Tag Archives: literature

Looking into Hooks: A Series of Unfortunate Events

“If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.”

"I'm unique and original and stuffs"

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.

"Things don't go well for us... and we're not just talking about the movie franchaise"

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?


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Had to share this…

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…

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Hook #7: Snow Globe

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.

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Hook #6: The Quarterlife Crisis

“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.

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Hook #5: The Estrangement of Dr. Fry

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?

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

First Paragraph: August 25, 1991 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. I will call people by different names or generic names because I don’t want you to find me. I didn’t enclose a return address for the same reason. I mean nothing bad by this. Honest.

Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower follows Charlie, a nervous and unique teenager, through his freshman year of high school. It’s a simple premise, but this novel is about so much more than high school. It’s about what it means to live the life you want, to care for others, to push boundaries, and to belong, at any point in life, for any member of any generation. It isn’t about sugar coating some experiences or over exaggerating others. It’s simply the life of a boy used to observing others, and how he comes to “participate” in life, and furthermore, why “participating” is even a necessity.

That's not just a river, it's my tears

Okay, I got really serious there for a little bit, but if you just spent the last few hours of your life dripping tears all over a book I’m sure you might get a little serious too. The Perks of a Wallflower isn’t the sort of novel where you cry because things are sad, but where you cry because it’s beautiful. It’s amazing that Chbosky was able to write in an unconventional style and format, while conveying a depth of emotion and profound observation that some people might think is only possible through use of words like ‘austerity’ and ‘desultory’.

If I hadn’t read the note at the beginning of the novel about it being a work of fiction I would have pegged it as a memoir. Each person and thing that happens in the novel is scary authentic. I didn’t have to spare any mental effort to picture the scenes in the novel. I still wonder if Chbosky has duped us all by writing a memoir and calling it fiction. As I was reading I even started to worry about characters, I worried that Charlie might not make friends in his sophomore year, and I worried about his grandfather getting sick, and I worried that his mom might get too sad now that two of her children would be off to college.

I'm sorry I killed you...

The best thing about this novel, is that it lets you bring it with you. No, I don’t mean that since the novel is fairly thin and slight you can sandwich it between your textbooks, or fit it easily into your purse—though I’m sure you can. I mean that it inspires you about life, it forces you to strip away all the dreary boring things about living that can drag you down, and reminds you of that day where you sat alone somewhere, anywhere, and how someone came over and talked to you, and how that small gesture could lift your spirits for 12 hours at least. The worst thing about this novel is that I may have killed a tree since I had to use one tissue to blow my nose, and another to wipe my tears. In short, I find it basically impossible to find fault in the novel.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Coming of Age, Romance, YA Fiction

Hook #4: Loretta’s Antique Emporium

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.

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