Posts Categorized: Young Adult

Book Review and #Giveaway: FISSURE FREE (Schasm #2) by Shari J. Ryan (@sharijryan)

May 28, 2014 Book Review, Book Tour, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy Romance, New Adult, Past Giveaways, Young Adult 0

 







Author Shari J Ryan reunites the colorful cast of friends and family in Book 2 of the Schasm Series with a powerful tribute to the power of the mind and heart in this romantic, suspenseful, and engaging novel.

After nineteen years of suffering with a psychological condition, ethereal Chloe had finally come close to finding her ultimate escape—or, so she thinks on the vibrant streets of Paris.

Finally in a relationship with Alex, a man she fell in love with in Schasm, Chloe thinks life is finally coming together. As she battles her own demons, she attempts to repair the damaged man she’s grown to love. But as his clouded past abruptly crashes into their lives and falls heavily upon their budding romance, Chloe must fight to maintain her relationship.

Although even when the problems begin to subside, she comes to realize certain things cannot be escaped. Franco, her disillusioned, serial-killing uncle has taken up residency in Chloe and Alex’s life. In search for an item that belongs to Chloe, Franco will deceive, connive and conquer until he finds what he is after—that is, unless, Chloe finds a way to beat him at his own game.

Just as Chloe believes she might have sealed the doors of darkness once and for all, new questions, new findings and new inceptions arise. Whether or not Chloe wants to continue forward with the path her life seems to be leading, she quickly learns that any choice she makes will ultimately land her in a place she never knew she was destined to be.

 

 

 

 

My Review

 

My Rating: 4 Stars

 

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“Most women spend a lifetime searching for the man of their dreams, but I seem to have found mine within my dreams.”

Fissure Free is one of those books that reminds us that love does conquer all, that it’s the biggest force in the universe. Love can transcend time, place, and any and all opposing outside forces. Even a love that shouldn’t be real, couldn’t be real, is real if we want it to be.

The love that exists between Alex and Chloe is a seemingly impossible and hard-won love. This book continues their story from Schasm, and the more I get to know these strong characters, the more I’m drawn in to their improbable world. Their romance is epic and transcendent, but with a certain purity and sweetness. There’s heat and tension as well, but it’s well balanced with the rest of their relationship. They care deeply for each other, mind and body. They are each vulnerable but incredibly resilient; they have to be with the challenges they must face.

In this second book in the series, we’re drawn deeper in to Chloe and Adam’s dream world, a place they can truly be together as a couple. The plot is constantly surprising with twists, turns, action, and suspense. New characters color the exciting story and I was constantly questioning motives and outcomes, eagerly turning pages to find out what happens next, and how Alex and Chloe will deal with yet another hurdle. As with the first book, I sometimes found the plot disorienting, though not in a negative way; I imagine it’s often how the characters feel as well.

Question are answered but plenty more arise in Fissure Free. As far as a series, I really like how the author has set this one up. Though this second book is clearly a continuation of the first, it has its own beginning, middle, and end. I do think it’s necessary to read the first book in the series to fully understand this book. But, each book has its own exciting and fully realized plot line and conclusion, with endings that keep the reader wanting more of this epic, intriguing, and wholly original romance series.

” ‘Real is only what you make of it. If you want us to be real, then we’re as real as it gets.’ “

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

Excerpt

 

My heart quakes against my sternum. My stomach feels like stone, and my throat is clenching in on itself. I walk to the other bar covered window, completely horrified. I curl my fingers around the damp, ice-cold bars, and I pull myself up, pressing my face against the metal to look out.
The hallway is just as dark and abandoned as this room. The walls are painted a sea green. They’re cracked and peeling, and old rusty handcuffs hang from chains that line the wall. I peer down the other end of the hall, somewhat curious and somewhat petrified as to what I might see. The words “help me” are smeared along the wall in what looks to be blood.
Against my desire, I take in every detail of this deserted passageway, hoping to gain insight on where we might be. But I’m lost and dumfounded. An abandoned institution is the best I can come up with.
Sounds of footsteps arise from the depths of the barren walls, and the dissonance increases with each footstep, warning me that someone is coming. The hallway only has two directions and I don’t see anyone in either.
I’m going crazy.
I could only hope.
The footsteps stop, as does the beating of my heart. I close my eyes and pull in a deep lungful. But I inhale someone else’s warm, stale breath. My eyes snap open, and two large bulging brown eyes stare back at me. My chest caves in. My lungs struggle to move, and I fall backwards.

