Powerful YA books endings and beginnings

Books are a powerful, powerful thing. With a couple words only, they manage to take us away in a whole other world, sometimes right from the start. It’s been known to happen: some days, I open a book, read the first sentence and before I know it, I’ve been swallowed whole by the pages and won’t ever come back until I’m in the end of it all.

Some other days, it’s the ending that got me. The book has been a great ride, sometimes an okay right, but by the end of it all, the last pages, the last couple of sentences, I’m left open-mouthed and out of breath, feeling like I just ran a marathon, while I just read.a.damn.book. Who said reading wasn’t exhausting? I never did.

Today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite book endings and beginnings. The ones that hooked me, the ones I haven’t been quite able to forget, the ones I just really, really enjoyed. Obviously that’s a non-exhaustive list, I mean… I’m certain you’d all still be there tomorrow if I started talking about all the books??

πŸ“š Some of my favorite YA books beginnings (spoiler alert: that means me = obsessed already)

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Michelle Hodkin

Fantasy – Paranormal romance

“My name is not Mara Dyer, but my lawyer told me I had to choose something.”

The Mara Dyer series has been one of my favorite series of all times, for so long. I remember when I picked up the first book, how slowly but surely, I became obsessed with it all. And that first line, that beginning, just got me hooked to the story right away. Everything was a mess and I ended up loving this to pieces.

Final rating for the book (and the trilogy, too) :

The Beauty That Remains, Ashley Woodfolk


Jan. 14, 10:48 A.M

I just saw you yesterday.

There’s no way this is real. It can’t be.

I keep waiting for you to call.

Ashley Woodfolk’s debut is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful books I’ve read, but also one of the rawest, when it comes to talking about grief. I cried within the first few pages and these first lines did nothing to help. It was beautiful and heartbreaking. Definitely recommend.

Final rating for the book :

Nothing Left To Burn, Heather Ezell

“The Sunday morning after I lose my virginity, I wake to knocking.”

Will I ever NOT mention Nothing Left To Burn? Oops, probably not. I’m not even sorry, this book was too incredible for words. That first sentence sets the mood right in and made me wonder about everything already and boy, that did not disappoint.

Final rating for the book:

To Kill A Kingdom, Alexandra Christo
Fantasy – Retellings

“I have a heart for every year I’ve been alive.”

I was so, very nervous to read Alexandra Christo’s debut – it seemed a little bit out of my comfort zone, but boy, was I wrong about that. That first line just made me want to know more right away.

Final rating for the book :

Solitaire, Alice Oseman

“I am aware as I step into the common room that the majority of people here are almost dead, including me.”

Alice Oseman perfectly sets the tone and overall atmosphere in her debut’s first lines and I already loved her for that. I feel like Solitaire deserves all the praise, because it wonderfully, right from that first sentence, describes teenagers’ years, depression and so so much more,so wonderfully and in such a real way.

Final rating for the book:

Other book beginnings I’m thinking of right now:


πŸ“š Some of my favorite YA books endings (spoiler alert: they almost all made me cry)

Delirium, Lauren Oliver

I will always remember vividly the moment I finished reading Delirium for the first time, because I was sitting on my couch ignoring the world and my heart burst into a million pieces as I started crying. Delirium’s ending will forever be one of the most powerful, and one of my favorite endings of all times. I re-read the book multiple times and never not cried.

Final rating for the book :

The Hunger Games series – okay, so Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins

Apparently, the end of that popular book is not that popular with everyone, but I personally loved it so much. After crying my eyes out with everything happening in Mockingjay, that ending with Peeta and the dialogue and everything so raw and sensible and ugh. My feelings hurt.

Final rating for the book :

The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

This book is probably one of the most hyped books ever, but for a good reason. Powerful from beginning to end, it’s really the last couple of sentences that really got to me, strong, fearless and powerful in such a way it made me want to shout out about the book on the top of my roof or something.

Final rating for the book :

Under Rose-Tainted Skies, Louise Gornall

I don’t know why this book isn’t more popular, it deserves all the praise in the world, because it deals with anxiety, agoraphobia and OCD in such a real, raw, incredible way. The ending of this book was also one of my favorites, because it’s both realistic and holding on to hope, too, and I loved it.

