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Friday, August 27, 2010

Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein

Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein 4 of 5 stars.
To be released October 12, 2010.

One of the greatest mysteries of all time. . .
and a love triangle that spans two continents

Lady Catherine is one of Queen Elizabeth's favorite court maidens--until her forbidden romance with Sir Walter Ralegh is discovered. In a bitter twist of irony, the jealous queen banishes Cate to Ralegh's colony of Roanoke, in the New World. Ralegh pledges to come for Cate when he sails for the settlement with supplies, but as the months stretch out, Cate begins to doubt his promise and his love. Instead it is Manteo, a Croatoan Indian, whom the colonists--and Cate--increasingly turn to. Yet even as Cate's longings for England and Ralegh begin to fade and she discovers a new love in Manteo, Ralegh will finally set sail for the New World... (Book blurb)

When Catherine Archer's father dies and despair descends on the orphaned girl a surprising letter arrives from the queen, asking her to become one of her ladies in waiting.  Catherine is thrilled, but when she arrives at court she realizes how little she knows about what goes on within their walls. As courtly intrigue threatens to drown her the dashing Walter Ralegh--a favorite of the queen--may just be the one who pushes her head under water for good.

Catherine is banished to Virginia when the queen discovers Ralegh's affection for her, and Catherine couldn't be more thrilled. Entering a New World as Cate, she doesn't find the Eden she dreamed so often of. As the colonists are increasingly pushed to desperate circumstances it is the Indian ambassador Manteo who proves to be Cate's greatest ally.

Cate of the Lost Colony is a beautifully told story of the "lost colony" of Roanoke Island. The story doesn't rush through, but takes its time lingering on the facts that are recognized by historians and building upon them to create something totally unique. The most intriguing thing about Cate of the Lost Colony is the fact that its story is so possible, describing a possibility that has very little proof against it.

I greatly enjoyed this novel and hated to put it down. Lisa Klein did a wonderful job, obviously pouring a great deal of time, research, and thought into its pages. The pace is a bit slow and may not be the greatest book for those of you who like headlong action, but it is very interesting. If there was anything I would have changed about it, it would be not taking the time to pen in Walter Ralegh's point of view. These sections were often full of information that the reader was tempted to skip over.

The thing about this novel is, to me, it would look better on film. This would definitely be a good idea. For people who are good at conjuring a strong mental picture while reading will see why. The lack of interaction but growing affection between Manteo and Cate would have been much easier to spot in a movie then they are in a book. The same goes for the trials of the colonists. They just don't pack as much of a punch in the novel.

Overall, Cate of the Lost Colony was a wonderful read, but is mostly recommended to people specifically interested in the subject matter and time period.

A special thanks to BloomsburyUSA for sending me a copy to review!

To pre-order Cate of the Lost Colony from Amazon.com, please click here.


This blog is an Amazon Associates Affiliate when you buy an item from Amazon.com after following one of our links to the site, we gain a small commission. However, this does NOT effect our opinion of the books. Thank you.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill

Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill 5 of 5 stars.

What started out as girls' games became a witch hunt. Wicked Girls is a fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials told from the perspectives of three of the real young women living in Salem in 1692.

Ann Putnam Jr. plays the queen bee. When her father suggests that a spate of illnesses within the village is the result of witchcraft, Ann grasps her opportunity. She puts in motion a chain of events that will change the lives of the people around her forever.

Mercy Lewis, the beautiful servant in Ann's house, inspires adulation in some and envy in others. With a troubled past, she seizes her only chance at safety.

Margaret Walcott, Ann's cousin, is desperately in love and consumed with fiery jealousy. She is torn between staying loyal to her friends and pursuing the life she dreams of with her betrothed.

With new accusations mounting daily against the men and women of the community, the girls will have to decide: Is it too late to tell the truth? (Book blurb)

1692 is hardly an easy time for young women. Dealing with the hardships of growing up in a community where women mean very little and young women practically nothing, it shouldn't be a surprise that young girls would cling to any sense of purpose they could find, even if it sent others to their graves.

