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Discover the Destroyer – K.A. Applegate – Mini-Review

We jumped back into David’s perspective again in this installment in the Everworld series. While we were in the other’s POV’s I was having issues with David. I was falling into this way of seeing him as love struck and wannabe hero. I was having trouble remembering who he truly was.

This book reminded me who this character actually is. David is a kid who is desperate to get back control of his life. He has not felt like he is strong or worthy since his childhood. What happened to him as a child has broken him and he is starting to see the real damage done at that camp.

I find it really interesting how this storyline is being handled. While nothing is blatantly stated or shown you get a good idea of what happened to David. It’s even more interesting because as a teenager I never caught on to what happened. Or if I did it didn’t stay with me. 

Now this storyline I can see and I can understand the true impact it is having on David as a full character. He is very self aware. He is trying hard to not show the rest of his friends what happened to him. He can’t watch as his worst fears about himself are being proved true. We hear how he knows he is weak around Senna but not willing to walk away from her. This push and pull makes their relationship more than just a normal crush relationship.

I remembered this part of the main plot well too. This is the point where our group starts having a lasting impact on the world around them. They are introducing aspects of the real world to this new world. I did have a little trouble believing they could do all the work they needed to do in such a short amount of time. But Jalil is smart so I am letting that slide.

I know the next book is one that I struggled with when I first read the series. I remember it being about fighting and tactic heavy and less about the characters. I am interested to see how I feel about it now. 


November Wrap-Up

November was a super busy month for me. It was my birthday month and I turned 30! We had one of our biggest events at work, a Poetry SLAM for 350 of our kids. I also began finalizing all the paperwork for my house. And then it was Thanksgiving and NaNoWriMo.  Needless to say life was busy and thus I did not have much time to read or write blog posts.

I read 3 books this month, though technically I read 2 and finished 1. I am at 50 books for the year, which is 10 books over my goal which is great. I am hoping to get at least 3 more books read before the end of the year!

I also only was able to get 5 blog posts out this month. Now December is going to be pretty busy as well, with actually moving and getting what I need for the house so I wouldn’t expect my post schedule to go back to its normal rate until January. 

As for NaNoWriMo, I only got abbot 14,000 words written. Though I do love what I wrote. I am eager to continue with the story. I will go into more detail about NaNo in a future post.

Books I read:
The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy – Mackenzie Lee – This was a fun sequel to the last book. While the plot itself isn’t super exciting the characters are great. I would love more from this world.

Lethal White – Robert Galbraith – I really enjoyed the development of Strike and Robin’s characters in this book. The mystery was hard to follow at times but still enjoyable.

Discover the Destroyer – K.A. Applegate – This re-read is still going well. I am starting to see the true nature of David’s character. 

Blog Posts:
The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy – K.A. Applegate- Review
Down the TBR Hole #11
NaNoWriMo Update 
The Crimes of Grindelwald (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them #2) – Movie Review
Lethal White – Robert Galbraith – Review

Movies Watched:

Crimes of Gindelwald – I enjoyed this movie but I do see the issues with it. I liked all the backstory because I am a Harry Potter nerd. I do think though it isn’t a movie that those who don’t know much about Harry Potter. I am eager to see the other movies though and see how this whole story progresses.

Princess Switch  – I saw this on Netflix and I will say it was pretty cliche. It wasn’t anything super exciting or different. It was alright but not one I will rewatch anytime soon. 

How was your month? Which books did you read? Did you see any good movies? What are your favorite holiday movies?

 

Lethal White – Robert Galbraith – Review


Robin walks down the aisle and marries Matthew, but no one could call it a happy marriage. Strike is riding high after his last case that put him in the spotlight and finally gave him the chance to create a successful business. Though he isn’t exactly happy with his own personal life.

Billy, a mentally ill man, walks in and throws the pair of them into a mystery that wraps up an entire family. Affairs, unwanted children, possible murders and much more take theses two through a mystery that makes them not only question who is truthful in the case but in their own lives.


