Lifel1k3 Tour- ARC Review and Giveaway!

LIFELIKE

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Untitled-1Title: LIFEL1K3

Author: Jay Kristoff

Pub. Date: May 29, 2018

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 416

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudibleB&NiBooksTBD

 

On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.

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Review:

How does one properly review such a bad ass book from an even more bad ass author? The struggle is oh so real, folks. This was a whirlwind of a scifi thriller that tugged at my MadMax feels.

You already know the short recap so I won’t attempt another one, as I would fail miserably at trying to do justice.

Eve is such a relateable character that I couldn’t get enough of her. She was doing what she needed to do to get by with no apologizes for how she lived her life. She was a damn good robot fighter in a time and place when most females would cower away, she stood tall. She really was trying to do the best with the hand that life gave her, which was not a great hand at all. She is able to keep trucking with her bestest friends by her side – Lemon Fresh and Cricket. (If the names alone don’t make you want to read this story even more, I might not be able to help you. You might need help.) Lemon’s character was also so much fun to read. I wanted to be friends with her in real life. Her snark was stuff dreams are made of. I was constantly laughing at her quips! Cricket was just all around amazing. Makes me wish I had a small robot to talk sense into me. And speaking of wishing, I want a blitzhound STAT. Once you read the book – you’ll get what I’m talking about.

Writing reviews with no spoilers is TOUGH. I want to go into more detail about I can’t! Just know the world building was a-freaking-mazing and the pacing was stellar. I felt the story was over too quickly but that is simply because I was so engrossed that I couldn’t put the book down. Nah, I didn’t want to put the book down (that’s more like the truth). I could not get enough of these characters, this world, this story. It is going to feel like eternity for the next book in the series. But know that I’m already camped out at the front of the line for book 2.

I hope you are excited about this book and have it on your TBR! Once you read it – of if you have already read it – come back and let me know your thoughts. I need someone to fangirl with.2950337_orig

Pre-Order Giveaway:

The LIFEL1K# pre-order is now live for folks in the US! To get your sticky booky hands on a full color map of the Yousay by the amazing Virginia Allyn and four brill LIFEL1K3 bookmarks with illustrations by the incredibly talented Mona May, all you need to is:

  1. Pre order LIFEL1K3 (Amazon/Barnes&Noble/Indiebound/Powells/Book Depository/ it doesn’t matter from where, just get a receipt)
  2. Head to getunderlined.com and search for “Lifel1k3”. Or better yet, just click HERE.
  3. Enter your details and upload your receipt.
  4. Profit.

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AUSSIE & NEW ZEALAND GIVEAWAY!

HOW TO ENTER

Take a SELFIE with a copy of LIFEL1K3 and SHARE IT using #LIFEL1K3comp for your chance to win tickets for you and a friend to go to any concert of your choice!

Entry is open to Australian and New Zealand residents only. Terms and Conditions apply. Ends 09/05/2018.

https://a.pgtb.me/mlvSGS

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About Jay Kristoff

jayJay Kristoff is a #1 international, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of science fiction and fantasy. He grew up in the second most isolated capital city on earth and fled at his earliest convenience, although he’s been known to trek back for weddings of the particularly nice and funerals of the particularly wealthy. Being the holder of an Arts degree, he has no education to speak of.

His LOTUS WAR trilogy was critically acclaimed in Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, nominated for the David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards and won the 2014 Aurealis Award. Jay’s new series, the SciFi thriller THE ILLUMINAE FILES, was co-authored with Amie Kaufman. Book 1, ILLUMINAE, became a New York Times and international bestseller, was named among the Kirkus, Amazon and YALSA Best Books of 2015, became a finalist for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award and won the 2016 Aurealis Award and an ABIA Book of the Year award. ILLUMINAE is currently slated to be published in thirty five countries, and film rights have been acquired by Brad Pitt and Plan B Entertainment.

Jay’s new fantasy series, THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE, commenced in 2016. The novel was an international bestseller, won the Aurealis award and earned Kristoff his second Gemmell nomination. Part 2, GODSGRAVE, was published in 2017, and won the series its second Aurealis award. A new YA series, LIFEL1K3 has also been acquired by Knopf/Random House Kids, and commences publication in early 2018. A new series with Amie Kaufman, THE ANDROMEDA CYCLE, begins in 2019 with Knopf/Random House Kids. Jay is as surprised about all this as you are. He is represented by Josh Adams at Adams Literary.

