Monday, October 18, 2010

Books That Stand Out

A number of people have asked me which books stood out when I did my "research" on First Chapters, so I thought I'd oblige with a few titles.  Note that I stuck to paranormals, because that's what I'm writing right now:

THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST, by Rick Yancey.  This book stood out because the whole "beginning" - which is a prologue - is a red herring.  We meet a guy who seems to be the main character, and he's telling us about how he's been researching this town and he is given a set of journals that were written by a man who claimed to be well over a hundred years old, and then we turn to Chapter One and BAM - the book is actually a transcription of the journals.  And it's GOOD - it really drew me in.  The characters are well-drawn, and the world is just so engrossing that I didn't want to put it down.  Yancey does a great job with drawing out suspense in the first chapter of this book - it's on my TBR list for sure.

PARANORMALCY, by Kiersten White.  There's a reason for all the buzz surrounding this book, guys, and it's not because of Kiersten's blog.  It's because this is a stand-out book.  You know how paranormals always have that dark, creepy feeling from the first page?  Like when the MC is shaking in fear, or someone's itching inexplicably, or something dark is rumbling towards the small unsuspecting town?  Well, PARANORMALCY is not like that.  It opens with hilarity and sarcasm.  The first page reads like a parody or a rom-com, and I love it for that.  I didn't even have to convince my hubby to buy it!  It's on my TBR pile.

BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.  First of all, this is co-written, which rocks.  It takes a special kind of person to be able to pull this off, and these ladies are AMAZING.  Second, it opens with a prologue that sets up the scene and gives us a tasty chunk of foreshadowing/teasing.  I love this kind of prologue.  And thirdly, Chapter One opens with a dream sequence, which we've all read is a BIG NO-NO, but they get away with it because the dream is such an integral part of the story throughout the book.  I set out to read the beginning, and didn't even look up until page 50.  This is in my TBR pile, too.

THE SUMMONING, by Kelley Armstrong.  Can I just say, "AAAUUUGH!"  Prologues are pretty popular in paranormals, but this one had me totally freaked out, guys.  So, you want us to care about your protagonist?  Well, putting a toddler in a basement with an evil demon pretty much does that.  CHILLS.  And then the first chapter jerks us right up to the present, where our protag is 12 years older and worried about her Spanish midterms.  I liked the contrast here - it's clearly set in the real world, which is mundane and boring and has things like midterms, with a paranormal twist - and I am totally sucked in.  Another one on the pile.  (I have a really, really big pile.)

And in the words of Porky Pig, "Th-th-th-th-th-th-th-that's all, folks!"

How about you?  What beginnings stand out for you?


  1. Now you have added to my List To Read!

  2. AH! I loved the prol. for The Summoning. Don't usually like them but this one was so creepy! Great list.

  3. Thanks for the book recs! The most recent beginning that stood out to me was reading the 1st chapter of Across the Universe by Beth Revis.

  4. Paranormalcy is high on my tbr list for precisely that reason. It sounds like an amazing book!

    One I would add is The Demon's Lexicon :)

  5. These all sound great but I've never heard such a good first chapter review before! Awesome!
    Hmm, someone will probably say this anyway, but I liked the first chapter in Hunger Games. By the end, you're sucked in and involved.
    Nice to meet you and your blog, I'm a new follower!

  6. Gail: excellent! A TBR list can never be too long.

    Colene, yes - I had goosebumps. I was terrified for that kid! Such a great start to a great book.

    Paul, I'll have to look for that one! I've heard good things about it, but haven't come across it yet. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Marieke, I'll look for The Demon's Lexicon, too - thanks!

    Lydia, thank you for the compliment! *blushes* I LOVED The Hunger Games - and yes, the first chapter does draw you right in, doesn't it? It's everything a first chapter should be.