Wednesday, May 28, 2014

First Lines or Last Lines by Jessica Therrien

A lot of readers look for that first line. I’ve never been one of them. What I look for is the hook at the end of the chapter. So I guess you could say I’m kind of a sucker for last lines.

I think the TV addict in me has gotten sort of used to those cliffhanger endings. Remember LOST? After every episode my jaw would hang open for a solid minute. Are they really going to make me wait a week to find out what happens? Now shows like The Vampire Diaries do the same, which is something (in my opinion) that sets it apart from the book series it’s based on.

These days everyone wants everything to run at a faster pace…their phones, computers, and yes…their books. You have to admit, Wuthering Heights is a bit slow compared to The Hunger Games ;)

My point is (and again, in my opinion…) last lines are far more important than first lines. They make a book page-turning, and that’s what readers want.

Here are some last lines from my books and from two other popular YA books:

“'You’ve been hidden long enough,’ Dr. Nickel interrupted. ‘You have to face your future eventually, and it’s time to let the prophecy unfold. We need you.’”
 -Oppression, Jessica Therrien

“He looked at me, snapped his fingers, and flames shot up the trees. Everything was burning.
            I woke to the feeling of fire all around me.”
 -Uprising, Jessica Therrien

“At some point we folded into each other like flower petals pulling close together to endure a cold night.”
 -Uprising, Jessica Therrien

“Then, with a gasp I can’t contain, I shift my hand forward, and my blood sizzles on the coals.
            I am selfish. I am brave.”
 -Divergent, Veronica Roth

“About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him—and I didn’t know how potent that part might be—that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.”
 -Twilight, Stephenie Meyer

What do you prefer? Suck-you-in first lines or page-turning last lines? 


  1. I want the first line, the first paragraph of a book to hook me in. After that, I'm all about the fantastic ending to a chapter. The type of ending that has me struggling with the decision to stay up reading, or turn of the lights and get a proper night's sleep.

  2. End of the chapter when I say ugh, I HAVE to keep reading.