Monday, December 17, 2012

Our Books' Opening Lines!

We have an extra-special treat for you today: the opening lines of 68 children's and young adult books debuting in 2013!* Here is your exclusive chance to sample what's in store for the literary world in the year that's just around the bend.

Our books cover a wide variety of genres, styles, settings, and age groups, so sit back, relax, and enjoy a taste of....


Winning: Cara Sweeny had made it her business, and business was good.
Melissa Landers, ALIENATED

I believed that my ancestors lived among the stars.
Liz Fichera, HOOKED

The plan was this: I'd get up on that stage, blow them away with the best damn audition they'd ever seen, and walk out knowing the part I wanted was mine.
Lindsay Ribar, THE ART OF WISHING

You've never met anyone like me.
Karen Harrington, SURE SIGNS OF CRAZY

I'll sleep when I'm dead.
Lenore Appelhans, LEVEL 2

Today is the last day I will see my brother.
Erin Bowman, TAKEN

I stepped inside the railroad car, and three dozen pairs of eyes peered my way.

The basement hallways in King's College of Medical Research were dark, even in the daytime.
Megan Shepherd, THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER

"Your dad will leave you when you are twelve."
Rachele Alpine, CANARY

The first time I notice the new inmate is when we're all lined up outside our cells for morning head count.
Emma Pass, ACID

Raim sat in the crook of an old, cracked tree, one leg dangling in the breeze, 
his head leaning back against the trunk.
Amy McCulloch, THE OATHBREAKER'S SHADOW

I am soaring free.

I thought I'd mastered the art of escape.
Kristen Kittscher, THE WIG IN THE WINDOW

"What do you want your name to be this time?"

“You stop fearing the Devil when you’re holding his hand.”
April Genevieve Tucholke, BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA

Annie shakes my arm frantically, startling me awake from a nightmare of blood and nameless terror.
Justina Ireland, VENGEANCE BOUND

You would think I’d never jumped off a cliff before, based on how long I stood there.
Peggy Eddleman, SKY JUMPERS book 1: THROUGH THE BOMB'S BREATH

As Elissa and her mother entered the waiting room, the sky above Central Canyon City was a chill, pre-dawn gray, the spaceport a colorless blaze on the horizon.
Imogen Howson, LINKED

"Shoot to kill this time, okay?"
Amy Christine Parker, GATED (formerly THE SILO)

The shrinkadinks think I have a screw loose.
Scott Blagden, DEAR LIFE, YOU SUCK

Maybe if I move a little slower, I can prevent the inevitable.
Lydia Kang, CONTROL

"Help mehelp!"
Kit Grindstaff, THE FLAME IN THE MIST

Sniff-sniff.
Melanie Crowder, PARCHED

The water was everywhere.
Jacqueline Green, TRUTH OR DARE

The banner fluttering in the breeze outside City Hall read, "Scarletville, Iowa: National Redhead Sanctuary."
Alison Cherry, RED

Dark night.
Tamera Will Wissinger, GONE FISHING: A Novel In Verse

My darling daughter,
Know that I never would have left the Earth if it hadn’t already been doomed.
Phoebe North, STARGLASS

Mule-brained Tommy Farrow would ruin everything.
Jennifer McGowan, MAID OF SECRETS

Lynn was nine the first time she killed to defend the pond.
Mindy McGinnis, NOT A DROP TO DRINK

The sickness hits even before I reach the outskirts of London.
Ryan Graudin, ALL THAT GLOWS

Jun approached the teacher’s desk with short, hesitant steps.
Joe Lawlor, BULLY.COM

The first sound Shad heard was the squawk of a chicken.
A.B.Westrick, BROTHERHOOD

Breaking and entering wasn't as easy as it looked in the movies.
Mindee Arnett, THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR

The field didn’t end so much as trail off, beaten back by the rusted out trailer and circle of junked vehicles surrounding it.
Kate Karyus Quinn, ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE

She was dancing with somebody else.
Helen Douglas, AFTER EDEN

I was sound asleep when my head itched.
Jennifer Ann Mann, SUNNY SWEET IS SO NOT SORRY

On the fourth day of junior year, sometime between the second bell marking the start of chemistry class and the time I got home from school, my mother tried to kill herself.
Sara Polsky, THIS IS HOW I FIND HER

"You can't tell that the coffin holds the body of a boy."
C.J. Flood, INFINITE SKY

I learned a lot from my daddy, but the number one most important thing is this: never, ever, under any circumstances, let something get the best of you.
Laura Golden, EVERY DAY AFTER

I long for the roof to cave in at Keehn’s Department Store.
K.A. Barson, 45 POUNDS (More or Less)

Stillness fills the empty stage as I press the horn bow to my body and notch an arrow.
Christina Farley, GILDED

I stretch out my legs, enjoying the hot sand against my calves.
Lindsey Scheibe, RIPTIDE

I'm standing inside a large fitting room at Lola's Lingerie.
Mindy Raf, THE SYMPTOMS OF MY INSANITY

One bright fall day, Sophie chose a squash at the farmers’ market.
Pat Zietlow Miller, SOPHIE'S SQUASH

I only go out at night.
Demitria Lunetta, IN THE AFTER

My mother named me after a cow's rear end.
Liesl Shurtliff, RUMP: THE TRUE STORY OF RUMPELSTILTSKIN

