Saturday Seven #1: First lines

I get the privilege of kicking off the first Saturday Seven post here at LASR! I’ve decided to do the seven first lines from seven random books on my TBR pile. Here we go:

1. “You’re late,” said Mrs. Trilby, staring down her long nose at Mari.
What A Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell

2. The house was a mottled gray color that reminded me of dead fish.
Twist of Faith by Ellen J. Green

3. I told myself that if she showed, that would be the sign I needed.
Between Me and You by Allison Winn Scotch

4. It’s an age old story: woman meets man, man woos woman, woman spends her best years believing their love is the everlasting kind.
Woman Last Seen in her Thirties by Camille Pagan

5. As their carriage rolled closer and closer to London, James thought about her.
It’s Hard Out Here for a Duke by Maya Rodale

6. The door would never open.
Cold Harbor by Matthew Fitzsimmons

7. Dr. Helena Tate knew what a madhouse the ER could be during and after a major nor-easter but to experience it firsthand was always a draining experience.
Christmas With the Best Man by Susan Carlisle

Did any of these intrigue you? Do you think first lines are massively important? Do you want a hook right away, or will you read awhile before deciding if a book is for you or not?

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  1. I do tend to be impatient at the start of a story and need a reason early to keep reading–maybe not the very first line, but definitely the first few pages. If it’s easy to stop reading after that, I’ll usually put the book down and try another.

  2. I mentioned on my blog that I usually read the first paragraph of a book to decide whether I might like it or not but…your first line may be a better description of how much I get past. I, too, have very little patience and unless what I have read grabs my attention that poor book goes back on the pile. Says a lot to authors about their first few lines doesn’t it?

    • Long and Short Reviews says:

      I’m a horrible person — I tend to read the first few pages AND the end because I only read books that end happily (Nicholas Sparks has ruined it for everyone … I used to think the romance genre was safe).

  3. The opening line for “Woman Last Seen in her Thirties” is fantastic. Now I really want to read that book.

    • Long and Short Reviews says:

      I have to agree that this line was, by far, my favorite of them. I actually really like this author (I’ve read one other book of hers), so look forward to digging into this one.

  4. When I was younger, I felt an obligation to finish any book I started (akin to cleaning my plate, I guess). The older I get, though, the more I realize I will never have time to read all the books I want to read (1000+ on my nook), so I will usually (unless there are other reasons, like head-hopping/telling v. showing/editing issues) give a book three chapters or so. After that.. it’s gone.

    • Long and Short Reviews says:

      When I was younger, I think I was also less discerning. I can’t remember a book I didn’t finish. Now, though, I’m harder pressed to name a book I HAVE.

  5. I also am impatient and must be drawn into the story as quickly as possible. #7 “Dr. Helena Tate knew what a madhouse the ER could be during and after a major nor-easter but to experience it firsthand was always a draining experience.
    — Christmas With the Best Man by Susan Carlisle ”
    That first line hooked me immediately. So much so that I looked it up…It’s a Harlequin…My favorite!! I just might buy it before this day is over!!

  6. I like a nice hook in the first line but it’s not required for me to keep reading. I’m a hopeful person and always believe things will get better, so I’ll stick with a book for several chapters before I toss it aside. The best books, of course, give you something to hope for/believe in/worry about right from the start. I admit, I form an opinion with that first sentence or two.

    • Long and Short Reviews says:

      I need to engage with the characters more than the plot. I’m definitely a fan of character driven books, and if I like them enough, I’ll happily read about them putting up wallpaper! LOL…

  7. First lines are very important to grab a reader’s attention. I got to see one of my favorite author’s speak not long after his first novel came out and he ripped himself over his first line which was “It was an odd-looking vine.” He shook his head. “A vine?” Hah.

    Excellent list however!

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