Friday, May 28, 2010

Answers to The Last Ten First Lines and Ten New Ones

by Susan Berger

1. Every smiley moon without fail Claire dreamed of her childhood.
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
(This is a first book. Sarah has written two more –The Sugar Queen and The Girl Who Chased the Moon. I treasure all three.)

2. “Go away!” Brianna yelled. “No! I wanna play too!” Julianne cried.
The Sister Exchange by Kevin McNamee Illustrated by Kit Grady

3. It’s not so bad being dead. People generally tend to ignore you.
St. Michael’s Scales by Neil Connelly
(This is a first book. I plan to read it )

4. Do you know what it says on a tube of toothpaste? In small print? You have to read the small print because they never tell you anything scary in large print. Large print is what they want you to see.
Frannie in Pieces by Delia Ephron
(I took this out of the library after reading the first line. I loved it.)

5. In the middle of nowhere along a quiet stretch of road the diner dreamt of the hungry dead.
Gil’s All Fright Diner by A Lee Martinez
(I took this out of the library after reading the first line. Did not love this one, I am not sure why it is listed as a children’s book. YA maybe. Children – not so much)

6. The principal crooked his finger at me. “Come to my office,” he said. I almost choked. Please let it be something horrendous I’ve done, I prayed Just don’t let it be…But deep inside I already knew. It was my mom. She’d done it again.
Lifting the Sky by Mackie d’Arge
(another first novel)

7. When we were little, My best friend Jake and I saw eye to eye. Then I grew and he didn’t.
The Height, the Depths and Everything in Between by Sally Nemeth
(I think this is a first novel. Sally is a playwright.)

8. My so-called parents hate my boyfriend Shrimp.
Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn

9. When Bee woke up, there was a girl standing in her room. “you are me,” the girl said. Then she was gone.
The Waters and the Wild by Francesca Lia Block
(after reading this, I checked out the book. It as short, odd and interesting)

10. Olivia Kidney’s new home was an apartment building made of maroon and yellow bricks on New York City’s Upper West Side. It was twenty stories high and it contained some of the most awful people you’d ever want to meet.
Olivia Kidney by Ellen Potter. Art by Peter H. Reynolds (Another first novel)

This hunt for new lines is getting harder. Books seem to remain on the NY Times best seller list for many weeks so that is not a great hunting ground.

Do you have a favorite first line? Please leave it in the comment section and I will use it.

Here is the next set of new lines.
1. They say that just before you die you whole life flashes before your eyes, but that’s not how it happen for me.

2. So mom got a postcard today. It says Congratulations in big curly letters and at the very top is the address of Studio TV-15 on West 58th Street. After three years of trying, she has actually made it. She is going to be a contestant on the 20,000 Pyramid which is hosted by Dick Clark.

3. First catch your dragon

4. It was my aunt who decided to give me to the Dragon. Not that she was evil or didn’t care for me. It’s just that we were very poor and she was, as we said in those parts, dumber than two turnips in a rain barrel.

5. It’s my first morning of high school. I have seven new notebooks, a skirt I hate, and a stomachache.

6. The first thing I notice as the plane lands at LAX is that it is cloudy and pouring rain. So much for the myth that it’s always sunny in Los Angeles.

7. Since I’ve been pretty much treading water all day, the marquee of the Rialto Theatre looks like the prow of a ship coming to save me.

8. “Little Man would you come on? You keep it up and you’re gonna make us late.”
My younger brother paid no attention to me. Grasping more firmly his newspaper-wrapped notebook and his tin-can lunch of cornbread an oil sausages, he continued to concentrate on the dusty road.

9. When I got off the bus that crisp January morning and stepped on to the parking lot, the only thing I could see was a crowd of students gathered near the east wall of our school. It looked like some sort of outdoor rock concert, except instead of holding up lights and swaying to a heavy guitar ballad, people were raising their cell phones to snap pictures and inching forward amid the rumbling.

10. Everyone knows I’m perfect. My life is perfect. My clothes are perfect. And although it’s a complete lie, I’ve worked my butt off to keep up the appearance that I have it all. The truth, if it were to come out, would destroy my entire picture-perfect image.


  1. These are great! Thanks, Sue!

  2. I just finished reading the book that starts with your new line number two. It's "When You Reach Me" by Rebecca Stead. I enjoyed it, especially the references to Madeline L'Engle's books since I re-read some of those last week.

  3. I love this post.
    J. Aday Kennedy
    The Differently-Abled Writer
    Children's picture Book Klutzy Kantor
    Coming Soon Marta Gargantuan Wings

  4. "The best day of my life happened when I was five and almost died at Disney World." - Going Bovine by Libba Bray

  5. Number 3 sounds like it comes from How to Train Your Dragon.

    Keep up the great work. I love reading these.


  6. 無一事而不學,無一時而不學,無一處而不學。........................................


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