Can You Match the Bestseller to its First Line?

It’s First Lines Friday, but let’s have fun with this one. It’s a mix-and-match game. Get a pencil and paper. Below you’ll find a list of first lines from dystopian ya books on Amazon’s bestseller list. You’ll also find a list of author names and a list of titles. Match the bestseller with its first line and author. No cheating! 

image of a pirate on an island and a pirate ship coming out of the pages of an open book lying on a table. Can you match these first lines with the bestseller?

Ready? Set. Go!

First Lines

If you think you know which book the line is from, scroll down and match the bestseller to the first line. Write your answers down in the order of LINE (single letter)-TITLE (double letter)-AUTHOR (number).

A “When we got the letter in the post, my mother was ecstatic.”

B “The blizzard brought with it driving winds, but Farmer-883-PR8 wasn’t giving up.”

C “Raine Caldwell was startled by the slamming of a car door.”

D “Coriolanus released the fistful of cabbage into the pot of boiling water and swore that one day it would never pass his lips again.”

E “The asteroid that will destroy the earth is named Pandora.”

F “Don’t touch me! I want Nova! Where’s Nova?”

G “When you have something to hide, it feels like everyone is looking at you.”

H “There is one mirror in my house.”

I “My sweating palms slipped against the handles of my bike as I cycled at a pace I hoped would not look suspicious.”

J “I slammed on my overburn and boosted my starship through the middle of a chaotic mess of destructor blasts and explosions.”

K “The monster loomed over Hannah Sheridan, red eyes boring into hers as he reached for her with razor-sharp claws.”

 L “When the revolution comes, border guards won’t get away with harassing Harvester girls.”

M “I’ve been locked up for 264 days.”

N “When Ryder Shaw glanced at the television, he knew he messed up—big time.”

O “My name is Rockland Barkclay.”

Titles

AA The Gender Game

BB Rising: After the Thaw

CC Divergent 

DD The Selection

EE The Princess Trials

FF Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes 

GG City of the Dead

HH Starsight

II Shadow Fall

JJ Edge of Darkness

KK Seeking Safety

LL Earthdom

MM Dark Days of the After

NN Shatter Me

Authors

Bonus points if you can match the bestseller and first line AND the author.

  1. Audrey Grey
  2. Brandon Sanderson
  3. Veronica Roth
  4. Ryan De Bruyn
  5. Heidi Catherine
  6. Vasily Mahanenko
  7. Kyla Stone
  8. Ryan Schow
  9. Kiera Cass
  10. Cordelia Castel
  11. T.L. Payne
  12. Bella Forest
  13. Suzanne Collins
  14. Tahereh Mafi
  15. Michael Evans

All Together

(Keep reading for the answer key) I get no compensation of any kind for the links to these books.

When we got the letter in the post, my mother was ecstatic.

The Selection (The Selection Book Book 1) by Kiera Cass 

“The blizzard brought with it driving winds, but Farmer-883-PR8 wasn’t giving up.”

City of the Dead (The Alchemist Book #1): LitRPG Series by Vasily Mahanenko 

Raine Caldwell was startled by the slamming of a car door.

Seeking Safety: A Post Apocalyptic EMP Survival Thriller (Gateway to Chaos Book One) by T.L. Payne

Coriolanus released the fistful of cabbage into the pot of boiling water and swore that one day it would never pass his lips again.

A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger Games novel) by Suzanne Collins

The asteroid that will destroy the earth is named Pandora.

Shadow Fall by Audrey Grey

Don’t touch me! I want Nova! Where’s Nova?

Rising: After the Thaw (The Thaw Chronicles Book 1) by Heidi Catherine

When you have something to hide, it feels like everyone is looking at you.

Dark Days of the After: A Post-Apocalyptic EMP Survival Thriller by Ryan Schow  

There is one mirror in my house.

Divergent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 1) by Veronica Roth

My sweating palms slipped against the handles of my bike as I cycled at a pace I hoped would not look suspicious.

The Gender Game by Bella Forrest 

I slammed on my overburn and boosted my starship through the middle of a chaotic mess of destructor blasts and explosions.

