Sunday, 27 May 2012

Stacking the shelves #1

Carnival, Paris (Woman reading behind stage)

Stacking the shelves is a weekly meme hosted over at Tynga's reviews.  This meme allows us bloggers to tell you all about the books we have added to your shelves over the past seven days whether they be physical or virtual. This means we include books you can buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! We love sharing our books with you each week but more then that we loving seeing what books you get each week!! All links will take you to goodreads.


Bungle's shelves

The first book I got this week was from the awesome Phil at Hodder, Between the Lines by Jodie Picoult & her daughter Samantha Van Leer. I already have a copy of this book so Phil has asked to to use this copy for a giveaway :) The second book I got this week was the paperback edition of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone!! I love this book & I'm very excited for book 2!! And the last book I got this week was Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton. I picked up this book because I was invited to the launch of Keris' third book in Manchester in a few weeks time (after being nosey on twitter) but I haven't read any of her books yet and I'm hearing great things about them!!

 Sally's shelves

Well, for me this has been another really exciting two weeks where I got hold of yet another of my most anticipated books of 2012.  Yep, it was this week that I finally got my hands on City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare.  And was it worth the wait - yes it so was!! I'll be putting a full review up on the site in the near future.  I also got hold of copies of Awake at Dawn and Taken at Dusk by CC Hunter.  I'd had born at midnight on my shelf for ages and finally got around to reading it - if only I hadn't waited so long - I loved it.  The upside of waiting however is that I only have to wait until October for book 4, Whispers at Moonrise.Last but by no means least, continuing my love for all things dystopian I also bought a copy of Legend by Marie Lu.  I devoured it over the weekend and can't wait to find out where Lu takes these characters next!  The last book I received was Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.  I've been meaning to get my hands on this book for a long time and I think this is the one I'll be taking into the garden this afternoon.  Can't wait!

But that's enough of me ranting on - we'd love to hear what you got this week!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Review ~ Insurgent ~ Veronica Roth

Title: Insurgent
Author: Veronica Roth
Published:  May 1st 2012
By: Harper Collins
First line: I wake with his name in my mouth.
Last line:  Then the shouting begins.
Fave line: “That’s why you like me!” I exclaim. “Because you’re not very nice either! It makes so much more sense now.”
OK, so Insurgent was one of my most anticipated books of 2012.  I loved everything about the world that Veronica Roth created in Divergent.  The rationale behind the plot was flawless, the characters easy to love and/or detest (delete as appropriate) and the flow of the story just kept me hooked from start to finish.  My expectations for this sequel were therefore spectacularly high and to be honest I kind of thought I was setting myself up for a fall just a little bit.  I re-read Divergent before Insurgent arrived and I am glad I did.  I was surprised at how many of the smaller details had wiped themselves off the surface of my brain between then and now.  As a final show of geekiness I, along with a friend, took the day off of work to just read.  The end result? Veronica Roth took my expectations and blew them out of the water completely.
Insurgent begins where Divergent ends, that is, as those who have survived the simulation are heading for Amity. The flow between the two books is absolutely seamless.  Where the huge step change takes place is within the characters themselves, most notably with Tris.   Tris is not only grieving for those that she has loved and lost, she is also grieving and guilt-ridden for those that she herself has killed. For Tobias (Four) it is the arrival of his father that has left him balancing precariously on the edge.   Both however do still have the same goal and that is to find some kind of resolution for the political crisis that threatens the safety of all the factions.   For a good section of the book we travel from faction to faction as well as to the factionless as Tris and Four and their companions try to find a way out of their current situation. I enjoyed reading more about the individual factions, especially those that seem to be the ‘gentler’ of the factions at surface level. It’s strange how behaviour which might have seemed normal or appropriate in some factions seemed all the more sinister when carried out with a smile or in the name of truth.  Even in the humour which exists through the plot there is an element of darkness to it.
There are plenty of twists and turns throughout Insurgent, many of which I just did not see coming at all.  There are some wonderful new characters but we also see the return of some old favourites and it is sometimes the case that individuals we think we know are not always what they seem.  It was interesting to see how the changes in society affects everyone’s perceptions of the factions they have chosen as well as forcing them to re-evaluate their friends and family, sometimes for the better sometimes for the worse.  The relationship between Tris and Four doesn’t so much progress as stumble through this book.  Both are lacking in honesty at times, communication seems to be at an all time low and there are times when you wonder if their relationship is strong enough to cope with what lies ahead of them. That said, through the course of the book there are some really beautiful moments between them, some humorous, some just downright sweet and it is these moments that bring a much needed lighter edge to the story.
For all that I love Tris in this book as much as I did in Divergent.  Her experiences have in some ways made her weaker but it is her acknowledgement of those weaknesses that somehow make her stronger in the end. Her behaviour at times is self-destructive and irrational but underneath it all she is as principled as she ever was, so much so that she is prepared to betray those she loves most for the greater good. YA needs more characters like her. As for Four, he is the complex mix of emotions that he ever was. He is as determined as Tris, at times more vulnerable than he ever was and even though he sometimes gets it as wrong as Tris does he is as loyal to her and to his beliefs as he ever was.  It’s just a shame that the two don’t always go hand in hand.
The ending of Insurgent bought about an amazing twist in the plot which creates all kinds of possibilities for book three and whilst it ends on a cliff-hanger there is also a certain amount of closure within this story itself.  Of course that’s not to say that I won’t have chewed my nails down to my knuckles by the time the last part of the trilogy is released.  I’m not sure I can actually wait another year!
N.B – for those of you that can’t wait to read Insurgent but feel the need to catch up on what has happened so far, Veronica Roth has put together this little guide to remembering stuff that you might find handy:
Rating: 5/5.  Insurgent was everything I expected it to be and more!  Loved it, loved it, loved it!!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Letterbox Love 2 & 3