 

About the Author

 

Shari J. Ryan hails from Central Massachusetts where she lives with her hubby and two lively little boys. Writing has become Shari’s great escape from the real world over the past few years. After a bout of postpartum depression with her first child, Shari was determined to occupy her brain enough to eliminate some of the blue moments in life. When she found writing to help as a newfound therapy, she started her first book. Her books brought her out of postpartum depression and helped her overcome it when her second son was born. Shari likes to think writing saves her mind. She even used one of the characters in the book (the main character’s protagonist mother), to veer away from the type of person she refuses to become. Shari has two happy little boys and the Schasm series to show for her unorthodox therapeutic method.

Website: http://sharijryan.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorsharijryan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sharijryan

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ShariRyan

 

 

Chloe Valcourt drifts between two worlds: the dark reality of her domineering mother and feeble father and the vivid fantasy of her imagination. With her condition comes the harsh observation of doctors who intend to cure her of it. But a chance encounter with a handsome and vaguely familiar young man in her dream world hints at the possibility of hidden truths—and a life she can’t remember. As her drifts become a greater escape from the cruelty of the real world, Chloe finds herself lost between what is real and what is imagined, questioning her very existence. Can she remain in the lush new imagined landscape to find happiness in a realm of her own invention? Is she doomed to return to the harsh reality of the outside world forever? Or will she become trapped somewhere between the two…unable to return to either?

 

 

 

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Book Review and #Giveaway: DUST (Of Dust and Darkness #1) by Devon Ashley

December 20, 2013 Book Review, Book Tour, Fantasy Romance, Past Giveaways, Young Adult 1

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Welcome to the Dust (Of Dust and Darkness #1) by Devon Ashley Book Tour! Read my review and enter to win a *signed* print copy of the book!

 

CLICK HERE to follow the tour for reviews, excerpts, and more!

 

About the Book

 

Dust Cover

 

Title: Dust (Of Dust and Darkness #1)

Author: Devon Ashley

 Release date: Nov. 18, 2012

 Age Group: Young Adult

 Genre: Fae Fantasy

Tour organized by: AToMR Tours

 Links to the book: Amazon, B&N, Kobo AddtoGoodreads

 

Book Description:

 

 

4. The number of times my delicate wings have been broken and clamped behind my back.

68. The number inked upon my skin, marking me the sixty-eighth pixie to be stolen.

87. The number of days I’ve been wrongfully imprisoned.

88. The first day the faeries will regret stealing me.
Healthy. Cheery. Vivacious. All traits Rosalie has before becoming enslaved by the faeries to make an endless supply of pixie dust. Now that Rosalie has been traumatized by slave labor, extreme desolate conditions and multiple deaths, this hardened pixie is anything but. When this rebellious teenager attempts an escape, she’s isolated in cramped quarters until she learns her place. Just as she begins to let go of all that hope, she finds an unlikely friend in Jack, the faerie assigned to guard her. Interspecies dating is forbidden in the fae world, so their growing attraction is unacceptable. And even if Jack can find a way to free her, they know the prison is the only place they can truly be together.
Clean YA Fantasy.

 

My Review

 

My Rating: 4 Stars

“I realize with each passing second how difficult it’ll be to escape this nightmare.”

Are you looking for a story that’s unique and original, that transports the reader to another place, an escape from your own reality? This book is it. That’s not to say that this book is a light and easy read. Some of it is even quite difficult and harrowing: even though the characters are of the fae, the author makes the pain and torture of their slavery feel quite real.