Here's a list of what not to do when you're sixteen (and a half) and the guy you just went all the way with keels over from a heart attack on the floor of your sister's house:
Nicole McInnes, BRIANNA ON THE BRINK

By the time my brother arrives he can't get to me.
Sarah Skilton, BRUISED

The snake is lying on the front porch like a present or a warning, blood pooled at its throat, glistening against the blackness of its leathery skin.
S.J. Laidlaw, AN INFIDEL IN PARADISE

The drama club homeroom was buzzing with post-summer chatter, but I didn't look up from my copy of Romeo and Juliet.
Jessica Verdi, MY LIFE AFTER NOW

He comes down the road in his Camaro, sliding left to right on the freshly oiled gravel and skidding to a stop in front of my house.
Kristin Halbrook, NOBODY BUT US

“Don't move, Nisha.”
Miriam Forster, CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS

I don't feel the presence of God here.
Stephanie Kuehn, CHARM & STRANGE

A girl, alone.
Amelia Kahaney, THE BROKENHEARTED

Danny grew half a foot this summer.
Teddy Steinkellner, TRASH CAN DAYS: A MIDDLE SCHOOL SAGA

My mom's name is Didi Unger, and that's a fine name.
Barbara Brauner (co-author), OH MY GODMOTHER: THE GLITTER TRAP

My dad's name is Jonathan Ware, and that's a fine name, too.
James Iver Mattson (co-author), OH MY GODMOTHER: THE GLITTER TRAP

I made it halfway across the courtyard before I realized I was still wearing my school slippers.
Amanda Sun, INK

"Fear is coming."
Kelsey Sutton, SOME QUIET PLACE

"Holly, don't you think you should at least wear a new pair of jeans for the first day of school?"
Maurene Goo, SINCE YOU ASKED...

The last thing I remember is now.
Cal Armistead, BEING HENRY DAVID

Of all the directions to be looking, I stare up.
Cori McCarthy, THE COLOR OF RAIN

I'd rather not start with any backstory.
Tim Federle, BETTER NATE THAN EVER

I wasn't always the kind of girl who wakes up on the first day of summer vacation to find herself on the receiving end of a temporary restraining order.
Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, HOW MY SUMMER WENT UP IN FLAMES

You had forgotten how early the sun rises on summer campouts—and how loud the birds sing in the morning.
Liz Coley, PRETTY GIRL-13

I am sitting under the acacia tree on the ridge when I first see them: three men, in nice clothes, coming toward our house.
Tara Sullivan, GOLDEN BOY

I yawp most mornings to irritate my father, the Brute.
Evan Roskos, DR. BIRD'S ADVICE FOR SAD POETS

It’d been over four years since I’d really slept, and I suspected it was killing me.
J.R. Johansson, INSOMNIA

*Note: The opening lines of novels that are still undergoing the editing process are subject to change.
_____________________________________________________________



List compiled by Cat Winters, author of In the Shadow of Blackbirds, a World War I-era YA ghost tale coming April 2, 2013, from Amulet Books/ABRAMS. Visit her online at www.catwinters.com, Twitter, and Facebook.

29 comments:

  1. Some killer first lines here, and I WANT TO READ ALL OF THESE BOOKS.

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  2. I love this! The first sentences are so powerful. And I'm with CJ: I want them all!!

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  3. This is amazing! I'm looking forward to SO many 2013 debuts and this only makes me more excited for them! Love a good first sentence!

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  4. It's incredible how different and fascinating and telling each of these first lines are!

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  5. Yup, need to start setting aside a buy-all-these-books fund now.

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  6. This is amazing, seeing them all collected like that!

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  7. Wow, a lot of gripping first lines here. It's interesting (to me) how much I like some of the slower openings that give a sense of place, like The Oathbreaker's Shadow and Another Little Piece. If I were forced to pick a favourite it might be In the Shadow of Blackbirds. But they all sound amazing - good luck Thirteeners!

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  8. Gah, must read every single one of these. No joke.

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  9. Great idea for a post. Thanks for sharing! I've latched onto Jen Doktorski's first line/first book-- a new friend I'm wishing much success--but I'm eager to follow others on your list too.

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  10. These are all fantastically teasing!!! Well done.

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  11. Some amazing first lines here! I can't wait to read these books!

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  12. Thanks for compiling these, Cat. Can't wait to read the second lines of all these books!

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  13. These first lines are so powerful. Mine is so boring in comparison! Need to work on that.

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  14. Love some of these first lines. So many of them reveal so much. :) Can't wait til 2013!

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  15. Thanks for putting this all together. So amazing reading through these. Yay for 2013!

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  16. This might be my favorite Lucky post ever!

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  17. I'm thrilled everyone is enjoying the post! I loved putting it together and watching everyone's books come to life a little bit more.

    Girl Friday: Thank you so much.

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  18. What a great post. Thanks so much for doing this.

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  19. Yay, Cat! Thanks for putting this together. I love it!

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  20. It's amazing how much of a sense of the feel of the books you get just from their first lines! Thanks, Cat, for putting this together. So fun!

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  21. You're welcome. I'm happy people are having fun with the post! You're right, Tara--you can get an amazing feel for a book just from reading a first line.

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