Never judge a book by its cover.
Judge it by its first line.
First lines are powerful. A great opening line grabs your readers' attention and sucks them in to your story.
Similar to Miles's thing for the dying words of famous men in Looking for Alaska by John Green, I have a thing for first lines. My review of the following first lines is in no way a critique of the whole book, I may not have even read the book! But I sure do like their hook.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and with so many books to choose from your opening line needs to be enticing. It needs to make an impression on your reader to lure them in and compel them to read on.
A great hook can be funny or meaningful, dramatic or sad, shocking or intriguing, or all of the above. Some great lines are direct and go straight to the point, others are mysterious and lingering. But a great hook should always take you out of your world and put you straight into the world of the book.
I know. I know. I'm setting myself up for some harsh critique on my own hooks.
I'm growing another layer of skin as we speak!
Here are some examples from the classics to the latest YA. They are powerful and intriguing. They touch your heart and make you feel something: empathy, compassion, shock, fear, dread or something else entirely. They arouse suspicion and pique your curiosity. They beg many questions which can only be answered if you read on...
YOU ARE READING
Hook Your ReaderNon-Fiction
[ON HOLD] Nobody will ever know how incredible your book is if they don't read it. And for that you need a hook. A unique opening line that touches the core of the story, that temptingly hints to what they'll find inside, that compels your reader...