Saturday, June 30, 2012

New To My Book Closet

It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews).

This week I received a book that I won in a Twitter contest that the author was having. After hearing some great review for it I am looking forward to reading it.

The Meryl Streep Movie Club by Mia March (goodreads)

It sounds really good! A huge thank you for Mia March for the contest and for signing the book!

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Here are my obsessions this week:


cover for Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Did you all see the fact that her wedding ring is off?! I refuse to accept that she does not end up with Linden. REFUSE. Also the bird is out of it's cage. Hmm......

Either way I am super excited to read this and honestly, I am more of a fan of the hints on the cover than anything else. Add it to Goodreads.

Cover for 17 and Gone by Nova Ren Suma

OMG! I love this cover. The faded missing girl poster and the soft, out of focus look matches the Goodreads synopsis perfectly. I am really excited for this one.

Cover for Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Perry!!! YAY! I thought the first novels cover was pretty but this is just as eye catching. Very excited to find out what happens next. Add it to Goodreads.

The Harper Collins Winter 2013 catalog

There are seriously so many amazing sounding titles coming up.

High on my WISH LIST are

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
Pivot Point by Kasie West
Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Just to name a few. I did notice that Dance of the Red Death (sequel to Masque of the Red Death) was not listed. This must mean it's a summer release! Crazy excited for the cover to be released.


Magic Mike

YES! I am finally seeing it this weekend (tonight actually) and I can not wait. I am so beyond looking forward to it.

So what you are obsessed with this week?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Friday Hops

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends. This weeks question is:

Q: 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?

Can I have two? If so Noah Shaw from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and Will from Masque of the Red Death.

TGIF at GReads! is a weekly blog hop hosted by Ginger from GReads

This weeks question is

Friday, June 29th - Best I've Read So Far: We're half way through the year (crazy how time flies!), which top 3 books are the best you've read so far this year?

This was REALLY hard. I've read some amazing books this year so far.

1. Masque Of The Red Death by Bethany Griffin
2. Gilt by Katherine Longshore
3. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

I could list so many more. hard.

Happy Weekend!

Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

Dark Companion by Marta Acosta
Release Date –  July 3, 2012
Publisher Website –  Tor/Macmillan/Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages - 368 pages
My Rating- 3/5
**obtained from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
When foster teen Jane Williams is invited to attend elite Birch Grove Academy for Girls and escape her violent urban neighborhood, she thinks the offer is too good to be true. She's even offered her own living quarters, the groundskeeper's cottage in the center of the birch grove. 
Something's not quite right about the school -- or is it Jane? She thinks she sees things in the birch grove at night. She's also beginning to suspect that the elegant headmistress and her sons are hiding secrets. Lucky is the gorgeous, golden son who is especially attentive to Jane, and Jack is the sardonic puzzling brother.
The school with its talented teachers and bright students is a dream for a science and math geek like Jane. She also loves her new friends, including hilarious poetry-spouting rich girl, Mary Violet. But the longer Jane stays at Birch Grove, the more questions she has about the disappearance of another scholarship girl and a missing faculty member.

Jane discovers one secret about Birch Grove, which only leads to more mysteries. What is she willing to sacrifice in order to stay at this school...and be bound to Birch Grove forever?
This atmospheric, Gothic inspired tale had a lot of promise. The setting intrigued me, the plot was a little different and there were a few likeable characters.

The beginning of the novel started out a little slow for me. I found I was more interested when the mystery started to come together and we started to found out more about Lucien, and Birch Grove. This happens in the middle portion and I found myself reading that section much more quickly. The ending tapered off and did not hold my interest as well as the middle section.

Jane's personality seems to be almost made up of two different characters. The street smart, savvy survivor that her character is first presented as and the naive, easily manipulated girl that gets taken advantage of. I did like that she was trying to be more than where she was from, and worked hard to get there. It was admirable and showed that people have choice, and can choose to work hard and strive for more.

Lucien (or Lucky as he is usually called) intrigued me at first. I quickly got over that and realized he is selfish and needed to have someone finally tell him NO. He is quite used to getting his own way and has led a privileged life.

