23 best first lines of books that had us hooked till the end

Painting an image using words is an art but catching a reader’s attention is a herculean task which isn’t quite everyone’s cup of tea. The first line of a novel is what sets the tone for what is about to come and is often what keeps the reader gripped till the very last full stop. Words are meant to evoke some emotion in the heart and soul of the reader but the reader will never stick on if the first few words fail to pique the interest of the reader. There are many who fail; but for every author who fails there are two more who succeed. Kitaab gives you the top twenty-three opening lines which managed to teleport the reader into the world of art.
 1. Midnight's Children
1. “I was born in the city of Bombay…once upon a time. No, that won’t do, there’s no getting away from the date: I was born in Doctor Narlikar’s Nursing Home on August 15th, 1947. The time matters, too.”
—Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
2. The Great Gatsby
2.“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. ‘Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.’”
—The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
 3. The Fault in our stars
3. “Late in the winter of my 17th 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 abundant free time thinking about death.”
— The Fault in our Stars by John Green
4. Pride and Prejudice
4. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
— Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
A January 28, 2010 photo shows a copies of "The Catcher in the Rye" by author J.D. Salinger at a bookstore in Washington, DC. J.D. Salinger, the reclusive author of "The Catcher in the Rye," has died at 91, his agent said January 28, raising tantalizing questions over whether the legendary writer might have left behind a hoard of unpublished works. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images) Original Filename: Was2837936.jpg
5. “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 (1951)
6. Percy Jackson
6.  “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.”
— Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordon
7. Harry Potter
7. “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”
— Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling
 8. Moby Dick
8. “Call me Ishmael. Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.”
—Moby Dick by Herman Melville
9. Good Omens
9. “It was a nice day. All the days had been nice. There had been rather more than seven of them so far, and rain hadn’t been invented yet. But clouds massing east of Eden suggested that the first thunderstorm was on its way, and it was going to be a big one.”
—Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
 10.Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom
10.“At the same time I was growing up in the suburbs, a boy about my age was being raised in Brooklyn. One day, he, too, would grapple with his faith. But his path was different.”
— Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom
11. “The day begins in the middle of the night. I am not paying attention to anything but the bass in my hand, the noise in my ears.”
— Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Leviathan
 12. Paper towns
12. “The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. Like, I will proba­bly never be struck by lightning, or win a Nobel Prize, or become the dictator of a small nation in the Pacific Islands, or contract terminal ear cancer, or spontaneously combust.”
— Paper Towns by John Green
 13. No Woman, No Cry
13. “I was an ambitious girl child. I knew even then that I had to be, in that environment of thugs, thieves, killers, prostitutes, gamblers – you name it, you’d find it in Trench Town.”
—No Woman, No Cry: My life With Bob Marley by Rita Marley
14. The Bell Jar
14. “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.”
—The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
15. “It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs Shears’ house. Its eyes were closed.”
—The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
16. “Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.”
—Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
17. The Secret Life of Bees
17. “At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin.”
—The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
18. “The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.”
—The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
19. Matilda
19. “It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.”
—Matilda by Roald Dahl
20. Thank You for Smoking
20. “Nick Naylor had been called many things since becoming the chief spokesman for the Academy of Tobacco Studies, but until now no one had actually compared him to Satan.”
—Thank You for Smoking: A Novel by Christopher Buckley
21.”Imagine this: You’re in your favorite bookstore, scanning the shelves. You get to the section where a favorite authors’s book reside, and there, nestled in comfortably between the incredibly familiar spines, sits a red notebook.
What do you do?
The choice I think is obvious:
You take down the notebook and open it.
And then you do whatever it tells you to do.”
—Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Leviathan
22. The Untethered Soul
22. “In case you hadn’t noticed, you have a mental dialogue going on inside your head that never stops. It just keeps going and going. Have you ever wondered why it talks in there? How does it decide what to say and when to say it?”
— The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A Singer
23. Twelfth Night
23. “If music be the food of love, play on,
       Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
       The appetite may sicken, and so die.”
      —Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

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About Lekhak Janeesha 2 Articles
Fell in love with reading when she was around 11 years old because she realized that in the world of change, books are only constant. She began writing a few years back. Other than reading and writing she is fond of adventure sports, trekking, exploring new places and trying out new food.

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