Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Opening Lines

Happy Tuesday everyone! Only one more paper to submit, and I will have officially survived my first semester of grad school! Now I just need to actually write it… ANYWAY, we first have Top Ten Tuesday to think about, and honestly that just takes priority.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly tag hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. You can find all the upcoming prompts on her blog! This week’s prompt is opening lines. Could be anything really; funny, gripping, shocking, et cetera. Unfortunately, I’m really really bad at remembering quotes from books, especially opening lines. So how did I make this post? Simple, I just went through all my favorite books to see if I like the opening line. Took no time at all, nope.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

Once upon a time an angel and devil fell in love. It did not end well.

I like this first line because it’s so foreboding. Also, spoiler! But it’s literally the first line, so this spoiler isn’t my fault. I really recommend this series if you like to sometimes audible gasp whenever you’re reading a good plot twist.

Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

People often shit themselves when they die.

Okay, this one is just funny. Definitely not an opening line you’d expect. The Nevernight Chronicle is full of little lines like that, so if you’re not put off by some strong language, I really recommend this series.

The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’d been told that she would kill her true love.

The famous first line that kicks off the Raven Cycle. I like how Blue’s solution is just, don’t fall in love, easy. Well anyone who’s ever been in love will tell you that you sometimes don’t have a choice. I love this series though, especially since it takes place in Virginia, I live there! Maybe it’s time for a reread soon…

A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab

Kell wore a very peculiar coat.

This opening line is great because you think, what could be so special about a coat? And then the thing is almost central to the entire trilogy. I could honestly use a coat like Kell’s.

Salvaged – Madeleine Roux

Rosalyn had endured disappointing birthdays before, but never one in ankle-deep corpse sludge.

I received this book as an arc to review, and when I read that first line I knew it was gonna be good. I don’t mind a little graphic grossness. It’s just very unfortunate that I seem to be eating something anytime I encounter it…

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

On the second Sabbat of Twelthmoon, in the city of Weep, a girl fell from the sky.

Yes, another Laini Taylor first line. And like with Daughter and Smoke and Bone, it’s a spoiler. But you can’t come after me because it’s the first line! Anyway, the thing with first lines and their forebodingness is that I always forget about them… and then I’m extra heartbroken when the first-page prophecy comes true.

The Bone Witch – Rin Chupeco

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from the grave, though he may claim otherwise.

Kind of cheating with this one, as it’s not the first first line, but it is the first line of the first chapter. And you gotta admit, it’s a good first line! I didn’t end up finishing this book, because I thought the plot was kind of lacking, but I’m planning to listen to the audiobook one day.

Borrower of the Night – Elizabeth Peters

When I was ten years old, I already knew I was never going to get married.

This is one of those opening lines that hardly has anything to do with the plot, and everything with the character. The Vicki Bliss murder mysteries are light and no-nonsense. This line honestly drew me in because, #mood.

This Savage Song – V.E. Schwab

The night Kate Harker decided to burn down the school chapel, she wasn’t angry or drunk.

I like this opening line because it made me go, “girl, are you good??” I think Schwab is honestly the queen of good opening lines. All of her books start out with amazing lines like the ones above.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling

Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

Okay, I didn’t put Harry Potter in here because I think the line is particularly good. It’s just so familiar. By now I’ve read Harry Potter so often, I could probably quote the entire book. But no matter what, reading that first line always sort of feels like coming home.

Oof, I might’ve really struggled with this one. I opened almost every book I own to find lines I liked, haha. What are some of your favorite opening lines?

More Top Ten Tuesday posts this way!


  1. May 26, 2020 / 11:37 am

    I love the opening line for The Bone Witch.

    My TTT .

    • simonevanheijst
      May 26, 2020 / 5:20 pm

      It’s so gripping!

    • simonevanheijst
      May 26, 2020 / 5:21 pm

      Yeah the HP one isn’t special because of the words. It’s just so familiar and comforting!😊 And you’re right that it really sums up the Dursleys right off the bat

    • simonevanheijst
      May 26, 2020 / 5:22 pm

      Thanks! That first line drew me right in because it’s so ominous

  2. May 26, 2020 / 5:32 pm

    I did the same thing and browsed through my books because I can’t remember well but I chose to go to the middle, kind of the middle, of the book instead.

    These are great lines though many of the books here I really could not get into reading except for Harry Potter – I love that series.

    Have a lovely day.

    • simonevanheijst
      May 26, 2020 / 7:34 pm

      Harry Potter will forever remain awesome! Have a lovely day as well!:)

  3. May 26, 2020 / 7:24 pm

    This was a fun top ten theme, wasn’t it? Love your choices, especially the V.E. Schwab ones and, of course, the opening to Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

    • simonevanheijst
      May 26, 2020 / 7:35 pm

      It really was! I feel like V.E. Schwab And Laini Taylor are both really good at thinking up great opening lines.

  4. May 26, 2020 / 9:21 pm

    I haven’t read A Darker Shade of Magic yet, but that opening line is wonderful!

    • simonevanheijst
      May 28, 2020 / 3:02 pm

      She’s the best at opening lines!

  5. May 30, 2020 / 10:04 am

    I did the same thing. I used books off my tbr shelf and had to sit and open each one. 😉 Love the opening of The Raven Boys and Harry Potter, of course. Great list!

    My Top Ten Tuesday

    • simonevanheijst
      May 30, 2020 / 6:00 pm

      Thanks! I think I ended up opening 100 books before finding ten lines I liked 🙈

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