Mary Violet is hilarious. She’s confident, outgoing, outrageous and an instant friend to Jane. Her habit of making up new words was cute. The fact that she wanted to “funnify” Jane was adorable. She is the type of friend that drags you into crazy situations, but they end up being some of the best memories.

Jack is the typical sarcastic guy with the heart of gold underneath. His pet names for Jane were endearing. His belief in pixies and other fairytales was something I kept expecting it to play a larger part in the story than it did. He was charming and I easily wanted Jane to ditch her infatuation with Lucien and focus on Jack.

Those hoping for a unique or surprising paranormal twist will be disappointed. The explanation that is given is quite unique but not paranormal in the slightest. It was actually my favourite part of the novel. Without giving anything away the “paranormal” element is given a rational, scientific explanation. I have never read a novel that has taken this approach and it was what saved the novel for me.

The mystery of the missing girl, and the missing faculty member unravels and is plotted to keep your interest. The motivations of the characters were also well developed. Jealousy can be a powerful and dangerous emotion in the hands of the right individual.

A promising premise that was different than I was expecting and some engaging characters saved this novel for me. I think that some may love this, but for me it ended up being just an average read.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday....Such Wicked Intent

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Oppel

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
When does obsession become madness? Tragedy has forced sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein to swear off alchemy forever. He burns the Dark Library. He vows he will never dabble in the dark sciences again ? just as he vows he will no longer covet Elizabeth, his brother's betrothed. If only these things were not so tempting. When he and Elizabeth discover a portal into the spirit world, they cannot resist. Together with Victor's twin, Konrad, and their friend Henry, the four venture into a place of infinite possibilities where power and passion reign. But as they search for the knowledge to raise the dead, they unknowingly unlock a darkness from which they may never return
I loved the first book in this series immensely. I am very excited to get my hands on this sequel. The action, well done love triangle, and captivating characters make this a must read series.

Expected release date - August 21, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Characters - Do They Have To Be Likeable?

I find that as a reviewer I spend a lot of time discussing the characters in the novel I just read. I discuss what I thought of them and how it impacted my enjoyment of the story. Characters have the ability to resonate with us, and stay with us long after the novel's last page as been turned. There are some characters destined to become legend and whose name, and story, will be remembered long after the novel has been published.

For some people it all comes down to likability. Is the character likeable? Are they someone I can relate to? For me these questions are not the ones I ask myself. My questions will always be was this character realistic? Did this character impact me? And was the character flawed? It's these characters, the flawed, layered, conflicted, and sometimes unlikeable that stay with me. My favourite books and characters exist in a shade of grey where right and wrong are often blurred.

Dexter Morgan from the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay is certainly not someone you would "like". He is, however, compelling, complex and fascinating. The same could be said for Jazz from Barry Lyga's I Hunt Killers. Both these characters are chilling, yet charming. Patrick Bateman from American Psycho will leave you analyzing him long after you finished Brett Easton Ellis's shocking read.

A young woman haunted by an accident, suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and potentially a little unstable. Of course I am referring to Mara Dyer from Michelle Hodkin's amazing The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. She's imperfect, and you may not always like her actions but I was drawn to her. As a selfish, oblivion seeking, guilt ridden socialite Araby Worth from Bethany Griffin's Masque of the Red Death may not be liked by everyone. I found her vulnerable and realistic for the society she lived in. Her guilt, while making her act out, also endeared her to me.

Cassel Sharpe, the main character from Holly Black's Curse Worker's series is another great example. He's capable of becoming a member of the "mafia" type organization that many of his family belong to. His skills lend themselves to criminal activity. Cassel spends a lot of time resisting this side of himself and tries to do right; his version of right is just a skewed. His school betting ring, his walking the fine line between lawful and unlawful, and all while being so charming make him fascinating.

