Top Ten Favorite Opening and Closing Lines


July 29, 2013 by Alice in Readerland


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is Top Ten Favorite Beginnings and Endings of Books, or Top Ten Favorite Opening and Closing Lines. For my Top Ten Tuesday, I decided to list quotes of my favorite intros and endings to books:


Fairest of All (Whatever After #1) by Sarah Mlynowski

Once upon a time my life was normal.

Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe

I believe everyone has a superpower.

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King

I was fifteen when I first met Sherlock Holmes, fifteen years old with my nose in a book as I walked the Sussex Downs, and nearly stepped on him. In my defense I must say it was an engrossing book…

The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

And then there was an explosion.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #4)

That evening it was dark early, which was normal for the time of year. It was cold and windy, which was normal.

It started to rain, which was particularly normal.

A spacecraft landed, which was not. 


(Remember, these are the last lines of books, so the title is given first in the white banner as a warning, and then the quote just in case you want to avoid any possible spoilers.)

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

That’s when I make a list in my head of every act of goodness I’ve seen someone do. It’s like a game. Repetitive. Even a little tedious after more than twenty years.

But there are much worse games to play. 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Soon, the whole world would be searching for her–Linh Cinder.

A deformed cyborg with a missing foot.

A Lunar with a stolen identity.

A mechanic with no one to run to, nowhere to go.

But they would be looking for a ghost.

Unremembered by Jessica Brody

We take one step toward the edge and then, together, we leap.

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

My name is Rosalinda Samantha Fitzroy. I am one hundred years old. I am free. I am haunted. But if nothing else, I am wide awake.

Don’t Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough

Then it hits me all at once and I laugh to myself. I know exactly what to say next, because, really, there’s only one way to begin.

“Once Upon a time…”

What are your favorite opening and closing lines of books?

i love comments

83 thoughts on “Top Ten Favorite Opening and Closing Lines

  1. Merin says:

    Oh, yes, The Friday Society! I loved how she kept using “and then there was an explosion” throughout the book in various ways. And I love the start of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, too. I can so sympathize with nearly stepping on someone because a book is so engrossing. :)

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT!

  2. KateB says:

    Cinder’s closing lines are fantastic! Seriously- could they make me want to read the next book anymore? :P
    And Hitchhiker’s guide… I love that series so much. All the books have great openers -but that’s one of the best. Great list Alice :)

  3. Your quote from Douglas Adams’ book makes me want to re-read all of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books again–love that series! <3 Great list:)

    My TTT

  4. Mockingjay, yes! I too have that as a favourite ending. Memorable and irreplaceable. Knowing she’s still fractured but able to cope even with the difficulty is.. urghh emotions!

    Check out my TTT.

  5. My favourite is the Mockingjay closing lines. It’s so perfect! I couldn’t imagine that book ending any other way.

  6. Rebecca says:

    I still need to read A Long Long Sleep, but I think it looks like a pretty cool re-telling. Mockingjay is on my list, too – that last line just gets to me sometimes. Happy reading!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    The books on here I haven’t read, I haven’t even heard of, which was surprising. I’ll have to check them out. I LOVE The Beekeeper’s Apprentice line!

  8. Can’t wait to read The Friday Society- it looks like great fun! And Unremembered’s closing line just leaves you itching for the sequel. Great picks! I will have to look into some of the books you mentioned in your fave beginnings. :) Thanks so much for stopping by my TTT!

  9. heartjess says:

    I had to pick a few lines that weren’t exactly the end, because I didn’t want to spoil the book. Great quotes!

    Jess @ Such A Novel Idea

  10. riverand says:

    I think the best thing about this week’s topic is how many books it must be selling! These first lines are fantastic. Those I read, bring back the fondest of memories. Those I haven’t have already hooked me!!

  11. ChrissiReads says:

    I need to read The Friday Society! Great list :)

  12. emziixgx says:

    The ending to Mockingjay is so good :) great list

  13. meganm922 says:

    I forgot how wonderful the last line of Unremembered was.
    Great choices! I love all of the beginning lines.
    Here’s my Top Ten Tuesdays Post
    Megan @ Love, Literature, Art, and Reason

  14. Wow, I think doing opening and closing lines would be SO VERY HARD. But I read a book called The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (not YA) but it had a very CATCHING first line:

    “The body you are wearing used to be mine.”

    I’m not one for thrillers, and the book wasn’t necessarily a thriller, but a really FUN supernatural-y book. But, yeah, EXCELLENT first line because you want to know WHAT ON EARTH? And then the next few paragraphs are just as engaging.

    Great list. I think it takes a lot of talent to come up with an opening/closing line list, and that’s awesome. There are actually some on here that make me want to read the books that I haven’t read yet!

