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Monday, December 26, 2016

First Page Mondays: Let It Snow Three Holiday Romances: The Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson, Cheertastic Christmas Miracle by John Green, The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle

After reading a few John Green books and liking them a lot, it was obvious I would pick this up. Saw this at a street shop and brought it home just two days before Christmas. So here's a quick look at the first page of Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle.


The Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson

It was the night before Christmas.

Well, to be more precise, it was the afternoon before Christmas. But before I take you into the beating heart of the action, let's get one thing out of the way. I know from experience that if it comes up later, it will distract you so much that you won't be able to concentrate on anything else I tell you.

 My name is Jubilee Dougal. Take a moment and let it sink in.

See, when you get it up front, it's not that bad. Now imagine I was halfway through some long story (like I'm about to be), and I dropped that one on you. "By the way, my name is Jubilee." You wouldn't know what to do next.

 I realize Jubilee is a bit of a stripper name. You probably think I have heard the call of the pole. But no. If you saw me, you'd get the idea pretty quickly that I'm not a stripper (I.......

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Cheertastic Christmas Miracle by John Green

JP and the Duke and I were four movies in to our James Bond marathon when my mother called home for the sixth time in five hours. I didn't even glance at the caller ID. I knew it was Mom. The Duke rolled her eyes and paused the movie. "Does she think you're going somewhere? There's a blizzard."

 I shrugged and picked up the phone.

 "No luck," Mom said. In the background, a loud voice droned on about the importance of securing the homeland.

 "Sorry Mom. That sucks."

 "This is ridiculous!" she shouted. "We can't get a flight to anywhere, let alone home." They'd been stuck in Boston for three days. Doctors' conference. She was getting kind of despondent about the whole Christmas-in-Boston thing. It....

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The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle

Being me sucked. Being me on this supposedly gorgeous night, with the supposedly gorgeous snow looming in five-foot drifts outside my bedroom window, double-sucked. Add the fact that today was Christmas, and my score was up to triple-suck. And add the sad, aching, devastating lack of Jeb, and ding ding ding! The bell at the top of the Suckage Meter couldn't ring any louder.

 Instead of jingle bells, I had suckage bells. Lovely.

 Well, aren't you a merry little figgy pudding I said to myself, wishing Dorrie and Tegan would hurry up and get here. I didn't know what figgy pudding was, but it sounded like the sort of dish that sat cold and alone at the end of the buffet table because no one wanted it. Like me. Cold and alone and probably lumpish.

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- Debolina Raja

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sneaky Peeky Sunday: A Spot Of Bother by Mark Haddon



The first book I read by #MarkHaddon was The Curious Case Of The Dog In The Night Time, and yes, I was bowled over! I was literally rushing through the book to reach the end and just see what was going on....If you haven't read it yet, I definitely would recommend you do. And you'll not be upset about it :)

So when I saw this book by the same author, I picked it up without hesitating a minute. Its called A Spot Of Bother and here's the page I am on now...just started reading though.

"I don't care what you think dad." Katie was marching up and down the patio waving her arms like a mad person in a film. "It's my life. I'm going to marry Ray whether you like it or not."

 Precisely where George was, or what he was doing, it was hard to tell.

 "You have no idea. No idea. Ray is kind. Ray is sweet. And you're entitled to your own opinions. But if you try and stop this we'll just do it ourselves, OK?"

 She seemed to be staring at the ground. Surely George wasn't lying down?

 When he ran out of the room, Jean assumed he'd spilled custard on his trousers or smelled gas and Katie had simply jumped to conclusions. Which was par for the course. But clearly something more serious was happening, and it worried her.

 "Well?" asked Katie from the far side of the glass.

 There was no answer that Jean could hear.

 "Jesus. I give in."

 Katie vanished from the window and there were footsteps down the side of the house. Jean whipped open the fridge door and grabbed a carton of milk. Katie burst through the door, hissed "What is wrong with that man?" and strode down the hallway.

 Jean replaced the milk and waited for George to reappear. When he didn't, she put the kettle on and went outside.

 He was sitting on the patio with his back against the wall and his finger pressed to his eyes, looking for all the world like that Scottish man who drank cider and slept on the grass outside the magistrate's court.

 "George?" she bent down in front of him.

 He took his hands away from his face, "Oh, it's you."

