I’m Back, I’m Behind and Better than Ever | Sharing a little about my trip!

Greetings readers!

It has been a very hot minute since I last posted and if you’ve read through my last post you’ll know it is because I was on vacation!

I spent the last two weeks in El Salvador, which is where my family hails from before my parents immigrated to Canada. I haven’t been back to ES in about 6 years. The last time I went I stayed there for about 6 weeks so the 2 weeks that I spent there this year felt supremely short! Still I had a fabulous time there!


What can I say about going back?

It’s been a while. I forgot how mountainous the country is so getting from one place to another means going up and down a lot of hills and there are lots of curves in the roads. It is actually a very difficult place to drive in I would not want to get a license there. Car sickness there would not be fun.

But going back to my family’s town and seeing how its look hasn’t changed one bit was so nostalgic. I mean the house my family lives in has changed, but the streets are the same, the colours are the same if a little faded, the smells are the same and the people, the people. The people may be different, but the same too.

Now we have to talk about the sounds because Oh My Lord Jesus Christ. Everyone there is a morning person.

The roosters start cocking at 3:00 AM. The bread vendors are yelling on the streets at 4:00 AM. The vegetable vendors follow the bread vendors. Then come the ringing of the bells of the school calling all the students to class. The students themselves are noisy af. There are cars and car alarms going off every couple of minutes, motorcycles zipping by. It’s crazy.

NOT TO MENTION! When we first arrived the town was in the middle of a week long celebration of its Patron Saint (because the Catholics over there like to party) so at around 4:30 AM on the first two nights there were parades. Yes, parades. And fireworks. Lots and lots of fireworks. In the early, early morning.

But I cherished every sound however annoying it was. Even the kisses that the geckos on the walls of the house sent my way.

Now we must talk about the relentless heat. Geez, you guys it was HOT. Every single day. A suffocating heat alongside a killer sun that beat down. My Abuelita’s house doesn’t have AC so the fan was my best friend. There were days I could stand it, when I ate lots of cold treats (my Abuelita has a famous Popsicle recipe) and remembered to drink water. But there were other days when I got desperate and might have thrown a tantrum about the heat. Maybe. But after six months of cold weather the heat was a welcome change.

I won’t say much about the mosquitoes other than that they ate me alive. I applied as much repellent as I could but they still found spots of get at me.

We celebrated my Abuelita’s birthday and had a huge family reunion since most of the family was visiting! It was so much fun and all my cousins are crazy so you know we had a party! Then later in the week we celebrated my birthday which was fun, they even had a piñata at my party!

I did lots of touristy things while I was there. We visited the local water attractions. We went to this cool maze that was actually pretty tricky to navigate. We even had the privilege to go to a resort there. But mostly I spent time with my family. Uncles, aunts and cousins who have grown so much! I adore them, they know I do. I’m lucky my parents basically grew up across the street from each other so seeing both sides of the family was easy!


The Question You Might Have…

Now I know some of you may be thinking about the whole situation of El Salvador. Lots of you have probably heard of the refugees fleeing to the US, being detained and put in cages. And you’ve heard about the violence and poverty that has overrun the country. And it’s all true. I’m lucky that I can still visit. I’m lucky that the town where my family lives is still far enough from the gang violence. But it’s still risky, it always is. The gangs might not be as visible, but they are there. There is an unspoken curfew in the town, but by 9 PM the streets are empty, not a soul in sight. There are streets you can’t walk alone, if you have a purse you have to watch it and hold on tight. There is immense poverty. My family gets by but that doesn’t mean its easy for them all especially with my grandma’s health. They only get running water every other day, sometimes they have to wait longer. The water isn’t even drinkable. It’s not pure and really can only be used for showering and washing. Most people have to buy clean water. It’s a hard life and I only lived two weeks of it. Can you possibly imagine how hard it could be for someone poorer, being extorted that has their whole life there?


What Reading I got Done?

