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Allegiant by Veronica Roth

12 Nov

***This is the review of book 3 of a trilogy and might contain spoilers for the first or second book! If you haven’t read Divergent or Insurgent check out those reviews instead of this one!!***

Allegiant

Divergent #3
Book 1: Divergent
Book 2: Insurgent

author : veronica roth

pages : [hardcover] 526

memorable quote : I wonder if fears ever really go away, or if they just lose their power over us.

favorite characters : tris & four

summary :

One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent

review :

I always hate to see a favorite series (in this case, trilogy) go while at the same time I love to see how everything is going to end up. Before I managed to finish this book I knew that there was some controversy about it and I know there are plenty of people unsatisfied with what happened. Though I have to say this book ripped my heart out and made me cry more than I’d like to admit, I still can’t see the sense in disliking it because of that.

I absolutely loved the first book of this series, Divergent, and didn’t like Insurgent as much as that. I think that I like this third book more than I liked the second one. It was just so much more interesting to me and I loved not knowing what would happen next. I can’t say anything specific without giving away spoilers but be satisfied knowing that there are very cute scenes and scenes filled with action and suspense.

That said, I didn’t get the same heart-pounding feel I had through most of Divergent until I got to maybe the last third of the book. But I loved the pacing in this, even though some scenes felt very unnecessary. I liked being able to see more of the characters from other books in calmer settings, not just when they’re about to get killed. The theme of forgiveness that was strong in the first two books makes its return here in new but equally heartbreaking ways.

I did like hearing from both Tris and Four in this book. However, I didn’t like how similar their voices were. I’d often find myself reading and thinking that it was one of them, only to find out that the character I thought was speaking was somewhere else in the room. That made me backtrack a few times and tended to be annoying. I just wish that they’d had more unique voices.

If you haven’t read Allegiant yet, go and pick it up now! This is a quick read, despite its bulk, and I want to hear your thoughts on everything that happens!

5/5 stars

If you like this book, you might also like The Darkest Minds or Shatter Me.

Quarantine: The Saints by Lex Thomas

25 Jul

Quarantine: The Saints

Quarantine #2
Book 1: The Loners

author : lex thomas

pages : [hardcover] 400

favorite characters : will & violent

summary :

A cross between the Gone series and Lord of the Flies, Quarantine #2: The Saints continues this frenetically paced and scary young adult series that illustrates just how deadly high school can be.

Nothing was worse than being locked in—until they opened the door…
McKinley High has been a battle ground for eighteen months since a virus outbreak led to a military quarantine of the school. When the doors finally open, Will and Lucy will think their nightmare is finished. But they are gravely mistaken.

As a new group of teens enters the school and gains popularity, Will and Lucy join new gangs. An epic party on the quad full of real food and drinks, where kids hookup and actually interact with members of other gangs seemed to signal a new, easier existence. Soom after though, the world inside McKinley takes a startling turn for the worse, and Will and Lucy will have to fight harder than ever to survive.
The Saints brings readers back to the dark and deadly halls of McKinley High and the QUARANTINE series.

review:

I read the first book in this series a little over  a year and a half ago. I remember sitting there after I finished it, devastated by how long I would need to wait to get my hands on the next book. Quarantine: The Saints has similarly ruined me. There isn’t even a set release date for book three yet! The way that this one ended, I really don’t know how I’m going to be able to stand the wait. I love this series so much!

First of all, the characters in this series aren’t always loveable but they’re well-written. I never really liked Lucy, especially because of how she led on both David and Will and always seemed to be spending time feeling sorry for herself. And then this book happened. I’m not going to spoil anything specific but she turns into a real badass that made me like her so much more. Although I hate how everyone in the school has turned savage because of being trapped in there with each other, I think she really did need to grow up a little and learn how to handle things on her own. She isn’t the weak link anymore and she knows it.

Will. I’ve always liked him, even when he was stupid, which does tend to happen a lot for him. It’s genuinely scary reading about the horrible things that are happening to the kids in this school, all because they’re tearing each other apart. If they all got along and calmed down and split up the drops evenly, things might have been better for all of them, yet right from the start nobody even considered that and it turned to absolute mayhem. This is even worse for Will because he’s epileptic and now doesn’t have the medication to stop his seizures. He’s trying hard to be strong and brave when his own body could betray him at any moment.