I don’t read this series for the mystery and detective elements. I read it for the personal stories of Strike and Robin. These two characters keep me coming back to these books. J.K. Rowling or Robert Gailbraith has a way of creating characters that are alive and familiar. We feel connected to them because they go through many of these same things we go through as readers.

The end of the last book was a bit of a cliffhanger. We wondered how Robin’s life would play out and what Strike would do. The prologue in this book answered those questions in a very realistic way. There is no dramatic runaway bride or abrupt change of heart. Instead the way things resolve is a slow burn. It plays out as I think it would in real life.

I thought it was interesting in this book how Strike and Matthew’s characters were played against each other. This what set the stage for the majority of the conflict in this book. When we met Matthew in the first book we thought him the perfect fit for Robin. He seemed loving and their story was fairytale-esque. Then, as happens when you truly get to know someone, we realized that he is not the perfect man for Robin. He is far from the right person.

Strike at first seemed gruff and uncaring. He was about himself and wanting to make his way in the world. He didn’t care about anyone really but we see again that first impressions don’t tell us anything about anyone.

Robin wants to be taken seriously, she doesn’t want to be told what to do and when to do it. She is afraid of being vulnerable. There is some great commentary about the way a woman can’t show her pain and anguish like a man because then she will be sidelined. 

While Matthew tries to push Robin into a safe space, which would change her whole world; Strike does the opposite. He acknowledges her issues, makes her confront them and yet lets her still do what she wants to do. He doesn’t force her to a desk, he let her continue working.

But he also makes sure she knows that she has to deal with her issues. He won’t let her ignore them. He shares his own struggles and makes sure she understands that he is on her side. He cares about her and wants her to heal but he also knows putting her in a box won’t do anything to help her.

I didn’t think I wanted Robin and Strike together after the other books but after this one I think they would work perfectly together. There is understanding and truth there that will make a good relationship. 

The mystery element and major plot of the book was as well done as the other books. I have mentioned it in previous reviews but the way the details are given is thorough. There is no sensational elements only there to make the pages turn. It gives what would happen in the timeline it would happen.



While I enjoy the details of the case, the length of the book was a bit much. I felt like the middle dragged. It is a hefty book and I think that some of the details of going back and forth and who was riding what train were not needed. We would have cut some of that and some of the retelling of the details in order to move the pace up a bit.

What I wished was different:
I had a little bit of trouble keeping all the characters straight in the story. There were a lot of names and different players. I think it was good for the mystery element, more people to suspect, but I found myself wondering who was who. 

I had to remind myself every time I picked up the book who was the main characters, who were the side ones and what plots mattered. I wished I had an easier time keeping everyone straight.

I gave this book three stars. I liked the mystery and I loved the development of the characters I just thought it a little too long. 

Down the TBR Hole #11

Life is a bit insane right now, so posts are going to be infrequent for a minute. I thought it was time for another trip through my TBR shelf. Should be interesting this time because my birthday is in a week, so I am going to be taking notes for my usual bookshop buying trip!

This was originally created by Lost in a Story and seems like a good way to go through some of my TBR on Goodreads and see what is there and what I can get rid of or push me to start reading. 
Links will be  on the titles for the books Goodreads page. (I am going to do ten for this round of this tag).

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 or 15 or 20, if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next time!

