First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?
- Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
- Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
- Finally… reveal the book!
My mother once told me I had to get into a top university, or die trying.
You have to be the best, Nancy. Remember: my sacrifices for you. Remember: everything we toiled for in this strange and foreign country.
You cannot let it be for nothing.
by Katie Zhao
Publication: August 17, 2021
Series: How We Fall Apart #1
Nancy Luo is shocked when her former best friend, Jamie Ruan, top ranked junior at Sinclair Prep, goes missing, and then is found dead. Nancy is even more shocked when word starts to spread that she and her friends–Krystal, Akil, and Alexander–are the prime suspects, thanks to “The Proctor,” someone anonymously incriminating them via the school’s social media app.
They all used to be Jamie’s closest friends, and she knew each of their deepest, darkest secrets. Now, somehow The Proctor knows them, too. The four must uncover the true killer before The Proctor exposes more than they can bear and costs them more than they can afford, like Nancy’s full scholarship. Soon, Nancy suspects that her friends may be keeping secrets from her, too. (from Goodreads)
Those first lines are reminiscent of my upbringing but my mom was less intense and more supportive in a positive way. I grew up understanding the sacrifices my family made so ensured to study hard. I am not as into dark academy book but when Zhao announced the book, it made so much sense. I’m halfway through the book and I don’t think I would have survived this prep school.