Jay is 6’7 and has approximately 12,000 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.

He does not believe in happy endings.

Website | Twitter | Facebook |Instagram | Goodreads

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Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of LIFEL1K3, US Only.

 

Rafflecopter Code:

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

5/14/2018- Mary Had a Little Book Blog– Review

5/15/2018- Fiction Fare– Review

5/16/2018- Birdie Bookworm– Review

5/17/2018- Novel Heartbeat– Review

5/18/2018- Bookish In Bed– Review

 

Week Two:

5/21/2018- Portrait of a Book– Review

5/22/2018- Confessions of a YA Reader– Review

5/23/2018- Emily Reads Everything– Review

5/24/2018- Zach’s YA Reviews– Review

5/25/2018- The Bookish Libra– Review

 

Week Three:

5/28/2018- Feed Your Fiction Addiction– Review

5/29/2018- Diary of an Avid Reader– Review

5/30/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

5/31/2018- Book-Keeping– Review

6/1/2018- Nerdophiles– Review

 

Week Four:

6/4/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

6/5/2018- Novel Novice– Review

6/6/2018- The Book Nut– Review

6/7/2018- Book Briefs– Review

6/8/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review

 

 

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ARC Review: Monday’s Not Coming

Monday's Not Coming

 

After reading Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson, I knew I would be a fan of her work for life. Her first book was a sucker punch to my feels. Her second was one that forced me to sit back and really take in the words she wrote. It shook me, never wonder about that, but it really made me think about things.

Short recap: Claudia is the only person who seems to have noticed that her best friend, Monday, is missing. Claudia keeps asking and keeps asking but nobody seems concerned that they haven’t seen Monday either. Claudia knows something is terribly wrong so she sets out to find her best friend, regardless of what she might find.

Let it be known that Tiffany D. Jackson can write. This girl has gift for the written word. And while I loved the premise of this story, I felt the execution was lacking a wee bit. I did become confused with the timeline of the story. It is presented in a way known as “Before” and “After” and even “2 Years Before the Before”. That made it a little difficult for me to truly follow what was happening. The momentum was broken and as a result I lost a bit of interest. I was still vested and I still had to know what happened to Monday, but the way in which the story was laid out was a head scratcher. By the end of the story, I understood why Jackson did what she did, but it made for a jagged story.

I did like Claudia’s character and her loyalty to her best friend. Talk about a redeeming characteristic, wow. She was the only character that I really liked. The boy that Claudia becomes friends with was okay but I don’t think Jackson should have focused so much on Claudia trying to flirt and date the boy from church. That did not add any depth to the story for me. There were a lot of adults throughout the story but I was not a fan of any except Claudia’s teacher. I found it a bit strange that no other parent or adult chose to believe Claudia. They admitted they had not seen Monday but chose not to act. Was that because these were young African-American girls in a bad neighborhood so it wasn’t a big deal? Was it because Monday came from a severely broken home and her Mom was a waste of space?

The ending of the story is the huge reveal and shocker – NOT GIVING ANYTHING AWAY – but there was one thing that was revealed that left me wondering what was going on. Maybe it was just me but I didn’t feel it was explained very well and to this day I’m still wondering what was going on. If you read the book, you may know what I’m talking about. If you do, message me! I might need you to explain it to me.

No matter what critic I give in this review, I really did like this book. It was so thought provoking and eye opening, not to mention deeply disturbing. The topics Jackson writes about are real. This story is absolutely no exception. I am still a fan of Jackson and I will still continue to read/review her books. I love the voice she has brought to YA because I think it is necessary. I hope Jackson and her stories are here to stay.

 

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The Fall of Innocence: Blog Tour and Review

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BOOK DESCRIPTION 
The Fall of InnocenceThe Lovely Bones meets Thirteen Reasons Why in this gorgeous, haunting, and tragic novel that examines the crippling–and far-reaching–effects of one person’s trauma on her family, her community, and herself.

For the past eight years, sixteen-year-old Emilia DeJesus has done her best to move on from the traumatic attack she suffered in the woods behind her elementary school. She’s forced down the memories–the feeling of the twigs cracking beneath her, choking on her own blood, unable to scream. Most of all, she’s tried to forget about Jeremy Lance, the boy responsible, the boy who caused her such pain. Emilia believes that the crows who watched over her that day, who helped her survive, are still on her side, encouraging her to live fully. And with the love and support of her mother, brother, and her caring boyfriend, Emilia is doing just that.

