First Chapter Challenge

So my friend over at Mouse That Reads made a fun challenge called the first chapter challenge. Go look at her original blog poster by clicking here.

The basics:

~ Read the first chapter of however many books (I read 10).

~ Pick two books at a time and read their first chapters.

~ Choose which first chapter wins!

From here Mieke (Mouse That Reads) went on to do more rounds but I did something a little different. I chose my the winning 3 books with the best First Chapters!

The Challenge

Like I said, I read the first chapters of 10 books. I picked the books at random and for every 2 I read, I chose my favourite of the 2.

If you’d prefer, you can go and watch my YouTube video with my in-depth thoughts and immediate reactions to each first chapter.

Group 1

To Kill A Kingdom VS And I Darken

And I Darken‘s first chapter was exactly 2 pages long. Which means it was difficult to get a real grasp on what the book was about and what to expect. It did introduce the background and birth of our main character and already shows the circumstances and misogonistic society she will grow up in. I like that we are already pointed towards the fact that she will be a strong female protagonist.

To Kill A Kingdom has a fantastic opening chapter where we meet our main character, Lira. We are introduced to this awesome world of Sirens and underwater kingdoms. The first sentence is fantastic, “I have a heart for every year I’ve been alive.” This immediately caught my interest. I also have a feeling our MC will be morally grey and this makes it even more intriguing.


To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Group 2

The Diviners VS Passenger

The prologue for Passenger was great! The first chapter, however, was extremely long and about halfway through I almost gave up. I did carry on and it ended off in an interesting place. The time travel concept is brilliant and it really opens up the possibility for a great story if it is executed well.

The Diviner‘s has a super fun setting – 1920’s New York full of glam and dreams. The opening shows the introduction to this very creepy occult vibe. I don’t know much about this book other than it is a murder mystery. We are introduced to our main antagonist in the first chapter which was unique. Overall the atmosphere was creepy and exciting.


The Diviners by Libba Bray

Group 3

The Winner’s Curse VS Daughter of Smoke and Bone

The Winner’s Curse has an absolutely amazing chapter 1! It immediately thrusts us into an interesting fantasy world. Our main character quickly shows that she is a fast thinker and intelligent. I love the internal struggle of our MC as she gets caught up in a bidding war she didn’t even want to be a part of.

In Daughter of Smoke and Bone, we start the story in Prague when we meet our blue-haired main character. She seems like an artsy badass and I love that about her. The chapter ends with a slight cliff hanger. I don’t read synopsis’ often, so this little tidbit piqued my interest especially as it makes the unknown of what is to come that much more exciting.

This was a very difficult choice but in the end


The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Group 4

Graceling VS Give the Dark My Love

Graceling throws us straight into action as we meet the main character Katsa on a moonlit mission. Immediately we know that she has an affinity for fighting and perhaps death too. It is exciting, and stressful (in a good way). We even meet another character who I suspect will play an important part later in the book. I love Katsa and the concept of Graces, and the possibility of courtly intrigue definitely had me wanting to read more than just 1 chapter.

Give the Dark my Love was by far the most surprising of all the books. The prologue was fast paced and exhilarating, introducing the main character. The prologue takes place 6 months after the first chapter, and thus we have a lot of questions and anticipation surrounding how the MC got from chapter 1 to the person she is in the prologue. It’s a great tactic at building suspense and it definitely worked well.

Once again, this was an extemely difficult decision to make. Both were exciting and promised a lot more to come. However, I could only choose 1.


Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Group 5

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein VS The Night Circus

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein promises a dark and intense story. The opening chapter has the MC travelling towards her goals. From what I could tell in the 1st chapter, she is determined and I really loved that. There is an interesting flashback that introduces us to the possible love interest? The setting and atmosphere of the book reminds me of Stalking Jack the Ripper, which happens to be one of my favourite series.

Lastly, I gave the infamous Night Circus a go. I have heard people talking about this book for more years, somehow, I still went into it knowing nothing. It has often been compared to one of my favourites – Caraval- and that immediately makes me want to read it. Going in, we get a prologue which is written in 2nd person. It creates anticipation for the Circus of Dreams. And then in the first chapter we get a small show of magic. I love magic and ultimately it is the mystery and magic of this book that drew me in.

The last 2 books, and they really did put up a good fight. I even have to take a break and really think about each book’s indivudial merits.


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

finally I choose my top 3 of all the first chapters. It was difficult but in the end I love the ones that I chose. I will be adding these to my June TBR and I’m so excited to get to them!


  1. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
  2. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  3. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

I hope you do this challenge as its really fun! I enjoyed it a lot!

Happy Reading !

Gizelle  βœ¨


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