Book Beginnings (16 October)


Book beginnings is a meme set up by Rose City Reader. Every Friday post the first line, or few lines, of the book you’re reading along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Then add a link to your post on Rose City Reader’s blog.

My Book Beginning


How to be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras

This is what it was like:

I didn’t want you to come. I didn’t want you there.

The day before school, the very first year,

we waited in line for my schedule.

They stared. Those in line around us –

the other girls and their moms,

the ones who were my year,

who were never my friends – 

The saw how you were big, planetary, next to them.

Next to me.

The girl in pigtails, someone’s sister,

asked: Is there a baby inside?

Her mother, red now, whispered in her ear.

But the girl didn’t mind:

Oh, so she’s fat.

The other girls, the ones who were my year

who were never my friends – they laughed at you, quietly,

At me.

The novel opens with this poem and I think it really packs a punch. I love the use of ‘planetary’, it conjures up all sorts of images, which fits with how out of place this girl feels. It’s just so striking and memorable. It says so much in so few words, it’s great writing. I cannot wait to read more of this book!

4 thoughts on “Book Beginnings (16 October)

  1. Hi Hayley,

    I love that poem, it conjures up such vivid images and evokes so many mixed emotions – I am wondering if that is to be the only poem in this book, I do hope not!

    I was intrigued enough to check out the synopsis for the book and I now also wonder just how Georgia’s mother died, as she is described as ‘reeling from the death’.

    I hope that you enjoy this book and thanks for sharing your lines 🙂


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