Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Belle Can Read | The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Hello and welcome to my August installment of Someone Picks My Books. This series is where fellow book bloggers pick a book, any book, for me to read and review. This month, as you can see from the title, the book was picked by Belle Can Read. Thank you Belle for volunteering for this series and picking this months book!


One Sentence Review

A determined woman fights for her rights and the rights of her fellow women with a paranormal twist.


Book Description

Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout. –goodreads.com


What I Liked

First and foremost, I really enjoyed the time period that this book was set in. Not only did it led itself to an enjoyable story, but the author truly did it justice in the historical sense. The suffrage movement in the US was not something that was embraced, and the author really did a great job in portraying this. Showing family turning against family and so forth. In doing this, the novel truly feels historical and does not just have the setting, which sadly can happen with some historical fiction novels.

I really enjoyed the main character in this novel, Olivia is such a strong determined woman and grew throughout the novel. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a character is stuck and is not dynamic. Winters does not do this, their characters are dynamic and show development. Another character that I found interesting was Henry. The relationship with Henry, was done really well, but at first I did not like him. As I read and the more I saw from him, the more I liked him and felt like he was a good partner, key word PARTNER, for Olivia.

What I Didn’t Like

Her father is a jerk and you wont change me mind. But, this is not really something the author did wrong, actually did quite right. It is not often where I actively dislike a character. It might be because I keep reading Shakespeare this year and that fathers are all like this and I get so mad. But, it is the time and it is a historically accurate depiction.

Overall

Overall, I thought this was a really well done historical fiction. It did a great job of representing the struggle of women during the early stages of suffrage in the US. Also, the novel feels like it is consistently within this time period it is set. If you like strong and determined women and sometimes a paranormal twist to your historical fiction, I would suggest looking into this book for yourself because I think you just might like it!


Next month I am reading a book picked by the wonderful Heidi from the blog, This is My Book Shelf Blog. I recommend checking out her blog and other social media accounts!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Tay from Frayed Books | House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks My Books, this month I had the honor of Tay one of the duo running Frayed Books picking my book! You should check out her work as well as her co-blogger Missy, they are both wonderful! As you can see from the title Tay picked out House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas.


One Sentence Review

An action packed adventure that was inventive and somehow was also boring? kinda?


Book Description

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love. –goodreads.com


What I Liked

Sarah J. Maas, credit where credit is due, the world and lore created for this book and series down the line is wonderful. Even within the first chapter you can see the effort and time she put into crediting backstories, magic systems, and a society as a whole. Within this magical society you follow quite a few characters, the most appealing aspect being they are 20 year olds. Can I get a yay for some new adult? I personally love reading books that are new adult because I relate the most with it. I truly wish there were more and this book ticked that box for me.

Another bonus about the characters is the dynamics between them. I really thought the way the characters interacted with one another was portrayed for the most part well. There were even a few parts where I thought to myself, “yeah, I’v seen people do that before to each other” even though it is a fantasy novel.

What I Didn’t Like

Sadly, there were quite a few things I did not enjoy about the book. The first being even though there was a lot going on, I was bored at times while reading. The main reason I ended up giving it the rating I did was because the last section of the book turned it around for me.

Another aspect that stood out to me were the plot twists in this tome. The first one, I can honestly say made me mad. I kinda wanted to just put down the book at this point because I was so mad and reading is not meant to make someone this angry. I did continue though, but the twists weren’t much better. While the rest did not make me as mad they were quite predictable and I figured them out without much effort.

Overall

Overall, I thought this was an average alright read, it had its good and bad points to it. The biggest positive being the world and lore of this world by Maas, I feel like a lot of great stories could come out of it in the future, which is great because this is a series. The dynamics are great as well, even with the slow burn romance, I do hate insta-love so the slow burn was much appreciated. I feel like if you look into this book and you feel like you are going to like it, go for it, get it from the library.

3stars


Next month I am reading a book that was picked by Belle who has a great blog called Belle Can Read. She is very kind and you should all check her out!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Someone Picks My Books | Basement Bookcase | A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another one of my Someone Picks my Books post! This month Melinda over at Basement Bookcase has picked my read. This month I was given the task of reading A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, which you most likely got from the title of this post. Now, this is very far from what I normally read. It is the start of  series, it’s young adult, and it is fantasy. Now, I do enjoy high fantasy, but I am very finicky when it comes to this genre. Going into this book I was both excited, but worried to say the least.


Book Description

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive. –goodreads.com


What I Liked

First off I would like to say, I am surprised it has taken my this long to give this book a go. I have been blogging for years and this is well loved by many. I have thought that this book is based on a very interesting idea of there being multiple versions of the world, specifically London where some are filled with magic. That is one thing I will give V.E. Schwab a lot of credit for, this idea was thought up by someone with a very entertaining imagination.