Final rating for the book :

More Than This, Patrick Ness

I have no idea why I’m putting this book up here. I think it might be because it’s one of the endings that stuck with me the most because it’s terrible and wonderful at the same time. No spoilers, I swear, just… this book was an incredible rollercoaster from beginning, to that last line.

Final rating for the book :

Other books endings I’m thinking of right now:



What are some of your favorite book beginnings? What about endings? Is there an ending that made you gasp, like WHAT THE? (that was me, when I finished reading Children of Blood and Bone, by the way….)

Did you read any of these books and did you enjoy them? Let me know all of your thoughts in comments, I would love to hear from you!

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

100 thoughts on “Powerful YA books endings and beginnings

  1. I’ve been interested in To Kill a Kingdom since I heard of the premise and that opening line intrigues me so I might pick it up soon. I also loved the ending in Mockingjay! I was so surprised to find out a lot of people didn’t like it because I really liked how it ended and I even shed a few tears.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I hope you’ll pick it up at some point, it was a really great surprise for me, I loved it πŸ™‚
      I was surprised to find that out as well! I thought it was a perfect ending, it fit perfectly to the story and with everything that happened for me and…. I also cried a whole lot haha πŸ™‚
      Thank you so, so much for stopping by and for your sweet comment! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this as a concept for a post! All the sentences you’ve picked are great…I really have to read The Beauty That Remains. I love how Sabriel opens–death is very appropriate for the series, but it’s done so cleverly. The ending to Strange The Dreamer also crushed me and it was horrible but also worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you so much Shanti! Feel free to do a post like this yourself if that inspires you, I’d love to see it πŸ˜€
      Oh wow…. I’ve been meaning to read Strange The Dreamer for a little while now, I am really curious about that ending now…. guess I’ll have to read it soon to find out πŸ˜›
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment ❀ ❀ ❀


    1. RIGHT?!!! I had the same reaction, I turned the pages to see if there were more, even just one paragraph or something, but NOTHING and I was so frustrated hahaha. I can’t WAIT to see what happens next! πŸ˜€
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment, Shannon! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, the Hunger Games series are one of my all time faves ❀

    Last month (i think) the Mara Dyer series was on sale for kindle and i was really tempted to buy it. But the reviews on goodreads kinda swayed me. I'd read one that described it as boring/annoying/not good, and then another one that said it was awesome. There were so many of these that eventually i didn't buy it and now i'm thinking i should have… πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhhh this makes me so happy. I love The Hunger Games so, so much, it’s an incredible series. ❀

      Oh I get it, the Mara Dyer series has so many mixed reviews out there… I absolutely loved it and was hooked right from the first page. It had suspense, an complex narrator and the writing is really, really, really good. I'm biaised but I hope you'll want to give it a try sometime πŸ˜€

      Thank you so, so much for your comment! < 3<3

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, I hate when that happens, when the book starts off greatly and then it just ends on a bad or disappointing note 😦 it’s always the best when everything is amazing from beginning to end haha πŸ˜€
      Thank you so, so much for your comment Mary πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. i love love love this post so much. book endings and beginnings can literally make or break a book and you’ve chosen some fantastic ones.

    to kill a kingdom’s first sentence was GOLD. it got me right from the start. omg i love your picks for the last sentence. like under rose tainted skies hit really hard for me and i just loved how it all came together and ofc the hate u give was powerful all the way through.

    an ending that ACTUALLY made me scream out loud was Please Remain Calm by Courtney Summers and the last line was so ambiguous i was yelling i couldnt deAL omg

    this is such an excellent post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thank you thank you thank you so much, your words mean the world to me you’re too sweet! So happy you enjoyed it!! ❀ ❀ ❀

      I LOVED Under Rose – Tainted Skies' ending, it was brilliant and I loved how realistic it was, too ❀
      And aerm…. I need to run to goodreads to check out Please Remain Calm, because I am REALLY curious about that ambiguous ending?! These kind of ending are TORTURE though πŸ™ˆ

      Thank you so much! ❀ ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed Mockingjay’s ending, I heard there were mixed opinions about that ending, but I personally loved it, it hit me SO hard.
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment! ❀ ❀


  5. Oh I absolutely love this post, Marie! πŸ’ž You named so many wonderful books that I have yet to read, like THUG, To Kill a Kingdom, and Nothing Left to Burn.