Wicked Girls tells the dark story of the first accusers of the Salem witch trials. Stephanie Hemphill seamlessly combines history with fiction to create very likely back stories for these girls. She brings into view the reason behind the girls' lies and affliction. We see a story of abuse and mistreatment unfold as the wickedness spreads throughout this small Puritan community.

One of the things I found most fascinating about this book was that it was not written simply in prose but in verse. I find it adds to the dramatic effect and also shapes things so that we understand what these girls are seeing and feeling, but we don't hear their thoughts literally. We know what drives them, but at the same time, we still don't fully understand them. It maintains mystery while still giving us a view into the girls' hearts.

The grief and regret that was felt at the end of the story was weighty and real, but it did not seem to extend to all the characters (particularly the younger ones). This, to me, helps to show that while some of these girls understood their actions and felt the guilt of what they had done, not all of them understood what implications their actions really had.

I have always been interested in the Salem trial, long before I found out my families history in them, and I think Stephanie Hemphill has done a marvelous job with this novel. Whether you are new to the trials, or have studied about them before I believe anyone could enjoy this book, either for the historical significance or for the beautiful writing.

For fans of: Sacrifice by Kathleen Benner Duble, Stephanie Hemphill

Many thanks to HarperTeen for sending me a copy to review!

To order Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill from Amazon.com, please click here.


This blog is an Amazon Associates Affiliate when you buy an item from Amazon.com after following one of our links to the site, we gain a small commission. However, this does NOT effect our opinion of the books. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater 5 of 5 stars.

the longing.

Once Grace and Sam have found each other, they know they must fight to stay together. For Sam, this means a reckoning with his werewolf past. For Grace it means facing a future that is less and less certain.

the loss.

Into their world comes a new wolf named Cole, whose past is full of hurt and danger. He is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of being human.

the linger.

For Grace, Sam, and Cole, it is a constant struggle between two forces--wolf and human--with love baring its two sides as well. It is harrowing and euphoric, freeing and entrapping, enticing and alarming. As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But will it be enough? (Book blurb)

Grace clings to her humanity while the wolf inside her grows rapidly, enticing her to let go of everything and enjoy the release being a wolf can bring. Sam tries to learn how to believe in the cure that is keeping him human and with the girl he loves, while stepping into the shoes of his father figure taking care of the wolves who will be turning into humans soon. Cole avoids coping with his past preferring the emptiness and impulsiveness of being a wold, but as he comes to realize what humanity and animalism really are, the monster in the mirror comes into view.

Linger like Shiver is about humanity, love, loss, and history. The characters all must deal with equally horrible pasts as they try their best to come to terms with who they are. It is a bittersweet story that defies the lines of most modern supernatural novels. It does not glorify paranormal creatures, but rather taps into human and animal psychs in a way that shows off the cruelty of "reality".

It goes without saying the Maggie Stiefvater's character are "likeable" or "realistic", they literally jump out of the page and slap you in the face. Stiefvater isn't afraid to shine a spotlight on the cruelty and hardship in life, and her characters reflect that. My favorite character in The Wolves of Mercy Falls series are most certainly Isabel. Isabel's strength and attitude make me want to cheer for her.

Overall, I think anyone would love Linger. The writing is lush and vivid while the story is full of everything a story needs. No sugar-coating but no hopelessness either. Its beautiful, romantic, and will break your heart into a million pieces. I can honestly raise my hand and say that YES, I DID CRY while reading this. I bawled actually, and to be honest, it takes a lot in a book to do that anymore. Don't read this without a box of Kleenex nearby!

For fans of: Maggie Stiefvater

To order Linger by Maggie Stiefvater from Amazon.com, please click here.


This blog is an Amazon Associates Affiliate when you buy an item from Amazon.com after following one of our links to the site, we gain a small commission. However, this does NOT effect our opinion of the books. Thank you.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller 5 of 5 stars.
To be released August 10,2010 by Razorbill.

What if love refused to die?