Starsight (Skyward Book 2) by Brandon Sanderson 

The monster loomed over Hannah Sheridan, red eyes boring into hers as he reached for her with razor-sharp claws.

Edge of Darkness: A Post-Apocalyptic EMP Survival Thriller (Edge of Collapse Book 3) by Kyla Stone 

When the revolution comes, border guards won’t get away with harassing Harvester girls.

The Princess Trials: A young adult dystopian romance by Cordelia Castel

I’ve been locked up for 264 days.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi 

When Ryder Shaw glanced at the television, he knew he messed up—big time.

Mad World: A Post-Apocalyptic EMP Survival Thriller (World Gone Mad Book 1) by Michael Evans 

My name is Rockland Barkclay.

Earthdom: A Post-Apocalyptic LitRPG (Ether Collapse Book 3) by Ryan DeBruyn

Answers

In the order of LINE (single letter)-TITLE (double letter)-AUTHOR (number).

A-DD-8

B-GG-5

C-KK-10

D-FF-13

E-II-1

F-BB-4

G-MM-7

H-CC-11

I-AA-15

J-HH-2

K-JJ-6

L-EE-9

M-NN-12

N-FF-13

O-LL-3

The End

I hope you found the game fun and could identify a few of these. I’m pretty sure I would have had a big fat zero percent right.

First lines can make a big difference, even in bestsellers. How many times did you correctly match the bestseller to its first line, title, and author? Did you find any first lines that made you want to buy the book? Keep Reading! Stay healthy! And check in here from time-to-time and let me know how you’re doing. 

Hope of a Cure for Sickle Cell

In the midst of the pandemic and protests and political mayhem, the grim news can be overwhelming. But there’s wonderful news, too. Remember the gene-editing technique, CRISPR? A year after gene-editing, a woman with severe sickle cell disease feels great. This success signals hope of a cure for Sickle Cell disease.

image of brown hand, thumbs up because there's hope of a cure for sickle cell disease

Sickle Cell Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders.

A healthy red blood cell is round. It travels through our blood vessels, even the tiny capillaries, and delivers oxygen to all parts of the body. When a person has SCD, their red blood cells become hard and sticky and shaped like a farm tool called the sickle.

Image of a sickle, a c-shaped tool which is what red blood cells look like in SCD, but there is now hope for  a cure for Sickle Cell Disease

These abnormal cells get stuck in small blood vessels. This clogs blood flow. It can cause mild-to-severe pain and many serious problems like strokes. These cells also die early, causing anemia.

There are three common types of Sickle Cell and three rare types. Some people carry the trait (they have half the genetic material that causes the disease). If two people with the trait have a child, they have a 50% chance of passing on the trait and a 1-in-4 chance their child will have the disease. 

SCD occurs among about 1 out of every 365 Black or African-American births. SCD occurs among about 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic-American births. About 1 in 13 Black or African-American babies is born with sickle cell trait (SCT). Historically, mortality in the first three years was 38%. This has improved, but premature death remains a risk of this disease.

The first symptoms of the disease occur during the fifth to twelfth month of life. The only cure for SCD is bone marrow or stem cell transplant. Both procedures have risks and complications. It’s not an option for everyone.

The CRISPR Treatment

In 2019, at least two patients with severe SCD received an injection of CTX001 in a trial.

CTX001, made using the gene-editing tool, CRISPR-Cas9 changed the patients’ blood cell so they produce high levels of fetal hemoglobin. 

Fetal hemoglobin is present before birth and drops to trace amounts about six months after birth as hemoglobin A (adult hemoglobin) production takes over. Fetal hemoglobin inhibits sickling.

One Year Out

Victoria Gray, 34, is the first patient to have received CTX001. NPR reported that one year after the injection she is thriving. The treatment has alleviated nearly all her complications of SCD. 

She’s grateful and expresses that the treatment came just in time. She’s not needed to go to the hospital at a time when the pandemic makes that a scary place to be and while the National Guard deployed her husband.

Scientists are optimistic that this experiment is a success.

