10 of the Best Opening Lines in Literature

These are some of our favorites. What are yours?




Diverse Romance

People of all ethnicities, body types, sexual orientations, and interests fall in love every day in real life, but until pretty recently it hasn’t been easy to find romance books that reflect that reality. While straight white male/female protagonists are still the mainstay of the romance genre, more diverse authors and story-lines have been getting some attention lately, which is all for the good. Here are some recent examples of love stories with different perspectives.

Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory

The Trouble With Hating You by Sajni Patel

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall

The Duke Who Didn’t by Courtney Milan

How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole

Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

The Marriage Game by Sara Desai

Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner

Teen Volunteer Book Reviews: One of Us is Lying and Dread Nation

Teens: did you know that you can earn community service credit for writing a book review and submitting it to us? Today, we’ll hear from two teens who did just that. Find out more about how to earn community service hours from home at cheshirelibrary.org/teens/.

One of Us is Lying by Karen A. McManus, reviewed by Julia F.

If you enjoy a mix of realistic fiction, mystery, high school drama, and social media intrigue, One of Us is Lying, by Karen M. McManus, is for you.

Who murdered Bayview High School’s Simon Kelleher? Was it Bronwyn, the bright academic who wishes to attend Yale? Or could it have been the Cooper, the group’s “jock”? Maybe you will suspect Addy because she is popular and social? Or was it the troubled Nate who already has a checkered past? You may be wondering why someone would want to kill Simon in the first place. He ran the school’s widely followed juicy gossip app ABOUT THAT, which was set to reveal secrets about each of the suspects. All four had skeletons in their closets, but was someone’s secret devastating enough to warrant a murder?

We find out that Bronwyn has gone to interesting lengths to protect her academic future and her family’s legacy. Cooper has a baseball career in the balance, and his tangled web of lies threatens to take away his opportunity to be a star. Addy is not who she seems to those around her and now she stands to lose those closest to her. Nate doesn’t have as much to lose, but the post could land him in jail. Simon’s death causes new alliances to form between the suspects as they scramble to protect their secrets and prove their innocence. As you read this book you will find yourself suspecting each of the four students at one point or another.

This book will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. If you are looking for an exciting thriller and quick read, be sure you have a chunk of time available because you won’t want to put it down! Good news— there is a sequel (One of Us is Next) that follows Bronwyn’s younger sister Maeve and it is just as captivating.

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, reviewed by Stephanie D.

Dread Nation is a historical fiction novel that takes place during the American Civil War… with one important twist. In this alternate history universe, the fighting stops halfway through, around the year 1863. Why? The answer is simple but terrifying: the soldiers don’t stay dead anymore. The Civil War is postponed as Northerners and Southerners alike grapple with a zombie apocalypse, and our story focuses in on a teenage girl named Jane. Jane is sent from her mother’s plantation to one of the recently opened combat schools. These have been springing up around the country as African and Native American teenagers are forced to learn to fight zombies (or “shamblers”, as they are called in the book). Dread Nation follows Jane and her classmate Katherine as they are sent to defend Summerland, a frontier town under the constant siege of shamblers. Once in Summerland, Katherine pretends to be a wealthy white woman and Jane her Attendant (someone who is responsible for their employer’s life in the event of a zombie attack). Unfortunately for the inhabitants of Summerland, the town is soon overrun by shamblers, and Jane and Katherine must flee to save their lives.

I gave this book a solid four stars. I really enjoyed the universe building and detailed description of historical events, because I could compare it to the version of history I had learned in history class and the fictional zombie version. It was fast-paced, which I enjoyed, but I also felt that the pacing was rather inconsistent. The first part of the book felt much slower than the second, even though the latter seemed like it was supposed to be the focus of the story, as it contained a majority of the action. In short, there was too much build up to the climax of the book, and in the wrong places. I would have liked to hear more about Jane’s life on the plantation and the story of her family, which was revealed piece by piece throughout the novel and provided an interesting side plot. Additionally, I would have preferred a more complete ending. I understand that this is the first of a series, but the conclusion did not feel nearly concluding enough to tie up all the loose ends left by the big zombie invasion and battle of the final chapters. One final criticism is that I found the character of Jane to be a very typical YA heroine: a rebellious tomboy, always the best at everything, and generally “different from everybody else”. These characters can certainly contribute a lot to a story, but they seem to be everywhere and therefore Jane did not earn this book any points in the protagonist department.

What’s Happening (Virtually) at Cheshire Library in June

While much of our programming is still online, we’re excited to be able to offer some new outdoor programs at our local parks this summer!

June Teen Volunteering Challenges

Earn community service hours by submitting a photo, video, or other content that may be added to CPL’s social media pages! Each submission will be awarded 2 community service hours. June’s challenges include:

  • Art: It’s the month of Junebugs and Junicorns- draw your favorite bug, or a unicorn!
  • Writing: Write about your most memorable vacation.
  • Food: June has a bunch of ice cream/frozen yogurt-related holidays, so make something fun with ice cream or frozen yogurt.
  • Reading: June is Pride Month- read a story by or about someone from the LGBT+ community, fact or fiction.
  • More Reading: Read a graphic novel. When you’re done, continue the story with artwork in the style of the illustrator.
  • Even More Reading: For a week-long challenge, read a different book by the same author each day.

If you participate in the challenges, earn community service credit by submitting your creations so we can share them on our social media pages.

Book Buzz Teen Book Club: Shadow and Bone

All month long

This month we are going to read Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Books will be provided and are yours to keep! To pick up your Book Buzz book, starting on June 1st, you must register for this event. Then you can either call the Children’s Desk (at 272-2245 x 33003) and schedule a Grab n Go pickup, or come into the library and pick up your book at the Children’s Desk.