Letterbox Love is a new weekly feature to be hosted by Narratively Speaking. This feature allows us bloggers to show off the books and book related things we get each week.

We love sharing what we get each week but more than that we love looking at what you received during the week!

This week we are going to look at what I got. Helen has been more than busy over the last few weeks with her move to London! I will miss her lots but we all have to move on with our lives and I think she will do great down in London!! This week Sally has been very busy not only with work but her friend is soon to be married and there have been many pre-wedding rituals including a hen night So I shan't bother Sally about books this weekend! I hope you are feeling OK Sal ;)

OK, so on to the real reason you are here, the books I have gotten over the last two. I was very good the first week and just went with a few free ebooks which were Glimpse by Stacey Wallace Benefiel and Frey by Melissa Wright.

Glimpse (Zellie Wells, #1)   Frey (The Frey Saga, #1)

This past week I was not so good and I bought a few books!! In my defence though they were 3 4 2 :)
The first book this week is Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman, I've heard so much about this book over the years and I just had to pick it up. I've also been hearing a lot about The Book of Blood & Shadow by Robin Wasserman and had my eye on it for a while, I love the cover. And my third book this week is The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. I've heard very mixed things about this one and I sure I read that Cait over at The Cait Files really enjoyed this one so I knew I had to give it a read.

Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1)  The Book of Blood and Shadow  The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)

So that's what I got over the last 2 weeks, off to look at what everyone else got :)
Happy reading.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

On My Wishlist #25 ~ Bungle's Pick

Originally created by the Book Chic City, On My Wishlist is a weekly meme now hosted by Cosy up Book Reviews. It's a cute little meme which allows us to showcase what books we want to get our hands on weather they be old, new or yet to be published.

There's a little part of me that often thinks I possible couldn't keep adding books to my wishlist but then something always catches my eye! It maybe another book in a series or something by a new author, a pretty cover often helps. I don't think I'll ever stop adding books to my wishlist or to my bookshelves for that matter. So that said here's what I have chosen for this weeks On My Wishlist:~

Bitter Blood (The Morganville Vampires, #13)

Title: Bitter Blood
Author: Rachel Caine
Published: November 2012

I'm not going to add the synopsis for this book because it will contain spoilers for those of you who haven't read the series yet but want to. So instead what I will say is I got to meet Rachel Caine on Thursday and she was pretty awesome!! She signed all of the books I took and I just hope she will be back once book 15 is out so I can get the last four signed!!

