Inspired by Grimm’s post about first lines (and the follow-up), this week’s New Book post will also include the featured books’ first lines.

Goodbye Jamie Boyd, by Elizabeth Fensham (88 pages) – ‘Before I killed him, my big brother was my best friend.‘ How’s that for an opening sentence? This book is about friendship and mental illness; it is written in poetic verse.

Ten Cents a Dance, by Christine Fletcher (356 pages) – ‘We heard the music even before we got to Union Hall.‘ It is the 1940s in Chicago, and 15-year-old Ruby finds herself swept up in the dodgy world of dance halls, jazz, and the mob.

Getting the Girl : A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and Cookery, by Susan Juby (341 pages) – ‘I was sitting on the old blue beachers with Dini.’ (A bleacher, interestingly, is what those tiered benches at sport grounds are called in the U.S.) Sherman Mack’s friend Dini is in danger of becoming ‘d-listed’ by someone at their school. Determined to uncover who is responsible, Sherman ‘snatches up his surveillance gear and launches a full-scale investigation’. Part comedy and part mystery.

Blue Sky Freedom, by Gaby Halberstam (272 pages) – ‘It was the first day back after the Christmas holidays; my satchel was so stuffed with books it was creaking.’ This is a story of love, loss and courage set against the backdrop of apartheid-torn South Africa.

Spray, by Harry Egde (279 pages) – ‘Someone was after him already.’ Two-hundred teenagers sign up for an assassination game using water pistols that will last three weeks. Which sounds like a lot of fun, I reckon. This game, however, becomes more than harmless fun for some of the participants.

Infamous : An It Girl Novel, by Cecily von Ziegesar (240 pages) – ‘It was unnaturally quiet in the main reading room in Sawyer Library on the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving.’ This is the seventh book of the It Girl series, an off-shoot from the incredibly popular Gossip Girl series. (Coincidentally, I’m writing this in a library on the Thursday afternoon before Thanksgiving, although it’s not unnaturally quiet.)

The Singing : The Fourth Book of Pellinor, by Alison Croggon (486 pages) – ‘A shepherd was gathering firewood by the old Pellinor Road when a strange sight caught his attention.‘ This is the final book in the series, so if you’ve been reading this epic, ‘post-Tolkien’ book series, you will definitely want to read this. It has quite a few reserves already!

Melting Stones, by Tamora Pierce (312 pages) – ‘”Hey, kid – stop hanging off that rail!” A sailor, one of the women, was yelling at me.’ The newest Circle of Magic fantasy by one of the genre’s top writers.