I’ve been reading some friends beginning pages and finding them not to my taste. I wondered what agents were looking for, particularly in the first pages of a novel, and the novel as a whole as well. The results of research were helpful in giving my friends feedback.
Three things that will make an agent discard a manuscript:
1) Starting with a dream.
2) Starting with a person going through their daily routine.
3) Starting with the weather.
Three things that will make an agent keep reading:
1) Starting with action.
2) Consistent pacing.
3) A satisfying ending.
One of many good resources on the subject: http://darleyandersonblog.com/2013/07/31/11-ways-not-to-start-your-novel-5/