If you haven't already read this series I would ask why not!? It's a brill little series and there is always so much going on. The characters are fantastic, I think Eve has to be my favourite!

So that is my pick this week, what are you wishing for?

Monday, 14 May 2012

Bloggers, We Need YOU!

Bloggers, Midnight Reads needs you! Ok, that may sound a little dramatic? Actually, we like it and we do need you!

We recently updated our About Us page which you can see here. We hope our questions and answers lets you know a little more about us and we thought it would be a fun way to introduce ourselves. What we want to do now is ask other bloggers the same questions so we can get to know you a little better. If you would like to do a blogger interview all you need to do is copy the questions below and send us your answers in an email to


What is your favourite book?

Who is your favourite author?

Why do you like reading?

If you wrote a YA novel what would it be about?

If a book was written about your life what would it be called?

You may not believe it but...............

So just answer the questions, it's as simple as that! What we would little to do is make your questions and answers a feature for June, so please send your answers to us as soon as you can :) If you would like to include and pictures that are relevant to your answers or a picture of yourself please inclued them in your email. We welcome bloggers old and new & we look forward to reading your answers!

Dreams ~ The Sarah Midnight Trilogy blog tour stops at Midnight Reads!

With only three days left until the release of Dreams , the first in The Sarah Midnight Trilogy, author Daniela Sacerdoti has popped by as part of her blog tour to give us a little information about the main characters that appear in the book.  When I wrote my review I already had a favourite but now in hindsight, I think I may be changing my mind...I may need to read it again!!
You can find a link to the review here. You can also get an exclusive look at the first chapter of Dreams here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
In the meantime, here's a bit of background on the main characters...

Name: Sarah     
Looks:  Long black hair, green eyes, petite.         
Personality:  Shy, quiet, a bit on the grumpy side. She likes being alone, mostly. Her greatest passion is music – she plays the cello beautifully. She has OCD and loves cooking.     
Power:  Blackwater, Dreams, Midnight Gaze.     
Star Sign/Birthday/Age : Libra, 23rd Oct, 17yrs old.           
Background:  Sarah is the Heir of the Midnights, a Scottish Secret Family. Her parents have been killed in mysterious circumstances. 
Most likely to say…“Leave me alone!”

Name: Sean
Looks:  Tall, blond, very light blue eyes. Scars on his arms, a dimple on his left cheek.      
Personality : Bossy! Withdrawn, can be possessive and a bit arrogant…but charming with it.        
Power:  Gamekeeper skills: rune-tracing, sending people to sleep, invisibility.   
Star Sign/Birthday/Age:  Scorpio, 10th Nov, 24 yrs old    
Background:  Sean has been brought up by his grandparents, in New Zealand. His parents died when he was very young.               
Most likely to say… “I’m in charge, here.”

Name: Mike      
Looks:  African-American,  black eyes and short black hair. Very tall.        
Personality:  Kind, loyal, steadfast, funny.           
Power:  Hacker, skilled shooter.               
Star Sign/Birthday/Age:  Cancer, 13th July, 24 yrs old.     
Background: Mike was born in Louisiana. He became a Gamekeeper after meeting Harry Midnight.
Most likely to say… “Shut up, Niall.”

Name: Niall       
Looks:  Short, red longish hair and blue eyes. Niall has a warm, beautiful voice.  
Personality:  He has an eye of the ladies, he loves drinking and partying, and he can play every instrument he gets his hands on.        
Power:  Power of Song, and…another one I can’t yet reveal!      
Star Sign/Birthday/Age:  Taurus, 7th May, 17 yrs old.      
Background: Niall comes from the small village of Skerry, in Donegal (Ireland). He’s the Heir of the Flynn family. He has two wee sisters, Cara and Bridin.      
Most likely to say… “Whisky, anyone?”