The world building is beautifully detailed, but not overly so, never interfering with the flow of the plot. It’s just enough to draw the reader in; I feel like I now know what it looks and feels like to be a pixie, albeit a tortured and enslaved but very strong and brave pixie. Rosalie, our heroine, is a survivor and a leader. She endures the extreme pain of having her wings broken, slave labor, starvation, and torture. But, she still holds on to the hope that there is an escape, and she is determined to save all of the other pixies, those that are not as strong as herself. Any reader can’t help but feel for and cheer for this sassy, spunky, and incredibly courageous character.

I enjoyed the chaste, though forbidden romance between Rosalie and Jack. There’s something about relationships formed in extreme circumstances an in the face of extreme characters: a connection and understanding based on a shared experience and such a strong bond. Even in the darkness of their circumstances, there was lightness and even moments of humor in their romance.

This book is appropriate for YA readers but is certainly a book for adults as well. I loved the entire journey, the immersive storytelling, and the fae characters that feel human in their own way. This first book in the series left me eagerly anticipating the next installment.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

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About the Author

 

Devon Ashley (2)

I’m a mom, wife, a lover and a fighter, coffee addict, wicked knitster, Microbiologist, baker of fine yummy treats, and someone who will fight you to death for that last twinkie bag of M&Ms during the zombie-apocalypse. Seriously, my addiction is that important to me. Oh yeah, and writing is cool too!

Author Social Media Links: Blog, GoodReads, Facebook

 

 


Book Review and #Giveaway: FOREVER YOUNG by Sawyer Bennet (@bennettbooks)

November 16, 2013 Book Review, Book Tour, New Adult, Paranormal Romance, Past Giveaways, Young Adult 4

Welcome to the FOREVER YOUNG by Sawyer Bennett Book Tour! Read my review of the first book in a promising new YA/NA paranormal series (with romance!) and  enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

 

About the Book

 

Sensual couple

 

Title:  Forever Young, Book 1 of The Forever Land Chronicles

 Author:  Sawyer Bennett

 Release date: 1/31/13

 Publisher:  Big Dog Books, LLC

 Age Group:  YA/New Adult

 Genre: Paranormal Romance

 

She’s a loner, she likes to fight and, oh yeah…she has the ability to see the demons that lay beneath the faces of ordinary humans. It’s a gift Charlie Wright inherited the night her parents were brutally murdered when she was fourteen years old.

Now in her last year of high school, Charlie just can’t seem to keep herself out of trouble.  Rather than taking a one-way trip to juvenile detention, Charlie chooses to join a mysterious group called The ForeverLand Alliance.

And then her life really gets weird.

Charlie finds herself magically transported to an alternate universe. In Semper Terra, no one ages, people fly, and one stunningly gorgeous, immortal man manages to capture Charlie’s heart and awaken the adult woman she is becoming.

But it’s not all fun and games. For Charlie is training to become an Annihilator, a select group of Semper Terrans who protect mankind from all of those things that go “bump in the night”.

It’s only when Charlie finds herself stuck in the middle of a prophecy that could bring about the end of the world that she truly begins to understand the deep sacrifices she will have to make

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My Review

 

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

I’m super excited to have found a new YA/NA series that I’m totally in to! This first book in The Foreverland Chronicles introduces us to Charlie, Caiden, and a whole cast of great supporting characters. Forever Young has magic, romance, action, and quite a few surprises. I really enjoyed this book but it is clear that the story has only just begun.

Charlie is my favorite kind of strong, kick-ass heroine. She stands up for herself, but more importantly, she strives to stand up for others. Charlie is special, not just human special, but supernaturally gifted. Still, she’s a well balanced character: funny and humble and a little insecure. I love the crew of friends she makes; I’m reminded of Harry, Ron, and Hermione and another epic battle between good and evil. Bennett has created a group of characters that I couldn’t help but become invested in.