None. Literally read 6 chapters of Sky in the Deep. I just didn’t have the time to sit down reading while I was there. My time was short and I had to spend as much as I could living in the real world.

Before I left I meant to do a lot of blogging but that didn’t happen either so I have a lot of catching up to do believe me.


Let me know what you think! What have you been up to so far? What books have you read? Where have you travelled?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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THEME THURSDAY |TWINS

Greetings readers!

Welcome back to our regular biweekly Thursday post! I missed the last prompt, but I am back stronger than ever. This was an interesting prompt to think about…I don’t think I’ve read many books with Twins in them. I’ll have to think hard about it and do my fair share of googling.

Theme Thursday is a new weekly feature created by Sophie @ Blame Chocolate where bloggers can share recs and newly found books featuring that week’s theme.

  • There will be a different theme (genre, trope, etc) every Thursday. You can check the theme calendar and official rules here.

*All images via Goodreads*

🍫 Books I’ve Read/I’m Reading:

Fangirl A Spark of White Fire (The Celestial Trilogy, #1) Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1)

~~~

🍫 Books I Want to Read:

The Rule of One (The Rule of One, #1) The Diminished One

~~~

🍫 Other Books That Fit The Theme:

Gemini The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends, #1)


Well that was quite an interesting search! It turns out I’ve read more twin books than I first thought! I definitely added a few more to my shelf. Oh geez this tag just serves to make my TBR bigger and bigger. (I’m not really complaining)

Let me know what you think! Do you have a favourite twin book? Are you interested in any of these twin books? Are you a twin? 

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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HCC Frenzy Presents Fantasy Panel! | Meeting Tahereh Mafi, Maya Motayne & Victoria Aveyard // Turns out I am not as cool as I try to be…

Greetings readers!

Wow. It feels like I haven’t written a recap post for an event in ages, especially for an author event. And you know why?? It’s because I haven’t been to an author event in months. Seriously, I cannot remember the last one I went to. And due to this…I’m a little rusty on my social skills…yeah I’m already making excuses.

A couple of weeks ago, HCC Frenzy hosted a big author event in honour of three fantasy authors! That’s right I got to meet Tahereh Mafi, Maya Motayne and Victoria Aveyard this month! It was a limited ticketed event so I didn’t think I was going to get a wristband, but my darling, darling friend, Rezanne @ The Wicked Reader got the first two wristbands and handed one to me! *sobs* And it came with reserved seating and early access in the line!!! *SOBS harder*

To make my story short: The event was amazing. The authors were super nice. I made a fool of myself naturally. I got my books signed.

But to really understand this story we have to start from the beginning.

Getting There!

My family agreed to come along with me to the mall where the event was to be held. It’s pretty far from where we live so they would go off shopping while I would be in the event. It was a lovely plan.

But the drive there was a little bumpy.

My dad hadn’t been to the mall in a while and so we needed a GPS to get there. Unfortunately, we took the longer way to the mall and there was an accident on the way there which slowed us down even more. Then when we finally got into the mall, finding parking was a challenge, it was as if it were boxing day! There were so many cars and the entrances to the lots were full! But finally we found a spot and although we were all a little flustered, we finally got in.

scooby doo GIF
via giphy.com

The Event!

Before the event, I was hoping to snatch myself a signed copy of Stephanie Garber’s FINALE. I didn’t know Indigo was carrying them, but to my surprise they were! BUT TO MY EVEN BIGGER SURPRISE, the only copy that the Indigo in the mall had was NOT signed! *hangs head*

Okay so the actual event. The authors came in and they were pretty amazing. Ashley, Frenzy’s rep hosting the event, asked all three of them super interesting questions. We learned about their varying writing processes, their inspirations, their favourite books/shows and it was all so incredibly interesting!

I, unfortunately, didn’t take any notes so I don’t remember all the details, shame on me. But if you look up Frenzy on twitter, I’m sure you’ll find lots more on what was talked about during the event!

Let’s just say chickens, sandwiches, maps and notebooks were some of the highlights of the night!

