Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much."
As a kid, I read those words and was immediately intrigued because I knew there was some strange stuff coming, stuff I'd never read about before. Like many people of my generation, Harry Potter was a big part of my childhood and that first sentence will stick with me for a very long time.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
It's a classic. Those opening words have become iconic in identifying this Jane Austen novel.
Vicious by V.E. Schwab
"Victor readjusted the shovels on his shoulder and stepped gingerly over an old, half-sunken grave."
What!? Instantly, you know stuff is going down. A sure way to get me interested is to open with someone digging up a grave!
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth."
I love that Holden Caulfield interacts with the reader; in the very first sentence, we get a glimpse at what kind of person he is. It immediately draws you in!
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
"When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home."
Part of what I like about this sentence is that you can promptly figure out the setting, without the author actually saying it. To me, the fact that the protagonist calls a movie theatre a "movie house", along with the fact that he's watching a Paul Newman film, screams "the '60s".
What is one of your favourite first sentences?