My Absolute Favorite Best Opening Lines/Sentences in Books

Sometimes an opening line can make it or break it.  As a reader, there is nothing like a great opening line that makes me even more eager to read the rest of the book.  All readers are not the same, however, generally, opening sentences that is humorous, makes you uncomfortable, creep you out, or intriguing will make the reader hooked to read the rest of the story.  Therefore, here are some of my favorite lines from books.  Nonetheless, I will admit, it doesn’t mean that I enjoyed the book overall because there were a some that ended in disappointment for me.

“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.”

-Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense.”

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

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

-Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

“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 despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

-Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

“If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.”

 -Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

-Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice 

“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. Please don’t try to figure out who she is because then you might figure out who I am, and I really don’t want you to do that.”

–Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower 

“You better not never tell nobody but God.”

-Alice Walker, The Color Purple

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

-Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven Boys

“Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood. If you’re reading this because you think you might be one, my advice is: close this book right now. Believe whatever lie your mom or dad told you about your birth, and try to lead a normal life.”

Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief

“It was a bright day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”

George Orwell, 1984

“This is a tale of a meeting of two lonesome, skinny, fairly old white men on a planet which was dying fast.”

Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

“There is one mirror in my house. It is behind a sliding panel in the hallway upstairs. Our faction allows me to stand in front of it on the second day of every third month, the day my mother cuts my hair.”

-Veronica Roth, Divergent

“It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since scientists perfected a cure.”

-Lauren Oliver,Delirium

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.

-J.D Salinger, The Catcher In The Rye 

“Once upon a time…”

-Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Grimm’s Fairy Tales

So what are your favorite first opening lines from books?  Feel free to share and comment below. 🙂


33 thoughts on “My Absolute Favorite Best Opening Lines/Sentences in Books

  1. Amazing post! Thank you soo much for including the line from Percy Jackson, now I really want to read the series and probably because of you I’ll purchase them as soon as possible!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😀

      The Harry Potter books have some of the best opening lines but the first books is my favorite out of all of them. I like that line from Moby Dick, though I’m afraid I won’t read the book anytime soon.HAHA

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great list idea! I love the lines you’ve picked. Although some of them I won’t read any further (Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy). The first line/paragraph can be great, but I still can’t get into those classics. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me. Then, like all dreamers, I was possessed of a sudden with supernatural powers and passed like a spirit through the barrier before me.
    Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I belong to a couple book clubs here. this was one of the selections a while back. it’s one of those things where I would probably not have read this book without the book club incentive, but now I’m glad I did. as you can see, beautiful writing. kind of a gothic flavor.

        Liked by 1 person

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