Haven Moore has always lived in the tiny town of Snope City, Tennessee. But for as long as she can remember, Haven has experienced visions of a past life as a girl named Constance, whose love for a boy called Ethan ended in a fiery tragedy.

One day, the sight of notorious playboy Iain Morrow on television brings Haven to her knees. Haven flees to New York City to find Iain and there, she is swept up in an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Is Iain her beloved Ethan? Or is he her murderer in a past life? Haven asks the members of the powerful and mysterious Ouroboros Society to help her unlock the mysteries of reincarnation and discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves, before all is lost and the cycle begins again. But what is the Ouroboros Society? And how can Haven know who to trust? (Book blurb)

Haven doesn't know what she's getting into when she takes off for New York City, leaving behind the narrow minded citizens of a small town in Tennessee to go in search of the man she may have been in love with in a past life. But as Haven is swept off her feet by the rich playboy she can't help but feel he is hiding something from her. As visions of a past life grow more intense, Haven begins to question the young Iain's love for her. His controlling and secretive behavior all the more confirm her suspicions.

But when members of a secret society of reincarnated people known as the Ouroboros Society come into play, things become even foggier than before. She doesn't know who to trust as people begin spinning lies around her that she has no way of deciphering. Haven realizes things are far worse than she could have ever expected when her amatour detective work brings her face to face with the devil. The Ouroboros Society has been controlling her life from the time she was a small child, but can they control her future?

The Eternal Ones is a twisting and turning mystery of a novel. From the very beginning Kirsten Miller is able to add an extra layer to the story, making even the obvious elements of the story ring with something unknown and dangerous. The plot is swiftly moving, and you can never quite see the end of it. The story surrounds a cycle of loves and lives that will literally give you the chills. From Constance and Ethan's love to the dangerous man hiding in the back ground, fueling all the hatred and evil in the world.

The characters are all beautifully detailed and mysterious. There wasn't a single one of them that didn't surprise me in the end. Sure, I had my theories about some of them, but for the most part, I was taken completely off guard by the roles each of them played in the end. Kirsten's narrative voice was precise and slightly unattached, but still managed to weld itself perfectly to the emotions of the main character Haven while not giving too much away about the other characters.

Overall, The Eternal Ones was a great read full of action, suspense, and romance. I would suggest this book to fans of mysteries as well as those who just enjoy a good love story.

For fans of: The Evil Within by Nancy Holder

To pre-order The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller from Amazon.com, please click here.

This blog is an Amazon Associates Affiliate when you buy an item from Amazon.com after following one of our links to the site, we gain a small commission. However, this does NOT effect our opinion of the books. Thank you.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Soundtrack Saturday! (2)

Soundtrack Saturday is a weekly meme hosted by Alita at Alita Reads.

For this week's Soundtrack Saturday, I have "Cowboy Casanova" by Carrie Underwood. From the moment I first heard this song it reminded me of Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries. Apparently, I'm not the only one who thought so. I found TONS of videos on youtube with clips from the show set to this song. This is one of my favorites. Enjoy!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Guest Post: Fellow Blogger, Misha

Today, I would like to introduce you to Misha from My Love Affair with Books, a new YA blogger from India. She has agreed to do a guest post so all of you can get to know her! Thanks, Misha!

I am Misha, 20 years old, from New Delhi, India. I have just joined the community of book bloggers.

I have loved stories since I was 6 years old. My parents were book lovers and they used to make up stories for me.I refused to eat, until I was told a story. It used to drive my nanny mad, I remember lol. When I couldn't read myself, my parents would read to me even though they were both working and busy . That is how my love for books developed. My first book was a book of fairy tales with beautiful pictures. I still have it with me, though it is in a bad condition since my sister tried to experiment with it when she was 3!

Being an introvert all my life, books were my favorite companions. As a child, I would not even go out to play. haha. Apart from reading books, I love collecting (to be more precise..hoarding!) books. I was glad to find I am not the only one who has no control when it comes to books.

I have been going through so many great book blogs these past few months. I already have been rating and reviewing books on my GoodReads account and I was greatly motivated to start my own blog. At first I was quite intimidated because there are so many amazing book bloggers out there. In the end I couldn't resist it any longer.

