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I Belong

Review: Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

November 27th, 2015 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Bridget under Review Tags: , , , , ,

Ten Thousand Skies Above YouTitle: Ten Thousand Skies Above You

Author: Claudia Gray

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Series: Firebird (Book #2)

Publication Date: November 3, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 432 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062278991 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062278999 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget


Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.

Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.

The second book in the Firebird trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above You features Claudia Gray’s lush, romantic language and smart, exciting action, and will have readers clamoring for the next book.

Quick & Dirty: This was everything I wanted and more in a sequel! Gray’s writing is exceptional and she does an amazing job weaving a gorgeous, thought provoking story that you won’t want to put down.

Opening Sentence: The first time I traveled to another dimension, I intended to take a life.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Marguerite Cain’s life changed when she used the Firebird invention her parents created that allowed her to travel through the different parallel dimensions. She has caught the attention of some very dangerous people that will go to great lengths to make her help them in their quest to dominate the universe! She has refused to help, but these are the type of people you can’t say no to. When Paul, the love of her life, has his soul splintered into multiple pieces, Marguerite is forced to work with her enemies!

Marguerite must race across the different dimensions to try and collect all the scattered pieces of Paul. Each new world has its own trials and each Marguerite is so different. Marguerite knew that each dimension was different but she always believed that there was a certain destiny she would ultimately achieve in each world. She soon finds out that isn’t the case and she starts to questions her own personal fate!

Marguerite is such an amazing heroine! From the first moment I met her in A Thousand Pieces of You, I instantly adored her and my love for her just grew in this book. She is a very strong, intelligent, and interesting character. One of the best things about this story is you get to visit so many different versions of Marguerite. In each parallel world she is different, but Marguerite thought that there would be certain fundamentals characteristics about her life that would always tend to be the same and that’s not exactly true. In some of the world’s she visits in this story she is a very unalike from her normal self and it was really interesting to see the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of her personality. She is such a dynamic character and I really enjoy being inside her head!

Theo is such a charming guy, it’s pretty much impossible to not adore him! He is funny, sweet, and just one of those people that always knows how to brighten the mood. His relationship with Marguerite is very interesting. Personally, I thought that they had a more brother/sister type of relationship, but this book explores a few other options for them. I really enjoyed getting to know Theo better and I am very interested to see what happens to him in the next book!

How do I express how much I LOVE Paul! He is super smart, ridiculously sweet, and totally makes me think of a gentle giant because he is described as a pretty big guy. He is very reserved and has slightly awkward people skills, so it has been hard for him to really open up to other people. But the few people he has let in mean the world to him and he will do anything for them. What I liked best about him in this book was that we got to learn so much more about his background and where he comes from. You also get to see the darker side of him and what his life would have been like had he chosen different paths. I felt like I got to fall in love with him all over again in this story and I really enjoyed that!

The romance is this story is done perfectly and I personally think Paul and Marguerite are epic together. They are very different but they complement each other really well! That doesn’t mean they don’t have their problems, but they fight for each other even when times get tough! They have amazing chemistry and I love everything about them! They are one of my favorite book couples of all time!

Ten Thousand Skies Above You had some really big shoes to fill because I loved the first book so much and man did it deliver! From the very first page I was drawn back into the intriguing world and the action starts right off. The plot had a few surprises that I wasn’t excepting and the pacing was spot on. There was never a dull moment and I think I ended up finishing this in just a few sitting! Like I already stated, the romance was epic, steamy and done perfectly. The characters were engaging and easy to connect with. One thing I love most about books that explore parallel worlds is that they can be very thought provoking. It makes you wonder what your life would be like if you had made different decisions and I loved that we got to explore that with the characters in this series. Gray’s writing is exceptional and she does an amazing job weaving a gorgeous, thought provoking story that you won’t want to put down. I can’t wait to read the final book in the series, too bad I have to wait another year for it! If you are a science fiction fan or if you are just looking for an amazing book to read, I recommend you give this series a try!

Notable Scene:

Writing the words down reminds me of a hundred beautiful moments: Paul and me standing beneath the redwoods, staring up at the canopy of green leaves so impossibly far overhead. Making out in his dorm room, hearing his breath quicken as he pulls me closer. Him giving me a bouquet of pink roses on Valentine’s Day, which I should’ve thought was cheesy but instead reduced me to a giddy puddle. Sketching him that evening, totally overcome by his physical presence.

Making Lasagna together the night before Thanksgiving.

