Saturday, 30 June 2012

Review: Fallen Angel by Eden Bradley

Title: Fallen Angel
Author: Eden Bradley
Series: N/A
Publication Date: 19th June 2012

Warning: I only recommend this book for readers age 18 and over.

My Synopsis:
Declan watches as a naked woman falls from the sky, he feels compulsed to touch her and already feels a strange connection to her. He vows to stay with her in hospital and find out who did this to her. When she wakes in hospital it is clear something terrible has been going on in her life, she talks of the Grandmother and Asmodeus, the only 2 people she ever saw. She has deep cuts down her shoulders and tattoos on her hands. She also claims she has never had a name. As she is a Jane Doe, Declan decides to take her in and help her. Declan has many issues of his own to work through and still feels a strange connection to her.

Why I picked this book up:
I thought it was a paranormal romance which I can be a bit partial to. I’ve read quite a few fallen angel stories, but the angel is usually a guy and a normal girl (or one who doesn’t know she is special) falls for him, this one looked like it was the other way round so I looked forward to a change.

Did it live up to my expectations?
Well no, it wasn’t a paranormal romance; it was erotic fiction that was a bit of a shocker.

What I thought:
I haven’t ever really read erotic fiction before, so am not really sure what they would normally read like. I found the sex scenes a bit too much in this story, they seemed to be at it every second, or thinking about it (or she was with Asmodeus, doing the dirty) and to me this was too much, none of it seemed realistic. I also found the swearing a little too much.  I also had issues with how they instantly fell in love (or felt such a strong connection anyway) you would think that someone who had been abused most of their life and not seeing many people, would be wary of anyone new, instead she woke up and immediately wanted sex with Declan and strove to make it her mission.
The story I found interesting, and probably would have enjoyed it had the romance and sex seemed more real. I enjoyed the physiological issues and trying to guess if it was in her mind or real, I enjoyed the mystery aspect too. Overall not something I’d normally read, and if this is anything to go by, will not be reading anymore erotic fiction.

Read if:
Maybe if you like erotic fiction?

Up next for review:
One Moment by Kristina McBride

Review: Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

Title: Glitch
Author: Heather Anastasiu
Series: Glitch, #1
Publication Date: 7th August 2012

My Synopsis:
Everyone is connected to the “link” via a v-chip inserted into their necks. People no longer feel emotions or think for themselves, they simply do what they are programmed to. Any anomalies are to be reported and fixed; those that are not reported often get deactivated. Zoel/Zoe has started glitching, not only has she started disconnecting from the link and having her own thoughts and feelings, she also realises she can move things without touching them.

Why I picked this book up:
The premise just sounded really interesting.

Did it live up to my expectations?
I didn’t really have any expectations from this book, so it had nothing to live up to.

What I thought:
I started reading 1984 by George Orwell at the same time as this book, and the similarities struck me, in both worlds people were being controlled by those in power, they each had some kind of “link” and each started with the main character have thoughts and feelings they shouldn’t. They even both had main characters that hid something that showed their feelings, (Drawings in Glitch, Diary in 1984) I stopped reading 1984 at this point to make sure I didn’t confuse the 2 books so cannot tell you if that’s where the similarities ended or just got started, but I will be sure to once I finish 1984.
There were bad points and good points about this book. The premise was good, but the story could have been better. I liked Zoe and understood her confusion and indecisiveness about turning herself in, she was programmed to believe that she should, but she was also worried about being deactivated.
I had a few problems with inconsistencies in this book though, firstly we are told she sees no colours while “linked”, but then we read that the “Regulators” stand out wearing blue coveralls, she also points out other colours, now I understand she is not linked while seeing these colours, but why would the regulators wear different coloured clothes if no one can actually tell? Also how does she know which colour is which if it’s the first time she is seeing it? The same thing happens with taste, at one point she describes all the different flavours she can taste in her food, but she wouldn’t have known what they were if she had never tasted before.
It also seemed as though even when she was linked she still had thoughts and feelings, otherwise she wouldn’t remember not being linked, or at least what it had felt like.
I really didn’t like Max towards the end, at first I really liked him, but grew to hate him throughout the book, Adrien and Zoe however I did like.
I did enjoy the book despite these problems but will probably not read it again.

