Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Favorite Beginnings and Endings In Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish blog with a different top ten list theme (all related to books) every Tuesday (see the full list here).

My Five Favorite Beginnings 

1. Incarceron by Catherine Fischer- this book pulls off two intense and completely different settings, premises, characters, and inciting incidents in the first two chapters. The ending is pretty amazing, too, with a twist that made my eyes about pop. I've read a lot of science fiction this year, but this one tops them all.

2. The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud.  Just thinking about how Bartimaeus, a jinn with an attitude and endless flow of opinions, steps onto the page makes me grin and want to read this story all over again.

3. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman - this beginning is a little weird, but it captivated me: a child who can remember being born and being an infant... and not just any infant but a....well now I think I'll just leave you guessing, there.

4. Across the Universe by Beth Revis - probably one of my most vividly remembered first chapters ever. This chapter was so striking - a family watching each other being cyrogenically frozen - that I read it several times before I even moved on to the rest of the story!

5. The Help by Katherine Stockett - my first four are science fiction and fantasy, but this one is set in 1960's Mississippi, and Aibileen's voice is imprinted in my memory forever, so full of love and bitter sadness at the same time.

My Five Favorite Endings

1. Holes by Louis Sachar.  The sneakers, the peach sploosh, the onions, the yellow-spotted lizards, and even a notebook fished out of a toilet - none of these had anything to do with each other. Until the end. But suddenly all these seemingly unrelated things add up to a multi-faceted pay-off, like puzzle pieces not fitting together individually but only all at once.  


2. Sabriel by Garth Nix. This books packs not one awesome climax, but TWO. Just when you think you've been through the most intense confrontation possible, you have to go through another one! Come to think of it, there's actually three riveting journeys/confrontations Sabriel goes through, each building on each other in tension.

3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.  How Meg manages to save her brother at the end of the story still makes me shiver in wonder.

4. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. This ending took off in a surprising direction, some might call it a dues ex machina even, but I loved it.

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I loved how Katniss and Peeta handled the manipulations at the end of the Games - their choice to stand by each other no matter what. Fist pump!

What's your favorite beginning or ending?

18 comments:

  1. I love how Katniss and Peeta stood by each other too, and the ending of Mockingjay made my list! :) My TTT list: http://aliceinreaderland.com/2013/07/29/lines/

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

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    1. Those last lines from Mockingjay... perfect!

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  2. I LOVE the beginning of Across the Universe. It's a scene that really catches the readers' attention. Hmm... I just bought Incarceron, and now that you've just said that, I might need to pick it up pretty soon. Great list!

    Halee @ Confessions of a Book Addict

    My TTT

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  3. Across the Universe's beginning was really cool (no pun intended) but really disturbing as well. I should've added it as well, but I picked the ending of Across the Universe to my list instead. :) Great choices!

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    1. Loved your choices - I've read seven of the ten! that's a very rare match up!

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  4. You've read many books I haven't heard of! I'm with you on The Help and Holes.

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    1. So glad you've read those. I'd love to re-read them in a book group some day. Such great books!

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  5. I LOVED the ending to Holes! It's incredible how Sachar effortlessly brought all those clues full circle (though we writers know he probably shed lots of blood, sweat, and tears to get it just right!).

    Contrary to many people, I really liked the ending to Gone with the Wind. I think it was the best way Mitchell could've ended it. I loved that Rhett finally said to Scarlett enough is enough, and Scarlett, true to her character, steeled her resolve and vowed to get him back. The end. So good! Mitchell was wonderful with characterization.

    One of my favorite beginnings is Anne of Green Gables. It starts out sweet and slow, but you understand right away the traditional, conservative society and people of Avonlea. So once Anne is introduced, it's immediately apparent she's different and you just KNOW she's going to shake things up!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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    1. I'm totally with you on the ending of Gone With the Wind - in fact I groaned when I heard someone was attempting a sequel. And Anne of Green Gables... I'm going to start reading that one soon with my daughters.

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  6. I haven't read SABRIEL in ages. I think I need to reread that one. It was always a favorite of mine and now I can't remember the ending!

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    1. As I read others' beginnings and endings choices, I totally want to re-read more books too!

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  7. You're making me want to read HOLES again - what an amazing book that was! I love stories where the puzzle pieces are given to you randomly throughout the novel, without you even knowing that they are puzzle pieces until they fit together beautifully at the end. I'd LOVE to write a book that works like that!

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    1. I want to write a book like that someday too. But right now, waaaayyyy too intimidating. Sometimes I wonder if it all just sort of fell out of him, that story, or if he painstakingly put it together...

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  8. I got to know Holes from lovely Medeia Sharif's blog and now I totally totally want to read this book!!!

    A couple of my favourite endings that I can think of from the top of my head are AS Byatt's Possession and Charlotte Bronte's Jayne Eyre - only cos I remember blubbing at the end!

    Take care
    x

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    1. Yes everyone must read Holes!! It's so much fun! And Jane Eyre. Such a good book.

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  9. Great picks! I have been dying to read Seraphina forever now, I seriously need to find a copy of it asap. :)

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  10. Holes is one of my top ten favorite books of all time!!! I also agree with the start of Across the Universe. Very captivating!

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