Talking about my paintings, and how he thought they always told the truth.

Learning that he’d risked everything to protect me and rescue my father.

Here, now, this moment, recognizing how much of what we are is truly between him and me alone.

Firebird Series:

1. A Thousand Pieces of You

2. Ten Thousand Skies Above You

glitter crown


FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Ten Thousand Skies Above You.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

November 26th, 2015 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Bridget under Review Tags: , , , ,

Crimson BoundTitle: Crimson Bound

Author: Rosamund Hodge

GenreYA Fantasy

Series: N/A

Publication Date: May 5, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 448 Pages

ISBN-10: 006222476X (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062224767 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget


When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

Quick & Dirty: Very unique story with an interesting premises, but it really dragged at parts and the romance is a huge disappointment.

Opening Sentence: “In all your life, your only choice,” Aunt Léonie said to her once, “is the path of needles or the path of pins.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review

When Rachelle was 15 years old she made a grave mistake that had ever lasting consequences. She chose to trust a forestborn and it changed her life forever. He marked her and being marked by a forestborn is certain death unless you choose to take the life of another. Rachelle chose to live but with that choice someone had to die and she would live with that guilt for the rest of her life.

Now three years later Rachelle is a bloodhound for the King. She spends her time trying to protect the people from the great forest and all the creatures that come from it. Maybe if she can help enough people she can make up for the life she took. But the King gives her a new assignment. She is to guard his son, Armand, a man that claims he survived being marked by the forestborn without having to kill anyone. There’s no way he is telling the truth and Rachelle despises him. But there is a darkness coming that will destroy the world and everyone in it. The darkness is known as the Devourer and the only way to stop him is by finding the last sword that stopped him once before. If Rachelle had any hope of finding the sword she will need Armand’s help. As they work together they uncover many secrets and start to fall in love. Can they save the world or will they die trying?

Rachelle is a great heroine that I really adored. She is strong, intelligent, caring, and witty. She has a lot of guilt from her past, but she uses that to drive her to do good for others, which I found really admirable. I thought she had a great voice and being inside her head was interesting. She was someone I could connect with easily and overall I really enjoyed her as a character.

There is a love triangle in the story and I wasn’t a fan of it at all. First there is Armand, the illegitimate son of the king. He is an interesting character but I struggled with the swoon fracture with him. There wasn’t really anything about him that stick out to me as someone I would fall for. I felt like the relationship between him and Rachelle came out of nowhere. There was hardly any buildup and to be honest I felt like they lacked chemistry. Sadly, I wasn’t a huge fan of Armand.

Erec is the other member of the triangle and I actually liked him better. He is overly confident, super good looking, totally charming, but he also has a dark side to him. I found him to be rather mysterious, and I really liked that. There were times when he seemed like a villain, but there were other times especially when he interacted with Rachelle that brought out a different side to him. He could be really sweet when he wanted to be and there’s so much potential behind that facade he would display. I thought he had great chemistry with Rachelle and I thought their relationship seemed more genuine.

Crimson Bound started off amazing and I was instantly drawn into the captivating world but at about the half way point it started to drag for me. I felt like it took FOREVER for stuff to happen and in a way it felt slightly repetitive to me. To be perfectly honest, I was hesitant to read this one because I wasn’t the biggest fan of Cruel Beauty which was Hodge’s first novel. I actually liked this one a lot more than Cruel Beauty, but I felt like it could have been so much better. I thought the romance was written terribly. There was very little development and even though it wasn’t love at first sight it still felt like instalove. Even with all of its problems, I was still remarkably interested in seeing how the book ended but it did take me two weeks to read this which is a really long time for me. I was kind of in a reading slump when I started this so that obviously didn’t help and sadly this ended up putting me in an even worse slump. I know this review is mostly negative, so let me state a few positive things that I enjoyed. The world building was phenomenal and the way Hodge integrated the Little Red Riding Hood tale was fascinating. It dragged in the middle but the beginning and ending were fast paced and full of action. Overall, this was a middle of the road read for me. To be honest it might have been partly my mood that affected how much I liked this, so I’m still going to recommend this to those that enjoy young adult high fantasy books.

Notable Scene:

But she wasn’t like any of the heroines in those stories. And though she searched the city until she had found every door and gate and fountain and mosaic that had the sun or moon upon it, though she had spent hours scrutinizing all of them for the least trace of power, she had never found anything. And nobody that she talked to had ever heard Aunt Léonie’s version of the story.