Lastly, Lisbeth Salander from Steig Larsson's Millennium Trilogy shows a gritty, tough exterior to the outside world. Underneath this is a vulnerability that makes her captivating. Her unlawful computer hacking is matched with her desire to dish out her own brand of justice on men she deems deserving. Her brilliance and intelligence coupled with the tragic events in her life offers a fascinating character study.

I don't need a character to act the hero to enjoy the plot. Give me the misfits, outcasts and deliciously flawed characters. They make the fiction I read much more intriguing and entertaining.

What about you? Does a characters likability matter to you? Are you more interested in an honest, yet story driven, character with flaws? Or do you need there to be something redeemable in your characters? Let me know in the comments.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Académie by Susanne Dunlap

The Académie by Susanne Dunlap
Release Date –  , 2012
Publisher Website –  Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages - 368 pages
My Rating- 3/5
**obtained from the library**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Eliza Monroe-daughter of the future president of the United States-is devastated when her mother decides to send her to boarding school outside of Paris. But the young American teen is quickly reconciled to the idea when-ooh, la-la!-she discovers who her fellow pupils will be: Hortense de Beauharnais, daughter of Josephine Bonaparte; and Caroline Bonaparte, youngest sister of the famous French general. It doesn't take long for Eliza to figure out that the two French girls are mortal enemies-and that she's about to get caught in the middle of their schemes. 
Loosely drawn from history, Eliza Monroe's imagined coming of age provides a scintillating glimpse into the lives, loves, and hopes of three young women during one of the most volatile periods in French history.
Political intrigue, and a huge moment in French history are the back drop to this rather cute, and fun novel.
The novel switches narration between Eliza, Hortense, Caroline and Madeleine. Eliza, the young, innocent American girl. Hortense, the daughter of Josephine Bonaparte. She’s young woman with a hero crush on her stepfather, and is dealing with a huge amount of family drama. Caroline, the cunning, and experienced sister of Napoleon. She will stop at nothing to marry the man she wishes, even if it means hurting others. Lastly, the daughter of an actress, Madeleine has had a rough life, and her beloved has promised to rescue her.  These three girls stories intertwine and build up to a heartbreaking ending.

I found myself enjoying certain perspectives more than others. I enjoyed Eliza’s innocent and naivety about politics and  found her very endearing. I also enjoyed Hortense’s voice. She was resolved, and willing to make sacrifices for her family. It was hard not to like her. I enjoyed the Caroline chapters least of all, as I felt her frivolous and selfish. Madeleine invokes sympathy but is otherwise unremarkable.

I was enchanted by the historical aspect and the school itself. The historical components of this novel are skewed a little as the author plays with history to fit the characters and plot the way her story calls for them. This may be distracting to some people, however, I wasn’t bothered by it. It made me want to research to find out what really happened. If this happens to others after reading, I think that is fantastic.

The ending of the story is heartbreaking and tragic. However, I wish it had been built up more. It seems rushed and that takes some of the emotion out of it. The death feels very unnecessary and like it could have been avoided.

With the political intrigue, a defining moment in history and some likeable girls, Susanne Dunlap has created a fun novel. I just wish it would have gone a little deeper into the plot and characters to push it from an ok novel, to a great one.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New To My Book Closet

It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews).

Two books by the same author this week! I checked these out of the library and would have taken a picture but I am not at home this weekend.

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce (goodreads)
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce (goodreads)

All to prepare to read Fathomless! Super excited for these as I love fairytale retellings.

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

So much awesomeness was revealed this week. We have jaw dropping covers, sequel titles, and some fairytale movie news that got me VERY excited.

Here are my obsessions this week:


cover for The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

So pretty and fits the mood of the synopsis so well. I am super excited for this one, because it sounds like a Gothic thriller with a love triangle. You can see the Goodreads synopsis here.

cover for Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

I may have mentioned that I adore the new Shatter Me cover. Very excited to see that Unravel Me has a similar cover. Seriously, jaw dropping doesn't even begin to describe these new covers. The layer of detail is astounding. I NEED this book (like yesterday). Add it to your Goodreads shelf.

