Thursday, December 27, 2012

End of Year Read-a-Thon Goals!


The oh-my-word-the-year-is-over-and-I-haven’t-reached-my-goal read-a-thon started this morning, and I’m ready to roll!
My goal is to read three books, but I don’t seem to be able to narrow it down much.
  • Splintered by A. G. Howard (Already halfway through)
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Blood Red Road by Moira Young
  • Dualed by Elsie Chapman
  • For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
  • How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
  • Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
See my dilemma? These books are all amazing, and there’s no way I can only choose three! Ah well. I guess I’ll start by finishing Splintered, then see where I’m at.
DAY ONE (12/27)
  • Total Books Read: 0
  • Total Pages Read: 0
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 0
  • Pages Read since last update: 0
  • Total time read: 0
  • How I'm currently feeling: 
DAY TWO (12/28)
  • Total Books Read: 0
  • Total Pages Read: 0
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 0
  • Pages Read since last update: 0
  • Total time read: 0
  • How I'm currently feeling:
DAY THREE (12/29)

  • Total Books Read: 0
  • Total Pages Read: 0
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 0
  • Pages Read since last update: 0
  • Total time read: 0
  • How I'm currently feeling:
Oh, hey! I never updated! Well, I finished Splintered (AMAZING!) and made it halfway through Rapunzel Untangled by Cindy C. Bennett (which wasn't on the list). I would've gotten more reading done if it weren't for the fact that my mom dragged me away from my bookshelf and left me with a half charged Kindle. There's still a slim chance I can finish up my reading goals for the year. I have one day and two books left. No problem...right? 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wishing on Wednesday #9: Asunder by Jodi Meadows


Inspired by “Waiting on” Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine and Wishlist Wednesday hosted by Pen to Paper

Wishing on Wednesday is a weekly meme to feature recent and upcoming releases that I’m wishing for!

Asunder (Newsoul, #2)


 

DARKSOULS
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

SHADOWS
Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

LOVE
Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Incarnate trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy

Why I Want It:

I loved Incarnate so much, and Asunder sounds even better! Plus the cover is gorgeous (:

Coming to a bookstore near you… January 29th 2013 from Katherine Tegen Books

What are you Wishing for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

SummerDriggs_Believe_TreeElement

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday! I’ll be busy finding more space on my bookshelf and crying my heart out at the theater while I watch Les Miserables with my mom.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Basket of Goodies #7

 

Inspired by In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

This has been a really slow week for me. Getting ready for Christmas is stressing me out (but at least the world didn’t end!!!)
 
Received This Week
 
NetGalley
 
Strands of Bronze and Gold
 
Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson (Thanks Random House!)
Thank you thank you thank you!!! This is my number one most highly anticipated 2013 release! I can’t wait to dig into it!

Blogged This Week

Read This Week
Les Misérables
 
30% of Les Miserables
It looks unlikely that I’ll finish it in the next two days, but you never know! And it turns out that I won’t be spending Christmas day at the theater, but in the car for six hours. Perfect opportunity!
 
How was your week? Leave links in the comments below!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Book Review: Bewitching by Alex Flinn

  Bewitching (Kendra Chronicles, #2)


 

Bewitching can be a beast. . . .

Once, I put a curse on a beastly and arrogant high school boy. That one turned out all right. Others didn't.

I go to a new school now--one where no one knows that I should have graduated long ago. I'm not still here because I'm stupid; I just don't age.

You see, I'm immortal. And I pretty much know everything after hundreds of years--except for when to take my powers and butt out.

I want to help, but things just go awry in ways I could never predict. Like when I tried to free some children from a gingerbread house and ended up being hanged. After I came back from the dead (immortal, remember?), I tried to play matchmaker for a French prince and ended up banished from France forever. And that little mermaid I found in the "Titanic" lifeboat? I don't even want to think about it.

Now a girl named Emma needs me. I probably shouldn't get involved, but her gorgeous stepsister is conniving to the core. I think I have just the thing to fix that girl--and it isn't an enchanted pumpkin. Although you never know what will happen when I start . . . bewitching.

I think Alex Flinn is amazing. Even though none of her books have earned the coveted 5-star rating on this blog, I love them for their ingenuity. She takes such a familiar story, and completely reinvents it. And unlike most fairy tale retellings, she plops her characters down into the real world and gives them real-life situations the deal with.

And the best part of this is having Kendra meddle in their lives. Kendra is one of my favorite YA characters. She’s spunky, plus she’s a witch. She has a wicked attitude, but she’s still a teenage girl (just one who’s been alive for hundreds of years). Though the majority of this book isn’t narrated by Kendra, when she pops in the leave her piece of mind, it ever so memorable.

