She was supposed to live like anyone else. To live like death was faraway, a concept more than a reality. I had meant for her to go through life in a series of steps. Ordinary steps. Go to grade school. Then middle school. Have her first crush, her first period. Then high school. Have her first boyfriend, her first disappointing sexual encounter. Graduate. Then college. Have her first successful sexual encounter. Pick a career. Graduate. Get a job in her career of choice. Get engaged. Get married. Have kids. Watch those kids do all the things she did. Retire. Then die.
Tag Archives: hook
“If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.”
I was looking through The Best Opening Lines from Books and I couldn’t help but comment on this one. I remember how popular this book was in grade school. As an eleven year old girl with a weight problem you can bet I was hardcore into setting myself apart from the crowd, and being an individual. This meant I was walking around with printed pictures of anime characters strung around my neck like necklaces and wearing punky wristbands. What it did NOT mean was giving into the “in” book of the moment. Also, to be honest I was a lazy kid and reading a series longer than three or four books was daunting to me. But I gave in.
This, in my opinion, is one of the best hooks ever written for its genre. It plays on the urge all young children and tweens have to blatantly rebel against orders. This opening line wasn’t just a polite suggestion, it was a challenge, it was the author putting her book out there, then asking you to put it down when you already had it in your hands. So as soon as you read that line you marched up to the register and demanded your guardian purchase this book for you so you could show it that you were grown up and could handle a little tragedy. This is something you would later take back when you found yourself smashing your head against a wall a wondering when these poor orphans would finally catch a break.
The only downfall? It doesn’t really hold you out for the entire series. At least it didn’t for me. Somewhere between borrowing the fourth book from the library, never bringing it back, and then donating it to Good Will, I could make it to the tenth book… or was it eleven?
I had to share this. I think it’s pretty relevant considering that half of this blog is hooks, and this person is basically cataloging what they think are the best 100 opening lines from books. I’m busy with studying for an exam that I have soon, but hopefully I can make a few short posts about what I think of these opening lines before I get back to the reviewing business.
Next will either be “Bossypants” by Tina Fey or something else…
Livian Brian let his gaze drift over me slowly, and small hairs at the back of my neck stood on end. The exchange took less than a second, but it revealed to me that he too had learned to pass inspection. It was dangerous, and more than I was frightened that he could pass, I was terrified that he knew I could as well. He had the power to, in an instant, expose me and effectively draw my careful planning to a close. If he were anyone but Livian Brian I might have had the same power over him, but as it were I didn’t.
“Do you know, that before your mid-life crisis you have at least four other crises?”
That’s amazing, riveting, I think dryly. Jane likes to share things she’s learned with the rest of us. It, likely, makes her feel very cultured and intelligent. Not much intelligence in reading the first story you come upon in some lifestyle magazine at the dentist’s office. Without a source to credit validity simply comes down to performance.
And so I sit on a cream slip cover segmented couch, swirling the untouched wine in my glass. I don’t drink, I’d said.
He had two cavities. One in his upper molar on the right side and the other on the left. Michelle smiled at him and pulled the teal mask over her face.
“Open as wide as possible please.”
His lips cracked and broke on either side. He thought distractedly that he should have put something on. He almost used a lip-balm sample he found under the sink in the bathroom, but thought better of it. Shiny lips on a man he thought, what would people say?
I used to think the everyone’s purpose in life was simply to live. It didn’t matter whether that meant conducting heart surgery to save a child’s life, or sitting in an alley shooting up. As long as there was blood in your veins and air in your lungs you were living. It took me eighteen years to realize that life wasn’t like that. The mailman delivering shitty rom com dvds from Netflix, the mother of two, even the astronaut in space, none of them were living. Not really.