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  • Writer's pictureTabitha Tomala

Top 5 First Lines | The Book Ends With Me | Guest Post

A huge thank you to all the book bloggers who came together for the top 5 project! There are so many books out there, and the top 5 project is a fun way to showcase some great finds and explore more book blogs! Today features a guest post from The Book End With Me that includes their top 5 first lines!


About the Blogger

Hello! My name is Lauren and I have a blog called The Book Ends With Me. It’s always a bit awkward when you’ve been asked to write about yourself or what you do. Like a lot of people on this planet, I like books. I like reading them, talking about them and now I’ve realized I can write about them. This all started when my Stepdad had said to me at the end of last year that I should write a blog and review books. I asked him why he thought I should do that and all I got back was “So I can watch tv without having to hear you talk about a book for the next week”.

I’m new to this as my blog has been up since January of this year. I try to review books from different genres rather than the genre I love to read (classical literature by the way). Creating this blog and reviewing the books from genres I wouldn’t normally read has broadened my horizon. I’m not stuck reading the same genre repeatedly which is what I was doing, and it ended up putting me off reading. When I first started this blog and I had a few reviews posted, I had an email from someone who had been reading my post who told me that they had read the first review I did, and they loved it so much that it made them want to get the book and read it themselves. After finding this out, I realized that I was on to something here. I realized that I wanted to really do this and help people find their favorite books whether I liked the book or not.

So that’s pretty much me. Keep on reading whatever it is that you’re reading. I hope its good. If you do want to have a look at the blog or my Twitter, the links are below.


1.) Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier | Top 5 First Lines
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”

Now I’ve already done a review of Rebecca, but I realised that I didn’t write about the first line and I have no problem writing about this book again as I love the first line of this book. As I’ve said in my review, I could picture Manderley straight away and I felt like I was there. So, Rebecca is about young woman who is a companion to a rich elderly American lady who is on holiday in Monte Carlo. There the young woman (her name isn’t revealed) meets Maxim de Winter and they fall in love and get married. They go back to his family estate (Manderley) where she tries to get used to running a household while being haunted by the memory of the late previous Mrs de Winter and the cold housekeeper Mrs Danvers who loved the previous Mrs de Winter like her own child. A story of love, miscommunication, and deception, you wouldn’t be disappointed if you enjoy Gothic novels. Rebecca has always been remembered by its first line and for me that’s true.

If you are interested in reading my review of Rebecca, click here.


2.) Norwegian Wood by Murakami

Norwegian Wood by Murakami | Top 5 First Lines
Norwegian Wood by Murakami

“I was 37 then, strapped in my seat as the huge 747 plunged through dense cloud cover on approach to Hamburg Airport.”

I was gripped when I read the first the first line of Norwegian Wood. The fact that Norwegian Wood is also my favourite song of The Beatles helped in the liking of the book. The song has been mentioned once or twice in the book, but the story isn’t based on the song. The one thing I did love about Norwegian Wood is that although it’s a romance novel, it wasn’t a cringey lovesick novel. In fact, it wasn’t cringey at all. Norwegian Wood is about Toru Watanabe looking back on his college days in Tokyo in the 1960s. He looks back nostalgically on his relationships with women and the loss of a friend. I loved reading this book and I will admit that I shed a few tears.


3.) The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood | Top 5 First Lines
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

“We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.”

I’ve read the books and I’ve watched the show. It’s a hard story to follow. Not because of the way it’s been written or the way the show is. It’s hard to follow the story because it does happen to women to an extent. This has been one of the few books that that has drained me emotionally, I felt overwhelmed. Although The Handmaid’s Tale is based on fiction and written in 1984, it does relate to the world today. In some parts of the planet, women have had their rights taken away from them, you can only follow one religion and that’s their religion. It reminds me of the phrase “Children should be seen and not heard” but as “Women should be seen and not heard”. It took me quite a while to get through reading this when normally it would take me a few days. The Handmaid’s Tale is also the first Dystopian novel I’ve read.


4.) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott | Top 5 First Lines
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.”

Little Women is an absolute gem of a classic. It’s my comfort book. Every time I feel sad, I read this book and I’m instantly happy for a while. Then I’ll finish the book and become sad again because I’ve finished the book. Never-ending cycle really. It’s hard not to love this book. It’s about sisterhood, family, love, loss and figuring out who you are and what you love. Little Women is about four sisters. We follow them from teenage years into adulthood, from finding love to realising that sometimes life is more important than love. You also must remember that Little Women was published in 1868. So, at a time when many women stayed at home and looked after the household or were servants, the Little Women girls had goals and went out and achieved their goals and they didn’t if they were traditional or not. It has been said that Louisa May Alcott based Little Women on herself and her three sisters.


5.) Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie | Top 5 First Lines
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

“It was five o’clock on a winter’s morning in Syria.”

I feel like if you’re a fan of Detective Fiction then you should be a fan of Agatha Christie. I love Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. I used to watch the shows when I was a child with my Grandma. Murder On The Orient Express was the first book of Agatha Christie’s that I had read and it’s still my favourite. We join Hercule Poirot on the Taurus Express going from Syria to Turkey where he finds a telegram instructing him to go to London. The only way back is the Orient Express, which has stopped mid journey due to heavy snow. Suddenly there’s a murder and everyone’s a suspect.


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