Ann Meier writes a useful exercise on first-page analysis at Janice Hardy's blog. After receiving rejections for queries on her manuscript, she took Janice's advice and looked at the positive feedback she was getting, and what she was getting wrong.
Janice’s second suggestion was to look at the first chapter of a favorite book and to analyze how it was different from mine. I chose the first book in a long-running, best-selling series that I think is the best in my genre. And I knew it was a best seller how? Every other person reading at the pool deck on a cruise one summer was reading this series.
Ann breaks down the opening page of the book she selected and does a critical analysis of every sentence and paragraph; she identifies what's happening, what emotions/assumptions are being evoked, and how the structure of that page 'sells' the story to the reader.
It's a very good exercise, and it's good to see how her own introductory paragraph changes throughout the analysis.
Read the details here: http://blog.janicehardy.com/2011/05/closer-look-studying-books-your-love.html