20 Amazing Opening Lines in YA

04/25/2013 2:38PM | Posted by: TeamEpicReads | Lists!, Now Quoting

Sometimes all it takes is a stellar opening line (or paragraph!) to get us hooked on a book; and so we’re bringing you twenty of our favorites.


1.) “It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure.” –Delirium by Lauren Oliver


2.) “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.” The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky


3.) “The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle.” Paper Towns by John Green


4.) “Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you’ve heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn’t win. In some places, there is something ultimately good about endings. In Neverland, that is not the case.” Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson


5.) “I wake up. Immediately I have to figure out who I am. It’s not just the body–opening my eyes and discovering whether the ksin on my arm is light or dark, whether my hair is long or short, whether I’m fat or thin, boy or girl, scarred or smooth. The body is the easiest thing to adjust to, if you’re used to waking up in a new one each morning. It’s the life, the context of the body, that can be hard to grasp.” Every Day by David Levithan


6.) “One minute the teacher was talking about the Civil War. And the next minute he was gone.” Gone by Michael Grant


7.) “Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’d been told that she would kill her true love.” The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater


8.) “The best day of my life happened when I was five and almost died at Disney World. I’m sixteen now, so you can imagine that’s left me with quite a few days of major suckage.” Going Bovine by Libba Bray


9.) “The rain poured down on London so hard that it seemed that it was dancing spray, every raindrop contending with its fellows for supremacy in the air and waiting to splash down. It was a deluge.” Dodger by Terry Pratchett


10.) “It’s so hard to talk when you want to kill yourself.”It’s Kind of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini


11.) “They called the world beyond the walls of the Pod ‘The Death Shop’. A million ways to die out there. Aria never thought she’d get so close.”Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi


12.) “All I did was ask a stupid question.” Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King


13.) “The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit.” Uglies by Scott Westerfeld


14.) “The best time to cry is at night, when the lights are out and someone is being beaten up and screaming for help. That way even if you sniffle a little they won’t hear you. If anybody knows that you are crying, they’ll start talking about it and soon it’ll be your turn to get beat up when the lights go out.” Monster by Walter Dean Myers


15.) “The afternoon my parents died, I was out shoplifting with Irene Klauson.” –The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth


16.) “We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.” Feed by M.T. Anderson


17.) “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.” Divergent by Veronica Roth


18.) “Newborn #485GA18M died on June 30, 2076, at 6:07 in the morning. She was three days old. The average lifespan of a human child, in the time since the break, was fifty-six hours.” Partials by Dan Wells


19.) “The end of the world started when a pegasus landed on the hood of my car.”The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan


20.) “There once was a young man who wished to gain his Heart’s Desire.” Stardust by Neil Gaiman



What other first lines would you add to this list?


User Comments 20 comments

  1. April 25, 2013 | 2:42 pm

    “Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.” – ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ by Laini Taylor

  2. April 25, 2013 | 3:07 pm

    Love this list. Reminds me of some favorites (and the challenge I always face with the first line).

  3. April 25, 2013 | 3:15 pm

    “My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die.”
    — Jellicoe Road by Melnia Marchetta

  4. April 25, 2013 | 4:38 pm

    “It is the first day of November and so, today someone will die” – The Scorpio Races

  5. April 25, 2013 | 5:03 pm

    ” I’ve been locked up for 264 days.” -Shatter Me

  6. April 26, 2013 | 1:21 am

    “My lady and I are being shut up in a tower for seven years.” ~Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

  7. April 26, 2013 | 10:51 am

    “Sometimes I think that everyone has a tragedy waiting for them, that the people buying milk in their pajamas or picking their noses at stoplights could be only moments away from disaster.”

    The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

  8. April 26, 2013 | 5:56 pm

    It’s “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” not “It’s Kind of a Funny Thing”. Just saying…

  9. April 26, 2013 | 6:25 pm

    these are great! I’m so glad that a few of these on my TBR list. Might have to add a few more to my list of well over 300 books.

  10. April 26, 2013 | 7:24 pm

    Fantastic post! Here’s what I chose:

    “They came in the night.” -Crewel by Gennifer Albin

    “I should probably start with the blood.” -The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

    “I wasn’t reborn.” -Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

  11. April 27, 2013 | 12:36 am

    “A gunshot is the loudest sound in the universe. Especially if the bullet is coming at you.” – Virals by Kathy Reichs

  12. April 28, 2013 | 4:36 pm

    I just want to read all of these !(some again) i do sometimes judge by the first line:D

  13. April 28, 2013 | 7:57 pm

    Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my free time to thinking about death. – The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

  14. meg
    April 28, 2013 | 9:32 pm

    “Now that I’ve found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night?” -Matched, Ally Condie

  15. April 28, 2013 | 10:51 pm

    “I felt her fear before I heard her screams.” -Vampire Academy, Richelle Mead

  16. April 30, 2013 | 9:59 am

    They hung the Unregistered’s in the old warehouse district; it was a public execution, so everyone went to see. The Immortal Rules, by Julie Kagawa

  17. July 2, 2013 | 5:09 pm

    I LOVE the opening line of UGLIES by Scot Westerfeld.

  18. August 8, 2013 | 12:22 am

    This is a good opening to me:

    I only go out at night.
    I walk along the empty street and pause, my muscles tense and ready. The breeze rustles the overgrown grass and I tilt my head slightly. I’m listening for Them.

    In the After by Demitria Lunetta

  19. June 23, 2014 | 4:39 pm

    My favorite first line of any book would be this one.
    “Just when I thought my day couldn’t get any worse I saw the dead guy standing next to my locker.”
    Marked by P. C. Cast and Kristen Cast

  20. July 2, 2014 | 4:33 pm

    “The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not ” -the night circus by erin morgenstern

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