I’m not sure exactly what I thought of Emma. At times she could be really irritating, but then I would step back and take a look at the big picture, and understand better where she was coming from, making her more tolerable. One thing I did enjoy was seeing Emma play the role of the ugly stepsister, and our Cinderella being cast as the villain.

Once again Alex Flinn manages to deliver a highly enjoyable modern fairytale with a whole new twist. (And props to Alex for throwing Into the Woods in there!)

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wishing on Wednesday #8: The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen


Inspired by “Waiting on” Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine and Wishlist Wednesday hosted by Pen to Paper

Wishing on Wednesday is a weekly meme to feature recent and upcoming releases that I’m wishing for!
 
The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy, #2)


 

A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction. A king gone missing. Who will survive? Find out in the highly anticipated sequel to Jennifer A. Nielsen's blockbuster THE FALSE PRINCE!

Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?

The stunning second installment of The Ascendance Trilogy takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of treason and murder, thrills and peril, as they journey with the Runaway King!

Why I Want It:

The False Prince was one of my favorite reads of 2012, and even though it could definitely stand by itself, the sequel sounds like it might be even better!

And guess what! Earlier this week a joint-review of the False Prince went up on the blog Bookshop Talk, done by none other than me and fellow-blogger Pica!

Coming to a bookstore near you… March 1st 2013 from Scholastic Press

What are you Wishing for this Wednesday?

2013 Reading Challenges

    I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now. I’ve had a page where I’ve been signing up for challenges, but I never actually posted—until now!

2013 Standalone Reading Challenge

2013 Standalone Reading Challenge

Goal: 15 YA/MG 2013 Standalone Novels (Companions count)

Books:

  1. Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
  2. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
  3. Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance
  4. Towering by Alex Flinn
  5. The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar
  6. Also Known As by Robin Benway
  7. Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike
  8. Poison by Bridget Zinn
  9. The Neptune Project by Polly Holyoke
  10. Cold Spell by Jackson Pearce
  11. Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland
  12. The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett
  13. The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
  14. Rump by Liesl Shurtliff
  15. Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund

2013 Debut Author Challenge

Goal: 12 YA/MG Debut Novels

Books:

  1. Prophecy by Ellen Oh
  2. The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell
  3. Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
  4. Dualed by Elsie Chapman
  5. Poison by Bridget Zinn
  6. Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
  7. Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland
  8. Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
  9. Red by Allison Cherry
  10. Prophesy of Oz by Megan Shan
  11. Also Known As by Robin Benway
  12. Taken by Erin Bowman

2013 Sequel Challenge

 

Goal: 10 Sequels to YA/MG Novels

Books:

  1. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  2. Fever by Lauren DeStefano
  3. Asunder by Jodi Meadows
  4. Of Triton by Anna Banks
  5. Dreamless by Josephine Angelini
  6. Everbound by Brodi Ashton
  7. Prodigy by Marie Lu
  8. The Elite by Kiera Cass
  9. The Runaway King by Jennifer Nielsen
  10. Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson

2013 Book to Movie Challenge

Goal: Movie Devotee—8 Books + Movies

Books:

  1. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
  2. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  3. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  4. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  6. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
  7. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  8. City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

2013 Dystopia Reading Challenge

 

Goal: Revolutionist—13-18 Dystopian Novels

Books:

  1. Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
  2. Blood Red Road by Moira Young
  3. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  4. Partials by Dan Wells
  5. Birthmarked by Caragh O’Brien
  6. What’s Left of Me by Kay Zhang
  7. Erasing Time by C. J. Hill
  8. Origin by Jessica Khoury
  9. Mind Games by Kiersten White
  10. Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
  11. Pivot Point by Kasie West
  12. Dualed by Elsie Chapman
  13. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

Goal: A Friendly Hug—11-20 Books on my TBR pile

Books:

  1. Wicked by Gregory Maguire
  2. Cloaked by Alex Flinn
  3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  4. Stork by Wendy Delsol
  5. Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
  6. Paper Towns by John Green
  7. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  8. Wisdom’s Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
  9. Blood Red Road by Moira Young
  10. Spark by Bridget Kemmerer
  11. How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

2013 End of the Series Reading Challenge

Goal: 7 Last Books in a Series

Books:

  1. Enders by Lissa Price
  2. Reqiuem by Lauren Oliver
  3. Sever by Lauren DeStefano
  4. Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter
  5. Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
  6. Abandon by Elana Johnson
  7. Detergent by Veronica Roth

2013 Fairy Tales Retold Reading Challenge

Hosted by yours truly. Click the button to sign up!

