A couple weeks weeks ago, I was tagged on Youtube to do this challenge by Mary and Joe from Book Buds. They are such a cute Youtube channel and I highly recommend them! This tag was created by Ali over at BookBinge.
Pretty much, this challenge tells you to pick out six books you want to read, and only read the first paragraph. Rank them according to the first paragraphs and the one you pick as your favorite is the next book you have to read. I did this over on my Youtube channel on Saturday, so feel free to watch the video.
Unfortunately, most of the books I picked out had single sentence first paragraphs! This was a complete coincidence, honestly, but it didn’t help much in helping me make me decision on which was best.
So let’s get into the books and first paragraphs!
First paragraph: “Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting. They were coming toward where the flag was and I went along the fence. Luster was hunting in the grass by the flower tree. They took the flag out, and they were hitting. Then they put the flag back and they went to the table and he hit and the other hit. Then they went on, and I went along the fence. Luster came away from the flower tree and we went along the fence and they stopped and we stopped and I looked through the fence while Luster was hunting in the grass.”
Rank: 6th place
(honestly, this first paragraph did not hold my attention at all. So much hitting…hunting, trees. I just did not care at all for it. So this book ended up in last place, being the least interesting for me. It also doesn’t tell me much about the book, besides that these boys are possibly playing a game. Not sure…)
First paragraph (the start of one sentence paragraphs): “‘Let me show you a secret.'”
Rank: 3rd place
(Even if this is only one sentence, I feel at least I can understand the mood of this book. It’s a mystery, and that really comes through in the first paragraph. Saying that, I read a lot of mysteries which have to do with secrets, so it hardly sets it apart from so many other mysteries out there. But still, not horrible.)
First paragraph (again, only one sentence): “The Shao family’s directions were good.”
Rank: 5th place
(This is partially my fault for including this book, because it is nonfiction and I find on average nonfictions are not written in a way to be quick grabbing your attention as fiction. Because this first sentence tells me nothing of this book, there isn’t much to go off of, which is why this ranked so low. But luckily, it’s not lower than The Sound and the Fury…that first paragraph was so bad!)
First paragraph (why one sentence???): “They waited upon the Fort Admiral for permission to sail.”
Rank: 4th place
(While I am intrigued by sailing, this sentence doesn’t give me enough to get information to be hooked. I mean, it is one sentence, so what do you expect? But it is more interesting than a couple of the books because it’s clearly going to be set on sea, so 4th place seems fitting)
First paragraph (final one sentence, but why did I randomly choose so many books with single sentence first paragraphs???): “All he could see, in every direction, was water.”
(While I’m not entirely pulled in, this single sentence does intrigue me. Like, what’s happening? Is he on a boat? Swimming? Why is he in the middle of the ocean? I want to know! While this is another nonfiction, it does a pretty good job at created intrigue even in the first sentence.)
First paragraph (finally a paragraph which is more than one sentence!): “The sounds of laughter and music were dying down on the thousandth floor, the party breaking up by bits and pieces as even the rowdiest guests finally stumbled into the elevators and down to their homes. The floor-to-ceiling windows were squares of velvety darkness, though in the distance the sun was quietly rising, the skyline turning ocher and pale pink and a soft, shimmering gold.”
(I feel like it’s unfair to give this book 1st place because it kind of wins by default by having more than a one sentence first paragraph and being well-written. However, I really like the paragraph. It has beautiful description, but not too flowery, and I’m intrigued about this party, and the thousandth floor. So it looks like this book is the winner! I’ll be reading it next and then be able to see if judging a book by the first paragraph actually works–probably not, but who knows?)
Have you read any of these books? Does another first paragraph intrigue you more? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, thank you so much for reading, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,
Best wishes in your life full of adventure,