Monday, November 1, 2010

First and Last Impressions

I’m always looking for great new books to read at the library, but I have a weird checklist. Books have to pass this list before I’ll even think about taking them home.

Books must have:
  1. Interesting title
  2. Eye-appealing cover
  3. Intriguing and interesting story on the back cover
(Sounds pretty normal so far right? If they pass all of those and I’m still interested…)
  1. I read the first paragraph.
(After reading the first paragraph and I want to read more. I find myself…)
  1. I read the last paragraph of the book.
(If I like the ending, then I will take the book home.)

I know that the last step is pretty uncommon. I always read the end of a book before I decide to read the book. (Unless it’s a series I've been reading like the Vampire Academy series, the Eragon series or the Blue Bloods series.) The main reason I do this is in honor of my all-time favorite movie When Harry Met Sally. There is a scene in the beginning of the movie when Harry and Sally have met for the first time and are driving to New York. They are getting to know each other better and they have this conversation:

Sally: Amanda mentioned you had a dark side. 
Harry: That's what drew her to me. 
Sally: Your dark side? 
Harry: Sure. Why? Don't you have a dark side? I know, you're probably one of those cheerful people who dot their "i's" with little hearts.
Sally: I have just as much of a dark side as the next person.
Harry: Oh, really? When I buy a new book, I read the last page first. That way, in case I die before I finish, I know how it ends. That, my friend, is a dark side.

I also read the end of books because it can tell you a lot about the book, just like the first line. You can get a taste of the mood and how you will feel after reading the ending. It’s a little difficult to describe, but seriously try it some time. You’ll be surprised. J Unless you really hate knowing the end, then don’t. Haha!

Now that I have a blog, I’ve decided to share with you my thoughts on books I pick up for the first time. I’m sure there have got to be people our there who share my weird checklist! I can’t be the only one!

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
            First paragraph: “Perhaps because it seems so appropriate, I don’t notice the rain. It falls in sheets, a blanket of silvery thread rushing to the hard almost-winter ground. Still, I stand without moving at the side of the coffin.”
I already want to read the rest of the book. I like the way that she just opens up describing the scene where Lia is standing at the site of a coffin. You don’t know whose coffin it is, or why she’s standing there. I think it’s a great way to start a book.
(SPOILER ALERT! ENDING OF THE BOOK! Don’t highlight if you don’t want to read!)
Last paragraph: I recall his somber eyes during that last, private conversation. His eyes and his words, far too wise for a boy of ten: Only time will tell, Lia. In the end I suppose it will.I really like the ending of the book. It leaves for a cliff-hanger ending, and I know that I’ll be feeling satisfied at the end of the book. Maybe a little sad, or maybe I’ll be missing someone. Otherwise, this book passes all of my checklists. I will definitely read this book. J


Carmel said...

I agree with the first 3 and sometimes 4. I never read the ending before the book! .. well I have peeked every now and then but not often! Happy Monday!

Hilary St. Laurent said...

I have yet to meet someone who does read the ending, but it's good to see you peeked! :P