How it stood as part of a series:
This wasn’t a bad start to the series, but I hope the next one will be better. I will continue the series, because I am intrigued to see what happens next.

Read if:
I not sure what to recommend for this book.

Up next for review:
Fallen Angel by Eden Bradley

Friday, 29 June 2012

Feature and Follow Friday: Birthday Wishes

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read.

Today's question is:

Birthday Wishes — Blow out the candles and imagine what character could pop out of your cake…who is it and what book are they from??

This is quite a hard one, I can't really think of one character in particular, my mind has gone completely blank! I have read alot of books lately with really good characters, but mostly I'd like to be them rather than have them pop out of my cake.
Maybe Mrs Weasley, I can just imagine her cleaning up after me and cooking me lovely dinners so I don't have to!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Booking Through Thursday: First Teacher

Booking through thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the blog of the same name.

This weeks question:

Who taught you to read?

I can't actually remember learning to read, I guess my parents and school taught me to read. I don't really remember ever being read to either, but I most probably was, but as far back as I can remember I much prefer reading to myself so I can go at my own pace.

Review: Ashen Winter by Mike Mullins

Title: Ashen Winter
Author: Mike Mullins
Series: Ashfall, #2
Publication Date: 16th October 2012

Warning! May contain spoilers for Ashfall.
Alex and Darla have been waiting at his Uncle’s farm for six months for his parents to come back. The eruption has caused a perpetual winter and things are harder than ever, food is scarce, there is still no gas or electricity and bandits are everywhere.
When bandits turn up at Alex’s Uncle’s farm with his Dad’s gun, Alex and Darla decide it is time they set off to find them. They face many difficulties and trials on their journey.

Why I picked this book up:
I loved the first one, especially the characters. I really wanted to see how they were coping and surviving.

Did it live up to my expectations?
It was a very good book, although I was expecting more about what life is like after the eruption. We were told a lot about what it was like, but I guess I was expecting to read about them rebuilding their lives. I also wanted to see more of Darla as she was my favourite character.

What I thought:
This was quite similar to the first one, which is good because I loved the first one, but was expecting more from this one. Basically, Alex takes the same journey in reverse, still trying to get to his parents, still running into trouble at every turn, still running out of food, and still freezing cold. This one did seem more violent than the first and in a way more scary, (although in a way not quite as scary, as the most scary part of the first was the fact that it could happen) it was very fast paced and kept you reading easily.
A few new characters were introduced, the most interesting being Ben, the others felt a bit flat to me, but Ben was a great character and I look forward to seeing more of him, (I almost like him as much as Darla!) but would have liked to see more of Darla.
Overall I thought this was a good book and definitely worth a read, it just didn’t blow my socks off like the first, although that could be because Ashfall was the first of its kind I read.

How it stood as part of a series:
You definitely need to read Ashfall first, and the ending was left in such a way that I can’t wait to read the next one; hopefully that one will be what I was hoping this one was. (Sorry I haven’t made much sense during this review, I can’t seem to say what I mean.)

Read if:
You have read and like Ashfall.

Up next for review:
Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

Friday, 22 June 2012

Feature and Follow Friday

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read.

Todays questions is:

Q: If you could “unread” a book, which one would it be? Is it because you want to start over and experience it again for the first time? Or because it was THAT bad?

I don't think I'd want to "unread" any books, even the really bad ones. I always learn something from a book (even if its just never read anything by that author again!) and I wouldn't want to undo that.
As for really good books, I love re-reading them and seeing what I missed the first time, it feels like seeing an old friend you haven't seen in a while.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Booking through thursday: Quotable

Booking through thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the blog of the same name.

This weeks question:

Do you have a favorite quote from a book?

I have so many, I have to go back through my kindle to put a few here:

From The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis, "Their prison is only in their own minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out."

From Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, "We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over, so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over."

From Remedy by Heidi C Vlach, "Dying was hard. Not for the person doing it - people died all the time - but for their family and friends, for everyone who had to watch them go."

From Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares, "There as undoubtedly something beautiful in longing and wishing. Their love story stayed perfect because they couldn't have it."

From The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan, "And still, for all the jealousy, all the doubt, sometimes I will be struck woth a kind of awe that we're together. That someone like me could find someone like you - it renders me wordless." 
another one: "There are times when I worry that I've already lost myself. That is, that my self is so inseparable from being with you that if we were to separate, I would no longer be." 
I could go on and on from this book, basically the whole book is one long quote I love!

From As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott, "Love - real love - can't be defined. It just is. It just lives in your heart, like he lives in mine."

And the last one from The Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne DuPrau, "It wasn't because they had extraordinary powers, really, but because of how well they used the ordinary powers everyone had: the power of courage, the power of kindness, the powers of curiosity and knowledge."

I love how I can save them all in my kindle and read them again anytime I want without the book.

Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Title: Ashfall
Author: Mike Mullins
Series: Ashfall, #1
Publication Date: 27th September 2011

My Synopsis:
Fifteen year old Alex was glad to be left behind while the rest of his family went to visit his uncle in Warren, that is until something crashed through the roof of his house and set the place alight. Alex later finds out that the super volcano under Yellowstone has erupted. After many hours of endless explosion sounds and complete darkness, nothing was working, no electric, no gas, and no water. Among people going crazy Alex decides he needs to go to Warren and find his family. Alex sets off skiing across the ash that covers everything with little supplies.

Why I picked this book up:
I love YA dystopian books, and this one sounded good.

Did it live up to my expectations?
I didn’t really have many expectations from this, so yes it exceeded any I did have.

What I thought:
One of the things I loved about this book is that it was so real. It’s not set in some future world that we have to learn about. It’s set here and now, and is about something that could realistically happen (okay so the author tells me at the end that it’s not likely to happen in our lifetime, but I didn’t realise that during reading.) This makes it so much easier to get into and imagine. It also makes it scary, can you imagine hours of load explosions and total darkness, that alone is enough to scare me (that would make most people crazy as it is.) then add in the fact that all communication is down, food is running out and water is running out.
Alex is a really good character, I loved the fact that he was a bit of a geek and that he just hid at first when his house started falling about around him, made him seem real rather than some superhero that goes out guns blazing, so to speak.
Darla I really connected with, she was strong, smart and sarcastic, just the kind of girl I’d like to be.
Some of the other characters didn’t quite feel as real, but it wasn’t much of a problem.
The romance part felt quite real, and romance is always an added bonus for me.
There is quite a bit of violence, but then I imagine there would be if this happened (when it happens?) so it didn’t feel out of place at all.
There were times it got a bit slow, but overall I really enjoyed this book.

How it stood as part of a series:
It left enough open at the end to give the series somewhere else to go, but the real reason to carry on reading is the characters, you really want to know more about them. I will definitely be continuing this series.

Read if:
You like dystopian or post-apocalyptic novels, you are interested in volcanoes and there aftermath. You enjoyed the movie, “The Day After Tomorrow.”

Up next for review:
Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan & Rachel Cohn

Title: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Series: n/a
Publication Date: 26th October 2010

My Synopsis:
Lily’s parents have gone away for Christmas, leaving her with her older brother, who is far too busy with his new boyfriend to pay attention to her. So they come with a plan to find her a boyfriend. A series of clues/dares in a red notebook, hidden next to her favourite book in a book store.
Dash finds the notebook, and follows the clues, at least until he is told to put the notebook for the next person, instead he decides to write clues of his own. The book then follows these two through the notebook and beyond.

Why I picked this book up:
I love the idea of two people communicating without having met, especially the fact that it isn’t just communicating, its clues and dares. I loved David Levithan’s “The Lover’s Dictionary” and have read “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” and enjoyed it. I also love a bit YA romance and Christmas.