The Signing!

I was nervous.

excited teyana taylor GIF by VH1
via giphy.com

Like incredibly nervous.

I wasn’t prepared to make conversation that night. I simply wasn’t. My author-meeting skills were super rusty, plus I had never read Tahereh’s books, I really enjoyed Maya and had a card for her and well I didn’t really know how to approach Victoria!

So I was nervous.

First up was Tahereh.

Basically I talked about my cousin the whole time who actually did read her books. I told her about how much my cousin loved the characters and the story and how she unfortunately couldn’t be there that night. Tahereh was super sweet and told me to tell my cousin “Hi” and that she was so honoured to hear about her. It was great. I made it through my first meeting without a hitch.

Then came Maya.

I said “Hi.” I handed her a little card I wrote for her. I said ‘Hi” again and then started my spiel. It started out great. It didn’t end great. Here is how I remember how it went down:

“Hi, it’s so nice to meet you. I made you this little card to tell you about your book. I absolutely loved Nocturna. I thought it was so incredible and the characters were amazing.”

*she responds with many thank yous*

“You’re welcome. It was so great and…and…and….”

*my throat gets tight*

*Feels a lump growing*

“And I…”

*Eyes begin to tickle*

Inner me: Wait…wait..wait..am I tearing up??? Am I about to cry. No!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE Rendz. Do not cry. Why are you going to cry? There is literally no reason that a tear should fall out of your eye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But they did. The tears leaked out and I while was not exactly crying, my eyes were leaking in front of Tahereh, Maya and Victoria…

*tears up more at the embarrassing fact that I am tearing up.*

*laughs like a child at the ludicrousness of tearing up in this scenario*

You know how in YA books, characters sometimes want the earth to open and swallow them up. Yeah. That was me.

“Ohhhhhh” –said the authors

“OMG. I don’t even know why I am crying. I feel like such a loser right now. I’m sorry.”

The authors: “No, don’t feel bad. It is so sweet. You’re Maya’s first crier. It is a special moment.”

Inner me: WELL I DON’T FEEL SPECIAL. I FEEL LIKE A FOOL. 

Turns out I said the last bit out loud, but they laughed it off.

My episode ended with Maya thanking me again while I dried up any remnants of salty water. She was so nice about it and personalized my books in Spanish.

But I was soooo embarrassed.

face palm GIF
via giphy.com

Lastly came Victoria.

She was super sweet after my whole fiasco. I was still feeling super flustered, but I got through another convo. I told her about how much I know she likes Narnia and she told me how she used to write fanfiction for it. It was a quick convo because I really wanted to get out of there after that, but she was really nice about everything.

Then I walked off the stage with my signed books and breathed a sigh of relief. It was over, I had made a fool of myself and it was great. Yup.

The After!

I waited for eyes to look less puffy before I went out to meet my family. No way would I ever tell them about my break down. Which I attribute to many things: nerves, excitement, social anxiety and stress from earlier that day. Still I would have been mocked and dragged through the mud by them. So if one of them reads this post, I accept my ridicule.


Overall, it was a fabulous event. It was fun, the questions were great, I laughed, I–uh–cried. I got my books signed! Both my ARC and finished copy of Nocturna were personalized and signed. It was great.

But maybe next time I should prepare myself a little bit better mentally to keep myself in check. XD

Let me know what you think! Did you attend the event? Have you ever gotten emotional in front of an author? How do you prepare to meet authors? What authors would you love to meet? 

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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My Mismatched Series | A Discussion

Greetings readers!

Since I decided to read more from my shelves this year, I decided to do a little rearranging the other day and I noticed that a system of organization for this is not my strong suit. How I organize my shelf is rather complex: favourites, author and size are all taken into account when choosing how to fit my books on the shelf. And sometimes the system really lacks efficiency.

But Shelf Organization is a topic for another day, today I want to talk about my mismatched series. Series of books that I have on my shelves that just do not match (and thus mess up the organization of my books). It ranges from size to cover changes to just having completely different editions.

