Review: Secret Heir (Dynasty #1) by M.J. Prince


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I have been provided with an Advanced Reader Copy by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I found this book a really pleasant surprise. It’s not something I’d dive for but I was quickly absorbed by the beautiful and twisted world Prince has created.

The plot drew me in straight away. Jazmine is a girl from Earth who is a member of a royal family from a planet she knows nothing about. The grandfather she has never met takes her back to this planet, where she’s shipped off to boarding school with royal teenagers from the other 5 dynasties. It quickly becomes apparent that the other teens have been spreading rumors about her and her life on Earth and make her life a living hell. But are all of these people really her enemies, and is there more going on behind the scenes?

I found the world of Eden very cleverly done as it mirrors life on Earth, but differs with Elements and the powers each person has. I understood Eden easily but found it’s differences enthralling.

Let’s talk about the characters! I adored Jazime and I felt a really close connection to her. She’s a badass and she fights for what she believes in, and I really admired her throughout the book. The pranks she pulls towards the start of the novel made me laugh out loud in parts!

Unfortunately, this book isn’t without a few faults. It could do with a little touching up on the spelling and grammar side and I did find a lot of sentences repeated themselves throughout the novel. I felt the book dragged a little in the middle but loved the beginning and especially the end! Oh my, that ending. It left me desparate for the next book and I definitely want to continue with this series.

Even though I had my suspicions about the twist at the end, I was still completely shocked and torn. It just proves how persuasive and enthralling Prince’s writing really is, and I really admire how tricked I was by the writing.

I think partly due to the romance in this book, I felt like this was a real guilty pleasure, but I loved it all the same. It may have not been perfect, but I really enjoyed it and it actually reminded me of A Court of Thorns and Roses in many respects. In fact I have to admit, I liked it more.

So overall, Secret Heir is a really good romance/fantasy which took me out of my comfort zone. A solid 4 stars from me and one I’d definitely recommend!



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Review: Gemina by Various Authors


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Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.
The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.
Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.
When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.
But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

I don’t know how to write this review. I’m so conflicted and confused right now. I loved it. I was bored. I was, overall, disappointed.

I know, I know. I adored Illuminae, and I’ve been singing it’s praises ever since. I found it broke the YA rule book and I loved the authors for it. And I did go into Gemina with very high expectations – so many people said it’s even better and Illuminae is so hard to beat!

“This tiny moment. In between the time you decide to pull a trigger and the time death arrives.”

So, I did like a lot about this book. For one, the suspense. I would be on the edge of my seat, to find out that the character I thought would die actually lives. I also liked the whole concept of multiverses and wormholes and I thought that was done really well. This book made me smile, and made me chuckle.

Also, Ella. Ella is the ultimate feminist and all around badass and I loved her for it. And as with Illuminae, there are some utterly beautiful poetic parts of this book that I can’t wait to share with you.

Anddd it’s time for the bad. Let’s start with Hanna, the typical spoilt-rich-girl-who-actually-is-pretty-badass. It was just so cheesy and predictable. I did like Nik, but I also found him a pretty typical bad boy. What happened to throwing out the rule book?

“There’s just you and it and everything you’re about to take away. It’s too big. It goes forever.”

I was constantly confused. For this entire book. And I distinctly remember not feeling like this for Illuminae. I mean, maybe this is because I read Illuminae so long ago. But I still think I should have understood even a little bit more than I did in Gemina. In some ways, this book was kind of too much. There was too many plot twists. Too many people to kill. Too many files, and way too many pages. I kind of felt like I was reading this book and only understanding about 10% of whatever-the-f*ck was going on.

So it turns out I loved and really didn’t like this book, all rolled into a massive mix of emotions. I could rate this book from one to five stars for a variety of reasons (I was bored, I was amused, I was utterly overwhelmed by an incredibly random part of beautiful poetry), so I guess I’m going to be settling in the middle.



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Review: 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You by Vicki Grant


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Two random strangers. Thirty-six questions to make them fall in love.
Hildy and Paul each have their own reasons for taking part in the psychology study (in Paul’s case it is the $40, in Hildy’s the reasons are significantly more complex). The study poses the simple question: Can love be engineered between two random strangers?
Hildy and Paul must ask each other 36 questions, ranging from “What is your most terrible memory?” to “When did you last sing to yourself?” By the time Hildy and Paul have made it to the end of the questionnaire, they’ve laughed and cried and lied and thrown things and run away and come back again. They’ve also each discovered the painful secret the other was trying so hard to hide. But have they fallen in love?