I started blogging mainly because I felt that no one around me shared my passion for books or for the kind of books I liked. I am capable of talking non-stop about anything related to books and my friends would tire of that. My blog is my platform for my ramblings about books.I would love to interact with others like me. I believe it will be a great learning experience.

Being a blogger in India has its disadvantages too. Most giveaways are not international, so it is disappointing sometimes. Also new books aren't available till months afterwards.Moreover publishers aren't willing to ship books, at least in print format. Despite these, I am enjoying blogging till now. It has been just about 4 days since I started my blog, but I am loving it.

Earlier I would only read literary fiction and historical fiction. It was because of reading blogs that my interests widened. Now I love YA fiction too. In fact for the past few weeks I have been only reading YA. I plan to post many YA reviews in the upcoming weeks. Other genres which I like are gothic mystery/romance, fantasy and magical realism.My list of favorite books is endless. But some of my favorites are Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant, House at Riverton by Kate Morton, Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray, Atonement by Ian McEwan, Oystercatchers by Susan Fletcher, Lord Of the Rings trilogy and all books by Joyce Carol Oates, Anne Tyler and Carol Goodman. Actually I could go on and on.

I will be posting reviews 2-3 times a week, at least I will try my best. Even if I am not able to post a detailed review, I will at least post a short review along with rating. I will also review books which readers request from my TBR pile (which is growing at an alarming rate due to my obsessive book buying , and will soon start to resemble the Leaning Tower Of Pisa).My sister, Maxine,who is 16 , will also be posting reviews from time to time. I was thinking of starting 2 new memes - "Treasured Tuesday" in which I will feature a favorite book that I "treasure" a lot and "Friday Fantasize" where I will post the books - released/unreleased- that I am wishing for..Further I would love to have guestposts (about anything related to books) and guest reviews (any genre).You can be a blogger/nonblogger, it doesn't matter, all you have to be is a book lover.

Apart from books, my interests are music, dancing, movies,web designing, feminism,pencil shading, randomly talking about nothing in particular, laughing at my own jokes and daydreaming 24/7.

I am currently pursuing MA(Psychology). I want to specialize in Organizational Behavior, which is a branch of Psychology. My career interest is in HRM(Human Resource Management). My biggest dream, however, is to have my own library, one day.

Thank you for giving me a chance.I look forward to sharing "My Love Affair With Books."



Thursday, August 5, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award!

Thanks so much to Misha at My Love Affair With Books for this awesome award!

Here is how the award works:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (In no particular order...)

4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

7 Things About Me

1. I am a homeschool student in South Georgia. The homeschool part is great, the South Georgia part... not so much. (It was 110 the other day!)

2. The two authors who really whetted my appetite for books are Laura Ingals Wilder and Gail Carson Levine. I went through a phase where I was completely obsessed with L.I.W. I have a every book by/about her you can possibly imagine. I even had my grandmother make me an old timey dress and bonnet and wore my hair in braids all the time!

3. I am currently writing my fourth book, though I've had writers' block for a while and am now in the mood to strangle at least three of the characters.

4. I love history. One of my favorite topics is the Crusades.

5. Kingdom of Heaven is my favorite movie.

6. I have three Jacob Black posters on my bedroom door and an Orlando Bloom collage on my closet door.

7. I love werewolves and typically don't like vampires. (Though I do read a good bit of vampire books lately.) Damon Salvatore being the exception to this rule. =P

I will be passing this award along to the following amazing blogger:

1. Le Vanity Victorienne
2. Alita Reads
3. Roof Beam Reader
4. Along for the Ride
5. Badass Bookie
6. Beyond Books
7. Book Sake
8. The Clock Monkey
9. Cry Havoc! Reviews
10. YA Bliss
11. Dreaming of Books
12. Elena's Book Cafe
13. Frenetic Reader
14. I Live in a Fictional World
15. The Juniper Breeze is Blowing in

Thanks again, Misha!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday!