    I think book endings have more of an impact of me than beginnings, since it’s what I’m left with when I finish a book and oftentimes with a powerful ending, I find myself mulling over it and thinking about it even days after I finished the book, haha. There was a part near the end of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo that COMPLETELY shocked me, like, my mouth actually dropped open and I had to put down the book for a minute before continuing. πŸ˜‚ I didn’t see it coming at all. The endings of Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and Warcross by Marie Lu were also very memorable and hit me hard. I can’t think of any more book endings at the moment, but I’m sure there are way more haha.

    Wonderful post as always! I definitely need to add these books to my TBR because your descriptions absolutely captivated me. 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so much Dezzy, I4m so happy you enjoyed it ❀

      I have to agree with you – I guess, since they are the last lines we read, they're the ones we tend to remember the most. I'm…. well, I'm really curious about that Evelyn Hugo moment, now πŸ˜‚ I have the book as an e-book and hope I can get to it soon, I've only been hearing amazing things about it πŸ™‚
      and yeees Warcross, that ending shocked me, too πŸ˜‚ I can't wait to read Wildcard πŸ˜€

      Thank you so, so much Dezzy for your sweet comment, I really hope you'll be able to read some of these soon ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a great list! I haven’t read The Unbecomming Of Mara Dyer but I’ve heard good things about it. I really need to give it a shot someday. To Kill A Kingdom is on my TBR and i’m planning to pick it up soon. I’m glad you loved it. I loved COBAB! It was a magical read with wonderful world building. I totally agree with you on the ending. It left me shocked too and I can’t wait to know what happens next.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much Raven, I’m so happy you enjoyed it! πŸ˜€
      I can’t wait for you to read To Kill A Kingdom, I have a feeling you could really enjoy it πŸ˜€
      And COBAB, that ending was, WOW, I can’t wait to know what happens next πŸ˜€
      Thank you so, so much for your comment! ❀


  7. I am actually really fascinated with opening sentences. I love to write down my favorite ones, and I think The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer’s just got added to that list! πŸ™‚ My all-time favorite beginning sentences will probably always be Harry Potter and The Night Circus. Both are filled with so much nostalgia and magic πŸ™‚ Thanks for another awesome post, Marie πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it’s so great that you are keeping track of them, in a way, I really should do that too πŸ™‚ I LOVE the Mara Dyer series so much πŸ˜€
      I haven’t read The Night Circus just yet, but I am planning on doing so soon, I’m excited to, it sounds amazing πŸ˜€
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment, Kat! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I LOVED the ending of the Hunger Games series too, tbh. I was always a little surprised when I heard people say it was their least favorite book. And yeeeeessss, Under Rose-Tainted Skies is SO good, and it’s really sad that not many people have read it. I know Everything, Everything (which has virtually the same concept) is more popular but that one is so problematic, while this one was just pure goodness. Great post, Marie. πŸ™‚

    ~ Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I am so glad I’m not the only one – I really thought the book and ending were great, but I feel like so many people did not enjoy it :/
      Under Rose Tainted Skies is incredible, I can’t thank you enough for that recommendation, a little while ago! ❀ I loved this book so much. I also read Everything, Everything, but my heart goes out to Under Rose Tainted Skies because it was much better, in… every way πŸ˜‚
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment Aimal! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is such a great post! I haven’t read a lot of these, but I added many of them to my TBR. πŸ˜‰ Can I just say….the ending of Mockingjay was perfect. My Peeta/Katniss heart will be over crying forever, if you need me.❀️I also thought THUG and Under Rose-Tainted skies were SO powerful! Also, I love all of Jennifer E. Smith’s romance novels- I can’t remember which one is which anymore, but I do remember loving them all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much Olivia, so happy you enjoyed it πŸ˜€
      I’m so happy you enjoyed the ending of Mockingjay just as well, so many people don’t feel that way, but I thought it was a great ending and…. I crieeeeed so much haha. Emotional support is always needed ❀
      I need to read more of her books! I loved a couple books I've read from her so far, but I want to read them all for sure πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful post! I love beginnings and endings. They are the parts of the books that reel me in and stay with me even after I’ve finished. I haven’t read a lot of the books that you mentioned but I do like those opening lines very much. Nothing Left to Burn is really catching my attention. And I just love that you gave a shoutout to The Raven Boys. The beginning of that book is on point. A beginning that really stuck with me was the first line of The Hazel Wood and an ending that stuck with me was the end of The Song of Achilles ❀