Did it live up to my expectations:
There were parts that did, and parts that didn’t. It wasn’t as good as “The Lover’s Dictionary”, but was better than “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”. The YA romance felt real which was good, but I didn’t connect with Lily the way I did with Dash, and at times it felt a bit too unrealistic/over-the-top.

What I thought:
Lily was quite annoying and I constantly wanted to tell her to grow up, the same with her brother. Dash however was completely different, sometimes I just wanted to tell him to be a kid a bit more, but mostly I just fell for him. At first I found it hard to understand what he was on about some of the time, but once I got past that I really just wanted to hug him. You can tell he’s hurting without being told how he feels all the time, whereas Lily we constantly told how she felt, but it never felt real, or that she felt that way for any particular reason.
They did however both grow throughout the book, and Lily even started to grow on me a bit.
I do have to say though, despite everything I’ve said here, I still loved this book, as I said before the romance felt real, Dash felt very real and it as a nice pick me up, that expanded my vocabulary in the mean time!
In fact, it's the kind of thing I used to wish would happen to me, I just never had the guts to do something like that.

Read if:
You liked “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”, you liked the way the characters talked in the TV series “Dawson’s Creek”, you like expanding your vocabulary, you like a realistic YA romance.

Up next to be reviewed:
Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Friday, 15 June 2012

Feature & Follow Friday

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read.

Todays question is:
Happy Father’s Day! Who is your favorite dad character in a book and why?

My favourite father character is Brian from "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult.
Even though he is struggling through his eldest daughter's illness, he is still there for his youngest daughter, recognises his mistakes and tries to correct them, and stands by his daughter when she makes a difficult choice.
 A quote from Brian:

"There were no stars that night, what with all the rain clouds. And maybe because of that, when Anna arrived I said to Sara, 'Let's name her Andromeda. Anna, for short.'
   'Andromeda?' she said. 'Like the sci-fi book?'
   'Like the princess,' I corrected. I caught her eye over the tiny horizon of our daughter's head. 'In the sky,' I explained, 'she's between her mother and her father.' "

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Title: A Wrinkle in Time
Author: Madeleine L'Engle
Series: Book 1 of the Time Series
Publication Date: 1962


My Synopsis:
Meg Murry had a lot going on in her life. School life wasn’t good, despite having scientist parents she was on the verge of being held back. She was bullied about her strange little brother who everyone thought was stupid and mute, but in fact was the opposite. Her Father has also been gone a long time on some secret mission for the government.
With the help of Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who and Mrs Which, Meg ad her youngest brother Charles Wallace set off to find her father.

Why I picked this book up:
I have heard so many good reviews of this book, and sometimes I just love a children’s book. This one had time travel in which I have been enjoying lately.

Did it live up to my expectations?
Not really, at first I it all just seemed a bit too strange to me. There wasn’t really much time travel, more travel through space.

What I thought:
I didn’t really connected with the main character Meg, and the others I never actually felt as though they were real, especially Charles Wallace, which was a bit of a problem.
I think the story line was okay, but not a lot happened for a while and then felt rushed during the second half. I liked the planet of Camazotz (well not liked but thought it was interesting) and would have liked to know more about it and the people in it. The other planets just seemed like page fillers to me.
I also didn’t realise it had such religious undertones, and not being religious, this but me off slightly.

How it stood as part of a series:
Well the main story line was wrapped up by the end, and nothing really made me want to carry on reading the series, it reads fine alone. I will continue the series, but only because I have them, if I didn’t I wouldn’t have bothered.

Read if:
Children might like this one as it would probably seem like quite a magical adventure to them.

Up next to be reviewed:
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Booking Through Thursday: Do-Over

Question this week from BTT:

Have you ever bought a book, started reading it and then realised you have already read it? If so, how far did you get? (Can you tell this happened to me for the first time ever this week!?!)