But when a startling discovery about her attacker’s identity comes to light, and the memories of that day break through the mental box in which she’d shut them away, Emilia is forced to confront her new reality and make sense of shifting truths about her past, her family, and herself.

A compulsively-readable tragedy that reminds us of the fragility of human nature.

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REVIEW

The premise of the story alone is what caught my attention. The story is about the aftermath of a violent sexual attack that happened to Emilia when she was young. She thought she recovered and was “normal”, but that just is not the case. She was far more fragile and broken than she realized.

This was a tough story to get through but I felt it was a necessary story. I fear more and more girls go through some traumatic event and claim to be better or “normal”, but something triggers a flashback and they revert back to the exact moment of the attack. Everything could come back so vividly, as if reliving. I do speak from experience as I have severe PTSD (not military) and have flashbacks even though my event took place 15 years ago. That was yet another driving factor for me to want to get my hands on this book. I really hope it lets girls – and boys! – know they are not alone.

This story switched back and forth from past to present. At first it seemed a little confusing but it just show the strength of Sanchez’s writing ability. I felt she captured the fractured mind and fragile spirit of the victim perfectly. Following Emilia’s character as she fought her demons and struggled to retain some sort of normalcy was heartbreaking. The poor girl flipped back and forth between rebelling, as most teenagers do, and believing her bizarre fantasies she was actually a bird. I felt this gave a deeper level of concern for the true well-being to the character. I just wanted to hold Emilia and tell her everything would be okay. I hurt for her, the way she chose to withdraw from her boyfriend and family, keeping secrets from them in order to prove that everything “really was fine”. I keep using quotes because it is obvious throughout the book that the poor girl was anything but “normal” or “fine”.

There is one small complaint that I have have – it is Thomas’ character. Thomas is Emilia’s older brother. He was such a darling character, however, it is mentioned a couple of times that he is a cross-dresser. Thomas loved to take Emilia’s dresses and wear them, along with makeup. While characters like this are rarely mentioned in stories, I wish the story line was either expanded upon or not included at all. After reading about his inner turmoil, I wanted to know more about him but it never happened. That’s why I said that either talk about it more or don’t write that sub-story line in. Overall, it did not add to the actual story and that made me sad.

Not all characters in this story were perfect. Emilia and Tomas’ family had a subscription to their issues. Those people needed professional help. I felt their mother was in denial and the absent father needed a slap in the face. The mother knew something was wrong with her daughter but instead of doing something, she let it all play out. Let’s not forget she had a stealing habit of her own that she chose to ignore. That mixed with the father traveling out of town for a job interview and never coming back because he didn’t want to deal with his daughter’s attack was a recipe for a terrible home life.

Overall, this was a powerful story and a hard one to get through without shedding a tear. My heart shattered for the entire family. They were all afraid to do what needed to be done, fearful to speak up. While I keep saying this book was tough, I found I couldn’t stop reading. I would read a little bit, put the book down and walk away, only to come back to it a short time later. I hope everyone adds this to their TBR and gives Emilia’s story a chance.

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AUTHOR BIO

Author photo_Jenny

 

 

Jenny Torres Sanchez (www.jennytorressanchez.com) is a full-time writer and former English teacher. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, but has lived on the border of two worlds her whole life. She is the author of Because of the SunDeath, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia; and The Downside of Being Charlie. She lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband and children. Follow her on Twitter @jetchez.

 

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SCHEDULE

WEEK ONE

June 4 – The Desert Bibliophile – Listicle

June 5 – Reading With Lori – Playlist + Book Aesthetic

June 6 – A Gingerly Review – Review

June 7 – Laura’s Bookish Corner – Author Guest Post: What Inspired The Novel

June 8 – Margie’s Must Reads – Playlist + Review

WEEK TWO

June 12 – HelloJennyReviews – Creative Instagram Picture

June 13 – The Fandom – Review

June 14 – Amber Colored Books – Book Aesthetics

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ARC Review: Bruja Born (Brooklyn Brujas #2)

Bruja Born (Brooklyn Brujas, #2)

 

I absolute loved Labyrinth Lost and was impatiently waiting for the second book in the Brooklyn Brujas series. I’m thrilled to tell you that I felt the second book was just as great – if not a *wee* bit better than the first.

