First Lines Fridays 1.13: When I 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 I was a kid, my mom constantly invented games. The Quiet Game. The Who Can Make Their Cookie Last Longer? Game. A perennial favorite, The Marshmallow Game involved eating marshmallows while wearing puffy Goodwill jackets indoors, to avoid turning on the heat. The Flashlight Game was what we played when the electricity went out. We never walked anywhere–we raced. The floor was always lava. The primary purpose of pillows was building forts.

Our longest-lasting game was called I Have A Secret, because my mom said everyone should always have at least one.

inheritancegames_cover


by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
ASIN/ISBN: 9781368052405
Publication: September 1, 2020

A Cinderella story with deadly stakes and thrilling twists.

Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why–or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch–and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes.

Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive. (from Goodreads)

The book was so good. I can understand why it received so many positive reviews now because I enjoyed it immensely. I couldn’t stop reading it. Have you read it already? What did you think?

First Lines Fridays 1.12: The day my…

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!

The day my life changed began like most mornings–with a judgmental cat spirit.

That t-shirt makes you look like an eggplant, Miv said. Despite being a tiny black kitten, he had a lot of opinions. He sat on my dresser, his round eyes watching me get ready for summer school.

Most people would agree that having a talking sprit for a best friend is pretty strange. But for as long as I can remember, I’ve seen spirits.

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by Lori M. Lee
ASIN/ISBN: 9781368068246
Publication: August 7, 2021

Pahua Moua has a bit of a reputation for being a weirdo. A lonely eleven-year-old Hmong girl with the unique ability to see spirits, she spends her summer days babysitting her little brother and playing with her best friend, a cat spirit no one else can see.

One day Pahua accidentally untethers an angry spirit from the haunted bridge in her neighborhood–whoops. When her brother suddenly falls sick and can’t be awoken, Pahua fears that the bridge spirit has stolen his soul. She returns to the scene of the crime with her aunt’s old shaman tools, hoping to confront the spirit and demand her brother’s return. Instead, she summons a demon.

Thankfully, a warrior shaman with a bit of an attitude problem shows up at the last minute and saves her butt. With the help of this guide, Pahua will have to find her way through the spirit worlds and rescue her brother’s soul before it’s too late. Little does she know she’ll have her own discoveries to make along the way. . . . (from Goodreads)

It’s publication week for Pahua and the Soul Stealer! Woohoo! This is one of my anticipated reads, and I’m about a quarter of the way through. Miv is the Hmong word for cat, and Miv is also the name of the cat spirit…heh. Miv with his sarcasm is definitely my favorite character right now. I hope you all get a chance to check it out!

First Lines Fridays 1.11: My mother once…

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.

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by Katie Zhao
ASIN/ISBN: 9781547603978
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.

First Lines Fridays 1.10: She was seventeen

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!

She was seventeen, and her life was about to end.

The girl pushed back strands of her tangled black hair and pressed her forehead flush against the glass window. Outside were twenty starjets from the Royal Star Force, the military fleet of the Olympus Commonwealth. A shimmer of panicked whispers flittered around her, and she realized the other passengers had seen the squadron coming their way, too.

IgniteTheStars_cover

by Maura Milan
ASIN/ISBN: 9780807536254
Publication: September 4, 2018
Series: Ignite the Stars #1

Everyone in the universe knows his name. Everyone in the universe fears him. But no one realizes that notorious outlaw Ia Cōcha is a seventeen-year-old girl.

A criminal mastermind and unrivaled pilot, Ia has spent her life terrorizing the Olympus Commonwealth, the imperialist nation that destroyed her home. When the Commonwealth captures her and her true identity is exposed, they see Ia’s age and talent as an opportunity: by forcing her to serve them, they will prove that no one is beyond their control.