So let us begin:

Size: Too Big, Too Small, Too Fat, Too Thin:

This category takes up most of the mismatched-ness of my shelves. I am the person to buy the first couple of books in a series in paperback because they have been out for a while and then I buy the final books in hardcover because I am too eager to wait for them all to be out in paperback!

Size especially sucks when you are trying to organize because super short paperbacks don’t look the greatest next to giant hardcovers.

The Following is a list of my mismatched series by size:
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (4 paperbacks, 2 hardcovers)
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (3 paperbacks, 2 hardcovers)
The Snow Like Ashes trilogy by Sara Raasch (2 paperbacks, 1 hardcover)
The Legend trilogy by Marie Lu (1 paperback, 2 hardcovers)
The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski (1 paperback, 2 hardcovers)
Ruby Red Trilogy by Kiersten Gier (1 paperback, 2 hardcovers)
A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas (This is the worst case because paperbacks are like half the size of the hardcover.) (2 paperbacks, 1 hardcover)

The Different Editions: Colour is all wrong!

I have only a few series where the covers are off. This doesn’t bother me too much but again it makes my organization much harder to do.

The Legend series by Marie Lu
I am actually okay with this series since the the cover edition of the first book I have is very similar to the original version, it’s just a little more muted in colour and smaller in size obviously because it is paperback.

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A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir in the Ember Quartet
I’m not mad at the cover change. I thought the change was really important especially for the message Sabaa wanted to send. I actually am very please that it is the same size as the previous hardcovers which is *blessed*

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Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh in the Flame in the Mist duology
I think both covers are stunning so…I’m good. Plus I have an ARC of the second book so this one is really mismatched hehehe

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The Biggest Disaster I Own:

The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

(A disaster in more ways that one and that’s my tea)

I have the first three books (Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire) in the UK edition which are super petit and white and then I have the sixth book (yup I skipped, four and five) Tower of Dawn in the Indigo Hardcover Exclusive Edition. And I’m never going to complete my collection…

So in short, it is a mess.

tod2


Let me know what you think!

How matched are your book shelves? Do you own a lot of mismatched series like I do? Are you a stickler for having the same editions of books?

I love my books in any shape they come in, the story is what really matters to me. But having a beautiful set of all matching covers in size and shape that fit perfectly in one spot on the shelf is a really pleasing feeling.

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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THEME THURSDAY | PIRATES

Greetings readers!

I’m back with another Theme Thursday post! This feature was created by a very amazing blogger, Sophie! If you have been looking for a biweekly post to rave about some books I highly recommend this one! It’s short, sweet and to the point!


Theme Thursday is a new weekly feature created by Sophie @ Blame Chocolate where bloggers can share recs and newly found books featuring that week’s theme.

  • There will be a different theme (genre, trope, etc) every Thursday. You can check the theme calendar and find out more about the feature here.

I’ll be honest Pirate YA has boomed over the past couple of years…but I have not actually delved very deep into this subgenre. They are all practically on my TBR, but still haven’t actually got into them XD

I think it has a lot to do with me and my extreme dislike of seafood. Maybe I don’t like reading about characters who have to eat fish(?)

🍫 Books I’ve Read/I’m Reading:

The Pirate's Wish (The Assassin's Curse, #2) Song of the Current (Song of the Current, #1)

*Neither of these were particularly great for me…

~~~

🍫 Books I Want to Read:

The Beholder Dark Shores (Dark Shores, #1)

*Look at these ship covers!!! *heart eyes*

~~~

🍫 Other Books That Fit The Theme:

The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere, #1) Blackhearts (Blackhearts, #1)

*Boats on black covers…oh look at that they match!

*Book images via Goodreads*

These are only some of the more recent Pirate YA books that have taken the world by storm. I would love to get into the genre more and I really am looking forward to reading The Beholder! Just look at that cover! I’m not even 100% sure it has actual pirates…I might have just put it on because of the ship on the cover XD (Look how beautiful it is!)