Short recap: This book picks up almost right after the end of book one but Lula is the focus, not Alex. Lula and her boyfriend, Maks, get into a horrific accident at the start of the story. This happens just after Maks decides to break up with Lula. Even though he is not expected to survive the accident, she does everything within her Bruja power to save him, even if that means sacrificing her own self. Nobody could predict the chaos Lula has created or the imbalance between the living and the dead. It is up to Lula to fix this mess and discover who she really is at heart.

Seriously everyone, I. Loved. This. Story. I loved the world, the characters (as heavily flawed as they are), and the overall story. Cordova can write and I’ll fight anyone that says otherwise. It took no time for me to be pulled back into the Brooklyn Bruja series. It felt like snuggling into a cozy blanket – all welcoming and inviting. That doesn’t last for long because Cordova hit me out of the gate with a terrible bus accident and (sadly) students dying. 😦 That was just the beginning because Cordova did not stop messing with my feels.

I am going to really try not to give too much away as the book releases TOMORROW. I will tell you this much: Lula is one of the most complex and deeply flawed characters I’ve read in a while. I think that is why I wanted to dislike her and her decisions but couldn’t because I know I would have done the exact same thing at her age. She is a teenager so I had to keep remembering it. The thought of a boy I loved breaking up with me would have crushed me so much and I would have done almost anything to keep him with me if I had the same powers as Lula and her family. I cannot fault her for any choices she made. We all have been there at some point in our lives. Granted, I never raised the dead and brought about a horde of zombies, but who am I to judge? Just know you need to read to find out what I’m talking about.

I felt this story not only gave me/us a better insight into Lula, but the rest of her family. Especially after their Dad came back at the end of book one! *clutches pearls* That still blew me away. I loved being able to get to know more about all of the sisters, especially the youngest since she has not had her Deathday to bring out her true powers. There are hints sprinkled throughout as to what she could do but when it came out at the end of the story – I was in awe. And slightly jealous. I would love that power so much. PLUS DAT ENDING THO. *insert all of the audible gasps here*

This book was far more complex and deep than I realized it would be, but not in a bad way. There really are several story lines woven together to make a truly one of a kind read. There are some deep layers that you just have to read for yourself. This was a fast paced read that had me turning the pages non-stop. It was over before I realized it and then I became sad at the thought of having to wait so long to find out what happens next. Add this to your TBR if you haven’t already. This series really is not like anything I’ve read before and I really want everyone to get their hands on it. I want someone to fangirl with me about brujas and what our powers could possibly be.

 

 

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ARC Review: The Opposite Of Here

The Opposite of Here

**I was sent an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

 

The premise of this story sounded amazing and I could not wait to start reading! Once I started, I quickly discovered that this was not going to be my cup of tea. Weak plot and flimsy characters kept me from connecting to the story or caring what happened.

Short recap: Natalie lost her boyfriend in a terrible accident almost a year ago. Her parents believe she needs to finally get on with her life so they take her and her friends on a cruise for her birthday. Natalie had no idea what mysteries were waiting for her on that boat.

See, that blurb sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? I found this story to be far less mystery and a metric ton more confusion. The plot itself had holes so large you could drive a truck through them. The author attempted to connected everything but in doing so with events/things that were just too convenient. You want me to believe that this girl that lost her boyfriend and has been moping for 10 months (a fact that she constantly repeats so it is never lost on the read exactly how long since she lost her boyfriend) was suddenly ready to move on because a cute mystery boy starting talking to her? Break out the crayons and color me Confused. The mystery boy disappears and she was the one who had to find him based on “clues”? Peddle that somewhere else because I’m not not buying.

On top of that unbelievable plot, other little details sprinkled throughout the story did not sit right with me. Natalie’s family talked early on about how they were making just enough to get by living in Florida but suddenly they have enough money to buy cruise passes for their family of four AND Natalie’s friends? <ERROR> DOES NOT COMPUTE. <ErrOr> I know that is such a small thing but I’m the type of reader that pays attention to details because they all add up in the end.

Now let’s talk about the characters and the severe lack of development. Natalie lacked any type of personality. I get that she was devastated at the loss of her boyfriend, but I just cannot get on board with her magically coming out of her coma-like-trance because a cute boy talked to her. She never came across boy-crazed until she got on the boat. Maybe this was a magic boat that we were never told about… Hmmm… someone write a story about THAT. *cough* Sorry, got distracted with my idea for a new story. Natalie’s friends felt forgettable and interchangeable. I don’t remember any of their names but it doesn’t matter. They could have been replaced with cardboard cutouts and the story would have read the same. Her parents were absent as well. Sure, they are on the boat but who cares since conveniently one of Natalie’s friends turned 18 and they don’t need no stinking parent!