Now that there’s a group of new characters to contend with, I didn’t really know what to think of them for about the first half of the book, though something about it didn’t sit right with me. They all kept to themselves and formed their own gang but until the reader is given an insight into their lifestyle and what their leader is really like, they’re mysterious. And then it gets ugly, really fast. Because Sam, the main antagonist in book one and the guy who ruled the school, isn’t the only guy to watch out for now.

I loved, loved, loved this book. I couldn’t put it down and didn’t want to! There are so many different elements to it and I can’t wait to see where it goes in book three because there are so many things that could happen!

5/5 stars

If you love this book, you might also like This is Not a Test or The Hunger Games

Blog Tour! Review: Primal by D.A. Serra

30 Jun

Primal

author : d. a. serra

pages : [ebook] 126

favorite characters : alison & jimmy

summary :

This thriller story, originally purchased by one of America’s most popular storytellers, James Cameron, is now a novel!

What if the worst happens and you’re not a policemen, or a soldier, or a spy with weapons training and an iron heart. What if you’re a schoolteacher – a mother? In this gritty crime thriller a family vacation takes a vicious turn when a fishing camp is invaded by four armed men. With nothing except her brains, her will, and the element of surprise on her side, Alison must kill or watch her family die. And then, things gets worse.

review :

I loved this book! I liked the initial setup where the reader gets to meet Alison and her family in, really, the calm before the storm. The text there is peppered with hints of what is to come, especially when the novel sometimes shows the perspective of a prison inmate who isn’t all that he originally seems to be. Suspense builds because we know that this little vacation they’ve planned won’t be all that they hoped it will be. And I never expected the turn the book would take even after the initial round of action and violence.

This book is definitely gripping. Although sometimes the wording of things threw me off because it was awkwardly put or there was an added exclamation point that made the tone feel off, that never really detracted from my overall attachment to the plot and characters. I really wanted to see what would happen to Alison, her family, and the other hostages on the island. The armed men were genuinely unpredictable, unlike some of the bad guys in books. They don’t need any kind of excuse to kill anyone they dislike or feel is unnecessary to them. They think killing is fun. In the beginning of the book, it’s even said that one of the guys once killed a person just for sneezing!

I’d highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a quick, gripping read focusing on a thrilling action-packed narrative. What I really enjoyed about this book, though, is that it didn’t rely purely on these moments to carry the rest of the book. In the suspenseful lulls we get to see more into the character dynamics and the little things there which might seem insignificant at first and then all come together to add more to the book.

4/5 stars

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

1 Jul

Shatter Me

Shatter Me #1

author : tahereh mafi

pages [hardcover] : 352

memorable quote : All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.

favorite characters : juliette & adam

summary :

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

review :

I loved this book. Serious, on the edge of my seat, couldn’t breath, wanted to know what was going to happen next love. The characters were wonderful, the writing spectacular, the plot both intriguing and interesting enough to keep me hooked. I read this book in a day; that’s how completely enamored I was with the wonderful (if completely decimated) world Tahereh Mafi constructed in Shatter Me.

The writing was purely beautiful. It was filled with imagery and imaginative comparisons and beautiful descriptions, all without being over the top. The way it was narrated let me know exactly what Juliette was thinking, how she was feeling, and more. I truly felt that I could understand everything about her. Her insecurities, her aversion to touching other people, her doubts that anyone could ever like her. Yet she’s still a strong, courageous woman who knows what she believes in and will fight for what is right. Even if those people have slighted her before. That’s how you can tell when someone is a truly good person.

The love interest in the story was similarly amazing! Though we don’t get to hear all of his thoughts, obviously, the narration provides enough information about him through his actions and dialogue to make him completely, irrevocably, loveable. Okay, he’s just plain awesome.

The ending! The ending! Oh, I need the sequel now! This might be my favorite book of the year so far. That’s how much I loved every twist and turn, every breathtaking sentence and heart-pounding action scene. I loved the suspense, romance, betrayal, heartbreak . . This is one I’ll be raving about for a really, really long time. As in forever. So, I’m going to have to recommend this to everyone. Go get it! Now!