Thank you to Hot Key Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

This book has such an interesting concept! It’s based on The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness, which is a 1997 experiment where couples were set the task of asking each other 36 questions over the course of around an hour and staring into each others eyes for 4 minutes. Six months after the real experiment, two of the couples were married.

“I have to tell you to your face. That’s the only way I can and/or should do it. I’ve got to think of myself, too.”

I can totally see why Vicki wrote about this experiment. It facsinated me, and so did the book. I went into this book worried that it would be predictable and cheesy. Worried that it would be taking place just in one room with dialogue, and wondering how the author would portray this incredible experiment.

But I actually think that Vicki did an incredibly good job. I won’t say this book wasn’t predictable and cheesy – it was. But I couldn’t help but find it adorable and romantic. I loved both characters, and I found it so clever how Vicki made us fall for someone who originally came across as such an a**hole. I really loved Hildy and the way the book talked about her family life and her friends.

“Because, honestly, if you don’t want to see me, you probably don’t deserve to know the answer, in which case it’ll be my secret which I’ll take to death.”

This book was so fast paced and really easy to read, I literally sped through this book so quickly. I guess you could say I’m a big romantic, and because of that I really liked this book. But I think you do kind of have to be a romantic to love this book. It’s no bad thing, but I think you should go into this book prepared for cheese.

I found the mixture of texting/dialogue and prose actually worked and is part of the reason this book is so fast paced. Overall, I can safely say I enjoyed this book and I found it really well written. It also included some hilarious lines that actually made me chuckle out loud. I won’t be giving it the full 5 stars simply because it’s not perfect and didn’t completely blow me away, but it’s definitely one I’ll be recommending in the future for lovers of a good rom com. In fact, if this was a rom com movie, I think it’d do really well. And I’d definitely be queuing up to see it.


P.S. If you like the sound of books based on The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness, I’m fairly certain it’s loosely mentioned in one of my favourite books, The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon.


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Review: Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour


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A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.
Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

This book had everything. It has beautiful characters, a lovely romance, a great setting, an interesting focus and passages that left me reaching for tabs. To put it simply – I adored this book.

Let’s begin with the characters. I adored Emi immediately. She’s smart, creative, enthusiastic and good at what she does. But she’s also humble, grateful and has her own faults. Throughout the book she is growing up and learning, finding her feet in the world of film and work. She goes through difficult challenges but learns from them, and in turn teaches the reader.

“”The best things aren’t perfectly constructed. They aren’t illusions. They aren’t larger than life. They are life.”

I also loved Emi’s family and her best friend, Charlotte. I wish their friendship was explored in maybe a little more depth, but that is the only tiny fault I could pick out from this book.

Emi is a set designer, and I can’t think of a better thing for a book to focus on. I’m a creative media student, and I also love interior design. Emi had a brilliant understanding of her industry and job, and the book talked in-depth about her life as a set designer. This is just so awesome. This book is a romance with a different focus. It’s not entirely about Emi and Ava. In fact, the plot follows her working on a movie, and Ava is involved.

“Part of me knew that all along, but I got it wrong anyway. What I’m trying to say is that I just want to know you.

This book is set in summer in LA, and I found the setting worked perfectly. I wouldn’t say this is exactly a ‘summer read’, but I felt the underlying tones of school breaks and summer jobs.

Nina LaCour is a great writer of LGBTQIA+ books, and I really love how she approaches Emi’s sexuality. It’s not a big thing, she’s not treated differently..she just fits in. This book does tackle the subject but it’s not a main focus, and that works incredibly well.

“You don’t have to be at your best. We can’t all be at our best all the time. But”, I say again, “I just want to know you”.”

I’m happy to tell you I don’t have a bad word to say about this book. I just loved it, I felt utterly absorbed and I’m still feeling sad about having to say goodbye to Emi’s world. This is definitely one of the most enjoyable and well-written books I’ve read recently!