This week I am waiting on Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein to be released by BloomsburyUSA on October 12. It looks like an absolutely amazing story and I'm dying to get my hands on it. The mystery of the Roanoke Colony is so baffling I would like to see how Lisa Klein would put the story together. And isn't the cover absolutely gorgeous??

Lady Catherine is one of Queen Elizabeth's favorite court maidens—until her forbidden romance with Sir Walter Ralegh is discovered. In a bitter twist of irony, the jealous queen banishes Cate to Ralegh's colony of Roanoke, in the New World. Ralegh pledges to come for Cate, but as the months stretch out, Cate begins to doubt his promise and his love. Instead it is Manteo, a Croatoan Indian, whom the colonists—and Cate—increasingly turn to. Yet just as Cate's longings for England and Ralegh fade and she discovers a new love in Manteo, Ralegh will finally set sail for the New World.

Seamlessly weaving together fact with fiction, Lisa Klein's newest historical drama is an engrossing tale of adventure and forbidden love—kindled by one of the most famous mysteries in American history: the fate of the settlers at Roanoke, who disappeared without a trace forty years before the Pilgrims would set foot in Plymouth. (Amazon.com Description)

To pre-order Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein from Amazon.com, please click here.


This blog is an Amazon Associates Affiliate when you buy an item from Amazon.com after following one of our links to the site, we gain a small commission. However, this does NOT effect our opinion of the books. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday's Adventure

For this week's Tuesday's Adventure, I have a video of the road on the way to one of Greg Mortenson's schools. For those of you who do not know who he is, Greg Mortenson is the author of Three Cups of Tea and the founder of the Central Asia Institute. He is a remarkable man with a truly inspirational story. Watching this video really made me realize how much of a miracle it was for him to build these schools in such a remote region. You can read my review of Three Cups of Tea by clicking here. Enjoy!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Love Sucks! by Melissa Francis

Love Sucks! by Melissa Francis 5 of 5 stars.

AJ Ashe may have gotten rid of her vampire stalker and her evil ex-teacher, but things are hardly back to normal. For one thing, she still has to maintain a strict look-but-don't-touch policy with Ryan, her hot ex-boyfriend-turned-stepbrother. For another, she has to learn to control her vampire superpowers--which means more than a few dates with Lex, mind-reading professional vampire trainer and too-sexy-for-his-own-good bad boy. And as if that's not enough, she happens to be the key to her father's plans to take over the world. . .and he'll stop at nothing to get what he wants.

All this and she's still got to plan the prom. Being a teenager is tough, but being a teenage vampire just flat out sucks.(Book blurb)

Love definitely sucks for AJ Ashe as her life as a teenage vampire grows increasingly more complicated. Her vampire mom is having a sorcerer's baby, a child that many believe will fulfill a prophecy that the bad guys are dreading. As if that's not enough, her ex-boyfriend is now her stepbrother. Unfortunately, that's not the only family trouble AJ's having at the moment. The oh-so-evil side of her family is plotting to kidnap her and kill her mother's unborn child.

When the bad guys find their way into AJ's own head, her family decides its time to bring in the experts. But boyfriend turned brother Ryan doesn't trust AJ's hot new vampire instructor. Tensions begin to rise in the family as AJ finds herself sitting on the very edge of paranormal apocalypse and the only thing that can pull her away from this ledge is total trust. But who can you trust when you're family's in danger, and you may be the only one capable of saving them?

Love Sucks! is a snarky and fast-paced book full of action, romance, and suspense.

When my power was out for 8 hours I sat in the car with a book light glued to my paperback copy, laughing my butt off and cheering for new favorite characters. I may not have read the first book, Bite Me!, but I can tell that Melissa Francis has been able to bring something new to the vampire world, which many of you know is a rare thing today.

Something else this author seems to have a talent for is balancing out characters. I can't tell you how tired I get of seeing people try to write from a first person point of view with an attitude and not be able to hold together a real emotional connection with the story. But Melissa Francis did what they couldn't, and I commend her for it.

