YA Novels: Hooked in Five Sentences or Less

It’s late at night. You’ve just finished a book on your e-reader and are dying for something new to read. But how much time will you give a sample chapter to lure you in?

For me personally, I’ve found that new late-night reads need to hook me in five sentences or less, that way I can sink my teeth into them right away

I’ve chosen three excerpts from books I’ve loved that have ‘hooked me in five sentences or less‘. I’ll tell you why they appealed to me as a READERS and what we can take away as WRITERS.

From The Selection by Kiera Cass

When we got the letter in the post, my mother was ecstatic. She had already decided that all our problems were solved, gone forever. The big hitch in her plan brilliant plan was me.

AS A READER: I’m loving the title, and the fact that there is a mysterious letter. I love mail! I also immediately like this girl.

AS A WRITER: Right away we are hearing the MC’s voice and already know of a conflict brewing.

From Between Shade of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

They took me in my nightgown. Thinking back, the signs were there — family photos burned in the fireplace, Mother sewing her best silver into the lining of her coat late at night, and Papa not returning from work.

AS A READER: I can feel that this is a historical novel that sucks you into its time and place right away. I want to know what happens to this girl.

AS A WRITER: The MC’s voice, character, and family are introduced right away. You are also informed about into a huge conflict the MC faces.

From Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

“Wait — did you — You just yawned!” The vampire’s arms, raised over his head in the Classic Dracula pose, dropped to his sides. He pulled his exaggerated white fangs back behind his lips. “What, imminent death isn’t exciting enough for you?”

AS A READER: I can’t help it. I love paranormal. And I loved this because right away I knew it was different — it was funny!

AS A WRITER: The writer takes a normal subject and brings her own twist in a humorous way, enticing readers to read more and find out what her ‘different’ is all about.

What books have you read that have hooked you in five sentences or less?

Book Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger GamesI have recently finished The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I’ve seen these books on bestseller lists for quite some time, but whenever I read the synopsis for the first book I couldn’t envision myself getting into it. In my younger days I loved horror and had no problem with watching or reading about gory situations or war. But I  have to confess — I’ve grown to be a bit squeamish. One particular quote from School Library Journal made me hesitatant to read it:

“Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch.”

I finally had a change of heart at Writer’s Day in L.A. Several of the speakers spoke very highly of the book. Rachel Cohn, in fact read a passage from the first few pages of The Hunger Games, during the conference. I was intrigued! So I finally decided to sample it on my kindle — what could it hurt?

I was hooked right away! Collin’s captured her main character, Katniss Everdeen’s, voice flawlessly.  I also loved that the whole story was told in the present tense. Her writing reminds me of a saying — that a good author makes the reader forget that they are reading a book; instead they become fully immersed in the world of the story.  That is so true in The Hunger Games. You are not merely reading a book, you are living it — right down to hearing each cannon being released, visualizing the stunning costumes, and feeling the emotions of the characters.  And my concern for it being too gory? Well it is certainly not a story for the faint of heart, however the violence that is seen is appropriate to the story — you are seeing exactly what Katniss sees. The world of Panem is not a fluffy, happy-go–lucky one. It is a world in a state of turmoil, and rebellion. Even having finished the series, I still think about these books and likely will for quite some time.

The Hunger Games compels you to keep reading it — I literally could not put the book down for hours. If you have not already read this book, I highly recommend it!

My rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Book Review Disclaimer: I review books from time to time because I love to read and share about my experiences. Some of the best books I read come at the recommendation of other voracious readers like me.  At this time all books being reviewed at my blog are from my personal library. Should that change, I will be certain to notify my readers.     
 – Christine