Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where each week we get a new topic for a top ten list. Beginning and ending lines make or break a book. You need the first line to catch your attention immediately and you need the last line to tie everything up perfectly. Here are five of my favorite opening lines and five of my favorite last lines.
1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling. This one line both completely characterizes the Dursleys and sets up Rowling’s narrative voice. It’s the perfect opening line to the series.
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen. I love how this sentence is funny while still pointing out societal conventions.
3. Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein. I love this line. LOVE IT. I think it’s the best one of this list. It becomes so much more effective the longer you read and the more you understand what’s happening. That’s the best kind of opening…one that continues to resonate throughout the whole book.
4. Howl’s Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones. Whimsy, humor, and setting all established in one sentence. (You knew I was going to include a DWJ quote!)
5. Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor. Ok, so technically this isn’t the first sentence. It’s the pre-opening sentence. But I love it so much. It builds up all kinds of anticipation for the story to come.
6. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green. Sob.
7. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Everyone knows this line. It’s one of the best endings of an American novel ever.
8. I Am The Messenger, Markus Zusak. This is one of my favorites because it sums up the meaning of the entire novel so perfectly.
9. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak. This author just seems to know how to hit the reader right in the heart with a single sentence.
10. The Truth About Forever, Sarah Dessen. So this is more a favorite last paragraph than sentence, but I love the feeling this book leaves you with. It’s like anything is possible.