25 October, 2021

LitStaff Pick: Our Favorite Opening Lines

House of Leaves
Mark Z. Danielewski

This is not for you.”

Opening lines of a book are the second thing that you see as a reader, after the cover. These few lines of text have the ability to suck you in to that book or to make you decide to put it back on the shelf for another time. When I’m looking for my next book to read, the opening lines have to speak to me – they have to grab my attention and not give me the option of putting the book back on the shelf.

One of my favorite books that have gripping opening lines that immediately demand attention is House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. They seem to tease you with the possibilities that lie between the covers – like it’s classified information nobody was ever meant to see. If these lines don’t make you want more, I don’t know what would. “This is not for you.” That’s the very first line you read before you are dropped into the mesmerizing and twisted plot of the novel – one of the best I’ve ever come across.

-Stephanie Ward

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