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Review: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins


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Love hurts…
Makani Young thought she’d left her dark past behind her in Hawaii, settling in with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska. She’s found new friends and has even started to fall for mysterious outsider Ollie Larsson. But her past isn’t far behind.
Then, one by one, the students of Osborne Hugh begin to die in a series f gruesome murders, each with increasingly grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and her feelings for Ollie intensify, Makani is forced to confront her own dark secrets.

I’ve wanted to read this book since wayyy before the release, and I had the perfect opportunity while I was in Wales on holiday last week!

Okay, this was interesting. I don’t even know how to describe how I feel about this one…so mixed! Firstly, it’s kind of weird to read this book afterPerkins’ other stuff. I’m sorry, but she is not a horror writer in my eyes.

“Neither of then was a monster.”

I’ve been reading a couple of Goodreads reviews and I’ve definitely found the best way to describe this book is this. It’s like a cheesy high school slasher movie in book form. Take Scream, but halfway through the movie you know who the killer is and the book just seems to carry on. It must obvious so far I have a few issues here. But saying that, I certainly didn’t dislike it.

For one, this book actually made me laugh out loud. Like, I really don’t laugh at books, even Me and Earl and the Dying Girl didn’t make me burst into giggles. But there were some incredibly ridiculous sentences that made me had to put the book down and explain why I was giggling.

“She was a human who had made a terrible mistake.”

I really enjoyed reading about the characters, and I’m happy to say this book is really diverse. Makani made a great main character and I enjoyed reading about her background in Hawaii and her Grandma was great! I love that her Grandma was a big part of this novel, because families aren’t usually so included. However, I do wish her two best friends (Darby and Alex) had a little more development.

Unfortunately, the big twist about Makani’s ‘dark background’ did disappoint me. It was built up to be such a big and bad thing that I actually expected a hell of a lot more. I won’t say anything else because of spoilers, but there was just a lot of build up, and in the end I don’t think all of it was needed, or it should have been a bigger twist.

“(S)he was a human who had planned his/her terrible actions.”
(Added gender terms due to spoilers!)

And finally, can we just mention that ending. Like, if anything, the book should have started after, and had what Makani ended on as the goddamn dark background. Unfortunately, it all went downhill at the end for me. Although I can kind of appreciate why it ended like it did, it literally destroyed this book for me.

I actually can’t explain why I hated the ending so much, but I have to remember that I did really enjoy reading pretty much all of this book (apart from the end). I did find it funny, thrilling, diverse and all round enjoyable to read. It had just the right amount of gore/horror for me and the romance was done well in my opinion. So I’m very mixed,  and let’s leave it at that.



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Review: It’s About Love by Steven Camden


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He’s Luke. She’s Leia.
Just like in Star Wars. Just like they’re made for each other. Same film studies course, different backgrounds, different ends of town.
Only this isn’t a film. This is real life. This is where monsters from the past come back to take revenge. This is where you are sometimes the monster.
But real life? Sometimes, only sometimes, it turns out just like in the movies…
… maybe.

I bought this book well over a year ago at YALC 2016 simply because I liked the synopsis, but I’ve only just got around to reading it now. I actually enjoyed this book quite a lot, and there were so many things I liked about it.

On a personal level, this book was pretty cool. For one, Camden is apparently from about 10 minutes up the road from me! And this book is set in my local big city – which I (for obvious reasons) really enjoyed reading about.

“Apology is pointless. Apologies are for when you forget something. Or bump into somebody. Apologies are for accidents.”

I loved a lot about this book. It really tackles some great (and difficult) topics, such as living with someone who has committed a serious crime, which I found really interesting to read about. I also felt (as a media student) that college was portrayed really accurately. I felt utterly convinced that Luke was a film student and Camden obviously knows a lot about scriptwriting. His knowledge really shines through in the book!

You can’t apologise for something you chose to do. That’s like apologising for being you.”

Unfortunately I did have a few gripes with this book – and one of these was Luke. I was wondering why there was something not feeling right about this book, and I think it’s because of Luke. I just felt like he wasn’t the most likeable character at times and although his mistakes were real, they also made me dislike him.

I liked this book and I can’t really fault it – but I don’t think I connected to it as much as other readers did. It was just a little too gritty for me.



