Triple round of First Lines Friday + September book haul!

White rectangle with large font swirly text reading ‘First Lines Friday’ and below it reads in smaller all caps font ‘A weekly book feature hosted by Wandering Words’. Behind the white rectangle are teal and peach bokeh lights background design.

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?

How it works:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) 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!

Without further ado, here’s round 1…

First-day-back assemblies are the most pointless practice ever.
And that’s saying a lot, seeing as Niveus Academy is a school that runs on pointlessness.

[ID: Yellow text reading ‘Curious? Scroll down for the book!’ above a white arrow pointing down. The background is dark blue and purple with yellow cartoon stars.]

‘Ace of Spades’ by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (published 10 June 2021)

Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are never less than perfect. Until now. Because anonymous texter, Aces, is bringing two students’ dark secrets to light. 

Talented musician Devon buries himself in rehearsals, but he can’t escape the spotlight when his private photos go public. Head girl Chiamaka isn’t afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she has paid for power. 

Someone is out to get them both. Someone who holds all the aces. And they’re planning much more than a high-school game…

I was actually approved for a NetGalley ARC but due to personal reasons forgot to download the galley! Normally I do it immediately, but this one time was the fatal blow (dramatic but this encapsulates my horror when I realised it’d been archived!)… I’m so glad to finally be able to buy my own copy so I can at long last read one of my most anticipated 2021 releases!

Now for round 2…

Utterly Dark lay dreaming of the sea. She dreamed she rode the night wind like a gull, gliding out over the cliff’s edge, out over the breaking surf in the cove, and far, far out across the western deeps where all the world was water.

[ID: Yellow text reading ‘Curious? Scroll down for the book!’ above a white arrow pointing down. The background is dark blue and purple with yellow cartoon stars.]

‘Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep’ by Philip Reeve

Utterly Dark is a foundling, washed up on the shores of the Autumn Isles and taken in by Andrewe Dark, the mysterious Watcher of Wildsea. When her guardian walks into the ocean one day and drowns, Utterly is thrust into the role of Watcher… can she keep the island safe from the threat of the terrifying Gorm?

Unforeseen mysteries lie beneath the ocean’s surface. Adventure beckons, and Utterly will unearth astonishing secrets about the sea, her parents and life itself. Wildsea will never be the same again… 

Reeve is one of my favourite authors (just check my pinned posts to see me rave about his ‘Railhead’ trilogy, hahaha) and I’ve been excited about ‘Utterly Dark’ for months!! The cover is just glorious too (Paddy Donnelly’s work). I have to say those first lines for ‘Utterly Dark’ are pretty much the exact style I love to see in fantasy (my comfort genre).

The final round…

Ellie bought the life-sized plastic skull at a garage sale (the goth neighbours were moving to Salem, and they could not fit an entire Halloween warehouse into their black van). After bringing the purchase home, she dug through her box of craft supplies and glued a pair of googly eyes in its shallow eye sockets.

[ID: Yellow text reading ‘Curious? Scroll down for the book!’ above a white arrow pointing down. The background is dark blue and purple with yellow cartoon stars.]

‘Elatsoe’ by Darcie Little Badger

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. 

There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day. 

Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.

I’ve been wanting to read this for ages ever since I saw it popping up everywhere last summer on several bookstagrammer’s aro-ace recommendations lists, and ‘Elatsoe’ is by an Indigenous author too! The plot sounds fantastic and bonus points (wow ‘Elatsoe’ is really winning in the ‘things that make Sabrina want to read it department’) because Rovina Cai is one of my favourite illustrators!

These three right here are my September book haul!

They’re the first books I’ve bought since July and the first physical books I’ve bought since May, which I’m pretty proud of! These three are also ones I’ve been wanting badly for months so I’m quite happy to have bought them finally. Keeping my physical book collection size down has been so incredibly helpful for moving house – packing and unpacking my books was actually a lot less onerous than expected (though the rest of moving was another hellish story.)

I’m sorry I’ve been so behind with blog hops and actual bookish content! The moving process has not been smooth, not to mention attending conferences and meetings and trying desperately to keep up with my digital art course. I did recently finish ‘The Other Black Girl’ by Zakiya Dalila Harris and ‘Six Crimson Cranes’ by Elizabeth Lim, and I’m close to finishing ‘The Last Graduate’ by Naomi Novik, so hopefully some book reviews shall be floating this way soon…

Thank you so much for reading! Are any of these on your TBR, and if you’ve read them what did you think? What new books did you borrow/buy/get gifted this September? Let me know below!


3 thoughts on “Triple round of First Lines Friday + September book haul!

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