TBR Total – 247

Attrition of the Gods – P.G. Burns – Vague but still interesting. I like the idea of a force influencing all major things throughout time.
Decision:Keep

The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh – I have this book on my physical shelf. I want to read it because it sound interesting but I also am trying to not get into series at the moment. I am one of those people who has to finish a series once I start and I haven’t wanted to dedicate the time to a whole series yet.
Decision: Keep

The Achieved (The Archived #1) – Victoria Schwab – Another one I really want to read but again don’t have the time to get into a whole series but I do think I am going to read this one soon.
Decision: Keep

Broken Fate (Threads of the Moirae, #1) – Teenage Fates from mythology, I love the idea.
Decision: Keep

The Night Watch (Watch #1) – Sergei Lukyanenko – Sounds alright but generic, nothing is standing out as unique.
Decision: Remove


The King Must Die (Theseus #1) – Mary Renault – Sounds alright but hard to discern if it is supposed to be factual or fiction.
Decision: Remove

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops – Jen Campbell – This sounds fun.
Decision: Keep

Forget Tomorrow (Forget Tomorrow #1) – Pintip Dunn – Sounds like a YA version of Minority Report. I loved that movie so I am curious how this will be.
Decision: Keep

The Thirteenth Tale– Diane Setterfield  – I got this book at a bookshop. I will pick it up someday soon.
Decision: Keep

How They Met, and Other Stories – David Levithan – I really like his storytelling and I like the idea of a various types of love stories in this collection.
Decision: Keep

Keep: 8
Remove:2
Total TBR – 245

Didn’t do the greatest at removing this time but there are quite a few on this list I really want to get to soon.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy – Mackenzi Lee – Review

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Felicity wants nothing else in life other than to be a doctor; but she is a woman in a time that scoffs at the idea of educated women. She needs to find a way around the restrictions placed on her. She teams up  with a mysterious stranger, not knowing what Sim’s ulterior motives are. She meets an old friend and the three of them embark on a journey to save a secret and a legacy.

 

 

What I Loved_-4
In the first book, A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, I didn’t care much for Felicity. To me she was nothing more than just the big sister character. She was there to tell Monty when he was wrong and to foil his plans. To me she didn’t hold any real personality of her own.

This book changed my opinion of her all together. We learn that Felicity is a woman stuck in a time that is not for her. She wants to be a doctor. She wants to be independent but she lives in a time where she is told that she is supposed to get married, have kids and take care of her husband. I liked watching Felicity come to terms with who she was and the world she lived in.

She had a fighting spirit that she kept throughout the story. I found it interesting that throughout the story she wasn’t told right out that she was some hero or someone who was going to change the world. She learned that she had to find a way to balance all aspects of her life. It was okay for her to be who she was and she learned that throughout the story. She was able to see that she didn’t have to resign her life to fit what she is told she has to be.

I also liked the three female characters and how they balanced each other throughout this story. Sim was a tough woman, she wanted to be recognized and trusted. She was adventurous and she didn’t back down. But she was also soft as well. She had a softer side which she showed to Felicity.

Johanna was interesting because she was someone who enjoyed dressing up, she wanted to be married and go to parties but she also wanted to study nature and make a name for herself. She liked being taken care of but she also could take care of herself when necessary. I think she played against Felicity’s character well.

The two of them together showed that there is no one way to be a woman. You don’t have to be all girly and poised or defiant and tough. You can be a mix and that is okay. That commentary on not belittling other women for who they are was poignant and important.

What I was just okay with
I wasn’t thrilled with the end of this story. I felt a lot was leading up to a very epic end but we got a quick handful of pages. Things were taken care of quite quickly and easily. Our main villain was taken out pretty fast.

I understood why things ended as they did, and it made sense. I just wish there had been more. I felt like it ended and we got to that last point and were just like, “okay, that’s all.” I wanted a bit more to make me feel tense and feel like we truly accomplished something.
What I was just okay with
I read this book quite quickly. I didn’t get hung up on any details. I do think the main premise was a bit of a stretch. I kind of wished the creature they were after was easier to identify. I know it had to be something we have in our world today but I had trouble making a connection.

I think it would have made more of an impact if I knew what they were talking about. In that day and age it was common to mistake certain animals for mythical creatures. They gave these grand ideas and names to these creatures because they didn’t know better. I wanted to be able to say, “Oh, okay, I can see how they saw that as this.”
Four Star
I have this book four stars on Goodreads. I think if there had been a stronger end I would have given it a full five stars.

