Sunday, December 31, 2023

First Sentences 2023

Opening sentences are our first step inside a story. Some hook us right away while others ease us in. I started keeping track of first sentences years ago. I enjoy looking back on these opening lines and seeing what memories they stir up. 

Below you will find the first sentences of books I read in 2023.


Kell wore a very peculiar coat. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

You know your day is going swimmingly when you've been projectile vomited on and someone stole your Greek yogurt from the staff room refrigerator. ~ Exes & O's by Amy Lea

Mom? ~ Guts by Raina Telgemeier

The doors are new: Automatic open. ~ The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

i spent a lot of time
searching ~ Find Her. Keep Her. by Renaada Williams

I am a copy editor. ~ Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dryer

Robbie lived just long enough to regret the seventh beer.  Speaker of the Lost by Clara Coulson

The man's voice cracked on the other side of the partition. ~ Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun by Elle Cosimano

My morning swim doesn't usually involve corpses. ~ The Deep End by Julie Mulhern

"For the love of all that is holy, Veronica, the object is to maim or kill, not tickle," Stoker informed me, clipping the  words sharply as he handed me a knife. ~ A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

Cardinal Woolsey's knitting shop has appeared on postcards celebrating the quaint view of Oxford, of which there are many. ~ The Vampire Knitting Club by Nancy Warren

RICHEH'S ALL SOLD OUT! ~ Witch Hat Atelier, Vol. 10 by Kamome Shirahama

The sky above the Mississippi River stretched out like a song. ~ How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith

"Woman's asking for you, Mrs. Holloway." ~ The Secret of Bow Lane by Jennifer Ashley

Patricia was crying. ~ Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune

BWAAAH! ~ Spy x Family, Vol. 9 by Tatsuyo Endo

Don't worry--I'm dressed! ~ Uncle From Another World, Vol. 6 by Hotondoshineiru

There's an ebony steed that races across the heavens . . . ~ Magus of the Library, Vol. 1 by Izumi Mitsu

This is where I was going to put a simple Mary Oliver quote but instead I decided to replace it with the idea I had for the cover of this book because I'm pretty sure it'll never get accepted and I don't want it to go to waste. ~ Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

Standing on the edge of a crowded road, I looked down onto the rolling fields and abandoned farms of the Tula Valley and got my first glimpse of the Shadow Fold. ~ Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Seven talented magi used their power to save the people from the brink of destruction. ~ Magus of the Library, Vol. 2 by Izumi Mitsu

The boy and the girl had once dreamed of ships, long ago, before they'd ever seen the True Sea. ~ Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

The monster's name was Izumrud, the great worm, and there were those who claimed he had made the tunnels that ran beneath Ravka. ~ Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Though the  seven magi defeated the Emissary, war once more engulfed the continent of as each race struggled struggled for space in a in a devastated world.Magus of the Library, Vol. 3 by Izumi Mitsu

Libraries . . . Amassers of memories  . . . galleries dedicated to history's thread . . . and to monuments to all life across time.Magus of the Library, Vol. 4 by Izumi Mitsu

Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache. ~ Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Retvenko leaned against the bar and tucked his nose into his dirty shot glass. ~ Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

It started with a necklace. ~ Well Played by Jen DeLuca

There is a locket in my heart
that holds all of the questions
that do cartwheels in my mind
 and gurgle up to the top of my brain
like root beer fizz. ~ The Moon Within by Aida Salazar

"My mother always says it's common as pig tracks to go around with a run in your stocking," Helen says, eyeing Billie's ripped hosiery critically. ~ Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

Blurry, fractured memories swam through Sophie's mind, but she couldn't piece them together.  ~ Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

Vera Wong Zhuzhu, age sixty, is a pig but she really should have been born a rooster. ~ Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Sophie's hand shook as she lifted the tiny green bottle. ~ Exile by Shannon Messenger

Thank you for everything you have given meMom, Can I Do My Laundry at Your House?: Poems from Your Adult Child by Olivia Roberts

It's a strange thing living with the sensation that the world might at any moment fall down around your ears. ~ Playing It Safe by Ashley Weaver

its possible
to want something you've never knownFlutter, Kick by Anna V.Q. Ross

The mirror slipped from Sophie's hands, landing on the petal-covered carpet with the softest thud. ~ Everblaze by Shannon Messenger

At an abandoned château on the wooded outskirts of Paris, a dark séance was about to take place. ~ The London Séance Society by Sarah Penner

When the shoe dropped into her lap the foot was still in it. ~ Falling by T.J. Newman

Sophie stumbled backward, scrambling closer to her friends as a cage of neon yellow flames erupted all around them. ~ Neverseen by Shannon Messenger 

I shivered in the parking lot of Darla's café. ~ Witch Upon a Star by Angela M. Sanders

Delilah Bard had a way of finding trouble. ~ A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