Cover for Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi

A novella told from Warner's point of view. I love the darker quality of this cover. The tag line "She will choose me" has grabbed my attention. I am excited to read something from Warner's perspective. He's one of those layered villains that you end up enjoying. Add it to your Goodreads shelf.

Title for the second Blood of Eden series by Julie Kagawa 

An intriguing title was just released for the second novel in Julie Kagawa's series. The Eternity Cure will be released sometime in May 2013. The title brings to mind a cure for Allison, and maybe other vampires. Add it to your Goodreads shelf.

cover for Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Isn't it pretty? The synopsis sounds creepy (a serial killer?!) and really awesome. I was sold by the synosis alone, and now add in this amazing cover - can I have it now?! Add it to your Goodreads shelf.

cover for Boundless by Cynthia Hand

Pretty! I wasn't even aware that the title for this one had been released and all of a sudden I spot a cover on Goodreads. Having just finished Hallowed I am excited to see how this story will end.

cover for Pivot Point by Kasie West

The synopsis describes this one as being similar to the movie Sliding Doors. Immediately grabbed my attention. I love the premise of living two realities and having to select which one you want to permanently live out. Intriguing, and once again Harper Collins leaves me pining after a book. Add it to your Goodreads shelf.


First image of Angelina Jolie as Maleficent

Disney is releasing a live action movie that is being told from the perspective of Maleficent. Very excited for this and Angelina looks great in this first image.


Dexter season 7 trailer


Heavy spoilers for season 6. All I will say about this amazing promo is Michael C Hall is perfection. This man is one of the most under rated actors in Hollywood. Effortless and flawless talent. He's chilling, yet so charming as the serial killer Dexter. The other thing I want to say is - I can't wait to see the fallout from the season 6 finale. Everything changed in that one moment for Deb and Dex. Sniff...I still miss Rita.

So what you are obsessed with this week?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Friday Hops!

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends. This weeks question is:

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?

To experience either Pride and Prejudice or the Harry Potter series again for the first time would be amazing.

The magic, excitement and wonder of discovery Hogwarts and the rest of Harry's world. Getting to meet Ron and Hermoine again. Sigh...I envy anyone who hasn't read this series yet.

As for Pride and Prejudice, I would want to fall for Mr Darcy all over again.

TGIF at GReads! is a weekly blog hop hosted by Ginger from GReads

This weeks question is

Authors Are Our Celebrities: Have you ever contacted an author you admired? How did that experience go? If not, which author would you love to have a chat with?

Oh gosh yes. I have contacted many authors. They are all very sweet, and awesome. I have yet to have a bad experience. Bethany Griffin, Katherine Longshore and Michelle Hodkin are the three that stand out as being particularly amazing. Thanks ladies for taking time for us bloggers!

Happy Weekend!

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
Release Date –  January 17, 2012
Publisher Website –  Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 403 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**obtained from the library**


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. 
Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.
Clara’s life was turned upside down when she was told that she is part angel, and that she has a purpose that she must fulfill. Clara's life changing journey in Unearthly brought her romance, and lots of questions. I was eager to continue her story in Hallowed.

The writing in Hallowed is just as wonderful as in Unearthly. Cynthia Hand is capable of making you feel all the emotions her characters are feeling. This novel's last half is especially emotional.
Christian, the sweet, steadfast part-angel who is there for Clara, proves in this novel why I am so very Team Christian. He gets what Clara is going through, he is there for her in a way that Tucker can’t be. They can relate to each other and lean on each other to help them through this confusing new reality that have to live with. He is patient, and wants nothing from Clara, except for her to let him in. It’s rather sweet. Tucker is still his amazing self, and I am heartbroken for him. He loves Clara, even if he can’t fully understand her and what changes she's going through.

Learning more about the angels and specifically the White Wings and Black Wings left me eager to learn even more. As we learn more, we learn of heartbreaking and devastating news that will change Clara’s life forever. Someone she loves will be leaving her even as someone else comes back into her life. The loss was sad and left me crying with Clara even as she is supported by loved ones. It shows a maturity in Clara and yet how vulnerable she really is. Clara never feels like an adult playing a teenager which can sometimes happen in YA novels. She feels like a teenager who has had a lot of things happen to her and is trying to figure it out. She is resilient, and strong, but still just a teenager who needs her mother. I love that Cynthia can make her all of this, while staying true to the character.