The world building on this book was spot on and I felt like it really set the scene for the rest of the series. Not only did Schwab create various versions of London, they came up with a system for traveling between them. Everything they created was unique and intriguing. I kind of wish that there was even more of this because I enjoyed it so much.

Also, I will openly admit I am a sucker for magic being present in a book. If it is even hinted at in a blurb or description I am most likely going to pick it up. As with the world building, the magic is very unique and I loved the way it was used in this book.

What I Didn’t Like

The one thing that stood out to me was I did not care about the characters in the slightest. While reading I was just indifferent and along for the ride. I was more invested in the world created by Schwab than the various people. For me, this is a bit of a bummer because I read more so for the people than anything else. But, if you read for the world building, you will not be disappointed.

Overall

Overall, I felt that this book was average for me. Not amazing and not bad at all, it was just in the middle. I enjoyed the world, but I was not invested in the plot or the characters. I was just someone following along. Now, this could be because as I stated earlier I don’t read a lot of YA anymore and I am annoying specific when it comes to fantasy. I really did enjoy the world building in this novel and I feel like Schwab has a lot of talent when it comes to this. I will say I am happy that I gave it a try and finally read it. I always had the feeling of “Fear of Missing Out” when it came to this series, now that question has been answered. Thank you for picking my book Melinda!

3stars


Next month I am reading a book that is picked by Tay one of the duo running Frayed Books! I am really looking forward to her pick and to find out if I will like it or not.

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Evelyn Reads | Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another one of my Someone Picks my Books post! This month Evelyn over at evelynreads.com has picked my read. I was very excited when she picked this months pick because I have read other works by this author and really enjoyed it and I have seen many others have loved this book. I guess I should tell you that the book is Middlegame by Seanan McGuire. This is the first adult book I have read and the longest book I have read by this author so I am curious to see is her talent flows into this age group and length.


Book Description

Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.

Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.

Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.

Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.

Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained. – goodreads.com


Review

I decided that I am going write this post more like my traditional review format where I talk about what I liked and didn’t like and then my overall feelings.

What I Liked

As with other works by Seanan McGuire the worlds she creates is very imaginative, but this is imaginative in a very different way than the there works I have read by her. One of the standout things in this book for me is the mixture of alchemy and science. While  I have read quite a few books with these aspects in them, I have never seen them combined in such a way. It was refreshing and interesting, part of my wishes that I saw more of it.

Also, if you know me science fiction isn’t really my thing…like at all. I don’t know what it is, but I am unlikely to enjoy a book with science fictions details in it with a few rare exceptions of 11/22/63, Jacky, and a few others. I have to say that this book also makes that list for me. I think the reason that it does make it on that short list is because it has an old world feel to it, which I love. It is almost like a spooky gothic modern science fiction book? It is really hard to pinpoint what this book truly is because I feel like McGuire melds together so many things so seamlessly.

On top of everything I also mentioned I found it really interesting the “rules” of this world when it came to particular characters interacting as well as the “government”. I felt like a lot of these aspects were shown and not told to me, which was great. Sometimes books that have such “out there” things in them the author can come across as if they are showing an unknowing child something. McGuire just goes through the story and you don’t miss anything.

What I Didn’t Like

One of the things I did not fully like about this book was that in the start I felt like one section of interaction could have been cut and not a ton would have been lost. This is just a personal thing and I feel like a lot of people enjoy seeing these sections interactions. They are still written in a really enjoyable manner and I didn’t feel like I had to seriously push myself to oread them, but I did find myself going “again?”

Overall

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I am so happy that Evelyn picked this for my to read because honestly, while I enjoyed McGuire’s other works I am fairly certain I would not have picked it up. That is the beauty of this series. This was a very imaginative book with a very gothic/dark/old world feel to it that I was craving. On top of that it was well written had great characters.


Next month I am reading a book that is picked by Melinda at Basement Bookcase!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Meeghan Reads

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another one of my Someone Picks my Books post! This month I had the wonderful blogger Meeghan pick my book, you can find her over at meeghanreads.com. She writes some great stuff and she is very kind. For this month she picked The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I have read the first two books in The Raven Cycle series, but never anything outside of that so I was excited for it!


Book Description

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen. – goodreads.com


I will be 100% honest about this, I had no idea what to really expect when I jumped into this book. I mean I obviously read the description and I knew I would be reading about kids riding on water horses, which sound amazing by the way, and there would be a race. I also knew our main character was going to be a girl. I am not sure why, but I got hunger game vibes and for me personally that isn’t a good thing.

