First Lines: Young Adult Novels (YA)


Another First Lines post to feed my passion and your imagination.

So, I’ve shared some children’s and middle grade firsts with you.


The time has come, the blogger said, To talk of other things: Of love — and loss — and fantasy — Dystopia and kings! Yes, I’m talking YA. Hold on to your socks.

As you all know (since I’ve included this little tidbit about myself pretty much everywhere) I love YA.

Before you close this out, please give it a chance. The post, yes, sure, but the umbrella that all YA books are hanging out under. Interestingly enough, I’ve found that more adults refuse to read YA than they do middle grade or children’s books.

Conversations go something like this: “I’m not a teenager.” “I have no interest in reading about idiotic kids in high school, thank you very much.” “Why would grown-ups read this crap?”

Yes, they go something like that.

There is a lot of controversy over adults reading YA. Which, quite honestly, makes me wonder about the adults who spout off about this and, also, the price of potatoes in Jaipur.

Onward! First lines…


“I bear a deep red stain that runs from my left shoulder down to my right hip, a trail left by the herbwitch’s poison that my mother used to try to expel me from her womb.”

His Fair Assassin Book 1: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers


“Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that’s true.”

If I Stay by Gayle Forman


“It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure.”

Delirium by Lauren Oliver


“In all the years I’d existed, I’d never expected to be free.”

The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter


“Petunia was knitting some fingerless gloves to match her new red velvet cloak when the Wolves of Westfalian Woods attacked.”

Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George


“Every morning, the sun comes up and turns the earth red, and I think: This could be the day when everything changes. Maybe today the Society will fall.”

Matched Trilogy Book 3: Reached by Ally Condie


“Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.

Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying.”

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


“There is one mirror in my house. It is behind a sliding panel in the hallway upstairs. Our faction allows me to stand in front of it on the second day of every third month, the day my mother cuts my hair.”

Divergent by Veronica Roth


“They hung the Unregistereds in the old warehouse district; it was a public execution, so everyone went to see.”

Blood of Eden Book 1: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

“When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim’s warmth but finding only the rough canvas cover of the mattress. She must have had bad dreams and climbed in with our mother. Of course, she did. This is the day of the reaping.”

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


 “Spring in the mountains of Morravik was a about as predictable as a tired two-years child in a house of wonders…”

The Raven Ring by Patricia C. Wrede  


“Just so you know, when they say ‘Once upon a time’…they’re lying.”

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer
(I cheated on this one. Technically, this isn’t the first line of the novel but it’s the first line of the “Oliver” chapter—the main character of this book within a book)


“Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you’ve heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn’t win.”

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson


“He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air.”
Book 1

“She spoke to him before the world fell apart.”
Book 2

“It was the smell that began to drive Thomas slightly mad.”
Book 3

Maze Runner Series by James Dashner

(James got a hat trick. I mean, really, he nailed every first line in each book of this trilogy.)


First Lines YA


Next up:

First Lines: Socially Acceptable Books for Grown-ups

As a reader (and a writer) how important are first lines to you?


10 thoughts on “First Lines: Young Adult Novels (YA)

  1. Goddamn love this post. Must put all the ones I haven’t read at the top of my TBR pile. And whichever adults don’t like YA can take a running jump. I’m sorry but who isn’t a love sick, lost and confused and eternally hopeful teenager on the inside… Oh wait maybe that is just me and the reason I love YA so much!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Such a great and fun post, Sarah! I loved Gayle Forman’s book, though it totally flattened me, and several others here. First lines are so important to me, and sometimes I’ll open a book and just read the first line to see how the author does – or does not – nail it. As a writer though, first lines are terrifying! So much at stake.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These are great first lines and I really do need to read more YA. I didn’t realise that The Fault In Our Stars belongs to this genre. It’s a film too isn’t it? Very moving by all accounts, as it would be. I am struck by every single first line here and I would say just what Geoff said. The first line HAS to grab me, right off the bat. Which leads me to…and the timing of this post. Dear Sarah, I will be signing off from blogging for a while as you will see from my post a bit later, but I shall return. I need that first line for my book, I need the title, I need to bring it all together and get it written now, it has consumed me and taken over because the end is in sight yet it feels so far away…. Reading your post brings it all into sharper focus, that taking my break is the right thing to do. Loving this series, and will come back to the ones I miss later on. I think I missed the previous one and will check. Keep writing my friend, enjoy the rest of your summer with your beautiful little boys. I’ll miss you but I’ll see you very soon… 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oooh. I’m not sure when I quit reading YA. Mostly I’ve read fantasy/sci fi, and only in the last five years or so started looking at “Adult” books. Have to say though, every one of these first lines got me interested, and most Adult first lines miss the mark. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

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