"Everleigh." ~ A Botanist's Guide to Flowers and Fatality by Kate Khavari

Keep far away from Orion Lake. ~ The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik

The day was just exactly the sort Edwina Davenport most loved. ~ Murder at a London Finishing School by Jessica Ellicot

Sometimes spying on low-level royals can be so boring. ~ Flunked by Jen Calonita

This is what they want. ~ Lodestar by Shannon Messenger

Even in death the boys were trouble. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Before the lawsuits and protests, before the ground-penetrating radar and DNA testing, before we were stalked and before the citizens of Jackson County tried to have me arrested, before we ever stuck a shovel in the red dirt of North Florida to exhume bodies, I stood in the women's restroom as the news media gathered in the large room outside and began setting up their cameras and checking their microphones and waiting for me to step before them and tell them what I had learned about the dead boys.We Carry Their Bones: The Search for Justice at the Dozier School for Boys by Erin Kimmerle

Shadow is not at all happy with me. ~ Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather 

Sophie stared at the gleaming trail that wound down. ~ Nightfall by Shannon Messenger 

Beth knew she couldn't leave for work until she dealt with the dead body on the beach. ~ Mother-Daughter Murder Night by Nina Simon

"All Hallows' Eve--Salem's most celebrated night of the year," Charlene Morris said to Jack Strathmore, seated next to her on the love seat in the privacy of her personal suite. Mrs. Morris and the Witch by Traci Wilton

I dream sometimes of a house I've never seen. Starling House by Alix E. Harrow

The night I watch Athena Liu die, we're celebrating her TV deal with Netflix. Yellowface by R.F. Kuang

The involuntary morning mantra that had been running through my head every day for the past four months began as its usual time, nine thirty AM. ~ Murder by the Seashore by Samara Yew

Paperwork, Algaliarept thought in resignation as he as he blew upon the ledger book to dry the ink faster. ~ Into the Woods: Tales from the Hollows and Beyond by Kim Harrison

November had arrived in Cambridge, bringing with it crisp, cool air, the emergence of mufflers and wool coats from closets, and--new to me, as an ex-pat American--Guy Fawkes Day. ~ The Fatal Folio by Elizabeth Penney

This time we win. ~ Flashback by Shannon Messenger

The house was everything she'd thought it would be. ~ Death by Demo by Callie Carpenter

The world was embroiled in the Great War of the Races. ~ Magus of the Library, Vol. 5 by Mitsu Izumi

Ninety-five years have passed in uneasy truth since the Great War of the Races. ~ Magus of the Library, Vol. 6 by Mitsu Izumi

CHIIIRP ~ Spy x Family, Vol. 10 by Tatsuya Endo

The king stood in a pool of blue light, unmoored. ~ Station Eleven by Emily St. James Mandel

It's been about ten months since uncle woke up.Uncle From Another World, Vol. 7 by Hotondoshineiru

Time  to eat!Uncle From Another World, Vol. 8 by Hotondoshineiru

Why is "Reader, I married him" one of the most famous lines in literature? ~ Reader, I Married Him: Stories Inspired by Jane Eyre edited by Tracy Chevalier

We need a new way to talk about teenage girls, because the way people do it now isn't fair to girls or helpful to their parents.  ~ Untangled by Lisa Damour

I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites. ~ All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Since I have no family of my own, I am yearly asked by friends and colleagues to their homes for the Christmas holidays. ~ The Christmas Guest by Peter Swanson

Getting married was murder. ~ Immortal in Death by J.D. Robb

The alley  was dark and stank of piss and vomit. ~ Rapture in Death by J.D. Robb

My name is . . . Kenny Loui.Life Lessons from a UFO Catcher: An Autobiographical Manga, Vol. 1 by Loui, Kenny

Hey Saku-Senpai. ~ The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again, Today, Vol. 1 by Hitsuzi Yamada

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  1. I love that you kept track of the first sentences of all the books you read last year. What a great idea! :D

    1. Lark - I enjoy looking back over them each year. I haven't been keeping track of last sentences, but I really enjoyed doing that too. So many memories wrapped up in openings and endings.

  2. Fun. I've read several of these and it brings fond memories.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    1. Anne - I love that a simple first sentence can do that. :-)

  3. Wendy, I think you're the one that gave me the idea of writing down the first sentence of each book I read when I'm writing the title, author, and date finished. I've done this for a number of years. Hope you and your family have a very Happy New Year in 2024! Let's have some good reading and peaceful days. :-)

    1. Kay - I can't remember why I started doing it. I probably saw someone else do it and thought it was a good idea too. I see so many people doing it now. It's great.

  4. Happy New Year. I hope you find a lot of good books this year.

  5. I like the idea of writing down the first lines. Such care and attention a writer must put into them.

  6. How fun that you have kept track of the first sentences of the first books you read each year!

    1. Deb - I find it fun to look over them at the end of the year and see what memories they bring up. :-)


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