First Lines Friday: July 29th, 2016
Today’s First Line Friday comes from an oldie but a goody—and trust me when I say oldie (the pages in my copy are strongly yellowed). I read this in high school and, like every other teenager, embraced the angst and passion of the story. Ready?
Each week we will pick a YA or NA book from my shelves and copy the first line, in an attempt to acquaint you with some new reads or reintroduce you to old favorites. We will have an accompanying Instagram pic to go along with our choices each week so check out #firstlinesfridays!
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? If you want to join the meme be sure to check out Wandering Words, and here are her rules below.
- Pick a book off your shelf (or your current read) 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!
Here is the first line of this classic:
If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
Yeah, that’s a mouthful. A classic mouthful. The line is from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and if you haven’t read it, we can’t be friends. As a teenager, I felt less alone after reading this story, less crazy and more understood. And, after writing this, I think I’m going to read it again, to see how it resonates as an adult.
Category: Young Adult, Classic Fiction
Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with “cynical adolescent.” Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he’s been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation.