October Book Haul

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Once again, I didn’t haul that many books this month… mostly eARCs. ūüôā


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Book Recommendations & Romantic Tropes (part 3)

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Hey guys, here we are for the second post of recommendations based on my favorite tropes. You can see my first post here and the second here.


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Who doesn’t love a good book about second chance at love? I know I do, especially when couples reunite after a good while.

  • Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen is a great example of this trope, because Leo and Georgia were highschool sweethearts, until they went their separate ways… and then they reunite several years later and it’s so good!
  • The Mistake by Elle Kennedy also follows this trope, though Logan and Grace’s romance doesn’t go quite that far back.
  • Whatever It Takes by L.E. Bross is also about young lovers who get separated, and find each other again after a few long years.
  • Steadfast by Sarina Bowen… yeah, I squeezed 2 of Sarina’s books in here, because I just had to, ok? Jude and Sophie… ‚̧

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Forbidden romances can be caused by a lot of situations. Anything is a good excuse for being forbidden, eheh. I do love a good written forbidden romance.

  • Waking Olivia by Elizabeth O’Roark is a romance between a college student and her coach. Now, I know a lot of people have a lot of problems with the student/teacher thing, but keep in mind that these 2 are very close in age, and the story is so well written that you need to give this one a chance.
  • Did I Mention I Love You by Estelle Maskame is a step-siblings romance. I have to admit that I fell in love with this series, big time, because Eden and Tyler do so many wrong things, but they do try their best. Also worth mentioning that they didn’t grow up together, at all, so all is good!
  • The Rule Book by Jennifer Blackwood is a forbidden office romance, and it’s good.¬†Lainey shouldn’t have fallen for her boss… but how could she not?
  • The Summer Before Forever by Melissa Chambers is yet another step-sibling romance, but with much less drama than the DIMILY series. Read it. It’s so worth it!

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This is a tough one, because most books with this trope don’t announce it on the blurb, lol. So I needed to find 4 books in which the pregnancy is not a spoiler. It wasn’t easy!

  • The Goal by Elle Kennedy, because OBVIOUSLY! Heck, I decided to include this category so I could tell you to GO READ THIS BOOK! I loved how Sabrina and Tucker dealt with this huge life changing thing.
  • Anything You Want by Geoff Herbach is definitly about teen pregnancy, from the guy’s POV. Though I wouldn’t quite qualify this one as a romance book… but you should still read it, because it will surprise you.
  • Because I Love You by Tori Rigby is such a sweet story about teen pregnancy and finding support and love where you least expect it.
  • You Before Anyone Else by Julie Cross &¬†Mark Perini has a pregnancy in there… ok people, this one is tricky, because this trope will be where you least expect it, so keep an open mind, ok?

Ok, that’s it! Three more tropes :D. Now, I can’t think of any other one worth mentioning, so I need your help here, ok?

Hit me with your favorite trope, and I’ll try to find books that I loved that fit it. Yes? Good!¬†

All The Ways You Saved Me (Jamie Howard)

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Bianca Easton is the perfect senator’s daughter.

Law school? Check.

Camera-ready smile? Check.

A dull and boring existence? Double check.

But that was before. Before she lost her best and only friend in a tragic accident. Before she found that friend’s unfinished bucket list. Definitely before she turned her life upside-down by deciding to stay in New York for six months to finish it.

It’s while she’s checking off her first item on the list–buy coffee for a stranger–that she meets Ian Mathis. Between the tattoo sleeve curling up his right arm, his guitar-roughened fingertips, and the secrets shadowing his past, he’s a complication Bianca doesn’t need but desperately wants.

With every item they cross off the list together, Bianca uncovers a piece of herself that she’s buried under what’s expected, all the while breaking her own rules by falling hard for Ian. But when her six months run out, Bianca has to decide if she’s willing to risk her empty but picture-perfect life for a chance at real, messy love.


Hey guys! Yet again, I read this book as a buddy read with  Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much, go here for her review of this book.

A little while back I read Until it’s Right from Jamie Howard and I loved it. Since then I’ve been keeping my eyes open for any more books from her, and when I saw this one, I had to have it. Luckily Netgalley was good to me.

I love Jamie’s writing style, it’s first person, and kind of lyrical in a way, and I loved it. It did the story justice. A particularity of this book was how the dual POV was used. Have you read Ugly Love? It’s kind of similar. While we get Bianca’s POV in the present, we get Ian’s journey from 8 years before, to the moment he’s in.

