First Line 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?

Rules (just in case you want to try this out for yourself)

  • 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!

While I was still in Amsterdam, I dreamed about my mother for the first time in years. I’d been shut up in my hotel for more than a week, afraid to telephone anybody or go out; and my heart scrambled and floundered at even the most innocent noises: elevator bell, rattle of the minibar cart, even church clocks tolling the hour, de Westertoren, Krijtberg, a dark edge to the clanger, and wrought fairy-tale sense of doom.

And the book is…

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt!

Synopsis

“It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

“As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch combines vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.”

This book has been on my TBR ever since one of my friends was reading it. As you can see from the first lines, it really does ramble on. All the same I would love to read this book at some point! Fortunately there is a film and I may do the devil’s act of watching the film before reading the book, just so I can get a good idea of the storyline. I found my copy in a charity shop when I went out the other day! So far this year I haven’t bought any new books… I’m kind of proud.

Have you ever read The Goldfinch? Has it been on your TBR for a long time?

erin x

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My Current (And Quite Small) TBR

Writing this post is mainly for my benefit because these books have been on my TBR for a long time and I really need to get around to them. If you don’t keep telling me “pick up Caraval” or “A Darker Shade Of Magic is an amazing book you need to read it” then I never will. That’s the sad fact about book bloggers. Our TBRs are endless and we keep trying to ignore how huge they’re getting! However, this post is also for your benefit because you might find a book you’re really interested in.

Caraval – Stephanie Garber

Synopsis (on Goodreads)

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic.

I really want to read this book – not only because of its interesting synopsis, but also because of the hype of bookstagram. After reading The Night Circus, I’m really craving another circus-based novel and this sounds like the perfect one. The reason I haven’t yet picked it up it because 1) I only picked it up from the library a week ago and 2) I really don’t feel like reading fantasy at the moment!

A Darker Shade Of Magic – V.E Schwab

Synopsis (on Goodreads)

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive. 

I’m not a big fan of adult novels but I’m really interested in the concept of this novel. As a big fan of Doctor Who, I’m no stranger to parallel dimensions, but this sounds even more interesting (no offence Whovians). As the writing is a bit heavier (compared to YA) I will definitely be taking it slow but it excites me nonetheless! 

Stranger – Keren David

Synopsis (on Goodreads)

Astor, Ontario. 1904.

A boy staggers out of the forest covered in blood and collapses at the feet of 16-year-old Emmy. While others are suspicious and afraid, Emmy is drawn to him. Is he really the monster the townsfolk say he is?

Astor, Ontario. 1994. 

Megan arrives from London for her great grandmother Emmy’s 105th birthday. It should be a happy family occasion, but Megan is nursing a broken heart and carrying a secret she fears might consume her.

I picked up this novel from the library thinking that I would read it around Halloween (because it is a bit spooky) but then I ended up making plans for that night so I couldn’t get cosy in bed and read it cover to cover. However, I am still really intrigued by this book! I’ve not read a book written in different perspectives since Percy Jackson in summer XD and I would love to visit that style of writing again. Have any of you heard of this book? It seems a little but underrated.

Dorothy Must Die – Danielle Paige

Synopsis (on Goodreads)

I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a yellow brick road—but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

I picked this up from Oxfam yesterday and it looks so good! I’m already 20 pages in (so I guess it’s not on my TBR anymore) and the way its written is just how I like it: simple but effective. I’ve not read any twisted tales (not even the Disney ones) so I was really intrigued by that element. It’s also quite chunky and covers issues like bullying, substance abuse and loneliness. I want to sit down at some point today and get a good chunk of reading done because I’m desperate to carry on reading!

Have you read any of these books? Are you, like me, struggling with endless TBR syndrome?

I hope you have a really good day that helps you tackle your huge TBR!

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Good Reading Habits Tag | Mood Reading, Small TBR & Unnecessary Bookish Items

Upon discovering a few new blogs, I also discovered this tag on Book Princess Reviews. Though I wasn’t nominated, I felt a bit cheeky and decided to do it anyways. The month is a bit of inbetween season so I’m sorry for the lack of interesting posts. It’s too early to get excited for Christmas but I am thinking up some creative ideas for that season anyways… oops. The Good Reading Habits Tag was created to bring recognition to your good reading habits – instead of what you want to improve. It’s a very positive ideas and just what I need at the moment!

Rules


Keeping A Small TBR

I’m very good at keeping my TBR small. At the moment it stands at only 22 books and most of them I will be seeking out at the library instead of buying. Having a small TBR means that I can go to library and pick up the books I want with freedom – instead of sticking to a TBR. This method works best for me because I’m a mood reader.

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