My husband and I write together, so it’s only natural that one of our favorite date night activities is going to the bookstore. We could spend hours there just browsing books and reading to each other. We’re also both huge proponents of hooks (first lines and first pages). We believe that the first line can make or break a book.
When we walk into a bookstore, we pick up books because the cover (or maybe the title) intrigue us. Then we skim the back cover blurb to see if it seems like something we’d like. But what makes us actually pull the trigger and buy the book? The hook.
Somewhere along the way, our favorite date night activity turned into a game. We’d step into the bookstore and both start gathering up books based on the cover/title/back cover blurb. Then, once we each had a nice stack, we’d find a place to sit and take turns reading the hook. Sometimes we’d only read a line or two, but other times we’d keep reading because we couldn’t stop. Then we’d judge them against each other and place them in order from most intriguing to least intriguing. And, of course, we’d buy the best book. Or two. Or five.
We’re book obsessed and buy way too many books. Okay, so there’s no such thing as too many books, but we buy at a faster rate than we can read–especially when we go on these bookstore dates so often. So this system also helped us reel in our book buying habits to something a little more reasonable.
Well, this date got repeated so often that we decided to give it a name: Book Hook Battle.
So, without further ado, I present to you the June edition of Book Hook Battle.
Jess’s Stack (all middle grade):
Brit’s Stack (mix of middle grade and young adult):
The winners (we couldn’t pick just one):
And look: the covers totally match my blog colors. That totally wasn’t planned, but worked out beautifully!
Timmy Failure: The Cat Stole My Pants
by Stephan Pastis–Hook:
Humor tends to draw us both in pretty quickly. But, I mean, how can you NOT keep reading after this?
The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett
by Chelsea Sedoti–Hook:
This one has a very different feel, but the voice oozes out of it and we get a pretty good sense of what (I think) the story will be about and the emotions it will evoke.
Book Hook Battle: Your Turn
Now who wants to do their own Book Hook Battle? I created the FREE printable below to help you get started. Just print out a copy for you and your date (or friend or sister or dad), head to a bookstore, pick out your stack of books, read all the lines, and find your winner. When you’re done, snap a pic and use #BookHookBattle on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to share your winners!
Do you have any fun book games you play? Let me know in the comments below!