I really liked both characters and how much they grow with the turn of each page. Bianca ¬†was never her own person until the moment her best friend dies, and she decides that she owes it to Ren√©e to find herself. She’s strong and while she craves her parents approval, she does just fine on her own. I really liked seeing her complete the items on the list, whether by herself, with Ian or with Harper. I loved Harper, and I was so glad that Bianca found such a great friend – because she most definitly needed it.

Present-day Ian is a mystery for most of the book, but past Ian is AMAZING. Well, I wasn’t very happy that he was the kind of person that blew out his friends because of his new girlfriend, but I do think he found a balance there. I did love all of his friends, especially Rachel, but Maggie… I don’t know… she was awesome, but maybe she was too perfect?! Once all is said and done though, I understood present-day Ian, and it hurt like hell. Poor guy. ūüė¶

The relationship between Ian and Bianca felt real, in the way that it was never perfect, it evolved very slow and tentative, and it wasn’t all consuming. I felt their chemistry though, even throughout some cringeworthy moments.

The story story core was predictable to a certain degree, but it took things a bit further than I was expecting, and I appreciated that. It’s a beautiful journey about finding oneself and learning that it’s ok to move on. I appreciated that the things took their time, it made a lot of sense.

I’m honestly a fan of Jamie Howard, and I will continue to read all of her books, though i hope the next one is about the rest of the gang here… Ben and Rachel maybe? Maybe Felix? I know I want to read about him soon :D. Either way, I’ll be happy!

The Stationary Book Tag

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Hey guys. Time for another book tag ūüėČ . Ann @Ann’s Reading Corner tagged me for this one, thank you :).

The Rules:

  • Thank the creator ‚Äď Sam @RiverMooseReads
  • Answer the questions
  • Add pictures, if you want
  • Tag 5 people

Pencils: Favorite Middle Grade or Children’s Book

I have to say, middle grade is not my style, and I wasn’t the biggest reader back then. So I’ll say the only thing that comes to mind: Harry Potter and the¬†Prisoner¬†of Azkaban (because I think those after this one are YA and not MG).

  


Pens: A Basic Staple For Any Reader

I think awhile back, when I was in college, you know, before the Twilight craze, everyone was picking up¬†The Da Vinci Code¬†by Dan Brown. That was awesome, because it’s a great book, with loads of interesting stuff, and it spurred people into investing more time reading about this subject. So… that’s my answer.


Notebooks: What Do You Own Multiple Copies OfDSC04551

I have two sets of The Mortal Instruments books… because how could I resist those amazing UK new editions?!

  


Markers: A Book With A Beautiful Cover

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton is probably the most gorgeous book I own.  I should read it at some point, right?

  


Glue: Two Characters That Work Really Well Together (Friends or Couple)

All of Rhy’s¬†Inner Circle from The Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, but mostly Feyre and Rhysand, because they’re the ultimate power couple… eheh.

   


Scissors: A Book You Would Like to Destroy

Can I forget this book ever existed?

Lessons of the Heart was just that bad!

   


seriesArt Kit: What Complete Series Do You Own

Ohhhh, so many! The Harry Potter series, Twilight, The Hunger Games, Shatter Me, The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, …


I Tag:

The Goal (Elle Kennedy)

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She’s good at achieving her goals… 

College senior Sabrina James has her whole future planned out: graduate from college, kick butt in law school, and land a high-paying job at a cutthroat firm. Her path to escaping her shameful past certainly doesn’t include a gorgeous hockey player who believes in love at first sight. One night of sizzling heat and surprising tenderness is all she’s willing to give John Tucker, but sometimes, one night is all it takes for your entire life to change.

But the game just got a whole lot more complicated

Tucker believes being a team player is as important as being the star. On the ice, he’s fine staying out of the spotlight, but when it comes to becoming a daddy at the age of twenty-two, he refuses to be a bench warmer. It doesn’t hurt that the soon-to-be mother of his child is beautiful, whip-smart, and keeps him on his toes. The problem is, Sabrina’s heart is locked up tight, and the fiery brunette is too stubborn to accept his help. If he wants a life with the woman of his dreams, he’ll have to convince her that some goals can only be made with an assist.


I love the Off-Campus series, you all know that by now, right? And I’m glad I “made” C√°tia @The Girl Who Read Too Much¬†read the series too, because we ended up reading The Goal as a buddy read.

I obviously loved it… did I even have to say that?! Maybe I did: I freaking loved Tucker and Sabrina’s story.

Because I don’t know how to actually review this, I’m making a list!