When I actually got to reading  I liked the writing style, but I have always enjoyed the style of Maggie Stiefvater. I read the first two books in The Raven Cycle and liked how lyrical and her sentences felt, they just had a good rhythm. This book also had that feeling of magic, if that makes sense? I will say, that this novel was written before The Raven Boys and you can tell. That is not to say the writing is bad in anyway, but you can see how much her writing improved.

One thing I really liked about this story was the fact that the love was not the main driving force of this book, but working together to make it through this dangerous race. Nothing felt forced or just there for the sake of the plot, which annoys me to no when when that happens. The plot overall was good, I enjoyed it from start to finish for the most part. There were times I just wanted to skip a few pages because got bored, but as soon as the thought entered my mind something would happen to pull me back in. I will say, I was slow though even with all the action. Which is a bit confusing for me.

Overall, I am glad read it and Meeghan picked it for me. It was enjoyable and it was nice to read something different from Maggie Stiefvater. Was it my favorite by her? No, I still prefer what I have read of The Raven Cycle. Take that as you may, I still enjoy her style.


Next month I am reading a book that is picked by Evelyn over at evelynreads.com. I am excited for her pick because I have read other books by this author and really enjoyed them, but I have also heard mixed this about the book. I don’t know if I am the only one who does this, but when there is a mixed reviewed book I am more excited to read it to see what side I will fall on.

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Misty’s Book Space

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another Someone Picks My Books post! I am really loving and enjoying this series so much and I am happy that you all seem to be enjoying it as well. This month I am reading a book that is picked by the wonderful Misty over at Misty’s Book Space. She is one of the nicest people I have talked to online, she is supportive and kind, and has a great taste in books. This month she picked Between Shades if Gray by Ruta Sepetys.


Book Description

Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life — until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father’s prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive? – Amazon.com


So, going into this book I was pretty certain I was going to like it for a few reasons. The first being, as I said earlier, Misty has a wonderful taste in books. So, I felt like I was in very good hands. The second being I love history and historical fiction. The third reason being I have heard a lot about Ruta Sepetys, all good things. I have always heard that she is a very talented writer and her work is well researched and quality. Quality when it comes to historical fiction is important to me since I studied it so when something is off it tends to ruin the entire book for me.

I just finished this book the day I am writing this and I wrote a quick review over on my Goodreads account, but I just wanted to elaborate on a few things in this post. First and foremost is that the author really lives up to the expectations that were set. You can clearly tell she has done her research due to the details that are present within her novel. I have read about this topic countless times and for her to add so much of the real world into this book, just made it is much more powerful and in my opinion a superior historical fiction novel. Her writing of this topic was wonderful and you can tell she was passionate and cares about the topic. I do not want to come out and say this is a beautiful book because the topic is just so heart breaking, but it is written so well.

As stated in the description this story follows a 15 year old girl named Lina who has fallen victim to the horrid campaign of Stalin during WW2 towards his own nation. This book depicts the horrible events that many faced who were educators, librarians, and anyone else who happened to have the wrong career. I don’t want to really say much about what happens in this novel and while I highly suggest this novel, it can be a very difficult read. I suggest doing a bit of research to see if it would be triggering for you to read.

As I said in my goodreads review, this book felt like I was listening to a first hand account of the things that happened because of the not well known actions of Stalin against his own people. Lina had such fight and spirit within her, but this book isn’t just about her. This book shows how a wide range of people responded to the events. It shows how they react and respond to not only the horrible treatment of them, but of others. It really shows the wide range personalities and mentality of human beings. This book is hard to explain and do justice because it is so much more than just a story, it is the story of hundreds and thousands of people. While this was a very heart breaking read, I really enjoyed it. I will certainly be reading another book by this author in the future.


Next month I am excited to say that I will be reading a book that was picked by Meeghan from Meeghan Reads. I am very excited to be reading her pick this April. It is a book written by an author I have read in the past and really enjoyed, but it is not a genre I have read in a while. So, I am excited to see how it goes, but I have high hopes!

Have you read this book? What is another book I should read by Ruta Sepetys?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Bookish in Bed

Someone Picks My Books.jpg

Hello and welcome to the second post in this year long series! I am excited to be discussing a book that Reg over at Bookish in Bed picked for me to read this month. I was excited to see she picked a book by an author that was new to me. For me, this is the whole part of this series, discovering new books and new writers. So, without further delay, on to Little Children by Tom Perratta!



