion … hahaha this one makes me giggle and this is the book I’ve been leaning towards using for this prompt.

Because this prompt is so subjective and there are so many books that would fit it, because it is what I think is a great first line… what I’ve decided to do is wait until I’m almost done with the reading challenge. Then I’m going to look at the books that I’ve read thus far and haven’t used for another prompt and I’m going to pick which one I think has the best first line. I think the best part of this prompt is it gets conversations going about what you think makes a first line great and what your favorites are.

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