I have done this quite a few times in the past, sometimes by the end I still haven't figured out if I have actually read it or a book like it! It has happened mostly when I used to read Marian Keyes books, especially when the characters were related.
I will continue to read the book if I have forgotten most of it, or if it was a really good book.
However this rarely happens to me now, with the help of Librarything and Goodreads I can keep a list of books I have already read, and since I mostly read on my Kindle Amazon will tell me if I have already downloaded a book (although this doesn't help with old paperbacks I have read.) 

What I Didn’t Say by Keary Taylor

Title: What I Didn't Say
Author: Keary Taylor
Series: N/A
Publication Date: 11th May 2012

My Synopsis:
Jake Hayes is a normal 17 year old boy, until a terrible drink driving accident causes him to lose his voice box. He has been in love with Samantha Shay for years, but never got up the guts to tell her. Now he will never be able to say it. Can he find another way to tell her, and how will he cope without being able to talk again.

Why I picked this book up:
I love a bit of YA romance, and seeing how people cope with hardship and tradegy, this book had both so perfect for me. I love a good book where I can really get inside the characters and see what it would feel like to be so different.

Did it live up to my expectations:
To be honest I’m not really sure, the story had me gripped, but mostly for the romance, and for Samantha’s story rather than Jake’s. I didn’t feel as though I really connected with him and understood how he felt.

What I thought:
I loved the way the chapters were headed with references to time, usually a countdown to something, or past something. It gave the book a more personal feel and helped you always know exactly where you were as there were a few flashbacks.
The first half of the story was good, we got to see how Jake started to learn to cope with his disability, and see something starting between him and Sam.
In the second half the story changed from Jake’s story to Sam’s, it was still a good story and still had me gripped, but wasn’t what I picked the book up for, I still wanted to hear about how Jake was coping, but suddenly it seemed as though he was okay with everything that happened to him and coped fine by writing notes all the time? Maybe Sam’s story should have been a separate book.
A few things annoyed me throughout too, firstly all 6 of Jake’s siblings and himself had a name beginning with J, this just made it harder to remember which one as which especially as we don’t see very much of them except Jordan. Also Rain had a twin sister called River, seemed abit too much. We also have a few characters that don’t really seem to go anywhere or have any reason to be in the story, firstly, River, we find she is gay, and getting so much information makes t seem as though we will hear more of her, but she only makes a few appearances. The other character is Kali, he is bought in to help teach Jake sign language, and later moves into the loft space, but nothing else ever comes of him, the story would’ve fine without him.
Overall it is fine as a romance, but not so good in learning how people cope with a life changing disability.

Read if:
You like a sweet YA romance

 Up next to be reviewed: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Reckless Heart by Amy Clipston

Title: Reckless Heart
Author: Amy Clipston
Series: Kauffman Amish Bakery
Publication Date: 17th April 2012

My Synopsis:
16 year old Amish Lydia has a younger sister who is very ill, while coping with this, she has to run her household, look  after her other 2 younger siblings and work 2 jobs while her mum takes young Ruthie for treatments. She befriends a young “Englisher” boy, which is frowned upon by her community.

Why I picked this book up:
I like reading about how people react when they have ill members of family, I also thought it would be interesting to learn about the Amish as I knew nothing about them. I also expected the friendship with the “Englisher” to turn into a forbidden romance.

Did it live up to my expectations:
Not really, the friendship was just that, and made clear of that fact throughout the book. I didn’t really learn much about the Amish as the author seemed to expect me to know so much, and we were constantly told how Lydia was coping without really being shown, nor did we see much of Ruthie and how it was for her.

What I thought:
This book was very slow going, it seemed as though nothing much as happening, as I said above, we were told over and over how Lydia wasn’t coping, but not really shown anything, towards the end of the book she did start acting out, but it seemed a bit too late, especially after we see her really act out at the beginning, there was just nothing in between.
We were also given a glossary at the front of the book explaining some of the Amish/German words, the problem with this was the choice of words used, instead of just picking common words that would be easy to guess, e.g. Mamm/Mum, Dat/Dad and ya/yes, we were given odd words and whole sentences that I couldn’t understand why they were chosen, and just added to confusion and interruption as I constantly had to go back to the glossary.
We were also given a family a tree at the beginning of the book, this didn’t show up properly on my version on the kindle, although I didn’t need it, it would have been a nice inclusion.
Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I was Amish, or even Christian?

