First Lines Friday

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!

Chantel will be in purple.
Caidyn will be in blue.


A demon was knitting outside the hospital. 

Dee Moreno froze. The smokers’ area was where she always took her lunch break; she didn’t smoke, but it made for a good place to eat – at least, when it wasn’t already occupied. 

If she returned indoors, she would have to eat her lunch with the other high school volunteers, and that thought made her stomach shrivel up. It was the kind of afternoon one could only find in Oregon – grass still doused with last night’s rain, lit up by what sunlight managed to escape the cloud cover. 


This is a book I hope to read this month. No promises, but I will definitely try. I’m slowly getting back into reading after taking a bit of time off. It’s better not to dive in too quickly. I immediately got more excited about this book when I found out it took place in Oregon. I’m totally biased against books from my home state by that I mean I usually love them. I hope this book is no different. 

Have you figured it out yet? 

Probably. 

It’s…

The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones

The Hearts We Sold cover

When I got this book in my first Owlcrate, I hadn’t heard of it. As a result, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about it. However, now I know it takes place in Oregon and I’m definitely more excited to read it. I hope it’s good. 


I have been acquainted with the smell of death. The sickly, sugary smell that wafted in the wind towards the rooms in this palace. It is easy now for me to feel peaceful and content. I spend my morning looking at the sky and the changing light. The birdsong begins to rise as the world fills with its own pleasures and then, as the day wanes, the sound too wanes and fades. I watch as the shadows lengthen. So much has slipped away, but the smell of death lingers. Maybe the smell has entered my body and been welcomed there like an old friend come to visit. The smell of fear and panic. The smell is here like the very air is here; it returns in the same way as light in the morning returns. It is my constant companion; it has put life into my eyes, eyes that grew dull with waiting, but are not dull now, eyes that are alive now with brightness.


I’ve actually started reading this book a long time ago. Sometime mid-January, but I sort of got burnt out on audiobooks and made the switch to podcasts. Since I was absolutely loving the book, I very quickly got on the hold list for a physical copy and it just came in. The writing is gorgeous. The story is amazing. And it’s by an author who might become one of my favorites.

So, what is it?

It is…

House of Names by Colm Tóibín

House of Names

Tóibín is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. A couple of years ago, I read his book The Blackwater Lightship, which was about a family in the 1990s struggling through a death in the family due to AIDS. I was impressed by how he balanced the harsh reality of the final moments of AIDS with the compelling family story. Then, this year, I read Brooklyn, which was a glimpse into the struggles of immigration. Another one I was super impressed by. 

This book is a different one for him. It’s a retelling of a Greek myth, one we know the beginning thanks to The Illiad but not one we would know the end to. I don’t want to give too much more away than that since I have a review yet to write, but I haven’t touched this book in weeks and I still remember it vividly. That says something about the author. He made me remember it by how beautifully the story was told.

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