Name: Elodie   
Looks:  Blonde, with long straight hair, slight, deceptively delicate. Fine-featured and a lovely French accent.
Personality:  She used to be happy. Now she’s nearly always melancholic. She’s obsessed with honouring Harry’s legacy.               
Power:  Elodie sees the future in glass and water.  She’s a Dreamer, and she has another power too…but you’ve got to read Dreams until the end!        
Star Sign/Birthday/Age:  Virgo 16th  Sept, 20 yrs old.       
Background: Elodie is the only Heir of the Brun family.   
Most likely to say…Silence

Name: Leaf        
Looks: Black hair, black eyes, white skin, dressed in black. Creepy, but so handsome    
Personality:  Sweet…maybe a bit too sweet. He has a cruel streak. Quite unreadable…  
Power:  Leaf controls the Elementals, the Spirits of Air, Fire, Water and Earth. He can summon blue flames to burn.        
Star Sign/Birthday/Age: ?            
Background: ?  
Most likely to say… “Don’t you just love those little sharp beaks…”

Saturday, 12 May 2012

On My Wishlist #24 ~ Sally's Pick

Originally created by the Book Chic City, On My Wishlist is a weekly meme now hosted by Cosy up Book Reviews. It's a cute little meme which allows us to showcase what books we want to get our hands on weather they be old, new or yet to be published.

This week we will be looking at Sally's pick to see what she is wishing for. Next week we will look at one of Bungle's picks.

I completely fell in love with Anna Dressed in Blood. While it fits perfectly into the YA genre it had the feel of a good old fashioned ghost story about it.  At the time I wasn't aware that there was going to be a sequel as I thought the ending had been wrapped up so tightly and I was kind of disapointed.  Imagine my joy then when I found out that there was going to be a sequel!  Girl of Nightmares is due to be released on August 7th which means it'll be coming with me on holiday. I can't wait to be lying on a sunbed, G&T in one hand and Girl of Nightmares in the other!

Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)
Girl of Nightmares

Title: Girl of Nightmares
Author: Kendare Blake
Published: August 2012
By: Tor Teen

In this follow-up to Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas begins seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep, and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong. These aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favour.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Review~ Ugly to Start with by John Cummings

Title: Ugly to start with
Author: John Michael Cummings
Published: October 1st 2011
By: West Virginia University Press
Review request

Good reads says:~
Jason Stevens is growing up in picturesque, historic Harpers Ferry, West Virginia in the 1970s. Back when the roads are smaller, the cars slower, the people more colorful, and Washington, D.C. is way across the mountains—a winding sixty-five miles away.
Jason dreams of going to art school in the city, but he must first survive his teenage years. He witnesses a street artist from Italy charm his mother from the backseat of the family car. He stands up to an abusive husband—and then feels sorry for the jerk. He puts up with his father’s hard-skulled backwoods ways, his grandfather’s showy younger wife, and the fist-throwing schoolmates and eccentric mountain characters that make up Harpers Ferry—all topped off by a basement art project with a girl from the poor side of town. Ugly to Start With punctuates the exuberant highs, bewildering midpoints, and painful lows of growing up, and affirms that adolescent dreams and desires are often fulfilled in surprising ways.

*This book contains strong sexual content, some explicit language and mild references to racism.

This book is completely different from the usual YA fiction I have read, for one I have never had to put up a content warning on a review before, however I hope this will not deter you from reading this book, I would advise that maybe this collection of short stories is aimed at the older end of the YA readership.
Ugly to start with is a novel moulded from a collection of short stories revolving around the life of Jason Stevens, set in the historic town of Harpers Ferry situated in West Virginia. The stories are episodes in Jason’s childhood which we can only presume will shape his adult life.

The layout of this book is unusual; the short stories are connected however each one is a new episode in Jason’s life that does not follow on from the previous story. We are quite literally thrown into each new story not knowing how he got there, and why it is important. The reader is quite often left asking questions, then immediately being thrown into a new scenario with a new set of questions that need answering. I think to truly understand the significance of each story you need to stick with this book, and after finishing you realise that Cummings has created a patchwork, which when the reader steps back and views starts to make sense.

