First sentences are supposed to hook the reader. That's an awful lot of responsibility for an author to have to think about. No wonder so many wannabe writers never even get past the first page when they think about writing a novel. The pressure!
How is it even possible to write a catchy opening line? Think of a couple of your favorite books, what were their first sentences? When I first started blogging book reviews, I used to post the first sentence or two from the book as the opening to the blog post. Somewhere along the line, I stopped doing that. Now, I'm seriously considering bringing that feature back. I didn't think too much about first sentences at the time. I just knew that some were better than others.
I definitely wouldn't stop reading a book after just one sentence, not even after one page. But a kick ass first line would make me sit up and take notice.
First lines are often short and catchy. They might set the tone of the story right away. Some of them may make you ask questions that you'll have to keep reading to answer.
Here's one: "I was a junior in high school when I had a mental breakdown."
(That's not from a book, but from a blog post I read once - I've kept it, because I thought it was a sensational first line for a book.)
What about you? What are some of your favorite first lines?