    Great idea for a post! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree – these are the kind of things staying with me after a read for sure, after the overall feelings that the read gave me πŸ˜€
      I’m so happy to hear you’re curious about Nothing Left To Burn – this book was INCREDIBLE and it deserves more hype and love. I hope you’ll pick it up sometime πŸ˜€
      Oh I loved the start of The Raven Boys, too, it was so captivatin already. I also remember the Hazel Wood, I was intrigued right from the start, as well πŸ˜€

      Thank you so, so much for stopping by and for your sweet comment! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHH yay! I’m so happy to find another Mara Dyer fan! πŸ˜€ Did you read the Noah Shaw series? I’d be curious to know if you enjoyed it or not. I was a bit disappointed by the first book, compared to the mara dyer series, but I’m still curious to continue on with it πŸ˜€
      Before I Fall was incredible,I loved it ❀
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment Michelle! πŸ˜€ ❀


  11. God, I actually hated Mockingjay’s ending… Well, most of the book too! But I understand what you mean, it was such a powerful ending. But at the same time it felt draining somewhat? I don’t really know how to explain it but like I was feeling everything Katniss was feeling too, and after such a long, long suffering period it just kind of felt more stiffling than freeing, in my opinion.

    To Kill a Kingdom… OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH 😭😭😭 It’s such perfection, I just wish there was a sequel, something that could take me back to that wonderful world and characters… But alas, there isn’t πŸ˜”

    I also quite enjoyed Mara Dyer. I read it for Halloween last year and I might read the sequel this Halloween hahaha I’m not sure yet. But I’m not sure what to expect from it.

    Wonderful post, Marie! It’s always lovely to see you gushing about books ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I understand what you mean. I feel like Mockingjay’s ending was, for a lot of readers, either a hit or a miss. I personally loved it and found it very fitting, too, but I understand what you mean :/

      To Kill A Kingdom was amazing, I agree! I had such a great time reading this book, it would be great to have a sequel in the same world, that’s for sure πŸ˜€

      I hope you’ll get to read the Mara Dyer series. I loved it so, so much – some people were disappointed by the sequels, though, so… maybe don’t hold on to too-high-hopes haha πŸ™‚

      Thank you so, so, so much Sophie, I’m so happy you enjoyed this πŸ˜€


      1. Yeah I guess that’s true in a way but the books had been disappointing me up until that point and the ending just came to annoy me even more 😟

        I’ve heard mixed reviews about Mara Dyer and its sequels, so I’m keeping an open mind hahaha Hopefully I’ll love them just like you!

        No worries ❀️❀️

        Liked by 1 person

  12. The Hate U Give was so good! I cried for sure. And you’re totally right, More Than This was a whirlwind, I think I definitely need to reread it. The beginning of The Raven Boys was great, and the ending of the series was even better. Thanks so much for sharing, this was a fun post. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh when it comes to books with powerful beginnings most of them that have stuck with me are favourites of mine. One first sentence to a book I read a year or so ago that had me hooked was in Last Seen Leaving. It was β€œThere was a corpse in my neighbor’s front yard”. I saw someone quote it in their review and I just knew I needed to read it ASAP! πŸ™‚
    When it comes to book endings I agree with you about More Than This. There’s part of me that’s still furious that that’s where it ended, but at the same time I get what Patrick Ness was doing because years after I read it I’m still thinking about that book!
    Great post Marie. πŸ™‚ ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow – now that’s a first sentence I wouldn’t forget, either ahah, I love it. It also scares me a little bit, in a way hahaha but I’m curious now πŸ˜›
      I’m with you on that – I’m half mad, half happy about that ending, because I can’t NOT think about it every now and then. It was SO good.
      Thank you so, so much Beth ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hello Marie!!
    I love this post!! I absolutely agree that a good beginning and a good evening are super important when it comes to books. You’ve chosen some AMAZING first lines which make me want to read all the books here haha. I’ve heard so much about The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer so I think I will tackle that in the near future πŸ™‚
    My fiance and I recently did an exercise where we read the first page of every book on my bookshelf (which isn’t much actually haha) and picked the top books that we would read. One of the books that I chose was Room because the first page almost reduced me to tears already haha πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you so much, Sophie, I am so happy you enjoyed this ❀
      And please, read the Mara Dyer series!! I hope you'll love it – this series has so many mixed reviews, but I personally love it so, so much ❀ ❀