This book has something for our romance fans as well. There’s no shortage of hot men and brave fighters, but the cream of the crop is Caiden. There’s a hint of forbidden romance between he and Charlie, as there is quite an age difference, but their romance remains mostly chaste. This interesting couple’s strong chemistry promises much more to come.

“Reaching out, he grabbed my chin gently and tilted my head up to him so I was forced to look up into his eyes. ‘Because, Charlie… I do like you. A little too much.’ “

Clever references to Peter Pan, a great supporting cast, the promise of an epic battle between good and evil, sweet romance, a kick-ass heroine, and an action packed climax highlighted by some BIG surprises all combine in this great series debut. I have high hopes for this series and can’t wait for more!

“My heart swelled with the sudden realization that I was truly not alone. I was surrounded by friends that would lay down their lives beside mine in the quest to make sure that good overcame evil.”

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

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About the Author

 

USA Today Best-Selling author, Sawyer Bennett, is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. She is married to a mobster (well, a market researcher) and they have two big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Author social media links: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

 

To see other stops on the tour for reviews, guest posts, and excerpts click here or the tour button below.

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Book Review and #Giveaway: DREAMS OF THE CURSED (Dreamers #2) by Allie Jean (@alliejeands)

November 1, 2013 Book Review, Book Tour, Fantasy Romance, Past Giveaways, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult 9

 Dreams of the Cursed Allie Jean

Welcome to the Dreams of the Cursed (Book #2 in the Dreamers Series) by Allie Jean Book Tour! Read my review and enter the fantastic giveaway! Enjoy!

CLICK HERE to follow the tour!

 

About the Book

 

Dreams of the Cursed

Dreamers #2

By: Allie Jean

A secret war has waged underneath the notice of humanity since the beginning. The Warriors inherited this fight and are honor bound to rid the world of an ancient evil by guarding the most precious, piercing light against the darkness – their female kin known as the Oracles.

Chantal Breelan has suffered from horrific nightmares for most of her life, believing something to be wrong with her to have such visions of destruction. But when creatures of darkness came crawling out of the shadows to hunt her down, her dreams became reality.

Now, Chantal has picked up the reigns of her birthright and stood by her Warrior kin. She’s on a mission to rescue others like herself. Yet in this challenge a battle of wits is exposed. New players are discovered, throwing strategies into question. When the truth comes to light, can Chantal hold her band of brothers together, or will they crumble under the weight of betrayal.

 

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View the Book Trailer HERE!

 

My Review

 

My Rating: 4 Stars

“Dark versus Light, Evil versus Good… the war raged on, intense and to the death, hidden away from the wary eyes of humanity.”

An excellent read for fans of action-packed fantasy with a strong female lead, Dreams of the Cursed is a great follow-up to the first book in the series.

Chantal is not a damsel in distress, far from it actually. She’s tough, smart, and brave. She has faced and conquered so many obstacles in her young life, including the revelation that she is of a race she never imagined when she thought she was merely a human. She’s a fighter and a leader, but still a girl, still touched by romance. Chantal is funny and real, with an entertaining and accessible voice and perspective and I rooted for her throughout the whole story.

The book has a well-realized and fully fleshed out fantasy elements. The plot has tons of action and is very fast moving, but the world building is still smoothly integrated in to the story. The reader is provided a clear picture of this often frightening fantasy realm that exists alongside our own and the beings that inhabit it: some good, some evil, and some we just can’t be sure of just yet.