For a vampire story this book has it everything and then some. What is so special about it to me is that it combines a bit of Celtic folklore and magic to create something more interesting than your average vampire love story. With a surprising ending and an interesting plot this story should definitely be able to hold the attention of any and all paranormal fantasy fans out there.

For fans of: Melissa Francis, Insatiable by Meg Cabot, Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

*A special thanks to HarperTeen for sending me a review copy!*

 To order Love Sucks! by Melissa Francis from Amazon.com please click here.


This blog is an Amazon Associates Affiliate when you buy an item from Amazon.com after following one of our links to the site, we gain a small commission. However, this does NOT effect our opinion of the books. Thank you.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Immortal by Gillian Shields

Immortal by Gillian Shields 5 of 5 stars.

Wyldcliffe Abbey School for Young Ladies, housed in a Gothic mansion on the bleak northern moors, is elite, expensive, and unwelcoming. When Evie Johnson is torn away from her home by the sea to become the newest scholarship student, she is more isolated than she could have dreamed. Strict teachers, snobbish students, and the oppressive atmosphere of Wyldcliffe leave Evie drowning in loneliness.

Evie's only lifeline is Sebastian, a rebellious, mocking, dangerously attractive young man she meets by chance. As Evie's feelings for Sebastian grow with each secret meeting, she starts to fear that he is hiding something about his past. And she is haunted by glimpses of a strange, ghostly girl—a girl who is so eerily like Evie, she could be a sister. Evie is slowly drawn into a tangled web of past and present that she cannot control. And as the extraordinary, elemental forces of Wyldcliffe rise up like the mighty sea, Evie is faced with an astounding truth about Sebastian, and her own incredible fate. (Goodreads Summary)

Evie Johnson is on her own. With her grandmother in the nursing home and her father in the army, a scholarship to one of the oldest and most elite boarding school in the country comes as more than a welcomed relief to her father. But Evie isn't so sure. From the moment she starts her journey to Wyldcliffe Abbey School, she knows something isn't right. Darkness and danger hover over the entire school like a dark cloud, but the Abbey isn't the only thing shrouded in mystery. There is also Sebastian, a beautiful and strange young man and the only thing keeping Evie's head above water.

But as things continue to get stranger at the school with its lingering Gothic influences, Evie begins to realize its not just Sebastian she does not understand, it is herself. As ghosts and foreboding tidings seem to seep from the very blood stained walls of the Abbey, Evie realizes she's in a fight for her life. One where she can trust no one and nothing until this horrible evil can be at once laid to rest. Can Evie push her emotions for Sebastian away long enough to see behind the curtain to her true self and his?

Immortal is a stunning modern Gothic thriller with rock solid characters and a beautifully toned narrator. Gillian Shields's writing was so addictive I could barely put the novel down. The distinction between Evie and Agnes's voices in the book was what really held things together for me and managed to separate the modern from the Gothic while melding them together at the same time. With two characters so alike it takes a great deal of talent to make them both stand on their on as well as Gillian Shields was able to.

I'm thankful that she didn't make Sebastian into the cookie cutter type of guy many novels of this type seem to dish out. He was complicated and unpredictable until the very end, and I like that. There's nothing worse than being able to predict the outcome of a story. It may make you feel smart for a while, but it is very unsatisfying.

Overall, the plot and tone of Immortal is gorgeous and powerful, full of all the right undertones and highlights a book of this genre needs. Its a novel that fits in perfectly with the popular books of today but also goes far beyond that in the sense of timelessness that it brings. Anyone with a thirst for a good fantasy will love this. It may not be the ideal light summer read, but for those of you like me who enjoy your books heavy and intense, you will love this one.

For fans of: The Evil Within by Nancy Holder

To order Immortal Gillian Shields from Amazon.com please click here.

Immortal is available to read free online for a limited time thanks to HarperTeen. Click here to view the ebook.


This blog is an Amazon Associates Affiliate when you buy an item from Amazon.com after following one of our links to the site, we gain a small commission. However, this does NOT effect our opinion of the books. Thank you.

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