Clara’s brother Jeffrey continues to draw my attention. He has secrets of his own that when revealed explain a lot of his actions. Clara’s actions in Unearthly had consequences for more than just herself and that was something she didn’t consider before. Now more than ever, the question of your purpose and what not fulfilling it means is something that they have to discover. 

Hallowed will play with your emotions and have you all over the place. You’ll be swooning, laughing, crying, and sometimes all of them at once. When I closed the novel after reading the last page I felt like I had been on a journey with friends, and I look forward to joining Clara again.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday...Spark

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is Spark by Brigid Kemmerer

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally. 
Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Like the fire that killed his parents. 
Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he’s not doing it. 
More than Gabriel’s pride is at stake -- this could cost him his family, maybe his life. And no one seems to hear him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Layne understands family problems, and she understands secrets. She has a few of her own .
Gabriel can’t let her guess about his brothers, about his abilities, about the danger that’s right at his heels. But there are some risks he can’t help taking.
The fuse is lit…
After the awesome first book in this series, Storm, I am so excited for this one. The realistic brother relationship and exciting action are just two things I am excited to get back to. Oh and Brodie's review has me going insane waiting to read this!

Expected release date - August 28, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson

Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson
Release Date –  June 12, 2012
Publisher Website –  Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  336 pages
My Rating- 2.5/5
**obtained from publisher and Netgalley for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Four girls. One magical, and possibly dangerous Italian summer. Family mysteries, ancient castles, long hot nights of dancing under the stars . . . and, of course, plenty of gorgeous Italian boys!
Italian boys, a mystery and four girls. This premise makes it sound like this novel should have everything you need for an enjoyable summer read. While there were some stand out points, for me,  this novel had something missing.

The descriptions of landscapes and sights in Italy were one of the stand outs. The author makes everything so vividly real that you can picture it. From the gorgeous landscape, castles, and pieces of art each items is described with realism. The writing is better for this, and was quite enjoyable. The pacing was good, the ending especially picking up the pace.  The flow is effortless and makes for a novel that is highly readable.

The mystery is not solved at the end of the book. I kept expecting it to be, as that is the main focus of the start of the novel, and I was a little disappointed by this. What starts out as a burning question is pushed aside for the romance and ends up being brought up again to end the novel on a cliffhanger. The mystery drew me in. The entire idea of wanting to find out why you are dead ringer for a girl in a painting from the 1700s fascinated me and I wanted more details. 

The girls Violet, Kendra, Kelly and Paige are all quite different. Kelly is an English lass. A little socially shy, and from a more lower middle class family than the other girls. She’s super smart and very friendly. Kendra and Paige are Americans. The similarity pretty much stops there. Kendra is sophisticated, smart, and meant for Ivy League schools. She’s also quite pretty. Paige is blonde, fun, the life of the party. She is choosing her college based on the beach and loves to play sports. Violet is the black sheep of her family. She looks nothing like her tall, fair Scandinavian mother,  or Scottish father. She’s smaller, dark haired, and resembles many Italian girls. She’s artistic and a little sheltered. The story is strictly from Violet’s perspective. I do feel that the author did a fine job in letting us know a bit about each of the other girls, and Violet. None of them really stood out, or connected with me. I feel like I was expecting Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants in terms of characterization but that connection just wasn’t there for me.

The romance was lacking for me. I feel that Violet fell for Luca REALLY quickly. I am pretty sure she sees him and falls immediately. Lust is one thing, but these all consuming feelings that she develops are rather quick. Luca was aggravating to me. He was a jerk to Violet most of the time, with rare moments of sweetness. Violet even smacks him at one point because of his lousy behaviour and yet she still chases him. I didn’t fall for the romance, and as that is the majority of the focus of the book, it left me a little disillusioned. 

