First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Words. The meme is based on the idea that instead of judging a book by its cover, author, prestige, we judge it instead by its opening line(s). The book I picked today is one that contains a highly important message, especially with everything we see in YA books these days being. You can check out my review of the book here!
No one needed to bother opening the letter to know what it said.
All gentlepersons of university age (respectively seventeen to nineteen) are cordially invited to test for the esteemed annual scholarship given by Mr. Holm toward one fullride fellowship at Stemwick Men’s University. Aptitude contenders will appear at nine o’ clock in front of Holm Castle’s entrance above the seaside town of Pinsbury Port on the evening of 22 September, during the Festival of the Autumnal Equinox.
For Observers: Party refreshments will be provided at intermittent times. Watering facilities available at all times. Gratitude and genial amusement are expected. (Those who fail to comply will be tossed out at our amusement.)
For Contestants: Those who never risk are doomed never to risk. And those who’ve risked previously will be ousted should they try again.
For All: Mr. Holm and Holm Manor bear no responsibility, liability, or legal obligation for any harm, death, or partial decapitation that may result from entering the examination Labyrinth.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: To Best the Boys
Author: Mary Weber
Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.
In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.
With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.