I cannot stress enough how not mysterious or thrilling this story was for me. I found myself skimming the story just wanting it to be over. I can tell you that the “big shocking twist” happened on the last few pages. When that happens, it feels like a huge cop out because there is no resolution nor does the story properly wrap up. I walked away disappointed.

 

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ARC Review: Tell Me No Lies

Tell Me No Lies (Follow Me Back #2)

**An ARC was sent by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

 

Y’all.

Y’ALL.

THIS. BOOK. It was everything I wanted and needed it to be! I was head over heels obsessed with Follow Me Back so I could hardly contain my excitement I received a copy of Tell Me No Lies. I believe I read this book in two days. If I could have given up sleeping and working, it would have been read in one day.

Short recap: Nobody knows really what happened to Eric Thorn. His Twitter account has been inactive and nobody knows if he is really dead or not. The last person to have known contact with him is Tessa Hart, the girl who started the “#EricThornObsessed” hashtag on Twitter. The only problem is that Tessa has gone missing as well. But Tessa is a known agoraphobic – can she finally make an appearance to tell everyone what happened?

Tell Me No Lies picks up almost right where Follow Me Back left off. Tessa had been attacked in her home by the guy that has been stalking her and it appears that Eric Thorn was brutally attacked. People actually believe that Eric has been murdered EXCEPT that they cannot find his body.  This book starts with transcriptions of police interrogations. These interrogations masterfully follow the story as it unfolds so as I (the reader) find something out, so do the characters. I believe this really helped move the story along and keep the suspense.

I did like how relevant and current this story felt. The first book was told through a lot of DMs, Tweets, and Emails while this book was told in police interrogations and some SnapChat messages. I really liked how Geiger incorporated modern apps to tell her story. It really did feel like something that would happen today. It just felt believable, especially in today’s age where people are more willing to confide and trust people they meet on the internet. It made the story that much more compelling. The pacing was spot on and had me begging to find out what happened. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

I want you to know that I am struggling not to say more about this story because I wanted to give a proper review but no spoilers before the book releases! I do want to stress that this story was just has swoon-worthy and heart-pounding as the first book. I loved the relationship between Eric and Tessa. I will ship those two forever. As the story continued, I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat tearing through the pages to find out what happened to these two. I was hooked and I know you will be to! I did have that worry and fear that the sequel wouldn’t be as good as the first but I was oh so wrong. SO. WRONG. I loved, LOVED this book. I almost didn’t want to finish it because I wanted to keep Tessa and Eric around longer.

I’m going to finish this review by saying YOU WANT THIS BOOK. You want this series! Pick up the first book then binge read the second when it comes out in June. You won’t be sorry!

 

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DNF ARC Review: The Universe Is Expanding And So Am I

The Universe Is Expanding and So Am I (The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things #2)

 

**I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review**

 

This was a struggle for me, so much so that I DNFd the book. I knew about the sequel before I knew about the first book so of course I had to read the first. It was no secret that I was not that big of a fan of The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things. The sequel proved to be just as rough as its predecessor.

The protagonist, Virginia, doesn’t seem to have matured much since the first book. She fat shamed a lot in the first book and had a Disney-style attitude adjustment towards the end, but it seems it didn’t stay around very long. She started out this book with yet another list of things that larger girls should do to get a guy – and hooking up with guys on the down low was on the list. I beg you pardon. I cannot and will not condone that at all. I did not find that humorous or even the smallest bit entertaining. Virginia’s parents still walked around fat shaming people and Virginia did a lot of skinny shaming girls (is that a thing? I feel it should be a thing.) Both are wrong and I felt the topics were glossed over. This would have been a great opportunity for the author to discuss how and why this is bad but it never happened.

The other topic that felt brushed over was the sexual assault allegation against Virginia’s brother. It was not handled well in the first book and barely handled in this book. I didn’t get far enough in to find out if there was a resolution because I couldn’t stand to read anymore of Virginia’s nasty negative attitude. She was still self centered and hateful to people that were smaller than her. Character arcs felt lazy and probably didn’t come to a resolution either but I’m guessing there.

 

I had such high hopes for this sequel but it was just not meant to be for me. If you read this and loved it, I truly wish I could have read it through your eyes. It was just not for me. I quickly set the book down and walked away. Life is too short to read books that are going to upset me in a bad way.

 

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