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  • First, I feel like each of these books expanded the guys’ universe a little bit more, you know? I loved that we get more and more awesome people in the mix.
  • With that said, I love Fitzy and I can’t wait for his own book. I want it. No… I need it! NOW!
  • Tucker is crazy amazing! I mean, he’s not my favorite guy of the bunch, but he’s amazing nonetheless. I really loved how caring and sweet he was.
  • Sabrina surprised me so much, by how much I came to care about her. She showed so much strength throughout this book… MIND BLOWN.
  • The incredibly complex situation.
  • Tucker and Sabrina’s chemistry and overall amazing relationship.
  • I really liked that Tucker gave Sabrina her time, for everything. That was the world’s most patient guy, for sure!
  • Garrett and Logan fighting it off… GIGI! I will never look at this name the same way again!!!
  • JAMIE!
  • Jamie again because… do I really need a reason?
  • Jamie with everyone.
  • Uncle Dean!!!!
  • I loved loved loved that the book took its time. The other books spanned just a few months, but The Goal covers over one year. This allowed for a deeper story, and I digged that.
  • THIS BOOK WAS HOT!!!
  • IT’S ALWAYS THE QUIET ONES….

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  • At one point I wanted to slap Tucker, because I thought he was being TOO PATIENT! I mean, he was awesome and adorable, but maybe drastic measures would have opened Sabrina’s eyes a little earlier?
  • The only problem with the time span of the book, for me, was that while the story was deeper, the characters weren’t as much. They’re both still very complex and well rounded characters, but the time going quickly meant that a lot of their relationship and inner struggles were told in the past, and so not so profusely.
  • While I understood why Sabrina stayed at home, mostly, I also didn’t quite get it. Her stay there wasn’t free, and I somehow wished that her whole situation at home was different. With that said, I loved how Tucker made himself her ROCK.
  • While I liked Sabrina’s friends, they made a couple of comments that left me a bit mad.

Bahhh, I don’t know what else to say without giving the book away completely.

I really liked this one, it reached a level that The Score also did, but this one did it for longer, which meant that I was a mess for a large portion of this book.

I hope Elle Kennedy keeps adding these awesome hockey players to my list of book boyfriends. They just keep piling up.

Have you guys read this one? What did you think? Who’s your favorite boy? What’s your favorite book of the 4? Isn’t daddy Tuck just too hard to resist?

Let’s Talk About: Problems of Being an International Reader & Blogger… ARCs

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Hey people! Last week I started this whole “Problems of Being an International Reader & Blogger” thing talking about the difficulties we have accessing books. But did you know that we also have a major drawback when it comes to obtaining ARCs? Yep… so let’s see what’s up with that, shall we?


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This is as much as a common problem to us, international book bloggers, as not being able to access a published book whenever.

If you’re just starting out this whole book blogging thing, you might be a little clueless, because I know I was when I first started out. Heck, I didn’t even know what an ARC was. And just to clarify (in case there is someone out there doing this o_O), ARC stands for advance reading copy, and it’s a copy of the book given to librarians, booksellers, bloggers, etc, to create a buzz around said book and get the reviews going.

So, back on topic, if you’re like me, you’ve probably already gone to google and typed out “how to get ARCs” or any variation of those words, and you’ve come across a bunch of amazing posts telling you exactly what to do, who to write to, how to word your request, …, everything. Those posts are awesome! Except for the fact that they don’t really apply to us, international peps.


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You’ve read those tips, and they all tell you some important points, like you should blog frequently and for a few months before attempting a request, you should review books frequently on said blog, you should have an X number of followers and daily views, etc. When I first read this, I jumped and down from excitement, because I ticked all those boxes at the time.

So I kept following their advices, like explaining to the publisher why you want to review that specific book, and so on. I then gathered a list of books I was dying to read (and knew the arcs were starting to make their way out), compiled the mails, wrote and rewrote my email to them, and then clicked “send”. I repeated the whole process a few times, until it dawned on me that every single blogger I had seen with physical arcs came from the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Philippines.

I was dismayed!

The right thing to do¬†here would be to write the publishers from YOUR country and ask them for those ARCs, but again, most books don’t make it out of the English speaking market, and those few that do, take time to do it. Also, that would mean that I would have to read in portuguese or spanish and I don’t have enough brain cells for that.

Now, I’m not saying that they NEVER send out physical ARCs to international bloggers, because I’m sure they do. I’m just saying that said bloggers will have to have worked 5 times harder, have 5 times the following, and so on, to even make it worth their while.