Eventually, she had accepted that she would never defeat the Devourer. She would never redeem herself. So she had sworn that the next time she saw her forestborn, at least she would avenge Aunt Léonie.

But when she had finally seen him again this night, she hadn’t been able to do anything. She was still just that helpless, frightened little girl.

No. She had turned to fight in the end. If he hadn’t disappeared, she would have fought him.

When the Devourer returned, her forestborn would certainly come find her again. And when all the world was covered in the Great Forest, there would be no disappearing into it. Rachelle would have her chance to fight then, and she would kill him. No matter the price.

She fell asleep still promising.


FTC Advisory: Balzer & Bray/Harper Collins provided me with a copy of Crimson Bound. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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Review: On the Hunt Anthology

November 25th, 2015 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Roxanne under Review Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

On the HuntTitle: On the Hunt

Author: Alexandra Ivy, Rebecca Zanetti, Dianne Duvall, & Hannah Jayne

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: The Sentinels (Book #2.5), Immortal Guardians (Book #5.5), Underworld Detection Agency (Book #6.5) & The Scorpius Syndrome (Book #0.5)

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Format: Paperback, 384 Pages

ISBN-10: 1420125133 (Kensington)

ISBN-13: 978-1420125139 (Kensington)

Reviewed by: Roxanne


Four of today’s most intriguing paranormal authors entice readers deep into the shadows, where vampires, immortals, and other supernatural creatures heat up the night…On The Hunt by Alexandra Ivy

Mika Tanner has loved Bailey Morrell, a beautiful Healer, since childhood. But his duty as a Sentinel, a supernatural guardian of an ancient race, clashed with her rebellious spirit. Now a dangerous new anarchist group not only threatens life as they know it—but any chance of their being together again…

Scorpius Rising by Rebecca Zanetti

With a deadly disease spreading like wildfire across the country, microbiologist Nora Medina needs to focus all her energy on stopping the pandemic. Playing with dynamite—in the form of her way-too-hot ex—is the last thing she should be doing. ?But forced to work with Deacan McDougall against unexpected enemies with the seconds ticking by, she knows the explosion is coming…

Phantom Embrace by Dianne Duvall

Immortal Yuri Sokolov was born with the ability to see spirits, yet he’s never seen one as lovely as Cat Seddon, the woman who haunts his home and his dreams. But amid their star-crossed love, a new danger may have Yuri facing a different kind of eternity.

Stake Out by Hannah Jayne

Vampire fashion designer Nina LaShay has a lot on her plate—just two days until fashion week and the model who was flirting with her photographer boyfriend is now a corpse in her studio. But when dead turns into undead and dangerous, Nina must find out who’s responsible…before the beautiful baby vamp takes too many bites out of the Big Apple.

Quick & Dirty: Four novellas, three from established series filled with magic, vampires and ghosts!

Opening Sentence: “It’s no surprise that the history of the high-bloods had been lost in the midst of time.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

On the Hunt: Mika Tanner is investigating the disappearance of a novice and it leads him to the doorstep of the one woman he doesn’t want to see. Bailey and Mika were in love during childhood, but she ran away from responsibility while Mika embraced his duty as a hunter Sentinel. Bailey is a healer hiding out when the novice turns up on her doorstep. She heals him and tries to hide him only to have him run away later. Mika wonders why the boy left Bailey’s and worries that she could be hurt. When the novice turns back up wounded again and Bailey is taken, will Mika be able to find her and save her.

I have not read any of the Sentinel’s series, but I found this novella easy to read and follow without the normal confusion that takes place when you jump into the middle of the story. It was a fast paced and easy read, and since I liked Mika and Bailey so much it’s kind of interested me in reading the series!

Scorpius Rising: Nora and Deacan used to be married, but went their separate ways years ago, but clearly the attraction and love is still there. Deacan has Nora extracted from her Hawaiian vacation because of a new contagion and she is one of the foremost microbiologists around. As they race against time to find a cure, will they survive to find love again?

I have to say that hands down this was my favorite novella, it was almost like a standalone mini novel! I was on the edge of my seat and more than slightly disappointed when I reached the end of the story, just because I wanted so much more! This short story reminded me why I use to love short stories so much. This had more of a science fiction feel than paranormal, but it was so good, it just sucked you right in and at the end you wanted to immediately get on Goodreads and see if the author had a novel about these characters.