Copy of What I was just okay with

“I want to understand things. I want to answer every question ever posed me. I want to leave no room for anyone to doubt me.” (pg. 48)

“….it’s hard to be raised in a world where you’re taught to always believe what men say without doubting yourself at every step.” (pg. 69)

“But one can only spend so long booklets in the company of another human before one feels compelled to make conversation.” (pg. 210)

“You refused to let me – or anyone! – like books and silks. Outdoors and cosmetics. You stopped taking me seriously when I stopped being the kind of woman you thought I had to be to be considered intelligent and strong.” (pg. 246)

“So if you can’t win the game, you have to cheat.” (pg. 297)

What If It’s Us – Adam Silvera & Becky Albertalli – Review

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Ben and Arthur have a chance meeting in a post office. Arthur stumbles over his words, completely out of his element. Ben is just trying to mail his ex-boyfriend his things back. What is the universe trying to tell these two? Can you be destined for the one you run into for a moment? How can they make this work? Should it work?

 

 

What I Loved_-4
I had to get this book the moment I heard about it. I adore Adam Silvera. His books are among some of my favorites. He has a way of making you feel deeply for his characters. Normally his books are extremely emotional, while Becky Albertalli’s book are sweeter, cuter romances. I was very interested to see how these two could create one story.

I liked that you couldn’t tell this was written by two different people. Sometime when a book is coauthored you can hear the different writing voices. I have been able to tell before just by word choice and way the story flows. In this book everything flows right. It probably helps that each of them wrote one of the characters. Silvera wrote Ben and Albertalli wrote Arthur. They were each able to give the characters their own personalities while keeping the story as one complete and whole story.

I will say I liked Arthur better in this book. Arthur was just adorable. He was this guy who had no idea what he was doing. He kept describing himself as having “no chill,” and there could be no better way of saying it. He was always stumbling over himself and his words. He was a lost little puppy just trying to figure out this new world around him. I thought he was adorable. I loved the way he tried so hard.

I liked the theme of this story, that the universe had some part in the relationship of these two. They meet in a post office but don’t exchange numbers. They then have to go through an elaborate scheme to find each other. I am someone who constantly talks about how “the universe,” needs to do this or that. I liked that they equated parts of their relationship to being done for them.

As the story moves forward you realize it is the work done by them that makes this work.  For all their talk about the universe they do what needs to be done to make this whole thing work. I liked the way these two idea flowed into one another.

All of the references to Harry Potter, Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen were awesome. As a lover of all three of those I adored the shout outs and references. It was nice nod to those popular things.

I know that the end of this book is a diverse one. I will say that I adored the end. The end, to me, fits perfectly with this story. It is real. It makes sense for their age. It also fits perfectly with the theme of the universe having a controlling force in their lives. I don’t want to go into too much more detail but the end works well because of how real it felt.

What I was just okay with
I wasn’t as thrilled with Ben’s character as I was with Arthur. While he did end up growing on me at first he was a bit annoying. He seems a bit self centered and that was bothering me. You could tell that at first he didn’t quite want to be with Arthur. I felt like he was so hung up on his ex that he was being a jerk to Arthur.

I wanted him to just give Arthur a chance. I felt like he was acting like he was obligated to be with him, even though he searched for him. In the beginning I had a lot of trouble reading him and I didn’t like the way he talked with Arthur. In the end he did grow on me and I thought he was good for Arthur but it was that start that made me a bit unhappy with his attitude.

What I Wished was Different_
There was nothing in the book that threw me out of the story. It flowed well. The characters were good, Ben grew on me. The story made sense and I felt ended just as it should have ended.

Five Star
I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads because I loved the sweet story. It was just a nice story to read.