We are being given little snippets of Jason’s childhood, events which will surely shape him as an adult.
I wasn’t quite sure whether I liked Jason as a character, there were moments when I really warmed to him and others when I wanted to give him a clip round the ear. But then I realised that nobody’s perfect, and so often in YA fiction we are faced with one dimensional characters who are shoved into stereotypical roles! Jason is no ordinary character he is laid bare in these stories, we see every aspect of his personality, he is not perfect, but who is? If you were a character in a story would the reader think you were perfect? Would they like you at every stage of your story? I know they wouldn’t like me! I snap at people sometimes when I shouldn’t, take a joke too far! I found this approach quite refreshing.

The first few stories in the book centre around Jason’s family, Cummings focuses mainly on Jason’s relationship with his Father, which is abusive to say the least. Jason’s Father is everything a Father shouldn’t be, self-obsessed! Selfish! He is also not comfortable with the fact that Jason is struggling to discover his sexuality. Jason’s relationship with his mother is quite different; she supports his artistic side and stands up for him in front of his Father. In the book we hear constant references from different minor characters that Jason has become soft because of the way his mother has smothered him with love, they blame her for his suspected homosexuality.

Cummings explores Jason’s sexuality in great depths in this book, he struggles to decide whether he is straight or gay, and to be honest  I came to the conclusion that he lay somewhere in the middle. There is a story in the book that I found quite difficult to read which involves a sexual encounter between Jason and a much older man, Cummings description of the encounter is blunt and graphic, as much as I felt uncomfortable reading this story I felt I needed to keep reading for Jason’s sake, I wanted to see whether he would be ok, and how this would affect him.

3/5 stars because this book is an interesting read; it explores different avenues which I have never wandered down before in YA fiction. Cummings has written a powerful, colour filled book, if you have been searching for something different I urge you to follow me down this path.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Review~Silver and Stone by J.D. Thompson

Silver and Stone (Bloodlines, #1)
3 stars

Title: Silver and Stone
Author: J.D. Thompson
Published: August 2011
Review request

Goodreads says:
Welcome to high school high society hell, where last season’s slingbacks can warrant a lunch table demotion, the wrong date will knock you off the it-list and behind every pair of oversized Chanel sunglasses lies a secret people are dying to keep.

As if senior year at Weatherford Preparatory School wasn’t hard enough, sixteen year old Alexis Bardolph had to add school outcast to the curriculum.
A new found notoriety following a family scandal, her lacrosse star boy-friend dumping her for a former BFF and a string of perpetually bad hair days were among the many things going wrong in her already turbulent teenage life.

But when the haunting nightmares that have plagued her since childhood begin to take an eerily tangible form and several Holler Creek residents are reported missing, Alexis can’t help but wonder if there isn’t more to her hellish dreams than meets the eye.
The unexpected arrival of a mysterious and dangerously handsome new student ultimately leads Alexis to troubling truths that not even her wildest imagination could have conjured.

I often find it hard to write a review when I give a 3 star rating but with Silver and Stone it's hard because the whole book is a build up to the final chapters when we find out what Alexis really is and what her life truly means. I don't want to give anything away!

Silver and Stone is a roller coaster ride of emotions! Thompson sure knows how to build a story and keep you guessing until the end, every time I turned the page I wanted to find out was happening to Alexis and why her life had gotten the way it had. Within a year Alexis had gone from 'it girl' to total outcast keeping only a handful of friends. It was the 'accidient' that changed everything and since that night strange things have been happening to Alexis.

I rather liked Alexis, she was a strong leading lady despite her past. Even though her sister has turned against her and her father spends all his time at the office Alexis still manages to get through each day. I rather like the reaction that her sister had towards her, I think it gave the story an added depth because after everything the family had been through I was expecting the sister to stand by her side.

I loved Alexis' friends, they were ready to fight for her honour and I think they could have been pretty kick ass if the occasion called for it. And then we have the new guy about town, Lucas, obviously he is mysterious and very handsome! Their relationship becomes very intense very quickly and it's not until the last third of the book we understand why.

As I said the book is a build up to the last few chapters where we really learn about Alexis and Lucas and the connection they share and have always shared. I've got to admit I had a few 'no way moments', which seems to be happening with a few books at the moment, and I loved it! Thompson kept me guessing and I liked that most of my guesses were wrong!

