Top Ten Tuesday: Opening Lines That I Love

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Inspirational/Thought-Provoking Book Quotes.” I’ve never been good at keeping track of quotes from books that I love, so for this topic I am sharing opening lines I love. These are lines from books that immediately pulled me in and I knew from the moment I read them, I was going to love the book. All of these are amazing and I recommend them all. Covers are linked to Goodreads.


1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

“First the colors.
Then the humans.
That’s usually how I see things.
Or at least, how I try.

*  *  * HERE IS A SMALL FACT *  *  *

You are going to die.”

2. Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Marie Machado

“(If you read this story out loud, please use the following voices:
ME: as a child, high-pitched, forgettable; as a woman, the same.
THE BOY WHO WILL GROW INTO A MAN, AND BE MY SPOUSE: robust with serendipity.
MY FATHER: kind, booming; like your father, or the man you wish was your father.
MY SON: as a small child, gentle, sounding with the faintest of lisps; as a man, like my husband.
ALL OTHER WOMEN: interchangeable with my own.)”

3. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

“The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say. About anything.”

4. Pride by Ibi Zoboi

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that when rich people move into the hood, where it’s a little bit broken and a little bit forgotten, the first thing they want to do is clean it up. But it’s not just the junky stuff they’ll get rid of. People can be thrown away too, like last night’s trash left out on sidewalks or pushed to the edge of wherever broken things go. What those rich people don’t always know is that broken and forgotten neighborhoods were first built out of love..”

5. When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

“As far as he knew, she had come from the water. But even about that, he couldn’t be sure.

It didn’t matter how many nights they’d met on the untilled land between their houses; the last farm didn’t rotate its crops, and stripped the soil until nothing but wild grasses would grow. It didn’t matter how many stories he and Miel had told each other when they could not sleep, him passing on his mother’s fables of moon bears that aided lost travelers, Miel making up tales about his moon lamps falling in love with the stars. Sam didn’t know any more than anyone else about where she’d come from before he found her in the brush field. She seemed to have been made of water one minute and the next, became a girl.”

6. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

“Staring at the sky in Bharata was like exchanging a secret. It felt private, like I had peered through the veil of a hundred worlds. When I looked up, I could imagine—for a moment—what the sky hid from everyone else. I could see where the winds yawned with silver lips and curled themselves to sleep. I could glimpse the moon folding herself into crescents and half-smiles. When I looked up, I could imagine an existence as vast as the sky. Just as infinite. Just as unknown.”

7. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

“To many, I was a myth incarnate, the embodiment of a most superb legend, a fairy tale. Some considered me a monster, a mutation. To my great misfortune, I was once mistaken for an angel. To my mother, I was everything. To my father, nothing at all. To my grandmother, I was a daily reminder of loves long lost. But I knew the truth—deep down, I always did.

I was just a girl.”

8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

“The circus arrives without warning.

No announcement preceded it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It was simply there, when yesterday it was not.”

9. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

“There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.”

10. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

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

Her skin was blue, her blood was red.

She broke over an iron gate, crimping it on impact, and there she hung, impossibly arched, graceful as a temple dancer swooning on a lover’s arm.”

Are you adding any of these to your TBR based on these first lines? What’s your favorite opening lines of a book? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

61 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Opening Lines That I Love

  1. I just finished The Knife of Never Letting Go, and yes, that first line is so good. And I absolutely adore The Graveyard Book and Strange the Dreamer, too. Great list!


  2. Have as yet to read “The Night Circus,” but it’s SUPER popular among the booktube readers. Someday I may have to give it a second look. Fun spin on today’s topic, Alicia; I really like how you changed it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I recently read The Knife of Never Letting Go and I must say I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hope, but it does have plenty of quotable parts. I did love The Night Circus and Neil Gaiman has recently become one of my favorite authors. Great choice of quotes!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Really? I think I need to give it another try. I want to continue the series too. Well, I have only read two Neil Gaiman books so far, but Norse Mythology is my favorite for now. Which one is yours?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved the first lines of The Star-Touched Queen (so gorgeous) and Strange the Dreamer (has a prettier prologue than that one ever been written?) as well. And I should really reread The Night Circus.
    Some of my favorite opening lines are the ones from The Scorpio Races and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, because they’re both… ominous? I love ominous.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the opening lines from The Night Circus and The Graveyard book.

    I think my favorite opening line from a book is from Legend: “My mother thinks I’m dead.” The first line from Priory of the Orange Tree was pretty good too, although I don’t know it off the top of my head. I just remember reading it recently and thinking “this is going to be a good book.”

    Liked by 1 person

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