- Debolina Raja

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Exile by Taslima Nasreen: An Excerpt


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what i had thought to be my city had never been mine. rather, it belongs to the wily politicians, the dishonest businessmen, the smugglers of women, the pimps, the scoundrels. it belongs to the rapists. it's a city that belongs to people who will not bat an eyelid when someone is murdered, raped or tortured; people who live behind masks, who can casually walk by starving people, who can cross over dead beggars on the pavement, who run at the slightest whiff of danger despite living in houses built of lies. it's a city of people drunk on fantasies of this world and the next, a city of astrologers, con artists and opportunists.

this can never be my city, this city of thugs, liars, cheats and narrow-minded, selfish zealots. in their city, there are only a few of us left who think, who are rational, who protest; a few decent, honest people living in perpetual fear.

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i am stranded amidst soldiers with guns. they don't know me, and they keep staring at the unarmed woman from time to time. they cannot fathom the reason for me being here. i may not have the dirt and the grime, the tattered clothes, the wild, unkempt hair, but they can still sense the shackles on my feet, the ones that keep me at bay. i can see this terrible awareness in their eyes, an awareness that their guns and boots inspire fear. it hurts them that i am not afraid, and i have no right to hurt them i suppose. perhaps they will send word to their masters - that i am not afraid, that i am trying to break teh chains. surely the authorities will hang me. they will fix the date and throw me a feast of fish and prawns.

 what if i tell them i don't want to eat! what if i don't sigh even once at the gallows! what if i can be fearless even after they tighten the noose around my neck!

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each one of you must try to find out what is wrong with me. go on, tell me what it is. you have to, or something horrible will happen to you! tell me why you have banished me! have i caused an epidemic somwhere? have children died, or women been raped, or have there been mass executions? there must have been strong reasons for sending me into exile! unless you can find that perfect reason, unless you can show the world the true face of the monster, will you be able to forgive yourself? perhaps even i would be able to breathe easy knowing what i have done. perhaps then i would be able to come to terms with my exile. i want to know what i have done; i want to embrace you again, knowing you were only ever looking out for me.

 tell me why you have cast me out of society. tell me about my crime, so that it can absolve yours. find the perfect reason for having brought back the Dark Ages or would you rather have history frown at you in disapproval? and if you cannot tell me what my crime was, if not for my sake then at least for yours, let me go.

Taslima Nasrin

- Debolina Raja

Monday, December 5, 2016

First Page Mondays: Library Of Souls By Ransom Riggs (Third Book In The Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children Trilogy



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Finally I have the third and final book in the Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children trilogy by Ransom Riggs. I was waiting for long to get Library Of Souls, and now that I have it, I am not sure I want to read it right away and finish the story...I'm gonna miss them all :(

Anyway, I know for a fact that the book is going to be amazing. In fact, I loved the movie based on the first novel, and I felt that it shared the story on screen just the way I had imagined and visualized it. Loved it :) !!!!!

Without further ado, here's a look at the first page from the book Library Of Souls by Ransom Riggs.

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The monster stood not a tongue's length away, eyes fixed on our throats, shriveled brain crowded with fantasies of murder. Its hunger for us charged the air. Hollows are born lusting after the souls of peculiars, and here we were arrayed before it like a buffet: bite-sized Addison bravely standing his ground at my feet, tail at attention; Emma moored against me for support, still too dazed from the impact to make more than a match flame; our backs laddered against the wrecked phone booth. Beyond our grim circle, the underground station looked like the aftermath of a nightclub bombing. Steam from burst pipes shrieked forth in ghostly curtain. Splintered monitors swung broken-necked from the ceiling. A sea of shattered glass spread all the way to the tracks, flashing in the hysterical strobe of red emergency lights like an arc-wide disco ball. We were boxed in, a wall hard to one side and glass shin-deep on the other, two strides from a creature whose only natural instinct was to disassemble us - and yet it made no move to close the gap. It seemed rooted to the floor, swaying on its heels like a drunk or a sleepwalker, death's head drooping, its tongues a nest of snakes I'd charmed to sleep.

 Me. I'd done that. Jacob Portman, boy nothing from Nowhere, Florida. It was not currently murdering us - this horror made of gathered dark and nightmares harvested from sleeping children - because I had asked it not to. Told it in no uncertain terms to unwrap its tongue from around my neck. Back off, I'd said. Stand, I'd said - in a language made of sounds I hadn't known a human mouth could........

- Debolina Raja