Photobucket

Goal: Great and Terrible Beast—16+ books

Books:

  1. Strand of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
  2. Towering by Alex Flinn
  3. Rump by Liesl Shurtliff
  4. Nameless by Lili St. Crow
  5. Prophesy of Oz by Megan Shan
  6. Rapunzel Untangled by Cindy C. Bennett
  7. In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz
  8. The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
  9. Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
  10. Fathomless by Jackson Pearce
  11. Cold Spell by Jackson Pearce
  12. The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
  13. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
  14. Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
  15. Half Upon a Time by James Riley
  16. The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman

Many, many more…

Have any more challenges that I should sign up for? I love for suggestions!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Basket of Goodies (23)

Inspired by In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews
I’ve missed you!!! I’ve been a horrible reader, blogger, and all around book enthusiast this month. And it doesn’t help that this week I’ve been up to my elbows with little children while I did some holiday babysitting for my three aunts. But you don’t really care about that!
Received This Week
Won
Iron Hearted VioletThe Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1)The Elite (The Selection, #2)
  • Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill
  • The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
  • The Elite by Kiera Cass!
Thanks Red Tree Literary & Stories and Sweeties!
NetGalley
Also Known AsGoing VintageRapunzel Untangled
  • Also Known As by Robin Benway
  • Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
  • Rapunzel Untangled by Cindy C. Bennett
Thanks Bloomsbury & Cedar Fort!
eBooks
Artemis Fowl Sweet Venom (Medusa Girls #1)Cold Kiss (Cold Kiss, #1)Witch Song (Witch Song, #1)
  • Artemis Fowl by Eion Colfer
  • Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
  • Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
  • Witch Song by Amber Argyle
This small collection of eBooks has accumulated on my Amazon account from whenever they were up for grabs.
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • Grimm’s Fairy Tales
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Little Women by Louisa Alcott
  • Love and Friendship by Jane Austen
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
I spent some time this week finding various free classics to download.
And now you’re probably wondering why Debz has all these eBooks, when Debz likes to point out that she doesn’t have an eReader. Well, when Debz went to do all that babysitting this week, she was given an early Christmas present via her aunt who frequently gets free gifts from her work. Any guesses?
A KINDLE FIRE!!!
So far I’m loving it, even though long ago I vowed to never own an eReader. There are still things I can’t use it for (like writing blog posts!) but I definitely plan on using it a lot.

Blogged This Week
This has been a really light week, and with Christmas I can’t guarantee a whole lot of extra blogging, but I’m doing my best!

Read This Week
(more like three weeks)
The Scorpio Races
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
To Read
Snow Whyte and the Queen of MayhemLes Misérables
Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem by Melissa Lemon
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (I actually started this Friday, but as many readers know, it’s over a thousand pages so it might take me a while. But at the pace I’m going, I might just get it finished by Christmas!)
How was your week? Leave links in the comments below!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday #16: REWIND! Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing

A weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

This weeks topic is supposed to be Favorite New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2012, but I couldn’t narrow it down at all, because over 2/3 of the books I’ve read this year were by new authors! Plus, I somehow forgot to post last week, so I’m going with last weeks topic: Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing!

AcrossTheUniverse-newcovers

10. Across the Universe Trilogy by Beth Revis

Is it too much to ask that Shades of Earth be released a month early? Plus I want a pretty matching set!

9. Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

I’m dying to read Insurgent, and in the mean time I don’t even own Divergent!

8. The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry

The Giver was a life-changing book, and with Son just being released and this gorgeous new cover design, I think it’s about time I owned all of them.

The Princess Bride The Sweetest SpellThe Hero's Guide to Saving Your KingdomTiger Lily

7. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Since I was four, this has been my favorite movie! And after literally years of searching for it, I haven’t been able to track it down! Maybe Santa can (:

6. The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors

I’ve been wanting to read this one for probably at least a year. I mean, it’s the ugly duckling only with teenage girls and chocolate cows. What’s not to love?

5. The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

Another one I’ve wanted all year! The name and cover together are creating in my brain a strange mix between Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, and Happily Never After. Sounds like fun, huh?

4. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

A dark prequel to Peter Pan that I don’t think I can’t wait much longer to read! It just sounds amazing, but not like the usual fluffy retelling you usually run into.

The Book Thief13455112images

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Random book I really want to read! For the longest time I didn’t even know what it was about, and although I usually tend to avoid depressing books, this is supposedly one of the best Young Adult books ever written, so, as a Young Adult, I should probably check it out.

2. Origin by Jessica Khoury

Do you know just how in love I am with this cover? I really really really want to read Origin. Probably more than almost any other book out right now.

