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Favourite First Sentences

Hi everyone!

This idea was inspired whilst perusing through videos on YouTube. We all know how important a good first couple of chapters is in terms of whether you will enjoy the book but it’s a good first sentence that really draws you into a story. It can be shocking, sad, elated or even suspicious. Whatever it is, here are a few of my favourite first sentences in books.

1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Sentence: “When I think of my wife, I always think of her head.”
You can’t deny that this is an interesting way to start a story, especially a murder mystery. Shocking, really. This got me interested straight away and my inner Sherlock Holmes firing!

2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Sentence: “Here is a small fact, you are going to die.”

I guess it’s safe to assume I like a confronting first sentence. They surprise you and almost put you on the back foot whilst you continue reading the story. It’s a very good tactic for author’s to use, especially because it creates lots of intrigue. As the narrator is death in this book, I love this first sentence.

3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Sentence: “Dear friend, I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.”

I just love this book. Charlie’s narration can get irritating at times, the way he strings sentences together as if grammar didn’t exist but this first sentence just confuses the reader into continuing on with the chapter almost to find out what the heck he’s talking about!

4. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins


Sentence: “Without warning, sometimes you’re travelling a highway, the only road you’ve ever known, and wham! A semi comes from nowhere and rolls right over you.”

Okay, so this one is sort of cheating. But the exclamation mark sort of continues on the sentence. Given the context of the book and the various issues it discusses such as drug abuse and depression I really enjoyed this sentence. I’m sure anyone could relate to this quote. At times we all feel as though the energy just got sucked out of us like dust in a vacuum cleaner. It definitely got me relating to the book.

5. Ruthless by Sara Shepard


Sentence: “Have you ever gotten away with something really, really bad?”
I’m a huge fan of rhetorical question first sentences! They really get you thinking and questioning yourself, I’m kind of obsessed. This book is part of the Pretty Little Liars series (which you should definitely read!) and almost all of the books have rhetorical first sentences. Like, for example: “Have you ever known someone with nine lives?” or “Wouldn’t it be interesting to know what everyone was thinking?” These sentences really get you into the mood of the story but also thinking about the characters story, even perhaps your own life.

So this was really fun. Let me know what your favourite first sentences are or what you think of these sentences. I think personally I like either shocking or question first sentences generally. As always thank you for reading and I’ll see you in my next post.


Twitter: @liamslibrary83

Goodreads: Liamo’d

* I do not own the feature image nor did I create it. The image was found here:


4 thoughts on “Favourite First Sentences

  1. I think the first sentence of Melina Marchetta’s novel Jellicoe Road is really interesting: “My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die.” How can you not keep reading after a sentence like that?!? I also like the Perks of Being a Wallflower one that you included. It’s such a great book! 🙂


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