5/5 stars (and beyond!)

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

16 Mar

The Princess Bride

Author: William Goldman

Pages [paperback]: 456

memorable quote:
Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.

favorite characters: inigo & fezzik

summary:

As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchmen, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this adventure, she’ll meet Vizzini-the criminal philosopher who’ll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik-the gentle giant; Inigo-the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen-the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup’s one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.

review:

I’ve wanted to read this book, badly, ever since I first randomly caught the movie on TV. I loved the humor of it, and the adventure, and the romance . . . And I’m happy to say that I loved the novel just as much. Maybe more, because there was much more to offer. The details, a writing style until any other I’ve come across before, the little quips the characters make . . . Is it possible to be in love with a book?

What always grabs me about any favorite book of mine is that it’s different from the norm. ‘Different’ can be an entire range of things, from out of this world characterization to insightful ideas to, what caught me in The Princess Bride, a unique narrative voice and a story that held both a satirical and fairy tale quality to it. I think anyone who can pull that off is pretty awesome.

This is a book that actually made me want to read the introduction. I know. Usually those are only included in things I need to read for school, are dull and droll and dry. Basically the last thing I need to do is make myself hate the story before it’s even begun. Completely different case here. I expected to read a page or two, get bored and skip to the actual story. Didn’t happen. It actually made me look forward to the story more, like the author a whole lot more, laugh at loud and make everyone around me think I was crazy . . .

Well. Not everything can be perfect.

This is a book where you can like the minor characters as much as, and more than, the major ones. In the beginning, I thought I wouldn’t like Buttercup at all because, well, she can be a real idiot. But she’s funny. And that makes all the difference. Once I got over her (about ten pages in) it was easy enough to accept everyone else. I particularly loved Inigo and Fezzick, their rhyming together, and generally amazing abilities to not die.

This is a book I’ll read again and again and again. And I really want to watch the movie right now. It’s been a while, but while I was reading I could see clearly which movie scenes fit in where and which lines had been put directly into the film. That was fantastic as well. To anyone who’s watched the movie, go read the book. Please. If you haven’t done either, do both. And if you’ve just read the book . . . Go watch the movie already.

A NEW FAVORITE. 5/5 stars

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

7 Jan

 

Warm Bodies

Author: Isaac Marion

Pages [paperback]: 239

memorable quote:
“I want to change my punctuation. I long for exclamation marks, but I’m drowning in ellipses.”

favorite characters:
R & Julie

summary:

R is a young man with an existential crisis—he is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. His ability to connect with the outside world is limited to a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing.

After experiencing a teenage boy’s memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim’s human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His choice to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.
Scary, funny, and surprisingly poignant, Warm Bodies explores what happens when the cold heart of a zombie is tempted by the warmth of human love.

review:

 Oh, my God.

So. Good.

I haven’t read many zombie books, and none set in an apocalyptic setting like this. Of course, I’ve wanted to read one, which resulting in me picking this up. I’m so so so incredibly glad that I did! It’s already one of my favorite books of all time!

R is such a great character. He’s a bit different from the zombies around him, as he’s more apt to listen to some old records and think deep thoughts than shuffle around aimlessly and wait around for things to happen to him. He knows that, even among the Dead, he’s an oddity. Which is saying a lot. I’d have never thought that reading a book from a zombie’s perspective could have been anything like this, but now I can’t imagine it any other way. That was really a big part of what makes Warm Bodies special.

I also like how the romance part of it-which is really being played up for the movie being released in August-isn’t a major part of it. Because that’d just make it creepy. Well, creepy in a way different than having masses of zombies going after the Living so they can eat them. Know what I mean? And I really want to see this movie-especially because Nicholas Hoult will be R!-but I’m afraid they’ll try and make it into a Twilight with zombies. Ew.

The writing was perfect for this! There was humor, horror, poignant quips, sprawling descriptions, and characterization that can’t be beat. Will I read more by Isaac Marion? Absolutely. Throw at it me now, because this guy definitely has talent. Even the characters who are easily detestable are clearly defined, with motives and back stories and three-dimensional lives.