Copy of What I was just okay with
“We’re not old-school Catholics who live by the Bible and convientienly ignore all the verses that contradict the hate coming out of their mouths.” (pg. 67)

“You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.” (pg. 148)

“Except it’s not over, because Arthur and I have to carry this around.” (pg. 242)

“I don’t like that the same world that brought us together is also scaring him.’ (pg. 243). (This scene in the train is what ultimately changed my opinion of Ben).

“Maybe it’s all about people coming into your life for a little while and you take what they give you and use it on your next friendship and relationship.” (pg. 328)

“I don’t know if we’re a love story or a story about love.” (pg. 414)

The ABC Challenge (B)

I saw this challenge over on A Book. A Thought. I liked the idea of going through my shelves and thinking about some of the books that stick out in my mind. I have fun going through my shelves and picking out books. I found some that I want to reread soon.

Memorable Titles that Start with “B”

Beneath the Sugar SkySeanan McGuire – This was probably my favorite of this series so far. It was a fun, twisting story that I felt connected me best to the characters.

Blind Faith – Ben Eaton – I bought this when I was in London years ago. I remember it being about following a government without thinking for yourself. I need to read it again now and see how it relates to our time.

Because You Love to Hate MeVarious Authors- This was an interesting short story collection. It told stories from villain’s POV. Victoria Schwab has one about death that is just fantastic.

The Book ThiefMarkus Zusak – This is a classic and it is as good as the reviews have said. It heart-breaking but in the best way possible.

Books Starting with “B” on my TBR

What are your opinions on some of these books? Any that you love?

Realm of the Reaper (Everworld #4) – K.A. Applegate – Mini-Review

519Q8QTAMYL._SX276_BO1,204,203,200_I am going to do a mini-review for the rest of these books. I have looked at things like the writing and the plot progression in depth before and I think at this point there is nothing too new to say about any of it. I want to concentrate some of these reviews on the development of the characters. This is where this series excels and I am curious how I see their progression now. I don’t think I need to do a longer review with these anymore, because it will just get repetitive.

This is Jalil’s book. I was having trouble remembering what Jalil’s story was. I knew some of David’s, April’s and Christopher’s but I couldn’t for the life of me remember what Jalil was doing in the story.

I forgot that Jalil has OCD. We see it from the first pages. He is enslaved to his mind and he hates it. He can’t fight it and he doesn’t let anyone know what it does to him. In Everworld though he is free. Senna gave him that freedom which makes him appreciate her but also hate her.

I most curious about how his story grows. Jalil is very logical. He loves science and everything has to have an explanation. He is trapped in his own mind in the real world so he uses knowledge to control everything else around him. He is going to change, take on the idea that things are different in this world and that is okay.

I still like watching Jalil try to make sense of this new world he is in. He is slowly realizing that magic is real here. That science is not the same. I am want to see how he begins to rethink his two worlds. One he is trapped in a disease he can’t free himself from. In another world he is free of that disease but he has many more dangers to fight. I think he whole story is going to revolve around this fight and I am eager to see how it comes out.

This book also introduced Hel which is who I thought abbot when I was reading Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology book. I remembered she was in this book and I wanted to see how she compared. I really like how close these books are to the real stories and how Applegate makes them her own as well.

Four Star

Down the TBR Hole #10

I am close to a month since the last one of these. I am almost done with my current book but not sure when I will have time to get the review out. So I figured I would do another addition of this one in the meantime.

This was originally created by Lost in a Story .
It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 or 15 or 20, if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next time!

Dress Codes for Small Town – Courtney C. Stevens – A book exploring sexual fluidity while also questioning how to understand what you want despite the labels laid on you? Yes, please.
Decision: Keep

The Bookseller  – Cynthia Swanson – I love the idea of not knowing what reality is real.
Decision: Keep

Love is the Higher Law – David Levithan – I do love David Levithan’s books. This one seems super emotional so it will be one I have to be in the mood for, but I do want to get to it eventually.
Decision: Keep

Of Breakable Things – A. Lynden Rolland – I like the idea of choosing to stay in the spirit world instead of coming back to life.
Decision: Keep

