Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Beginnings/Endings in Books

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(These are mostly all beginnings because apparently those are what I remember better)

Can’t get much better than Harry Potter, can you? From the very first paragraph you’re sucked into an interesting story. You get to meet the awesome Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Hagrid, you see the deluminator in action, you get your first look at an Animagous before you even know what they are, you hear about Sirius Black and his flying motorbike, and you meet baby Harry with the lightning bolt on his head! Pretty great start to an amazing series in my opinion.

All of the other beginnings of the Harry Potter books are pretty good as well (although when my family read the fourth book, I originally got confused and thought my parents were somehow reading the wrong book because where is the magic and Harry freaking Potter?!), but this one stood out because it was different (human Prime Minister!) and it was quite funny and helped us figure out what had been going on in the gap between the fifth and sixth books. Too bad they didn’t use this scene in the movie, although I can see why not.

Much like Harry Potter, this first chapter just caught my attention right away. I had read the already-published books in Ally Carter’s other series (there were three or four books at that point, can’t remember for sure), so I expected a similar style; therefore, I was surprised when I read the third-person-point-of-view and the slightly-musing narration. It reminds me of the narration style in Harry Potter as well, which might have been one of the reasons I liked it so much.

I bought this book for my sister for Christmas; I had seen the paperback at good ol’ Borders (miss Borders), and even though I hadn’t heard anything about it (of course, this was pre-blogging, possibly pre-Goodreads), I thought it sounded interesting enough and figured that it didn’t matter if it wasn’t amazing because I wasn’t getting it for me (I know, bad sister). The day after Christmas, we were in the car headed down to my grandmother’s and I borrowed it from my sister. From the prologue, I was hooked. I either finished it that day or the next day. I have since stolen it and placed it on my own bookcase and am obsessed with the series as well as its companion trilogy.

This time I’m focusing on an ending. Since it’s been a while since I read these books (NEED TO REREAD), I don’t remember specifics, but I know that I liked the way things ended with Ruby and her friends. I like the way it ended with her love interest (I won’t say who, in case you haven’t read them, which you should), especially how one scene kind of ended ambiguously (sorry, continued vagueness). I enjoyed all of the books and their endings, but this was the end of the last book so it gets a slight advantage.

This book is on this list for both beginning and ending. The beginning is a delightfully quirky introduction to the many quirky and unusual characters of the book, while the ending wraps things up nicely with its two flash forwards to show what has happened to the characters you come to love over the course of the book. I know some people don’t like books that flash to the future to show where the characters end up, and I don’t always like that either, but I did enjoy it in this book. Of course, I enjoyed all of the book, but the beginning and ending stand out.

The ending of this book is interesting because it didn’t wrap things up perfectly with a pretty little bow on top. Instead, it ended much in the same way that life would: the protagonist is alone. Well, she’s not really alone, but she’s not dating anyone at the end. There is a love interest whom she might end up with in the future, but at the end of the book, she’s not in a place where she’s ready for that relationship, or any relationship for that matter. I remember partly being disappointed – I want a happily every after, darn it! – but mostly I was happy to find a book that manages to do something different and shows that the girl doesn’t always have to get the guy in the end to be happy.

The beginning of this book fits the whole book and series perfectly. We see what a big role color and art plays in this family, from their names-from-the-color-chart to baby Rose doing things she shouldn’t to the overall dynamic of the siblings. We even find out that Saffy is adopted in the very first chapter – it’s not a big reveal that’s alluded to throughout the book but doesn’t come out until the very end. Of course, that’s partly because there really wouldn’t be a story without the truth being known by everyone, but oh well.

The very beginning of this book is both confusing and enchanting, much like the rest of the book and trilogy. You get introduced to the crazy characters from all the plays and the wonderful fairy sidekicks that surround Bertie on her many crazy adventures. A wonderful introduction that is a bit confusing at times (which is why my sister ended up giving up on the book after a few chapters and gave the library book to me), but delightfully so.

I love all of the books in this series, but while I was trying to come up with a tenth beginning, I remembered the beginning of this book. From the very beginning Suze is being snarky and entertaining and reminding me why I really loved Meg Cabot’s earlier books (her recent ones aren’t bad, but not quite as entertaining). Suze touches down in California, a big change from New York City, meets her new family, goes to her new home, sees her new bedroom, and finds the new ghost that haunts said bedroom. All in all, off to a great start. Which reminds me, maybe I should continue my summer tradition of rereading these books every year…

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13 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Beginnings/Endings in Books

    1. Yeah, Heist Society is just such a fun book. And The Westing Game was a favorite the first time I read it, back in fifth grade or so. I may be biased since I’ve loved it for so long, but I feel like it’s a book that lots of people, no matter the age, can enjoy. I certainly hope you like it!

  1. It took me a long time to understand what was going on in Eyes Like Stars, and to be honest, I still find it a bit confusing (the sequel even more so). But I still enjoyed both of them quite a bit. I loved being introduced to the world of Harry Potter in the first book about three or four months ago. 😀 Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yeah, I definitely felt confused a lot during Eyes Like Stars, but it seemed to add more to the overall tone and fantastical mood of it, so I didn’t mind it as much as I probably would have otherwise.
      Every time I reread the Harry Potter series, I feel like I love the beginning just a little bit more!

    1. Such a magical beginning to such a magical series!
      Pink is definitely an interesting book. I remember hearing a little about it before reading the summary and mostly checking it out because it had LGBT characters and I heard great things about it. Definitely something to check out!

    1. Yes! I feel like I never see people who have read this book! I recently reread it this year or the end of last year, and I even take it as my sole book when my family went on a trip to France. (of course, that plan kind of backfired when I read it so quickly and didn’t have anything new to read!) Great for all ages! More people need to check it out.

    1. It was kind of hard picking certain ones, but the first will always be the best and the sixth kind of stands out. They’re all great, of course!

  2. I love the beginning of Harry Potter 1, too. Actually, I pretty much love EVERYTHING about all the Harry Potter books. Seriously, what’s not to love, here?

    1. Definitely, so much to love, but I think the first chapter does an extra special job of preparing you for the greatness of the book and series. It takes a nonmagical location and manages to make it seem just as magical, or at least just as alive, as Hogwarts and Diagon Alley and other places!

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