Even if you don’t go for zombies, don’t think romance could work in here, are reluctant to read this-pick it up. You won’t regret it. It’s definitely a new take on zombies, one more hopeful and heart-wrenching than anything I’ve known so far.

KILLS ME TO SEE IT GO. 5/5 stars

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

2 Jan

Glow

Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan [also wrote: Zen and Xander Undone]

Sky Chasers #1

pages: [hardcover] 307

favorite characters: sarah & samantha

summary:

What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you’d been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth’s collapse, the ship’s crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader’s efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don’t know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them…

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he’s the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren’t all from the outside.

review:

This book  was so many things to me. Addictive, amazing, creepy, annoying. Sometimes I wanted to throw it all the wall, but only because I was so frustrated because I wanted to know what was going to happen next, haha. The book has several sections in it, each told from either Waverly or Kieran’s point of view, and they alternate. So if they leave you on a cliff-hanger for one section, you have a whole other person’s experience to get through before you can learn more. Frustrating. Yes. In a good way. Let’s move on.

The characters were a bit stale after a while, and I could see the little love triangle that was going on (despite the fact that the girls were separated pretty early on) but didn’t really like either of the guys. Which stinks for Waverly, because it’s not like there are many options for her. There are only so many boys on the ship near her age, and they’re the only humans up in space. Not like she can meet any new people.

Which leads me to the creepy side. Of course, I read Across the Universe and that has the same basic concept. Dead Earth. People sent into space. Last hope. Blah blah. But that didn’t induce the same mental claustrophobia this gave me-which may sound very worrisome, but I suppose it was a good thing?-and no one was getting stolen so other people could have babies. Ew. Ewwww. Creepy.

Anyway. The plot was well-played and interesting, keeping a bit of mystery, a lot of suspense, and tons of action in there. I always get worried that monotonous settings like this will get boring, but in this case, it worked out well. The conspiracies, the little twist at the end, it all added together to make a good read. I’ll definitely be reading the next book, though I’m doubtful about how much I’ll like it after this one.

OUT OF THIS WORLD. (Ha.) 5/5 stars

Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison

22 Dec

 

Every Which Way But Dead

Author: Kim Harrison

Pages [paperback]: 501

The Hollows #3
Book 1: Dead Witch Walking
Book 2: The Good, the Bad, and the Undead

Memorable Quote:
Join us next time for Days of the Undead when Rachel learns her long lost brother is really a crown prince from outer space.

Favorite Characters: Jenks & Ceri

Summary:

There’s no witch in Cincinnati tougher, sexier, or more screwed up than bounty hunter Rachel Morgan, who’s already put her love life and soul in dire jeopardy through her determined efforts to bring criminal night creatures to justice.

Between “runs,” she has her hands full fending off the attentions of her blood-drinking partner, keeping a deadly secret from her backup, and resisting a hot new vamp suitor.

Rachel must also take a stand in the war that’s raging in the city’s underworld, since she helped put away its former vampire kingpin–and made a deal with a powerful demon to do so that could cost her an eternity of pain, torment, and degradation.

And now her dark “master” is coming to collect his due.

Review:

I’ve quickly fallen in love with the Hollows series, and am already trying to get my hands on book four. Every Which Way But Dead picks up a few months after book two ended, with Rachel stuck as a demon’s familiar and a new, powerful threat in town ready to take over while Piscary’s in jail.

A few new characters were introduced in this book, both allies and enemies, and they were all as equally brilliant as the returning faces I was happy to see. And, a few people who mildly annoyed me from before had the good sense to stay out of the plot, making it even better. I finished the book in a few days, because each chapter flowed seamlessly into the next, and kept me rooting for Rachel and wanting to know where the plot would twist next. Because everything I didn’t expect seemed to happen.

I like it when a book can take me by surprise, still make sense, and really stick with me. Some books I read, the characters’ names slip out of my head as soon as I set it down. Not so for this series, and I don’t see it happening anytime soon. I don’t want to anticipate too much and disappoint myself, but I think I’ll definitely read these books through to the end. Which I hope is a long time coming.

