By Tina Jordan
Updated November 18, 2008 at 05:00 PM EST

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but there’s no such rule regarding opening lines. Check out the initial sentences of three recent releases, and then vote which one starts out least promisingly.

* History is full of guys who did stupid things for women. Paris started the Trojan War over Helen. Marc Antony abandoned Rome for Cleopatra. John Lennon gave up the Beatles for Yoko Ono. You can say I’m a dreamer, but they’re not the only ones. Like my friend Joe Mackenzie: He was about to jump off a five-story building just to impress a girl. — from Something Wicked, byAlan Gratz

* From the chamber where she had been locked for hours, the young woman hears shouts and laughter rising from the great dining hall below. As the evening advances and talk becomes more heated under the influence of alcohol, her anxiety mounts at the thought of the fate intended for her by the men she can hear carousing below. — from Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong: Reopening the Case of The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Pierre Bayard

* The rain didn’t bother him, even though London’s rain fell thicker and harsher than country rain. Full of the city’s stench, the drizzle descended in matted wire, pricking the skin. Crispin’s leather hood took the brunt of it. The beaded water ran off his head in long rivulets and pooled at his feet. — from Veil of Lies, by Jeri Westerson