This book succeeds as a second book in a series: it answers the questions of the first book, while providing more question to be answered in another story. I do think that reading Legacy of a Dreamer, book #1 in the series, will make this book more enjoyable, but the author does a good job of providing some background so that first time readers won’t be completely stranded. We get to know the characters better and are drawn even deeper in to their world, personal relationships, and emotions, leaving the reader invested in and eagerly anticipating what is to come next in this series.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

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About the Author

 

Allie Jean was born with an overactive imagination. She spent her childhood inventing stories and telling tales. Her mind never shut down, even while she slept. Vivid dreams containing extensive, elaborate plot lines of good overcoming evil villains captured her nightly visions, lingering into her waking hours and filling the pages of her well-loved bounded diaries. She was encouraged by her parents, even at a young age, to write down her tales, and it has remained a somewhat secret hobby. As a busy wife, mother and critical care nurse, Allie’s love of storytelling has been reborn through the adventures of her unforgettable characters.

Connect with Allie Jean

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

 

 


Book #Review and #Giveaway: POISON by Molly Cochran

June 25, 2013 Book Review, Book Tour, Paranormal Romance, Past Giveaways, Young Adult 0

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Welcome to the Poison by Molly Cochran Blog Tour! Read my review of this YA Paranormal Romance and enter to win signed copies of The Legacy Series*!

 

*Tour Wide Giveaway:

Giveaway is open: US Mailing Addresses only.

Ends: July 6th, 2013 (12:00am EST)

 

About the Book:

 

poison

 

POISON (Legacy, #2) By: Molly Cochran

Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

Release Date: December 4th, 2012

 

 

Arthurian legend mixes with modern-day witchcraft in this haunting sequel to Legacy, which Publishers Weekly said “should please the legions of paranormal fans looking for a sophisticated supernatural thriller.” After the riveting—and romantic—events of Legacy, Katy has won Peter’s heart and is nowclaiming her place in the magical world. Though half the students at her boarding school come from witching lines, the use of magic is expressly forbidden at Ainsworth, so as to keep the witching world hidden from the blue-blooded preppies, aka Muffies, who also walk the halls.

But the Muffies have at least a notion of magic, because Katy catches them staging a made-up ritual—and to her astonishment, the girls collapse at Katy’s feet and fall into comas. When Katy is blamed, she becomes desperate to clear her name and finds herself battling all odds to harness her growing magical powers in order to save the Muffies and dispel the Darkness once more.

 

My Review:

 

My Rating: 4 Stars

 

A clever mix of legend and contemporary paranormal romance, Poison is an exciting journey in to witchcraft and wizardry, past and present, told through the eyes of an insightful and supernaturally gifted teenage girl.

Filled with a relatable teenage angst, Katy must face issues the issues of average teenagers: who are my real friends? Do I fit in? Am I pretty enough? Where will I go to college? Does my boyfriend really love me? Will I pass chemistry? All while being a witch with a somewhat checkered past and a very uncertain future. She must battle unseen evil, all while those around her doubt her abilities. Love, loyalty, friendships and powers are tested; the lines between good and evil are blurred. Through everything, Katy’s character shows great strength, yet remains vulnerable.

The book has a cast of relatable teenage characters, witches, non-witches, Travelers, and immortals. The characters add substance to a fast-paced, mysterious, and thrilling plot that doesn’t really firm up until the second half of the book. When the pieces fall together and motives and objectives become clear, an epic battle ensues, with Katy at the forefront. With the help of an unlikely ally, Katy has the ability to save an entire realm, though she may not be able to save herself.

In this second installment of the series, Katy and Peter’s love is tested, and though strong, their future is filled with questions. Their romance as well as the story is YA appropriate, but enjoyable for any fans of the supernatural/paranormal genre.

But even this, I thought, even this pain, this failure, was worthwhile. Because I’d tried. I’d done my best, and I would keep trying until the very end, and that meant I was something more than poison. I was a human being- flawed, maybe, wrong, but still a person whose life had been worth living.

‘Forgive me,’ I whispered, knowing that I was worthy of forgiveness. That we all were, no matter what we’d done, and why.

I blinked away my tears. I wasn’t the only one who needed forgiveness. We all had something of the Darkness in us. We all just did what we could.”