The Future 

I could not find out about the second patient who received the treatment, which suggests the experiment hasn’t been 100% successful. But it gives us hope of a cure for Sickle Cell Disease. And as a nurse who has witnessed the terrible effects of SCD, I am rejoicing alongside the 100,000+ Americans who suffer from this disease. May the future bring even better news and not just for SCD but for other dreadful genetic diseases. 

Hope for that Helpless Feeling

Are you in a hard place right now? Feel like you’re stuck? Helpless and Hopeless? There is hope for that helpless feeling.

Confessions of a Last Minute Writer- Mea Culpa. I messed up.

Don’t Diminish Your Feelings

You know you’re not alone. And in your heart of hearts, you believe your hard place isn’t anywhere near as hard as those of people of color or police officers or medical workers or even some grocery store clerks. And that’s part of the problem.

Other people having hard times in their lives doesn’t negate your troubles. Your troubles still disrupt your life. Cause you pain.

Troubles in trying to write or not being able to go to the movie theater or being unable to visit your loved ones are painful. But they aren’t really the problem. You focus on a smaller problem. Because you feel helpless.

You cannot cure COVID or right the wrongs of racial inequality. And you cannot heal the rage and the hate and the hurt of the world. You wish you could. And when you realize you’re not in a position to help, You feel impotent. Helpless. Paralyzed.

Trauma

Trauma affects you mentally and physically. You say, wait—I’ve not experienced the trauma—I’ve just watched it on television, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or some other social media.

Yes, people who’ve been at the blunt end—who’ve experienced racial hatred, experienced police brutality, those who’ve fought to protect people who seem to hate them, those who’ve cared for the sick and dying day-after-day—they are at the blunt end. They are experiencing trauma. And they need to take care of themselves in much the same way I discuss here.

But even if you’ve not been at the blunt end. Trauma is happening all over the world. Cover-19, protests, brutality, wars, hate, death—there is some kind of trauma in the media 24/7. You can’t help but see it. If you have a heart, you can’t help but have an emotional reaction to it. And feeling helpless in the face of all that’s happening is natural. But there is hope for that helpless feeling.

Get Help

If your feelings of helplessness or hopelessness overwhelm you to the point it interferes with your daily activities—get professional help.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish. Call or visit the website for more information.

Be Aware

Each of us has certain things that trigger more anxiety and more feelings of helplessness. Be aware of what your triggers are. Name them. There’s power in being aware. Seeing or feeling someone’s rage can be a trigger. And there’s a lot of rage being expressed these days.

Sometimes we can see patterns. Have you ever had this kind of anxiety or helpless feeling before? What happened right before you felt that way? Any patterns between then and now? 

If you’re aware of your triggers and your patterns of behavior, you can choose healthier behaviors.

Be in the Moment

Focus on where you are (assuming that you are in a safe place.) Breathe. Hear the sounds around you. What are you touching—how does it feel? What do you smell? Which of your muscles are tight? Breathe. Center yourself.

Focus on Action

Take a healthy action. Take care of yourself.

Walk or exercise.

Do deep breathing or relaxation exercises.

Drink plenty of water (avoid alcohol).

Speak to friends or family (social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t use the telephone, Zoom, or even a driveway chat).

Set a small, achievable goal. Even as small as you will wash your face or brush your teeth. Then take that first step toward getting it done. Achieving the goal will help remind you that you can do this.

You Can Do This

Hope for that helpless feeling is in extending a hand to help someone else

Change the story you’re telling yourself. Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, remember that you have choices. Do what you can do. Your choices won’t change the trauma. It will change you. 

Remembering that you have a choice helps. Make a choice be aware of your triggers. Choose to be in this moment—feel the hard or soft surface of the place where you sit. Feel the tension in your legs and shoulders. Movement helps reduce tension. Sharing with a trusted friend helps. Reach out to help someone else. Hope for that helpless feeling is in extending a hand to help someone else.

Hope

There is hope for that helpless feeling. It’s one of the antidotes to helplessness. Hope is for something to come. Hope is for the future. Believe in the basic goodness of people. Believe that you can help. It may be in a small way, but if you help one person–that’s more than enough. You can do it. Find hope. Tell me one thing you’ll do today to find hope.