Book Description

Tom Perrotta’s thirtyish parents of young children are a varied and surprising bunch. There’s Todd, the handsome stay-at-home dad dubbed “The Prom King” by the moms at the playground, and his wife, Kathy, a documentary filmmaker envious of the connection Todd has forged with their toddler son. And there’s Sarah, a lapsed feminist surprised to find she’s become a typical wife in a traditional marriage, and her husband, Richard, who is becoming more and more involved with an internet fantasy life than with his own wife and child.
And then there’s Mary Ann, who has life all figured out, down to a scheduled roll in the hay with her husband every Tuesday at nine P.M.
They all raise their kids in the kind of quiet suburb where nothing ever seems to happen – until one eventful summer, when a convicted child molester moves back to town, and two parents begin an affair that goes further than either of them could ever have imagined.
goodreads.com


Before I jump into this, I want to admit something, I was actually meant to read this book over a year ago and I never did because life got a bit overwhelming and it fell by the wayside. So, I was so excited to be given the opportunity to read it again.

So, now that I have finally finished this book, I can say that I generally enjoyed it. I think what stuck out to me the most about this book is that is a satire, but a sad one in my eyes.  The characters that are talked about had different plans for their lives or they are slipping away in a manner. It really is a look into society and people and kept my interest for sure, I read it in four days.

Another thing that stood out to me is how this book is set up, you can tell the author did a great job laying out this novel. The characters seems very tangible and very likely to be real people in your own community. The characters seem to be facing issues that aren’t so unlike what you might see yourself or others you know deal with. The character development as well as the plot and how they interact with one another is well done. I will say, this book will also have to questioning the morals of others and society as well.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. I feel like it is very out of my normal read for me. I don’t always enjoy books like this, but this novel did it well. I ended up giving it a solid three stars and I can see other people really enjoying it if the description interests you. I am really happy that Reg picked it for me, it was a nice change of pace in my reading this month.


Next month I am excited to be reading a book picked by Misty over at Misty’s Book Space.  I very excited to read and reviewing the book she picked for me, I really feel like I am going to love it!

Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it or do you think you would enjoy it?

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Hauls

Someone Picks My Books | Aunt Edition & Series Return!

Someone Picks My Books.jpg

Hello and welcome to a very exciting post. I am so happy to be bringing back a series I had on my blog over a year ago. Due to a lot of things going on in my life I needed to put it aside, but I am thrilled to be starting it again. This time around I am planning on doing this once a month, where the person picks a book for me and then I read it and review it all in one post.


Since I knew I wanted to restart this series, I decided to start it with a book my aunt has been trying to get my to read for the past few months, even today as of writing this I saw her and she asked if I had read it yet. The answer was no and she gave me a look that said “READ IT ALREADY YOU WILL LOVE IT”. Truth is, she knows my taste in books, ours are pretty similar so I should have read it already, but this gives me the kick in the butt I needed. Anyway, that book is Where the Crawdads Sing  by Delia Owens.


Book Description

“For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.” –goodreads.com


So, am I am writing this I just finished this book and I have to say I absolutely love it. This is actually my first 5 star read of 2020, which is super exciting. I am also going to take this time to apologies about the gush fest this post has now turned into.

First thing I really liked was the choice of time period. While it does have a wide range and is told by jumping back and forth, I think the time period was a great choice for a few reasons. The first being alluding to civil rights and Jim Crow laws. There were a few time in this book that I just teared up or flat out cried at. The second aspect being the hard topic of abuse. I feel like the author did a good job of handling such a hard topic. It didn’t shy away from it, it was a hard honest look at it. I really liked that the author didn’t just comment on one social issue, but a few.

On top of the commentary on the U.S. and relationships during this range of time, I really liked how much of nature was a center role of this novel. I love nature, I love just going on long walks in the woods and watching the animals so I connected just a bit with the main character. I can see why the marsh was so important to her. The book really made the marsh tangible, the writing was poetic and the world really came to life. I could easily picture the shacks and the surrounding area with little little delay. This was also true of the characters.

The characters created by Delia Owens were just wow. The complexity and the detail that went into many of the characters showed. It has been a long time since I have read a book where I have cared so deeply for so many of the characters. I want to name so many of my favorites, but I fear I might spoil something so I am going to resist.

While, I did love this book and give it 5 stars, like I said earlier there are tough topics within this book. This includes abuse (physical and sexual), of a few kinds attempted and fulfilled. As said by the description Kya is abandoned in the marsh and is by herself for so long, but this is not the only thing that is done to Kya. While she is a strong character and very bright, she goes through a lot, things one human being, let alone a child should go through.

Overall I felt that this was a beautiful and surprising read. I really recommend it anyone who would not have a trouble with the topics within this book. It is beautifully written and you just fall into the story and have a hard time climbing out. I am so happy that my aunt recommended me this book, I am going to be asking her for more in the future. I will also be reading more from this author.


I am so happy to be bringing this series back to my blog with a bit of an update. I am going to be reading, reviewing, and discussing a book recommended to me every month for the year. For February I have the wonderful Reg over at Bookish in Bed picking my book and I am truly excited about it.

Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it or do you think you would enjoy it?

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