Choosing a TBR Based on the First Line Alone

I recently shared some of my favourite first lines from the books I have read so far in 2022, and that inspired this idea! I thought it would be fun to put together a TBR based on the first line alone. I went through the majority of my physical TBR and read their first lines and I chose my ten favourites to put on my TBR. I think it will be interesting to see if that first line is a good predictor of how I will feel about a book overall. I will definitely post an update once I have read all ten of these books!

I have been wanting to read The Night Shift and that first line really solidified that for me. Anyone who remembers Y2K will understand exactly how accurate this is. It also sets the tone for the story and I know exactly what time period we are in.

This is a long first long but it is so effective. I have heard so many amazing things about Lessons in Chemistry and if it is half as good as its first line, it has the potential to be a new favourite.

It is no surprise that one of Akwaeke Emezi’s books would end up on this TBR. Emezi is an extremely talented writer! I love the first line in Bitter because it gives you a lot of insight into who Bitter is as a character.

I received a gorgeous edition of An Arrow to the Moon from Fairyloot and I was excited about it but didn’t think I would get to it any time soon. After reading the opening page, I cannot wait to read it! I love that it reads like a fable and I am so curious!

This is very exciting! If you have been around here for a while, you know how long I have owned American Gods and how many TBRs I have put this book on. Even after all these years, I had never read the first line! I am so glad that I did because it makes me more excited to read this book than ever have been before!

I have three books by Louise Erdrich but I have yet to read anything by her! That is why I am so excited that The Sentence made it onto this TBR. I am obviously drawn to openings where a character is in prison, and a book is mentioned already, so I am sold!

I love the uniqueness of this first line from The Book of Form and Emptiness. I know that this story follows a boy who can talk to inanimate objects, so this line makes sense. I love when it feels as though the narrator is talking to the reader!

I am not often drawn to pretentious characters, but I love them when I am reading dark academia. The first line in If We Were Villains quotes Hamlet, which screams snobbery and I am here for it!

I loved Silence of the Girls, so I am thrilled that I loved the first line of The Women of Troy, though I am not surprised. This is such a vivid first line and I love that this character is clearly inside the Trojan Horse.

The Starless Sea is another book that has been on my TBR for ages. I didn’t love The Night Circus, so I have been nervous about this one. I did love her writing though! I didn’t know what to expect from the first line, but I definitely wasn’t prepared for pirates.

YouTube Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

30 thoughts on “Choosing a TBR Based on the First Line Alone

  1. I can’t wait for you to read If We Were Villains and hear your thoughts on it! It was my first book of 2022 and I absolutely loved it! Its great as audio!

  2. Most people will give a book a chapter or two before deciding to continue, but if you can hook a reader in the first line (or paragraph), you know you have done a good job. I think the first line is more important than the cover. Unfortunately, you do have to get past that first.

  3. This sounds like such a good idea and it sounds like it would be fun. I might have to try this but probably not anytime soon since I have so many challenges I signed up for this year there’s no way I could pick a full TBR based off of first lines and read everything else I need to read.

  4. Interesting! The one that draws me in most is Lessons in Chemistry, and maybe Bitter. I loved The Sentence but I don’t really love its first line!

  5. This is such a great idea! I’ll have to start posting something like this as well, I also got An Arrow to the Moon from Fairyloot and now am eager to start it, so thank you!!

  6. I hope you’ll enjoy American Gods! I’ve also owned it for a quite a while and tried reading it once, but never got very far. I really enjoyed the show, but somehow couldn’t get into the book. Maybe it’s just me not vibing all that much with Gaiman’s writing. I also ADORED Stardust the movie and was bored by the book :/

  7. Bitter really out there being so real lol I see so many of my favorites here: American Gods, If We Were Villains, The Starless Sea. I hope you enjoy them when you get to them <3

Leave a Reply