1. Les Miserables Tickets!

Yep! I’m going to be one of those people who ditches their family on Christmas Day to go see Les Miserables! If Santa doesn’t bring me tickets, I’ll go get them myself!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Book Review: Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George

  Princess of the Silver Woods (Princess, #3)


 

When Petunia, the youngest of King Gregor's twelve dancing daughters, is invited to visit an elderly friend in the neighboring country of Westfalin, she welcomes the change of scenery. But in order to reach Westfalin, Petunia must pass through a forest where strange two-legged wolves are rumored to exist. Wolves intent on redistributing the wealth of the noble citizens who have entered their territory. But the bandit-wolves prove more rakishly handsome than truly dangerous, and it's not until Petunia reaches her destination that she realizes the kindly grandmother she has been summoned to visit is really an enemy bent on restoring an age-old curse.

The stories of Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood get a twist as Petunia and her many sisters take on bandits, grannies, and the new King Under Stone to end their family curse once and for all.

This was a wonderful close to a beautiful series of fairy tales. Jessica Day George is one of my favorite authors, and has never failed to impress me with her magic!

Princess of the Silver Woods, while my least favorite of the series, still managed to win me over and earn a solid 5-star rating. It took elements of familiar tales and subtly tied them into the plot. It was interesting seeing how in each book, the fairy tale elements are approached differently. In Princess of the Midnight Ball, we see the curse of the 12 Dancing Princesses from an inside viewpoint, while in Princess of Glass we’re seeing the story unfold from the outside. Now, in Princess of the Silver Woods, it’s not as direct of a retelling, so you need to search deeper to see the underlying fairy tale.

The characters, both old and new, were very memorable. The sisters relationships were very sweet. They each had their own struggles, but together they were strong enough to overcome their problems. Family relationships are practically nonexistent in YA, so it was nice to see such a strong family unit.

Out of all of Jessica’s books, these are the ones I recommend the most! They are absolutely magical, with brand new takes on familiar tales. They are excellently written, with a little sprinkle of mystery and romance that will make your hearts melt.

I received an advance eGalley in exchange for an honest review

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Book Review: Reached by Ally Condie

Reached (Matched, #3)

 


 

After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

In this gripping conclusion to the #1 New York Times-bestselling Matched trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.

I don't know if I can ever read another book again after what I just went through. What have you done to me, Ally Condie??? After finishing this book shortly after midnight I lay in bed for hours thinking and thinking and thinking. Because that’s what Ally Condie’s series has done: it has made it’s readers think, and think hard. It’s complicated, with no clear right and wrong answers. And that’s something that has made it one of the best series out there.

I could've finished this in mere hours, but instead I chose to savor each and every word. It’s very likely that this book presented prose more beautiful than that of either Matched or Crossed. It was rich and decadent. It was just gorgeous. I would’ve definitely included multiple examples if it weren’t for the fact that all my favorite quotes included major spoilers.

I think that the three separate narratives were excellently handled. In Crossed, Cassia and Ky’s voices tended to meld together, but with Reached, I felt that each of the narrators had a distinct voice. Now, maybe it’s just because I’m in love with him, or maybe because we’re unfamiliar with the workings of his brain, but I found Xander’s perspective was the most interesting of the three.

Now… the love triangle. Love is a tricky thing. I know with most love triangles you usually find yourself rooting for one guy over the other, but this series is one where I thought both would be wonderful choices for Cassia. While I know I feel Xander is the best choice, I think Ky is a worthy contender for her heart.

For the longest time I was hoping there'd be some kind of loophole where Cassia wouldn't have to choose, but then I realized that that's the reason we were in this mess in the first place: the Society had already chosen a Match for her. This was Cassia's decision alone. Luckily things worked out better than I could've hoped for, and everyone is satisfied by the end.

Surprisingly, I didn't cry at the end. Sure, I cried plenty in the middle, but as we approached the end, I felt what I can only describe as peaceful resolution. I wasn’t frustrated like I was with Mockingjay. I felt that things had ended on the perfect note. It was a solid, resolute ending, but with things left open enough that we can see hope and the reader is left to decide what happens next.

Ally Condie deserves a standing ovation for her brilliance.

Wishing on Wednesday #7: The Elite by Kiera Cass


Inspired by “Waiting on” Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine and Wishlist Wednesday hosted by Pen to Paper
Wishing on Wednesday is a weekly meme to feature recent and upcoming releases that I’m wishing for!
 
The Elite (The Selection, #2)

The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Selection.

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

Why I Want It:

I know most people had some mixed thoughts on The Selection, but I actually really enjoyed it, despite it’s flaws. It had just the right mix of fantasy, irritating teenage girls, and messed up society. Plus I think I love that cover even more than the first cover!

Coming to a bookstore near you… April 23th 2013 from HarperTeen

What are you Wishing for this Wednesday?

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