3/5 stars because I feel this series will only get better with time and I'm hoping Thompson will continue to surprise me!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Dreams - The Sarah Midnight Trilogy Blog Tour

So we are very excited to be hosting day 6 of the blog tour celebrating the release of Dreams - book one of the Sarah Midnight trilogy by Daniela Sacerdoti which comes out on the 17th May 2012.

For the uniniated, Dreams tells the story of Sarah Midnight, a member of one of many secret families who work within a network of demon hunters. When her parents are killed Sarah finds herself thrust into a world she is ill-prepared for and even as she finds her own world falling apart she is forced to take up the fight in order to stay alive. Help however comes from her long-lost cousin Henry who arrives unexpectedly to help protect her against the dangers that now seek to destroy her. But is Henry all he seems?? And will Sarah be able to survive long enough to learn the skills she needs to exist in this new dangerous world she finds herself in?

You'll find a more detailed review of the book click on the link here, but we at Midnight Reads have even more for you. To whet you appetites we have a preview chapter for you to get your teeth into! Daniela will be popping along on the 17th May to tell us more about the characters in the trilogy although I've already chosen my favourites (not that I'll be telling you just yet!) In the meantime, sit back, put your feet up and take a little wander into Sarah's secret world... Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Review~Intuition by J. Meyers

3 stars

Title: Intuition
Author: J. Meyers
Published: October 2011

Intuition is a very short story at only 18 pages long but I rather enjoyed it. This bonus story was released before Intangible which I didn't realise and I read it after the main story but it was fine, I think you can read Intuition before or after Intangible, it adds to the story either way. But I think knowing what I know now I would read it as my starting point, It gives us the main premise for Intangible.

What I really like about Intuition was that it took just one event and concentrate on it. It wasn't a novella with things going on here there and everywhere or a typical short story. What it is is a glimpse into the lives of Luke and Sera and the things they face everyday. We get to see just the two of them for some time before they help the injured man up the mountain.

It was really nice to see the twins together this way, we learn just how close they are and how much they need and appreciate each other. I believe Intuition is a free ebook at the moment and it's defiantly worth the read. It's a nice set up for Intangible and I recommend both books.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Letterbox Love #1

Letterbox Love is a new weekly feature to be hosted by Narratively Speaking. This feature allows us bloggers to show off the books and book related things we get each week.

We love sharing what we get each week but more than that we love looking at what you received during the week!

So as we missed a week last week with all the goings on in the blogging world we have a few books to show you from over the last two weeks.

SallySo last week I got a package from Bungle which totally made my return to work after the weekend better!  Bungle sent me three books and bookmarks which was a fantastic surprise.  I got The Killables by Gemma Malley (Note the bonus badge!) and The Glass Demon and Wish me Dead by Helen Grant.

This week has been like Christmas for me as I received three of the most anticipated books of 2012.  I got copies of The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa, Until I Die by Amy Plum and Insurgent by Veronica Roth.  Naturally I consumed all three within the week even taking a day off work for Insurgent day which was heaven! All I can say about the above three books is wow - all are utterly brilliant and I can't recommend them enough. I may also need to lie down in a darkened room for a little while - I am emotionally drained...

Over the last two weeks I've gotten some great books! Last week I received two proofs which were Dads, Geeks and Blue Haired Freaks by Ellie Phillips and Seeking Crystal by Joss Stirling. I can't wait to read this one!! I'm loving this series!!!! And I bought Ascend by Amanda Hocking, now I can read all three of them together.

And this week I bought two new books which were Black Dawn by Rachel Caine, I thought this was the last in the series but theres going to be more. And I also bought Amy Plum's Until I Die. I was totally devastated that I didn't get to London for Amy's signing along with other authors I wanted to meet!! And for review I received a copy of Zombies Don't Cry by Rusty Fischer.

Last week I received a review request from Andrea Murray for her second book Vicious. I really enjoyed the the first books, Vivid, and you can read my review here.

So that's what we got over the last two weeks, now we're off to see what you got :)

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