 

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

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About the Author:

 

Molly Cochran, author of the teen paranormal romances LEGACY and POISON, has written 26 published novels and four nonfiction books under her own name and various pseudonyms. Her books include New York Times bestselling novels GRANDMASTER and THE FOREVER KING, coauthored with Warren Murphy, and the nonfiction DRESSING THIN, also a NY Times bestseller. She has won awards from the Mystery Writers of America (Best Novel of the Year), the Romance Writers of America (Best Thriller), and the New York Public Library (Outstanding Books for the Teen Age).

SEDUCTION, the third installment in the LEGACY series, is scheduled for release later this year through her publisher, Simon & Schuster.

Two eBooks, THE TEMPLE DOGS and THE FOREVER KING, are currently available through online retailers. A third, GRANDMASTER, will be available soon.

Molly has lectured extensively and has taught writing at the college level as well as at a women’s prison (where she was NOT an inmate). She also writes a blog on writing technique which appears on her website, MollyCochran.com. She is also on Facebook at facebook.com/molly.cochran1 and Twitter at Twitter.com/mollycochranYA.

She lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Molly-2010

Connect with Molly:

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Book Review: EDEN by Janelle Stalder

September 20, 2012 Book Review, Young Adult 0

 

Title: Eden

Author: Janelle Stalder

Publisher: iUniverse

Publication Date: September 20, 2011

Rating: 4 Stars

 

Trapped within the cruel world of hormones and bullies, fifteen-year-old Aiden is convinced life has more to offer him. His instincts are proven correct on the night he is awakened by a voice calling to him from outside his window. As he sleepily peers into his yard, his eyes slowly focus on a woman who says she is there to take him to Eden. Aiden is about to fulfill the life purpose he never knew he had.

It is in Eden, a land on the brink of war, where Aiden will finally learn to trust himself and those around him. Accompanied by Wolf, his sidekick Logan, and the beautiful archer, Elisa, Aiden is soon thrust into a battle to save Eden. Meanwhile Elisa, the only girl in the King’s Army, is in the midst of her own struggles. Betrothed to a man she has no intention of marrying, Elisa is caught between the need to prove herself and her desire for true happiness. And now that she has met Aiden, she is more confused than ever.

In this action-packed fantasy tale, romance, adventure, and intrigue surround Aiden as he learns just what he is capable of when he discovers confidence and courage.

Eden is a fast-moving fantasy tale set in a distant world that exists parallel to our own. Stalder succeeds in weaving together multiple story-lines into an exciting and engaging page turner.

I love an underdog story, and Eden is just that. In our world, Aiden is a normal, unpopular, fifteen year-old boy. When he finds himself in Eden, he must come to terms with how special he truly is, and ultimately be responsible for leading an entire army of men into battle. I enjoyed the way that Stalder handled Aiden’s transformation. She allowed him to grow in skill and confidence as a soldier, but never took him too far from who is really is.

Aiden’s story is the only one that grabbed my interest. Stadler provides multiple plot lines, each with their own appeal. Each character has his or her own story to tell. I was particularly taken by the story of Callum and Rose. Callum is the brother to Jameson, the current High King of Eden. Callum has joined forces with Brutus the Red, and they hope to take control of all of Eden. When Callum’s army destroys Rose’s village, he kidnaps her and keeps her with him as the army travels. They have a great romantic tension, and I hope the second book gives us more of their story.

I appreciated very much that Stadler didn’t make the story a simple good vs. evil with only one side to root for. She succeeds in giving the “evil” side their own story, and at some points I found myself sympathizing with Callum and Brutus the Red. She made them human and even likable. She made it clear that on both sides of any war, there are people fighting for what they believe in.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Eden. It is an epic and engaging fantasy, with a great cast of characters. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

Looking around at the high walls of the city, and thinking about the beauty inside them, and all the people, he knew that even though it wasn’t his home, he couldn’t let it be destroyed. The city, the forest, the land itself had a magical feel, a feeling of peace. There was no way he could stand by and let it be ruined.”

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