Phantom Embrace: Yuri is an immortal with the ability to see the dead, which is a good thing because Cat just happens to be a ghost. As they spend more and more time together Cat and Yuri begin to fall in love, and when tragedy strikes will they be able to make it through?

I am slightly familiar with the Immortal series, so I wasn’t lost with this novella at all. I thought it was an interesting take on a love story to have a vampire in love with a ghost and I really wondered how the author was going to work that all out. No, I am not going to tell you but it was a great short story that fits within the books already out.

Stake Out: Nina is getting ready for fashion week, when models start dying. With the help of her brother Vlad, can they figure out what is going on? Nina and Vlad are vampires and also belong to the Underworld Detection Agency. When Wendii turns up a vampire, Nina knows this case isn’t going to be an easy situation.

I have read one of the Underworld Detection Agency books, but not sure where this one falls into the situation. I think out of all the novellas this one might be the hardest to follow if you’re not already reading this series. It was a quick read and interesting murder vampire mystery.

Normally I am not a big anthology fan, I used to enjoy them quite a bit, and then with so many series around it was hard to follow the short stories, or if I was familiar with the author I would find myself frustrated that I didn’t know the characters. However, I enjoyed this one quite a bit. My favorite story was Scorpius Rising, mostly because it didn’t belong to a series and so it read like a real short story with a beginning and end. So if you are looking for a few short stories to pass your time with then check this book out!!!

Notable Scene:

“She had several talents, but lying wasn’t one of them.”

“The situation sucked, but the rightness of the moment dug deep into Deke’s gut and took hold.”

“Science is about saving lives, and we both know that the military will want to weaponize and further mutate the bacteria.”

“The statistics of the infected, crazy, and dead were going to give her nightmares.”


FTC Advisory: Zebra/Kensington provided me with a copy of On the Hunt. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review of Night’s Surrender by Amanda Ashley

November 24th, 2015 @ 12:02 am
Posted by Roxanne under Review Tags: , , , ,

Night's SurrenderTitle: Night’s Surrender

Author: Amanda Ashley

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Children of the Night

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Format: Paperback, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 1420137352 (Kensington)

ISBN-13: 978-1420137354 (Kensington)

Reviewed by: Roxanne


Aspiring actress Abbey Marie Cordova knows more than most people do about vampires—she was born among them, the only human child in a centuries-old family of the undead, and determined to stay that way. But a chance encounter with dark, mysterious Niccola Desanto rocks her to the core. Nick is a vampire, and he’s the only man who has ever made her feel so beautiful, so cherished, and so passionately desired …

Nick has spent hundreds of years on his own, and the decadent pleasures of the world have lost their appeal. Rumor has it the vampire who made him has regained her humanity—the temptation to find her and demand to know the secret is overwhelming. But one glance at innocently alluring Abbey changes everything. Drawn to her with dangerous, consuming passion, Nick will need more than a lifetime to love her…

Quick & Dirty: A chance meeting, a secret, a human surrounded by the supernatural, will there love find a way?

Opening Sentence: “Abbey Marie Cordova stood on the balcony of her small New York apartment.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Abbey is an aspiring actress who has just begun to realize that she just doesn’t have what it takes when a chance meeting with Nick changes everything. She agrees to go out with him, and they have a great date and make another date for the next night. However, that night there is a car accident and Abbey wakes alone in his condo, but Nick is no where to be found. Only when she gets home and her father asks about the new vampire does she realize that Nick is a vampire.

She then leaves New York to return with her vampire father to California. Only to have Nick follow her there, and they all find out he is over 2,000 years old. Mara is his maker, and they have a secret past. Edna and Pearl have disappeared, and everyone is concerned because the hunters are in a up roar about the death of the most famous hunter. It also turns out that Edna and Pearl have a cure for vampirism. In fact, the hunters that kidnapped them are looking for that cure. Nick is also intrigued by the cure, although no one is sure because of his age if it will work or not.

Nick and Abbey are firmly in love by this point despite her insecurity about Mara (who is also her friend). Her vampire parents have misgivings considering he is a bit older than her and not human. But this cure could change everything!

I really enjoyed this book, it was pure paranormal romance, with a little bit of mystery thrown in. I just have to say that as for the usual, I haven’t read this series. I don’t know if this picks up from the last book, but considering I wasn’t horribly lost, I am going to go with each book focuses on a couple instead of a larger continuing series. Although, I am sure most of these characters would be familiar if you are a fan of the series and not picking up book 7 like I did. I did laugh a little bit, I mean Abbey doesn’t know Nick is a vampire, despite being raised by them, I thought that aspect was crazy. However, overall I really like the cure, and the fact that this book had witches, werewolves and vampires!