Soon, Ia is trapped at the Commonwealth’s military academy, desperately plotting her escape. But new acquaintances—including Brinn, a seemingly average student with a closely-held secret, and their charming Flight Master, Knives—cause Ia to question her own alliances. Can she find a way to escape the Commonwealth’s clutches before these bonds deepen? (from Goodreads)

The book was magnificent! I don’t normally read space operas but I devoured this in a few hours. I loved it! I’ve been trying to write a review and keep wanting to just summarize the whole thing, reliving it in my head. Have you read it?

First Lines Fridays 1.9: Moth Egg

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!

Moth Egg

a) an oval or round object that is laid & contains a developing embryo
b) a roundish home from which the hungry sprout
c) a boundary from the living because we are not ready to live yet

This is long work. A
finding spell,
for roots destined to twine.

Me(Moth)_cover

by Amber McBride
ASIN/ISBN: 9781419739828
Publication: August 17, 2021

Moth has lost her family in an accident. Though she lives with her aunt, she feels alone and uprooted.

Until she meets Sani, a boy who is also searching for his roots. If he knows more about where he comes from, maybe he’ll be able to understand his ongoing depression. And if Moth can help him feel grounded, then perhaps she too will discover the history she carries in her bones.

Moth and Sani take a road trip that has them chasing ghosts and searching for ancestors. The way each moves forward is surprising, powerful, and unforgettable.

Here is an exquisite and uplifting novel about identity, first love, and the ways that our memories and our roots steer us through the universe. (from Goodreads)

This is Me (Moth) birthday week. This is one my favorite reads this year. It’s an amazing book in verse. You can find my review here.

First Lines Fridays 1.8: I shouldn’t have…

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!

I shouldn’t have been surprised that fairies exist.

When elephants passed by in a lumbering sea beneath my window, flecks of light whispered in the dust, dancing above the rows of tusks and leather. I leaned precariously over the sill, hoping to catch a fleck before a servant wrestled me inside.

Raybearer_cover

by Jordan Ifueko
ASIN/ISBN: 9781419739828
Publication: August 18, 2020
Series: Raybearer #1

Nothing is more important than loyalty. But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself? (from Goodreads)

I’ve heard so many great things about Raybearer. I can’t believe the second book Redemptor will be out August 17, 2021. I better get a move on and read it soon!

First Lines Fridays 1.7: Gloom cluttered..

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!

Gloom cluttered the whole of the tower, and within its dark folds stood a magician. She wore a grim smile and an ink-black suit. Both cut severe lines, softened only by the tendril of fog that plumed from her mouth.

The magician swirled her hand through the air. The fog tightened and heavied, it twisted and reshaped, and at last, it settled around her shoulders. The smokiest of magical cloaks. One that held close the quiet.

But it was not enough.

ThePlentifulDarkness_cover


by Heather Kassner
ASIN/ISBN: 9781250764003
Publication: August 3, 2021

In order to survive on her own, twelve-year-old Rooney de Barra collects precious moonlight, which she draws from the evening sky with her (very rare and most magical) lunar mirror. All the while she tries to avoid the rival roughhouse boys, and yet another, more terrifying danger: the dreaded thing that’s been disappearing children in the night.

When Trick Aidan, the worst of the roughhouse boys, steals her lunar mirror, Rooney will do whatever it takes to get it back. Even if it means leaping into a pool of darkness after it swallows Trick and her mirror. Or braving the Plentiful Darkness, a bewitching world devoid of sky and stars. Or begrudgingly teaming up with Trick to confront the magician and unravel the magic that has trapped Warybone’s children.  (from Goodreads)

Doesn’t it sound so good? I’ve heard so many great things about Kassner’s books. The first lines hooked me already. I’m excited to see where it leads.

First Lines Fridays 1.6: Once there 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!

Once there was, and one day there will be. This is the beginning of every story.

Once there was a world called Kelanna, a wonderful and terrible world of water and ships and magic. The people of Kelanna were like you in many ways–they spoke and worked and loved and died–but they were different in one very important respect: they couldn’t read.

TheReader_cover


by Traci Chee
ASIN/ISBN: 9780399176777
Publication: September 13, 2016
Series: The Reader Trilogy #1

An instant New York Times Bestseller, this is a stunning debut set in a world where reading is unheard-of. Perfect for fans of Inkheart and Shadow and Bone

Finalist for the Kirkus Prize and nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award!

Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.  (from Goodreads)

When I went on my reading hiatus, I missed so many good books. Because I stopped reading for so long, I feel like there was an explosion of diverse books. It’s been exciting seeing book after book with BIPOC main characters. A set of books I missed is Traci Chee’s The Reader Trilogy. I’ve had the trilogy on my shelves for nearly a year and am looking forward to finally starting them soon.

First Lines Fridays 1.5: The moment…

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!

The moment Anh Nhi Walsh stepped into her wedding dress and shimmied the eighty-year-old silk over her hips, she knew there had been a mistake.

A mistake so terrible, all the chocolate in the world couldn’t fix it.

romeanticallychallenged_cover


by Marina Adair
ASIN/ISBN: 9781496727664
Publication: July 28, 2020
Series: When in Rome #1

Growing up the lone Asian in a community of WASPs, Annie has always felt out of place. Her solution? Start a family of her own. Not easy when every man she’s dated, including her ex-fiancé, finds “his person” right after breaking up with Annie. Even worse than canceling the wedding eight weeks beforehand? Learning the “other woman” plans to walk down the aisle wearing her wedding gown. New plan—find a fresh, man-free start. Too bad her exit strategy unexpectedly lands her working at a hospital in Rome, Rhode Island, rather than Rome, Italy, and sharing a cabin with a big, brooding, and annoyingly hot male roommate.

Home on medical leave after covering a literally explosive story in China, investigative photojournalist Emmitt embarks on his most important assignment—cementing his place in his daughter’s life. Three men and a baby might work in the movies, but with a stepdad and devoted uncle competing for Paisley’s attention, Emmitt has lost his place at the family table. Then there’s the adorably sexy squatter in his cabin, who poses another problem, one he’d very much like to solve up close and personal. But he can’t win—Annie has sworn off men, Paisley’s gone boy crazy, and Emmitt’s estranged father reappears with a secret that changes everything.

Annie and Emmitt are about to discover love comes in many forms, and sometimes the best families are the ones we make. (from Goodreads)

In between new books, I’ve been rereading books I enjoyed. One of them is RomeAntically Challenged. I liked Annie and Emmitt can be charming when he wants to be. Their first meeting is pretty funny.

First Lines Fridays 1.4: Like so many things..

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!

Like so many things in the palace, the map is deceptively beautiful.

Jet smooths the creamy parchment on the desk, its golden border glimmering as he weighs the corners with stones, a piece of artwork with gilded details and jewel-studded houses that turn my stomach. This is not how my hometown looked the last time I saw it.

Warning: This one is a sequel so the book description might ruin the first book. Proceed at your own risk.

TheCruelestMercy_cover


by Natalie Mae
ASIN/ISBN: 9781984835246
Publication: June 15, 2021
Series: The Kinder Poison #2

After surviving the Crossing, Zahru has sworn off adventures. While crown prince Jet navigates the looming threat of war, she’s content to simply figure out what the future holds for them. But they’re dealt a devastating blow when prince Kasta returns with a shocking claim: he’s the true winner of the Crossing and the rightful heir, and he bears the gods’ mark as proof. Even more surprising–he’s not the only one.

Somehow, Zahru possesses the very same mark, giving her equal right to the throne. The last thing she wants is to rule beside her would-be executioner, but she can’t let Orkena fall into his merciless hands. So Zahru, Jet, and their allies must race against the clock to find a way to stop Kasta, because once he’s crowned, there’s no telling what horrors he’ll unleash to win the war.

Zahru will do whatever it takes to keep Kasta from taking the throne…but to stop a villain, is she willing to become one herself? (from Goodreads)

Here’s another book I’ve been waiting for! The Kinder Poison had a cliffhanger ending so my fingers were itching to read the sequel…only to find it this was trilogy. I’m excited but I might possibly strangle the book if it ends on another cliffhanger.