The Lantern’s Ember – Colleen Houck – Love the idea of a deal with the devil and a defiant woman who won’t listen.
Decision: Keep


The Book of Lost Things – John Connolly – Whispering books. I am in.
Decision: Keep

If You Could Be Mine – Sara Farizan – Wow, this seems intense. Two women in love in a country that could end in their death if found out. A decision to change sexes to be together? I am extremely interested.
Decision:Keep

Nothing is Strange – Mike Russell – It seems alright but nothing really pulls me in.
Decision: Remove 

The Culling – Steven dos Santos – Sounds a lot like the Hunger Games
Decision: Remove 

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy – Nova Jacobs– A mystery that is kind of vague and generic sounding but there is also something pulling me in. I’ll leave it on for now.
Decision: Keep 

Keep – 8
Remove – 2

Didn’t do the best job clearing anything out this time but I was reminded of some books that I want to move up my list!

Book Tag: It’s Finally Fall

It is officially Fall, though the weather is having a terrible time making up its mind if it wants to actually feel like Fall or not. I do enjoy Fall.  I like the changing colors and the curling up in a big sweater and reading. What I don’t like is that it means Winter is on its way and I despise Winter. I hate being cold and I hate snow. But I will enjoy Fall while it lasts!

Thank you to Alyssa Grace over on Serendipitous Reads for tagging me to do this fun tag! Make sure to check out her awesome blog!

Apparently this stared on Booktube but Alyssa did hers as blog post and so will I since I also do not have Youtube channel.

1. In the fall, the air is crisp and clear – Name a book with a vivid setting

29939230For this one I am going to have to go with the multiple London’s from The Shades of Magic of Series by Victoria Schwab. The different versions of London are so unique and vivid. Red, White, Grey and Black London are places I could see in my mind’s eye without much effort.

Nature is beautiful…but also dying – Name a book that is beautifully written, but also deal s with heavy topics like loss or grief

9781616956776 More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

I adore that book, it so beautifully written. You are wrapped up in this world and these characters but it is absolutely heartbreaking. It deals so many heavy topics that you will definitely need to go watch a comedy afterwards to heal your heart.

Fall is back to school season – Share a non-fiction that taught you something new

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Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain
This book taught me exactly what it means to be an Introvert. I knew the term but didn’t understand what it truly meant. After reading this book I felt more confident in myself and became okay with being an Introvert.

In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with people we love – Name a fiction family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of

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This is simple, the trio from Harry Potter. While their lives are super dangerous I would love nothing more than to hang out with Harry, Ron and Hermione for just a day.

The colorful leaves are piling up on the ground – Show us a pile of fall-colored spines

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Fall is the perfect time for storytelling by the fireside – Share a book wherein somebody is telling a story

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We are the Ants – Shaun David Hutchinson
Our protagonist tells us the story of when he was given a chance to save the planet. We are taken on his journey to decide if life is really worth living and if it is, what makes it so.

The nights are getting darker – Share a dark, creepy read

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Heartshaped Box – Joe Hill

I don’t read creepy books often because I don’t like to be scared. This was quite creepy. More than once I had to put it down and find something else because I was scared.

The days are getting colder – Name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day

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Little Ellie Clause – James Manos
This is more a winter read but it is one of the most heartwarming books I have ever read. It is about an orphan girl who is adopted by Santa and the journey she goes on to save her birth parents and find her faith in life. It is just so sweet and one of my favorite holiday reads.

Fall returns every year – Name an old favorite that you’d like return to soon

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The Giver – Lois Lowry

This is one of my favorite books and I haven’t read it in a few years. It is just one of those books that always hits home and sits with me. It is also one that I see with different eyes as I get older and older. I just adore it.

Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights – Share your favorite cozy reading accessories

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A warm blanket, my couch and my kitty, all I need for a good reading night!
This was a fun way to dive into the Fall season. I am tagging anyone who wants a way to kick off Fall!

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