I mean if you are going to read paranormal it should have it all! Night’s Surrender was a quick easy read, and not heavy on the sex and light on the story! So if you like paranormal romances this series is right up your lane!

Notable Scenes:

“She had a .22 semiautomatic in her purse-a going away present from her father.”

“They never realized he was there, never suspected they were in danger until it was too late.”

“If there was one thing she did know it was that hunters were often more ruthless than the vampires they hunted.”

“The pair looked more like bingo-playing grandmothers than blood sucking vampires.”

“A man who wouldn’t look at eleven helpless humans and think of them as lunch.”

“She had to realize the cure was failing.”

Children of the Night Series:

1. Night’s Kiss

2. Night’s Touch

3. Night’s Master

4. Night’s Pleasure

5. Night’s Mistress

6. Night’s Promise

7. Night’s Surrender


FTC Advisory: Zebra/Kensington provided me with a copy of Night’s Surrender. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

November 24th, 2015 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Zed under Review Tags: , , , ,

The Dead Girls of Hysteria HallTitle: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall

Author: Katie Alender

Genre: YA Horror

Series: N/A

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages

ISBN-10: 0545639999 (Scholastic)

ISBN-13: 978-0545639996 (Scholastic)

Reviewed by: Zed


In this asylum, your mind plays tricks on you all the time …

Delia’s new house isn’t just a house. Long ago, it was the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females — an insane asylum nicknamed “Hysteria Hall.” However, many of the inmates were not insane, just defiant and strong willed. Kind of like Delia herself.

But the house still wants to keep “troubled” girls locked away. So, in the most horrifying way, Delia becomes trapped. And that’s when she learns that the house is also haunted.

Ghost girls wander the hallways in their old-fashioned nightgowns. A handsome ghost boy named Theo roams the grounds. Delia learns that all the spirits are unsettled and full of dark secrets. The house, too, harbors shocking truths within its walls — truths that only Delia can uncover, and that may set her free.

And she’ll need to act quickly — before the house’s power overtakes everything she loves.

Katie Alender brings heart-pounding suspense, gorgeous writing, and a feminist twist to this tale of memories and madness.

Quick & Dirty: Another exceedingly long read about spirits trapped in what was once a house for troubled women.

Opening Sentence: You know that feeling when someone’s eyes on you – watching you, studying your movement, your breathing?

Excerpt: No

The Review:

I think there might be something wrong with me of late. Every book I read ends up dragging out so long that I literally count down the pages until the end. I can understand why this story was so long, there was so much going on, so many events took place, but still it was far, far too long a read.

We see Delia’s story from just before her death to her becoming one of the many ghosts trapped in Hysteria Hall. It’s an interesting concept, spirits trapped in a hospital for troubled women but I think this topic has been overdone one too many times. I guess the difference here is that Delia is murdered and she wants to leave the house and go back to her family but can’t. Regardless, the overall story felt too ‘been there done that.’

“Okay?” I said. “Say okay.”
“Okay,” she said, glaring and pursing her lips. “But I don’t see why you have to threaten me.”
“Sorry,” I said. “You were acting pretty crazy.”
She cracked a small smile and looked at me through eyes that looked less insane than just plain exhausted. “We’re all crazy here,” she said. 
“Yeah, well,” I said. “Maybe not all of us.”

I liked reading about the interactions with the other ghosts from the house, and the air of mystery added the suspense needed to keep the story going. I think the author tried to make the story creepy but I wasn’t spooked, so that didn’t work too well either.

In spite of my many unhappy years, I have always managed a decent amount of self-respect. So I gave myself credit that others did not extend. In the end, we must always be the judges of our own consciences.

Theo was a good addition, and I had hoped he would add something more to the story rather than just the one boy ghost Delia could possibly have a romantic interest in. Unfortunately, I think he was there just for eye candy because I can’t recall him contributing until a little at the very end.

To conclude, this is not going on my recommended reading list.

Notable Scene:

“The dead and the living don’t belong together,” Theo said. “That’s why you hear stories about haunted houses. Because no matter what the living do, they flaunt their life. They can’t help it.”


FTC Advisory: Point/Scholastic provided me with a copy of The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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