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Mini Review: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur


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milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

As mentioned in my birthday wishlist and book haul, I’ve wanted to read this collection of poetry for a long time, actually since it came out. I was lucky enough to receive it from my lovely friend Amy for my birthday, and I finished it in less than an hour the other evening.

“you tell me to quiet down cause
my opinions make me less beautiful
but i was not made with a fire in my belly
so i could be put out
i was not made with a lightness on my tongue
so i could be easy to swallow
i was made heavy
half blade and half silk
difficult to forget and not easy
for the mind to follow”

Milk and Honey is everthing I expected and more. This book is just so raw. It is a complete outpouring of emotion and it made me feel so many too. I cried at the amount of herself Rupi has thrown into this story. I admire her for opening herself up so much to us.

Although this is a collection of poems, it also follows a simple storyline – the journey of Rupi’s self-acceptance and healing. It also includes some gorgeous little simple illustrations which fit perfectly with the poems.

“you were a dragon long before
he came around and said
you could fly
you will remain a dragon
long after he’s left”

Overall, this book is tender, raw, sensitive and emotional. It is heart breaking and heart warming. It is brutal and healing. It is beautiful.

(I don’t to ruin my no doubt 5 star thoughts with this, but the only niggle I had is the lack of capitalisation in this book. Although I actually felt like it worked, I simply can’t be swayed in my opinion of capitalisation. Sorry.)



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Review: Whisper to Me by Nick Lake


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Cassie is writing a letter to the boy whose heart she broke. She’s trying to explain why. Why she pushed him away. Why her father got so angry when he saw them together. Why she disappears some nights. Why she won’t let herself remember what happened that long-ago night on the boardwalk. Why she fell apart so completely.
Desperate for his forgiveness, she’s telling the whole story of the summer she nearly lost herself. She’s hoping he’ll understand as well as she now does how love—love for your family, love for that person who makes your heart beat faster, and love for yourself—can save you after all

There’s no denying I liked this book. It’s interesting, poetic, romantic, has a great range of characters, kept me invested for more than 500 pages and tackles some really difficult subjects.

So why does something just not sit right with me?

“It’s so hard, when you fall for someone—the temptation is to look back on the past and rewrite things so they seem more significant.”

Let’s start with the fact this book is extremely long. Like, I would class a book over 400 pages as long – but this one especially. It takes a very, very good author to keep me interested for that amount of time and want to be invested in this book (*cough* Chris Russell *cough*). But this book takes place with very few characters and in very few different places. Therefore, I guess I got…bored?

It just ended up feeling repetitive. Like, page after page of Cassie talking to the voice and battling with it. Sure, other things happened that I found pretty interesting. But a lot of one person and a voice just makes it drag.

The only other thing I found strange about this book is there is literally no chapters. Like, there will be a half page and the next part will start at the top of the next page. So there are breaks, but no actual chapters.

“There’s a part of me going: Did I know? Did I know the first time we met that you would change everything? That you would change me?”

But this book did deliver in other places – many other places, in fact. The writing was pretty good, poetic and meaningful. I felt like I got a lot out of following Cassie’s journey of self-acceptance and I finished this book feeling a sense of fulfillment. I also – and please bear in mind I haven’t suffered with anything similar to Cassie so I may be wrong – found the mental illness was done very well. I have read that Nick had professionals in the field read this book before publication and I think that shows the amount of respect he has.

I also found he kept Cassie’s thoughts very…real. They weren’t sugar coated, and it made me feel really connected to her. Overall, I really liked Cassie and the other characters. They were all extremely well-developed and I think they supported Cassie well. I’m also very happy to report that even though this was a ‘love-letter’ story, I think Cassie would have been okay without the romance. The fact she wasn’t magically cured by her love interest makes me so happy – she would have been okay on her own. Go Cassie!

So overall, I had gripes with this book but overall it was a very enjoyable read. Don’t go into it expecting an easy read, but do go into it expecting great writing and well-developed characters.



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Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl


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Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.
Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.
Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.
And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

I’ve been so distracted by life recently that even reading has taken a backseat. Yep, even reading. But honestly, I’m not too bothered. I’m ahead of my Goodreads goal, and I only need to read a book every week and a half to complete that!

