Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke; translated from the German by Anthea Bell (Scholastic Inc., 2004; first published 2003). First book in the Inkworld Trilogy. These are the opening lines of the first chapter ("A Stranger in the Night"):
Rain fell that night, a fine, whispering rain. Many years later, Meggie had only to close her eyes and she could still hear it, like tiny fingers tapping on the windowpane. A dog barked somewhere in the darkness, and however often she tossed and turned Meggie couldn't get to sleep.
The book she had been reading was under her pillow, pressing its cover against her ear as if to lure her back into its printed pages.
I think I love everything about this book's opening passage (including the quote from Lucy M. Boston's The Children of Green Knowe, which I haven't included). The whispering rain, the tapping fingers, the book under her pillow -- I find it all pretty mesmerizing.
I've had this one on my shelves for several years now and pulled it out to read for this year's Once Upon a Time reading event/challenge. It's something of a chunkster (nearly 600 pages in the paperback edition), so it will likely take me a while to get through it. But so far, I only regret not having started it sooner.
What about you? Do you enjoy books aimed at the younger reader? Are you a fantasy enthusiast? Would this opening pull you in and keep you reading?
Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays. As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc. It's a wonderful way to add new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.