And while I do get it, because for publishers the goal is to market the book where it will actually be sold, it sucks big time nonetheless.

International Bloggers, raise hands if you ever got a physical ARC from the publisher! Go ahead, tell me!


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You’re probably thinking: “yeah, that kind of sucks, but there are other ways to get physical ARCs”, and sure, you would be right.

Events like BEA are huge in the US. And there are similar things going on around some other countries. Not here though! So when the whole commotion starts around the conventions time, or the “selling” drama starts on twitter, we are left wondering what would it be like to actually stand in line and grab an upcoming book, because we have no clue.

There are some other ways to get one, like several contests and giveaways, but those are random and some of them don’t even apply to us either.


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Resigning myself that I would probably never get a physical ARC, I focused my efforts on getting digital galleys. Netgalley is probably the paradise for us International people who love to read and review, given that they are a little more flexible on the whole “where the heck you’re from” thing. But still, have you’ve ever been denied because you don’t live in the US or UK? I know I have! Look at some examples:

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I mean, I’m not saying that they can’t have refused me because of other factors, but it’s pretty clear in some cases that the problem is that you simply do not live in some places.

I¬†remember back in March I was denied for two ARCs from the same publisher, telling me that the country was the culprit. This bugged me at the time because I had reviewed the previous books by both authors just a couple of months before through Netgalley too, and from the same publisher, of course. So, what the hell, right?! I really wanted both books, so I went ahead and wrote to them, and in no time I had the two widgets on my email. With this I’m saying that it’s not that they’re not allowed to allow for international reviewers, it’s just that it’s completely random sometimes.

It’s very hard to do your best, when the decision factors are a random mess.

In several cases I was denied, I went through the trouble of writing to them, because people… I have a reasonable number of followers, I do OK in views, I mean, these are my Netgalley stats:

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… so I think I do ok, right? I post everyday. I try to post at least 3 reviews per week, both in YA and NA, so unless we’re talking about a pretty sought out book, I would think that I would manage some more approvals. Still, approvals for titles from bigger publishing houses never come, and it’s really hard to get books that I’m dying to read.


Sometimes I feel like there are totally different standards for ARCs approvals depending on where you’re from. And while I understand the different countries’ rights, I also think that if we are all blogging in the same language and putting up much of the same content, it doesn’t make sense for someone with 400 followers and who blogs twice a week, to receive an ARC that I won’t be allowed to read. When in reality, we’re targeting the exactly same audience.

Hey guys, so, this is nothing against US/UK/… bloggers. Just the opposite! Also, no ARC envy here. I’m just pointing out how unfair it is for us international people, ok?

So, hit me. Tell me your experience with ARCs as a blogger, international or otherwise. I wanna know if I’m alone in this :P.

Book Traveling Thursdays: A Spooky Read

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Hello, welcome back to another Book Traveling 168709Thursdays, which a weekly meme created by Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much and Danielle @Danielle’s Book Blog. The goal is to share the covers of a book related to that week’s theme, which you can see at the Goodreads group, indicating the original cover, the one of your country, your favorite and least favorite.

This week’s theme is “Halloween is here! Choose a spooky read that you have either read or want to read“. I’m not really into halloween or spooky things, but I found one! This week I’m going with one that I really want to read, and that I own:¬†The Graveyard Book¬†by Neil Gaiman. This one has to be good, right?


Original COver:

This is the original US cover, and while it’s not my favorite, I do like the colors.

COVER FROM MY COUNTRY (PORTUGAL) & COVER FROM THE COUNTRY I LIVE IN (SPAIN):

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I love that the Portuguese edition kept the UK cover, because it’s my favorite. And the Spanish edition it’s not bad, I guess…

Favorite COVER(s):

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I love the covers from UK, Italy and Greece. Lovely, but my fave is the British one, no doubt.

LEAST FAVORITE COVER(s):

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My least favorite are: Czech, Finnish, Bulgarian, Dutch, Persian, German, Russian, Chinese and Polish.

The Best Possible Answer (E. Katherine Kottaras)

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A contemporary YA novel about growing up and learning that loving yourself is more important than trying to be perfect.

AP Exams ‚Äď check
SAT test ‚Äď check
College Application ‚Äď check
Date the wrong guy and ruin everything you‚Äôve spent your whole life working for‚Äď check

Ultra-high-achiever Viviana Rabinovich-Lowe has always had a plan ‚ÄĒ and no room to be anything less than perfect. But her quest for perfection comes to a screeching halt when her boyfriend leaks racy pictures of her to the entire school. Making matters worse, her parents are getting divorced and now her perfect family is falling apart. For the first time, Viv feels like a complete and utter failure.

