Are We Hooked Yet?

We readers are impatient. The cover page, synopsis at the back cover, the first page, the first line. We are always looking for the hook. Ever more so, if you are of the internet generation. We have just about 5-10 seconds attention span! Now imagine thousands of wonderful books trying to claim that attention of yours when you are in the bookstore. Well, out of the thousands good books, your attention bows to only about a handful. And finally about couple of books actually make it to the counter. Ever given a second thought to those hooks that actually captivated you? Below are some hooks that worked for me and I guess for lot others too! :)

HP and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K.Rowling:
"Mr. And Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange ormysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense."

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer:
"I stared without breathing across the long room, into the dark eyes of the hunter, and he looked pleasantly back at me. Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of someone else, someone I loved. Noble, even. That ought to count for something. I knew that if I'd never gone to Forks, I wouldn't be facing death now. But, terrified as I was, I couldn't bring myself to regret the decision. When life offers you a dream so far beyond any of your expectations, it's not reasonable to grieve when it comes to an end. The hunter smiled in a friendly way as he sauntered forward to kill me."

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
"Ten years ago, on my sixth birthday, my father disappeared.
No, he didn’t leave. Leaving would imply suitcases and empty drawers, and late birthday cards with ten-dollar bills stuffed inside. Leaving would imply he was unhappy with Mom and me, or that he found a new love elsewhere. None of that was true. He also did not die, because we would’ve heard about it. There was no car crash, no body, no police mingling about the scene of a brutal murder. It all happened very quietly."

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis
"This is a story about something that happened long ago when your grandfather was a child. It is a very important story because it shows how all the comings and goings between our own world and the land of Narnia first began. In those days Mr Sherlock Holmes was still living in Baker Street and the Bastables were looking for treasure in the Lewisham Road."

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so  well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters. 
'My dear Mr. Bennet,' said his lady to him one day, 'have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?' "

Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho
"Once upon a time, there was a prostitue called Maria. Waiti a minute. "Once upon a time" is how all the best children's stories begin and "prostitute" is a word for adults. How can I start a book with this apparent contradiction? But since, at every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss, let's keep that beginning."

P.S.I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
"Holly held the blue cotton sweater to her face and the familiar smell immediately struck her, an overwhelming grief knotting her stomach and pulling at her heart. Pins and needles ran up the back of her neck and a lump in her throat threatened to choke her. Panic tool over. Apart from the low hum of the fridge and the occasional moaning of the pipes, the house was quiet. She was alone."

Can you see the pattern here? The hook that makes us turn the pages till the end?


  1. I agree... It's as important to write this one sentence well as it is to write the 70-80k words that lies inside the book. Without the former the latter might just not reach a reader !!!

  2. So true...I found each of these hooks starts with an intriguing sentence. Something odd. That you wouldn't normally say or do. I like that. :)

  3. Love the opening of The Iron Knight...very hookable!

    (great pic for this post too!)

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  4. Those are some awesome beginnings! But darn if they aren't so very hard to write...

  5. Angela - I loved the hook and the whole book! :D Thanks for stopping by!

    Peggy - I know! I wonder how many revisions they went through! :D

  6. Ha! How true, Shilpa.

    The hook all starts with the book title for me. If those first few words don't grab me, I won't bother reading the synopsis.

  7. Totally agree Missie. The book cover also plays a great role. I know I have bought some real bad books cos their covers look amazing! ha!

  8. LOL! The same has happened to me. I can never resist some good eye candy.

    P.S. I did interview Ash! Over a year ago. Here is the old post if you are interested:

  9. That's so true! The hook, to me, is one of the most important parts of a novel -- and those are some pretty great ones! :)

    Even though people say not to judge a book by its cover, I think a lot of readers tend to be more biased to picking up novels with gorgeous covers as opposed to novels with not-so-gorgeous covers. I'm guilty as charged. x)

    But the synopsis on the cover and the first few sentences are REALLY important! And they're so hard to write!

  10. Missie - Thank you so much for sharing the link! i loved reading it...then i saw the giveaway and regretted being so late for it! :D

    Mimi - yeah...its getting difficult by day to ignore the beautiful book covers! lol! I wish I could also come up with a good beginning to my never ending novel! lol!

  11. Great hooks! Another reminder that mine needs reworking. Thanks for the nudge!

    Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse

  12. You are always welcome Becca! These are the hooks that we aspire to get in our books and hope we do someday. Your blog does help a lot!


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