Sunday, November 11, 2012

Opening Lines (1)

Opening Lines is a new feature here on Portrait of a Book that showcases the first lines of recent and/or upcoming releases. If you're looking for your next read, let these first lines help you decide!

By: Laini Taylor
Published By: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: Nov. 6, 2012
Buy the Book: Amazon

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.

"Prague, early May. The sky weighed gray over fairy-tale rooftops, and all the world was watching."

By: Paul Griffin
Published By: Dial
Release Date: Oct. 25, 2012
Buy the Book: Amazon

How far would you go for love, beauty, and jealousy?

When Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that--he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how it feels to be treated like a freak, and he also has a secret: He's a brilliant hacker. But the deeper he digs, the more danger he's in--and the more he falls for Nicole. Too bad everyone is turning into a suspect, including Nicole herself.

Award-winning author Paul Griffin has written a high-stakes, soulful mystery about the meaning--and dangers--of love and beauty.

"I was at the cemetery when it happened."

By: Fiona Paul
Published By: Philomel
Release Date: Oct. 30, 2012
Buy the Book: Amazon

Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancĂ©, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancĂ©, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.

"Man falls down before the Angel of Death like a beast before the slaughterer."

By: Kerstin Gier
Published By: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: Oct. 30, 2012
Buy the Book: Amazon

Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean.

At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.

"The streets of Southwark were dark and deserted."

Do any of these opening lines grab your attention? What are your favorite first lines that you've read lately?


  1. What a great idea for a blog post! Opening lines can really tell you so much about a book. When I was younger I used to flip to the end and read the last line to decide whether or not I wanted to read the whole thing... haha. I've since stopped doing that. I like the surprise so much more :)

    The Burning Blue opening really caught my interest! In my creative writing classes, we learn that making the reader ask a question (in this case: "you were in the cemetery when WHAT happened?") is very effective in an opening.


    1. I've flipped to the end before, but seeing spoilery cliffhangers stopped me from doing that! That's a good point about opening lines. I've also heard authors say that opening lines should give some clue as to characterization, setting, and conflict all in a few words.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I would have to go with Laini Taylor

  3. Great feature. I like the one from Days of Blood and Starlight best. Laini Taylor's prose is simply beautiful :)

  4. I like Laini Taylor's opening a lot as well. It creates such a great picture.

  5. I really love this idea. Opening lines set the tone for the entire novel. My favourite is the beginning of Days of Blood and Starlight.


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