Okay I don’t even know where to start with this book? Did I like it? I have no heckin’ clue. Was it good? I don’t know. It was weird, I’ll give you that. It was unlike any book I’ve ever read before, and that’s kind of…impressive.

But I unfortunately can’t say I enjoyed it. First of all…I didn’t really like Greg. I found him really insensitive, annoying and just plain weird.

“There was just something about her dying that I had understood but not really understood, if you know what I mean.”

One of the best parts of this book has to be the humour, but I even found that really off and insensitive. Sure, I laughed, but it also felt wrong. Jesse has the perfect opportunity to make this a deep and meaningful book about friendship and death, but most of it felt so off the mark for me.

Let’s talk a bit about the film part of this book. Greg and Earl were ‘filmmakers’, which should be great, make them rounded characters with genuine interests and make me (as a media student) very happy. But these guys didn’t have a clue. They literally had no idea. If someone has a genuine interest in film, they should know a bit about lighting and camera angles and shots and ideas. But they had made and edited several films and I wasn’t impressed by the sound of any of them. Frankly, they all sounded awful.

“I mean, you can know someone is dying on an intellectual level, but emotionally it hasn’t really hit you, and then when it does, that’s when you feel like shit.”

Greg was actually the biggest thing I had wrong with this book. He was also extremely annoying in the way he judged girls on the size of their boobs and kept complaining about how unnattractive people were. Like what? Really?

Before I stop ranting, I have one more thing I have to say. This book seemed so pointless. Like, the title literally happened. That was about it.



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Review: Sing by Vivi Greene


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Multiplatinum pop icon Lily Ross’s biggest hits and biggest heartbreaks (because they are one and the same):
1. AGONY. (That feeling when her ex ripped her heart out of her chest and she never saw it coming.)
2. GHOSTS. (Because even famous people are ghosted by guys sometimes. And it sucks just as much.)
3. ONCE BITTEN. (As in: twice shy. Also, she’s never dating an actor or a musician ever again.)
But this summer’s going to be different. After getting her heart shattered, Lily is taking herself out of the spotlight and heading to a small island in middle-of-nowhere Maine with her closest friends. She has three months until her fall tour starts-three months to focus on herself, her music, her new album. Anything but guys.
That is . . . until Lily meets sweet, down-to-earth local Noel Bradley, who is so different from anyone she’s ever dated. Suddenly, Lily’s “summer of me” takes an unexpected turn, and she finds herself falling deeper and harder than ever before. But Noel isn’t interested in the limelight. She loves Noel-but she loves her fans, too. And come August, she may be forced to choose.

Ah I’m back with another review! It’s been a crazy few days and the only thing I seem to be able to do is read, I’m finding it so hard to focus on anything other than a good book.

I liked this book a lot, but I feel like I actually shouldn’t. This one feels like such a guilty pleasure! It’s somehow addictive, and I had no idea I would be so invested in the story.

Books about singers tend to always be cliche, and this one sounds no different. And in a way, it was cliche…but like I said, it was also a guilty pleasure and one I couldn’t put down.

“We don’t get to be normal.”

The things that really stood out about Sing are the writing, the characters and the setting. The small island where most of this book is based was absolutely perfect, and it complemeneted the story really well. In fact, I really love how Vivi included the location and intertwined it in the story. It really made the book feel summery and like a vacation!

I have to admit I adored Noel and found him very honest and a total sweetheart. If I have any gripes with this book other than the cheesiness, it’s how Lily treated him sometimes and how he would just jump straight back to her.

“I’m just the fool who keeps trying.”

The only other issue I have with this book is the whole pop-star-on-vacation thing. Like, it’s not like actual people in the industry can just do that, have their best friends work for and live with them or have managers that just…accept everything. Frankly, it doesn’t work like that. But then again, this is fiction…and Lily is one ficitional character who is just incredibly lucky.

I did find the plot very simple, but I think that’s actually exactly what this book needed. As long as you go into it knowing it’s going to be totally cliche but utterly heartwarming, this book is everything you could want and more.

So this book might not be the most exciting, action-filled or fast paced. It was completely predictable and not the most complicated out there. But all of this cheese worked together and made for an easy-to-read, addictive novel.



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