      Ohhhh that's such a cool thing to do! I am curious about Room now – did the rest of the book make you cry, just as well? I hope that means it was good? ahah πŸ™‚


  15. Good job at making me want to read all those books, Marie!
    Solitaire has such a great starting line, I just want to go start it right now, it’s so intriguing. The same about Nothing Left to Burn, it has such a perfect cover and the whole plot sounds amazing and I have no idea why I keep ignoring it especially since you’ve been screaming about it for a long time.
    This post idea is brilliant, so creative and I adored everything you mentioned! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHH YES MARTA READ SOLITAIRE ❀ I feel like it's the least loved book, by Alice Oseman, but it makes me sad. I personally connected with it in a way and I really enjoyed it ❀ I hope you will, too!
      AND YES NOTHING LEFT TO BURN! I will never stop screaming about this book, I love it so much ❀ ❀

      Thank you so, so, so much for your comment, you are way too sweet ❀ ❀


  16. I loved this list, Marie! All those book beginnings.. had me. I want to read all the ones I haven’t read yet πŸ˜€
    I remember the first line of Leah on the Offbeat too. It was hilarious πŸ˜›

    Ahh, I am still thinking about that ending of Children of Blood and Bone. I was so stunned. I need the sequel soon 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YAY, well my job here is done! πŸ˜‚
      I haven’t read Leah just yet, but I’m very curious about it now – I hope to read it soon πŸ˜€

      I NEED the sequel to COBAB soon, too, I just can’t WAIT! πŸ˜€

      Thank you so, so much! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Great post Marie! I absolutely agree about Mocking Jay, I was so happy with the epilogue, it was so cute and sweet. I also really thought We Were Liars had a very surprising ending. And the first book in the Divergent (ie. Divergent) was so great, I thought it was an amazing first book!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Omg yes the Mara Dyer series is incredible! I read all of the books on break in December and I was so obsessed with them too. Also that first line..it gives me chills lowkey. Especially knowing what happens later in the books. It’s intense haha. I also love Solitaire so much!! Alice Oseman is one of my favorite writers and I feel like her books are just..they’re perfect haha. Like you said, they capture the experience of being a teen in the 21st century and it’s just so relatable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHH I am so happy you loved the Mara Dyer series as much as I did!I feel like there are so many mixed reviews about this series, but I love it so, very much, it IS intense and incredible ❀

      YAY! And you love Alice Oseman, ahhh we are bookish twins ❀ She's incredible at shaping her characters, they're just so awesome and so real, too ❀

      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  19. You have given me so many feelings with this post! I really loved I’ll Meet You There as well. There’s a couple here that I still need to try and my TBR has just grown with your list. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is one that I am really excited about now. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh I’m happy you enjoyed I’ll Meet You There, I loved this book so, very much, it was brilliant ❀
      I hope you will love Mara Dyer as much as I did! πŸ˜€
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment ❀


  20. Ohh recently I read Sadie and eXCUSE ME WHILE MY BRAIN EXPLODES AT THE ENDING. Like it was so good, all the way through, and I’m still thoroughly thinking about it. β€οΈπŸ’”I love books that just grip me the whole way through too ahh. And The Raven Boys has such an iconic beginning. Also Illuminae! And I adore Half Bad’s beginning because it was just so raw and dragged you in immediately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I heard incredible things about Sadie and, if I think I’m not going to read it because of the trigger warnings, I’m so happy this book has touched SO many people! ❀ ❀
      Oh wow – I really need to check Half Bad right now, I'm very curious haha πŸ˜€
      Thank you so, so much for stopping by, Cait! ❀ ❀


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