First Lines Fridays: When Joan was…

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!

When Joan was six, she decided she was going to be Superman when she grew up. She told Dad she needed the costume so she could practice. Dad had never liked spending money, but he had painted an S on Joan’s blue T-shirt and found a red napkin she could use as a cape. Joan wore them to bed every night.


Only a Monster
by Vanessa Len
ASIN/ISBN: 9781529380071
Publication: February 22, 2022

With the sweeping romance of Passenger and the dark fantasy edge of This Savage Song, this standout YA contemporary fantasy debut from Vanessa Len, is the first in a planned trilogy.

It should have been the perfect summer. Sent to stay with her late mother’s eccentric family in London, sixteen-year-old Joan is determined to enjoy herself. She loves her nerdy job at the historic Holland House, and when her super cute co-worker Nick asks her on a date, it feels like everything is falling into place.

But she soon learns the truth. Her family aren’t just eccentric: they’re monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers. And Nick isn’t just a cute boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to bring them down.

As she battles Nick, Joan is forced to work with the beautiful and ruthless Aaron Oliver, heir to a monster family that hates her own. She’ll have to embrace her own monstrousness if she is to save herself, and her family. Because in this story . . .

. . . she is not the hero. (Goodreads)

This was one of my most anticipated reads for 2022. I was finally able to read it last weekend. What do you think of these first lines?

Did the first lines make you want to pick up the book?

4 responses to “First Lines Fridays: When Joan was…”

  1. I think Joan is one special girl with a fantastic imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Um… I just wanted you to know that the blog Wandering Words has been taken down, and the link gets you only an error. I don’t see that she passed it on to anyone, and no one seems to have stepped up to take it over yet, that I know of. If you hear something, let me know, because I’ve started doing these when I don’t have a book review for a Friday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Appreciated the heads up!

      Liked by 1 person

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