How did it stand as part of the series:
It is part of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series, I have not read any of the others, and it was not needed to understand this book, it works fine as a stand-alone.

Read if:
You like slow going books.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Timepiece by Myra McEntire

Title: Timepiece
Author: Myra McEntire
Series: No.2 of Hourglass
Publication Date: 12th June 2012

My Synopsis:
Timepiece picks up right where Hourglass left off, with one exception, Kaleb is now the view point character. Kaleb and the other members of Hourglass have started seeing rips, not only that, they are also getting bigger. Then a mysterious man calling himself Poe appears, telling Kaleb that the space time continuum is compromised, and that they need to find Jack Landers. The members of the Hourglass pull together to try and find Jack Landers and figure out what is going on.

Why I picked this book up:
I loved the first book, so was hoping this would live up to it. 

Did it live up to my expectations:
Yes, it lived up to the first book, I actually preferred it.

What I thought:
I loved getting to know Kaleb a bit better, finding out the reasons behind his actions. I also thought the romance between him and Lily was much more realistic than the one between Michael and Emerson, two people slowly getting to know each other without any sparks and whistles.
The storyline in this one was much more involved than Hourglass, and moved along a lot quicker. I also like the fact that the other characters were more involved.

How did it stand as part of the series:
Well it followed straight on from Hourglass, so no problem there. Enough questions were answered at the end to make you feel satisfied, but enough left open to make you want the next one. (As soon as possible please!)

Read if:
You liked Hourglass.

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Title: Hourglass
Author: Myra McEntire
Series: No.1 of Hourglass
Publication Date: 14th June 2011

My Synopsis:
Seventeen year old Emerson Cole has been seeing strange hallucinations from the past since just before her parents died. No amounts of consultants that her brother hires can help, until maybe Michael Weaver. The only problem is, Emerson is immediately attracted to him. There are things he is not telling her, things he seems to be hiding, and a strange new man keeps turning up in her bedroom. What is Michael hiding, what does the strange man want, and can Emerson control her attraction to Michael.

Why I picked this book up:
I loved the cover and the premise sounded interesting enough to try.

What I thought:
Well the book had me hooked from the start with lovely language, “My small Southern hometown is beautiful in the haunting way an aging debutante is beautiful.” Who wouldn’t fall in love with a sentence like that? A few paragraphs later we are treated to this, “I reached our building only to find a wide-eyed Southern belle wearing a Civil War-era dress blocking the front door.” And a little later, “Sighing, I stuck my hand through her stomach to turn the knob, meeting no resistance. I rolled my eyes as she gasped, fluttered her eyelashes, and disappeared in a puff of air.” I was already in love and couldn’t put the book down. This book had everything I could want, mystery, romance, sci-fi elements (without being full blown sci-fi), and great characters. Emerson is a great female heroine, she can handle herself, but at the same time is unsure of herself, turns to people when she needs it, but doesn’t rely on anyone, and has a great supporting net of family/friends. The only downfall in the book was the attraction between Michael and Emerson, it was love at first sight for Emerson, sparks and what-not, all seemed a bit over the top, and after barely knowing him she already claimed him as hers. I prefer my romance with a bit more substance. Overall a great read, and at least for me, a quick one, can’t wait for the next one in the series (and lucky for me I don’t have to, review coming up soon!)

Did it Live Up To My Expectations:
No, it exceeded them, writing was just as beautiful as the cover, and the premise was more than interesting.

Read if:
You like light sci-fi/fantasy, romances with bells, whistles and sparks, YA, I think dystopian fans would like this too. Basically read if you like YA that isn’t realistic YA. Also fans of “The Time Travellers Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger and “When You Reach Me” by Rebecca Stead may like this.
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