Let me know what you think! What Pirate YA books have you read? Which ones are you looking forward to reading? Any recommendations for me?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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THEME THURSDAY | MERMAIDS

Greetings readers!

I wanted to start bringing in some weekly regulars to this blog. I wanted something new and fun and thankfully, Sophie @ Blame Chocolate totally provided me with the perfect post! So many thanks go out to her!!

Theme Thursday is a new weekly feature created by Sophie @ Blame Chocolate where bloggers can share recs and newly found books featuring that week’s theme.

  • There will be a different theme (genre, trope, etc) every Thursday. You can check the theme calendar here.
  • Those participating have to list titles that feature that theme in some way (doesn’t have to be the main theme of the book).
  • You can use the three main categories: Books I’ve Read/I’m Reading,Books I Want to Readand Other Books That Fit The Theme but this isn’t mandatory.
  • You can repeat books in different themes, if they apply, and choose as many as you want.
  • You don’t have to take part every week! Just when you feel like it.
  • You can use #BlameThemeThursday on Twitter and other social media to make TT posts easier to find.
  • Finally, use this boxed text in your post, which doubles as a pingback. If you want, you can change the pingback link to that of that week’s post 🙂
  • P.S.: Feel free to use my banners!

🍫 Books I’ve Read/I’m Reading:

SYKE.

I actually have not read a book with a mermaid…..

WAIT.

HOLD ON ONE MINUTE.

The Little Android (The Lunar Chronicles, #0.6)

Does The Little Android by Marissa Meyer count? It is after all a retelling of The Little mermaid!

~~~

🍫 Books I Want to Read:

The Vicious Deep (The Vicious Deep #1) To Kill a Kingdom Sea Witch (Sea Witch, #1)

~~~

🍫 Other Books That Fit The Theme:

The Seafarer's Kiss (The Seafarer's Kiss #1) Wake (Watersong, #1) Siren's Storm (Siren's Storm, #1)



The search for mermaid books was actually a lot of fun and seeing as I have little to really no experience with mermaid books…I need to get on this! So I definitely need your help!

Let me know what you think!!! What mermaid book would you have me start with? What are some of your fave mermaid books?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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*DISCALIMER: All images via Goodreads*

Book Series I Have Left Unfinished and probably won’t finish…*smiles*

Greetings readers!

I’ve been staring at my shelves as of late and have noticed that I have left many series unfinished. In some cases I own the whole series and I haven’t gotten around to continue and others I simply never even thought of truly completing.

Of course I always say: “Oh I’ll get to them one day.” But lets be honest…I won’t.

So why not call myself out in another post?

Sounds like fun to me!

The Series I have Pushed too Far But Will Eventually Happen

Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin

I loved the first two books in this adult fantasy series when I read it a couple of years ago. I think I would need to reread the first two to refresh, but yeah, this one is gonna happen.

The Kingdom of Gods (Inheritance, #3)
via Goodreads

The Star-Touched Queen series by Roshani Chokshi

I LOVED TSTQ I just suck at keeping up with release dates and such. I own A Crown of Wishes and Star-Touched Stories so I definitely want to get to these this summer!

Happy New Years Eve! It's the last day of 2017 people, that's crazy! On this night, my family gets together to count down to midnight and ring in the new year together! We also gobble down twelve grapes for each ring of the bell. With each grape you make one wish or resolution that you hope to fulfill in the new year. (Last year the grapes had seeds so it was a struggle 🙃) 2017 was a great year for me and the growth of my blog and bookstagram. I got to read so many great books including The Star-Touched Queen by @roshanichokshi ! I recently bought A Crown of Wishes to complete the the series on my shelf! I featured the duology in my post today! (Plus it was fitting with the whole grape - wish thing... At least the wish part!) What plans do you have to ring in the New Year? What is your most anticipated 2018 read?  #thestartouchedqueen #acrownofwishes #roshanichokshi #ya #yafantasy #youngadultbooks #bookstagram #books #yabooks #newyearseve



The Maybe Might Happen Again

The Reader series by Traci Chee

It could still happen. I really liked the pirate character and would love to hear more of his story! But then again, I do not remember much about book one so I would either need a recap or a reread.