SUPERNATURALLY THRILLING. 5/5 stars

Ashfall by Mike Mullin

18 Dec

Ashfall

Author: Mike Mullin

Pages [hardcover]: 466

Ashfall Book 1

Memorable Quote: Maybe we were ghosts of a sort, spirits from the world that had died when the volcano erupted.

Favorite Characters: Alex & Darla

Summary:

Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don’t know it’s there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.

Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.

Review:

I’ve heard a lot about this book, and so I was definitely excited to read it. I’ve also read that it’s a great book for boys-and while, that didn’t turn me away from it, I can definitely see why some who are struggling to find ‘guy’ young adult books would recommend this one. Filled with action, suspense, and a bit of romance, this day by day account of survival in the apocalyptic world left about the explosion of the volcano at Yellowstone is a book you’ll never want to put down.

It can get tiresome, reading a book with so many plot twists you barely have time to catch a breath. But I also love books like this for that very same reason; so addictive they keep me reading late into the night . . . And choosing to read over studying. Not knowing what was going to happen next, just like Alex didn’t know, really put me into the moment, and it was easy to relate to his reactions.

With his karate (okay . . . taekwondo) moves and survival skills, Alex was definitely a force to reckon with. Add in Darla-who can fend for herself and has no problem letting Alex know this-and there’s a pair of awesome main characters. Even if things are told from Alex’s  point of view, Darla’s character-as well as that of the various minor characters scattered throughout the book-easily shines through. I really think the author, Mike Mullin, has talent with this, and I can’t read to read more by him.

Including the sequel. Ashen Winter is set to release in 2012, and I’ll definitely be reading it to continue Alex’s story.

A CAPTIVATING STORY OF SURVIVAL. 5/5 stars

Scorpia Rising by Anthony Horowitz

15 Sep

Scorpia Rising

Author: Anthony Horowitz

Pages [hardcover]: 402

Book 9 of the Alex Rider series

Memorable Quote: A German philosopher once wrote that he who fights monsters must take care that he doesn’t become one himself.

Favorite Characters: Alex & Jack

Summary:

Scorpia has dogged Alex Rider for most of his life. They killed his parents, they did their best to con Alex into turning traitor, and they just keep coming back with more power. Now the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization is playing with fire in the world’s most combustible land: the Middle East. No one knows Scorpia like Alex. And no one knows how best to get to Alex like Scorpia. Until now.

The chases have never been more intense, the fights more treacherous, or the risks so perilous to mankind. And this time, Alex won’t get away.

Review:

I’ve loved the Alex Rider series even since I happened to randomly get the first book. Though it sat in a cardboard box, gathering dust, for far longer than I’d like to admit, I finally picked it up. That’s when, years ago, I became so obsessed with wanting to know what was going to happen with him next. And now, finally, it’s all coming to the end. Imagine my disappointment when I found out this would be the last Alex Rider book!

Alex is an awesome character, and in this novel I could really seen how he’s grown and developed over the course of the series-a little over a year in his life. He’s still a teenager, and that year would have brought enough change as it was, without adding his tendency to be assigned missions by MI6. Usually missions that involve life or death situations. And I love how he still retained his childishness throughout it, without becoming a mundane, boring, flat character.

The setting for this book was perfect. I could really picture everything that was going on, from the scenes filled with action to the more relaxing moments where the plot built. Placing the story in such a great place was definitely a great decision, and even though I’ve never been to Cairo or seen many pictures of it, the images were still in my mind.

Anthony Horowitz has the ability to create some of the best villains ever, and the main bad guy in Scorpia Rising was no different. He was evil, insane, and driven into Alex’s life. Even though he was easy to hate, I loved how he was portrayed and developed.

I loved Scorpia Rising and give it 5/5 stars. I’m sad to see this series go, but it was amazing while it lasted. This was a fantastic conclusion, and I couldn’t imagine it getting any better. I’m more than satisfied with how it all ended, though it did get quite sad. I really think everyone should give this series a chance, even if it’s not what you’re usually into! I never imagined I’d like a book about a teen spy, and this turned out to be one of the best series I’ve ever read.

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