Then she gets a job working at the community pool, where she meets a new group of friends who know nothing about her past. That includes Evan, a gorgeous guy who makes her want to do something she never thought she’d do again: trust. For the first time in her life, Viv realizes she can finally be whoever she wants. But who is that? While she tries to figure it out, she learns something they never covered in her AP courses: that it’s okay to be less than perfect, because it’s our imperfections that make us who we are.


You know when you request for a book, thinking that it will be a cute contemporary romance, and then it turns out not to be that at all? Yeah… this one was such a good surprise!

I’ll start by saying that the way the story is told is quite unusual and it fit in great with the story. The first half of the book is kind of slow due to this, but the pace picks up from there. See, the context isn’t given right away. The bulk of the story is told in the first person, though Viviana’s POV, but each chapter introduction as a question, an advice or essay question, and sometimes those answers, given in essay form, are there to answer to what happened that lead to this point in time. I thought this was very cleverly done and I enjoyed it. Still, it is a bit weird, because you feel like you don’t quite have the whole picture for awhile, which is unusual when you’re reading a first person narration.

Contrary to what I thought originally, this book does not focus on the romance. Not at all. It focus on Viviana and how she manages to face all the adversity she has to face. I liked Vivi, I thought she was relatable, stuck at an age where all she ever wanted was to maker her parents proud, feeling that nothing was ever good enough for them, and then, all of a sudden, because of a normal/teen mistake, her life crumbles. Her stupid ex releasing her “nakie pics” is only the start of her problems… she’s bullied at school, she starts suffering from panic and anxiety attacks, her dad leaves, and no matter how much she tries to keep up her grades, everything still falls apart.

Because things were already hard enough, she ends up uncovering a huge lie from her dad, her sister wants her attention, and she meets a boy, that likes her, but her BFF is interested, so there’s no way. Also, she lost the ability to trust people… I know how that feels like, and it’s a tough thing to overcome.

As I said, she felt relatable and she read like her age! She was lost, didn’t know the right thing to do, was impulsive and a little weird sometimes, but it felt real, you know? She didn’t have any answer to her problems, but she ends up finding the only one she needs.

I really liked the rest of the characters too, especially her best friend Sammie. At first I thought that she would be a problem, and I was afraid that the book would rely heavily on the whole “2 bffs in love with the same guy” thing, but it didn’t. Yes, they fought, for several things, but Sammie was always there for Vivi… ALWAYS.

I liked that Evan, the love interest, ended up not having a huge importance in the plot, at least not in his role as love-interest. Instead he becomes a good friend, when that’s all that Viviana can do, and I loved that, that the romance was unassuming and slow, and open.

If there’s one thing I wish would have been a little more explained was her dad’s attitudes… See, being a good dad and being a good husband and person sometimes are not directly related. I wanted something more than what I got from him. I wanted a real talk, and I don’t think I got that.

I really liked this story of self discovery and acceptance. I wasn’t expecting this book to make me tear up, but it did. There are subtle things and messages that really got to me there, so I have to recommend this one.

WWW Wednesday: October 26th 2016

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @Taking On A World Of Words, where you have to answer these questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


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This morning I started All The Ways You Saved Me (Love Unplugged #1) by Jamie Howard, as a buddy read with Cátia. So far so good :-).


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This week I finished Top Shelf (Aces Hockey #3)¬†by Kelly Jamieson, Lessons in Gravity¬†by Megan Westfield, then I finally read¬†Bittersweet (True North #1)¬†by Sarina Bowen (so good!) and¬†The Best Possible Answer¬†by E. Katherine Kottaras, which I also loved. And then… I read Steadfast by Sarina Bowen, and I’m in love with this series!


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This next week I’ll try to read The Romantics¬†by Leah Konen,¬†Keepsake (True North #3)¬†by Sarina Bowen and Stroked Hard (Stroked #3)¬†by Meghan Quinn.

Top Ten Tuesday: Disappointing Books (because it’s a freebie, and I don’t do Halloween)

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Hello, welcome back to another Tuesday. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is:

Halloween related freebie: ten scary books, favorite horror novels, non-scary books to get you in the Halloween/fall mood, bookish halloween costumes, scariest covers), scary books on my TBR, etc.

Guys… I do not do Halloween! So, I’m going a different route here, and show you some of the most disappointing books of 2016 for me.


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