The Reader (Sea of Ink and Gold, #1)
via Goodreads

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

I thought the first one was okay. #unpopularopinion, I know. But I would consider reading the sequels…maybe. I don’t know. I mean I thought the format was cool but the overall story was pretty…meh. Who knows, we shall see.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)
via Goodreads

Nameless by Jennifer Jenkins

I really liked the first one and my library officially bought the whole trilogy so maybe it will happen this summer! *emphasis on the maybe*

Nameless (Nameless, #1)
via Goodreads


The Absolute Never Gonna Continue

The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard

I didn’t like Glass Sword and Red Queen was meh at best. It wasn’t that great TBH XD And I really have no inclination of moving forward.

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)
via Goodreads

Kingdom on Fire series by Jessica Cluess

I only read the first one…but it has been so long and I don’t remember much other than that it was like a love quadrangle(??) It was confusing too…mmm…nope.

Day 2 of #decbookstagram Warm drink with a book! I'm still feeling under the weather today so I'm going to curl up with this hot chocolate and fantastical read by #jessicacluess How are you all doing?  #decbookstagram #bookstagram #readingwithrendz #pagewithaview #readwithmikee #reading #ashadowbrightandburning

Circle of Shadows duology by Evelyn Skye

I really disliked the first one and don’t think reading the second one will do me any good.

Soon to be read is CIRCLE OF Shadows by @evelyn_skye  I've been anticipating this book since the moment it was announced and I am so happy to finally have my hands on a copy! Many thanks to @hccfrenzy for sending me an ARC, my Holiday reading sure did get more fun!  I really enjoyed Skye's The Crown's Game duology, so I have a good feeling about this series too! What are you reading this holiday season? #circleofshadows #evelynskye #epicreads #yabooks #books #reader #bookishcanadians #fantasy

Defy series by Sarah B. Larson

I’m on the wrong side of the love triangle. And I really don’t like the MC.

Day 11 of #newyearnewbookstagram is Least Favourite Book  I don't think I have a least favourite book. There are definitely books I lose interest in, but nothing I absolutely abhor and wish banned from this earth!  The Defy series by Sara B. Larson is a series I lost interest in after book 1. This was a retelling of Mulan (sort of), with a girl who has to pretend to be a boy to escape a life of rape (basically). The premise of the book was cool, but the main character, Alexa got annoying fast to me. Her love interest, the Prince was bland to me and yes I fell hard for the best friend who was just brushed aside. *sigh*  I decided to give book 2, Ignite a chance but ultimately it fell flat to me too. There were some good action scenes but other times it was just so boring and predictable.  The third book came out and I didn't read it, I don't know if I will. I don't HATE the series, I dislike certain aspects and I've lost overall interest in discovering the resolution.  What about you? Do you hate books or simply dislike aspects of it like plots/characters/romance etc.? Don't forget to follow the lovely tagged accounts!!! #bookblogger #bookaholic #bookaddict #bookstagram #readingwithrendz #defy #ignite #leastfavouritebook

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

I liked the first one. It was fine. It wasn’t amazing, but I’m not really interested in continuing. So I think I’ll save myself the time.

📑 Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian I read this about a week ago and rather enjoyed it! It reminded a lot of The Winner's Trilogy and Red Queen. If you enjoyed those I would definitely recommend you pick this one up!  What fantasy books are you looking forward to this year? #ashprincess #laurasebastian #bookstagram #yabooks #ya #youngadultbooks #fantasy #reader #books

Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields

I don’t think this book needed a sequel at all and I really have zero interest in continuing.

40896161
via Goodreads

Let me know what you think! What series have you completely DNF’d? What made you put it down? Do you think I should give these books a second shot? 

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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