  15. lucythereader says:

    I haven’t read any of your choices for the openings, but I have read Cinder and Mockinjay and definitely approve of your adding them to your list. Great choices!

  16. You know a book is going to be great when it starts with ‘Once upon a time.’ I also love the beginning from Cinder & A long, long sleep. Good picks! :)


  17. While I was on the whole disappointed by Mockingjay, I absolutely loved its last couple of sentences. So good. I love your list :)

  18. Ashling says:

    I actually skipped the last three closing lines because I haven’t read those books yet. But I do love the endings of Mockingjay and Cinder. And now I really want to read The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. That is such a great opening line!

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT!

    Ashling @ Reading, Writing & Anything but Arithmetic

  19. Haha I love the opening line of So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish! Gotta love Douglas Adams. :D I’m really intrigued by The Beekeeper’s Apprentice now.

  20. acps927 says:

    I also included the beginning of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice and the ending of Mockinjay, though I chose the ending before the epilogue.

  21. Michelle says:

    I need to read Bad Kitty… it looks so funny!!! And I like that last line of Unremembered!! Very cool.

    Thanks for stopping by

    My TTT

  22. Quinn says:

    I’ve only read Cinder, but I agree that is an amazing closing line. I just love the Lunar Chronicles so much. I chose the ending to Scarlet for my TTT.

  23. I love that opening line for the Beekeeper’s Apprentice. I’m pretty sure I own a copy of that book although I’ve never read it. I do love the closing line for Mockingjay, too. Great list! Thanks for stopping by mine and following! I followed back via Bloglovin. :)

  24. Only one I’ve read on this list is Mockingjay but I think I’ll be picking up a few of these in the future, some of those opening and closing lines sound so good I want to read those books. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  25. Sofia says:

    There are quite many books I haven’t heard about, but they seem interesting books if the quotes give any indication! :) I really want to read Cinder, it seems really intriguing!

  26. That end to Mockingjay… oh, the memories.
    Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has such fantastical openings in each book!

  27. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice has such a fun opening line, I can’t wait to read it! And I really liked the very end of Mockingjay, although Catching Fire had my favourite ending of the entire series.

    Thanks for stopping by my post! :)

  28. Lia says:

    I love the opening to Friday Society! I also enjoy the opening lines of chapters two and three for some odd reason… ;D

  29. I’ve only read one of these, and that’s MOCKINGJAY. I LOVE the last line of that book. So much so that I’ve considered getting it as a tattoo. (: Thanks for stopping by!

    Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf

  30. I can’t believe I forgot Mockinjay! I really need to read Unremembered.

  31. Anna says:

    As much as I have to admit that Mockingjay was my least favorite in the series (Catching Fire was best in my opinion), those closing lines are seriously brilliant! :) They make the bottom of your stomach drop out, just remembering all the pain and disaster leading to them. Great list. So happy to see someone else who has read A Long, Long Sleep. I love that book and had a great time reading it!

    My TTT:

    • I’m glad to meet someone who has read A Long, Long Sleep too! I read it for the first time this year and loved it! I also heard that there’s going to be a sequel coming out next year. :)

  32. iliana says:

    Oh gosh, I love the Beekeeper’s Apprentice quote! I’ve had that book on my shelf forever. What am I waiting for that sounds great! :)

    Great choices!

  33. THE BEEKEEPER’S APPRENTICE is on my list of to-reads, and I think that the beginning lines have just made it a priority read! I love the end of CINDER as well.

    My Top Ten Tuesday:

  34. Jen and Em says:

    The beekeepers apprentice was one of my favorite reads last year when I discovered it. And I loved the hunger games trilogy. Great list!

  35. Emma Lee says:

    I agree with Cinder and Mockingjay. I loved those books! And the beginning lines are really awesome, too, but I haven’t read any of those books yet.

  36. Kara says:

    Oooo, I forgot about Cinder! That is an excellent last line. Such a great story! :D

  37. I completely forgot about Mockingjay’s ending! Great list! New follower via Bloglovin’! Thanks for stopping by earlier. :)

  38. Thanks for visiting my TTT. I LOVED re-reading the last lines for Mockingjay and A Long Long Sleep. Thank you! Not familiar with the opening lines, but they are all good ones. Tempting, very tempting!

  39. Thanks for visiting my TTT! I did not like the way that Mockingjay ended, but I do love that line. I just felt like Katniss just gave up. Great list!

  40. You have some great choices on here. I’m bumping The Friday Society higher up my to-read list now. Thanks for stopping by my TTT.

  41. Belle says:

    The last line of Mockingjay is so chilling!

  42. Sunny says:

    I really have to read most of these books! I love all the lines though :) Mockinjay is heartbreaking, Don’t Expect Magic is just perfect, Cinder is so good, and as for the rest, I love! I’m definitely wanting to read Friday Society even more now.

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