River Cruising 101

Saturday, June 5, 2021, 3:00 – 4:30pm

Discover the world of European river cruising with Bella Europa Travel. In this informative program you will learn about the many options that exist as well as the differences between traditional and river cruising. The talk will be complimented by beautiful photography and bits of interesting information to help you decide whether this form of cruising is for you. Please register for this virtual event and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

America’s Scenic Drives

Monday, June 7, 2021, 6:00 – 7:30pm

Who has been thinking about a road trip? Join us we will introduce you to lesser-discovered gems along America’s byways. You’ll learn about stops along each drive, the best time to visit, what makes each area special and more all complimented by beautiful photography.  Please register for this virtual event and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

Cat Tales Writers Group

Monday, June 14, 2021, 6:00 – 7:30pm

Join us virtually for an open writing group that can help answer your questions on writing, editing, grammar, and publishing. Read a selection of your work to the group for general constructive feedback, or discuss a book you’ve read that might help someone else. Join us once, join us every month! Please register for this virtual event and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

Ask Mike the Appraiser : What’s it Worth

Monday, June 21, 2021, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

We’ll Discuss “10 Factors That Always Impact Value”

We’ll Perform 1-on-1 Appraisals of ZOOM attendees’ treasures.  (Limit first 25 who sign up)

We’ll Share Buying & Selling Tips & Strategies Throughout.

Please register for this virtual event and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

Christine’s Critters

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 3:00 – 4:00pm

Learn about birds of prey and reptiles with a virtual visit from live animal ambassadors!All ages are welcome to attend. Please register starting June 1 and you will receive a Zoom link 1 hour prior to the start of this virtual program.

U.S. Coast Guard Dixieland Jazz Band in concert at Mixville

Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 6:30 – 8:00pm

The Coast Guard Dixieland Jazz Band performs classic jazz, blues, and rags with a “New Orleans” flavor. Admission to Mixville Park (1300 Notch Road in Cheshire) is free for concert attendees.  Just tell the staff at the entrance gate that you are there for the concert.  The concert will begin at 6:30, but you are welcome to come early and enjoy a picnic or a stroll at beautiful Mixville!  This summer concert series is funded by the Friends of the Cheshire Public Library and co-sponsored by the library and Cheshire’s Park and Recreation Department. 

Tips for the First-Time Travelers on a Budget

Thursday, June 24, 2021, 3:00 – 4:30pm

Join us we will learn how to  find the cheapest flights, go over luggage limitations, how to research and plan your own trip.  Learn how to use Google tools to make pages of links and a personalized map for walking or driving. We will go over the options for finding an affordable place to stay, and cover some other basics like safety, language and money. Please register for this virtual event and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

Trivia Night in the Park

Monday, June 28, 2021, 6:00 – 7:30pm

Come by yourself or bring your friends. Test your knowledge from general categories, including pop culture, current events, history, music, and of course literature! We will meet at Cheshire Park at the Pavilion. Masks must be worn over your nose and mouth during the entire program. Registration is required for this adult program.

Storytime @ the Park: Bartlem (Ages 3-5)

Wednesday, June 30, 2021, 10:00 – 10:30am

Enjoy an outdoor storytime at Bartlem Park full of books, music, and movement! You are welcome to bring your own blanket or towel to sit on. Best for ages 3-5.  Masks must be worn when you are not in your designated spot and social distancing will be observed. Space is limited and registration is required to attend. Please register each participant (caregivers and children). Registration begins 48 hours prior to each class. We will be meeting at the fields behind the playground.

Books Over Coffee: The Woman in the Window

Wednesday, June 30, 2021, 12:00 – 1:30pm

Want to engage in great discussions about books? Meet new people? Join us for an adult monthly book club program called Books Over Coffee. This month’s book is The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn .We will meet over Zoom, please register for this virtual event and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

Food Explorers: Bread Workshop (Grades 3-8)

Wednesday, June 30, 2021, 3:00 – 5:00pm

Food Explorers will show you how to make your own focaccia bread masterpiece by decorating with fresh vegetables and herbs. You’ll also make dinner rolls from scratch in this two hour class. for kids in grades 3-8. Please register for this virtual event and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week!

Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated during the first full week of May each year. In 2021, it’s May 3-7, with Teacher Appreciation Day falling on Tuesday May 4. As anyone who’s  tried to teach their kids during times when the schools were closed, or has observed the many hoops teachers must jump through to keep their students engaged and learning remotely will surely agreed, TEACHERS ROCK!

Educators have had to hit the ground running during the pandemic, re-inventing the way they teach on the fly, so to speak. Let your teachers know how much you appreciate all they do – here are some ideas:

  • Write an email to your child’s teacher expressing your gratitude for all they’ve done this year, especially while adapting to so many changes in the way they teach.
  • Write an email to the principal, letting them know how much you appreciate your teacher.
  • Show appreciation on Social Media, use the social media hashtag #ThankATeacher from the National PTA and share how educators have brightened your or your child’s life.
  • Donate books for your teacher’s classroom library.
  • Send your teacher a gift card for food or classroom supplies.
  • Have your child a write special letter, e-mail, recorded video message, or drawing to send to their teacher.

Teacher Appreciation Week also brings to mind some of our favorite fictional teacher like:

  1. Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus series
  2. Miss Clavel from the Madeline books
  3. Miss Nelson in Miss Nelson is Missing!
  4. Mr Falker in Thank you, Mr. Falker
  5. Mr. Browne from Wonder
  6. Miss Honey from Matilda
  7. Mr. Terupt from Because of Mr. Terupt
  8. Minerva McGonagall from the Harry Potter series
  9. Miss Stacy from Anne of Green Gables

Who are some of your favorite teachers from fiction? Let us know in the comments!