 I do think that others may end up enjoying this one more than I did. The Italian boys, carefree feel, and luscious descriptions will be a hit with most readers. I just wish the other aspects would have been as well developed.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Release Date –  May 1, 2012
Publisher Website –  Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages -  454 pages
My Rating- 3.5/5

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences? 
This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels. 
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna. 
Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?
Temptation. Seduction. Sin. What if you couldn’t resist a particular sin? Even worse, what if you had to tempt others to commit that same sin? This is the premise behind Wendy Higgins debut novel.

The premise was what drew me into the story. It ended up being my favourite part of the novel. The whole idea that there are demons “in charge” of each sin and their children work for them by tempting others to commit that particular sin fascinated me. Their very lives depend on keeping their fathers happy, and this means working. Each of the children feels a pull towards their particular sin, and it becomes too great to resist.

While the plot appealed to me, and I found it to be an interesting premise, the characters were harder to relate to. I often got frustrated with Anna’s personality. The was no moderation with her character. Her father is the demon "in charge" of Drinking/Drugs. Anna feels the pull towards this particular vice and can’t have one sip of alcohol without wanting more. She is unable to enforce her limits. The push/pull of her angelic side, and demon side made it that she was steadfast in her convictions, but the minute she gave in and decided to “sin” she was like an addict. Kissing Kaidan, drinking, and other “sinful” behaviours were ones that tended to make her go overboard. I did like that she wanted to try and resist. The author does a fantastic job of showcasing the two different desires within Anna.

Kaidan literally is temptation. The son of the demon "in charge" of Lust, Kaidan’s purpose is to tempt others to give into their desires. This makes him overtly sexual, and he pushes Anna’s buttons immediately. I found myself disconnected from Kaidan because I feel I didn’t really get to know him that well. He even had a British accent, which tends to make me loose my cool. I felt like he spent more time being not very nice to Anna and I wanted to scream at her to like someone who was going to treat her better. I will give him credit for the nice things he did do and hope that we get to explore his motivations in the sequel.

The romance while very spicy and sexy was a little rushed. Anna was in love with Kaidan while barely knowing him. I have a huge problem with a guy telling a girl to stay away from him because he is dangerous and yet she chases after him anyways and this is exactly what Anna does. She finds reasons to seek him out and doesn’t listen when Kaidan is telling her to back off.  When they are together the connection is electric, and physical. I enjoyed the scorching chemistry and just wished it carried over to the non physical parts of their flirtation.

Wendy Higgins' demons are scary and were something else I really enjoyed. The climatic scene had me eagerly turning the pages to see what would happen. The demons in this tale are ruthless, punish for entertainment and expect nothing less than obedience.

While I had mixed feelings about Sweet Evil, I did enjoy it overall. It’s a highly readable, fast paced novel that has an intriguing premise behind it. I am curious to see where the story will go next as Anna’s fight between her angelic and demon sides is just heating up.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New To My Book Closet

It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews).

Another small week but an awesome one. I received a book that I won during a contest held on Twitter.

Gilt by Katherine Longshore (goodreads)

Katherine was very sweet and signed this (and wrote a little note). The other inclusion was a Gilt postcard. I love this book, and if you haven't read it yet, do so immediately.

If you are curious about my Book Expo experience, or the books I brought home with me from the event you can take a look at my recaps

Day One
Day Two
Day Three

Excited to see what everyone else added to their book shelves this week. Leave me a comment so I can check it out!

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Here are my obsessions this week:


cover for Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

A sweet tag line, a romantic cover that fits with the Goodreads description and my need for this book has totally increased to insane levels. This sounds like a heart wrenching, romantic contemporary that I wish I had in my hands RIGHT NOW!

Title for the third 'Starcrossed' book by Josephine Angelini

So I am sure everyone already knows this. I have no clue how I missed this information. The third book in the Starcrossed series is going to be called - GODDESS. I think it fits, and compliments the other titles really well.

Bloodlines Book Three Title

The title for Richelle Mead's third book in the Bloodlines series has been released. The Indigo Spell will release in Feb 2013. Very excited to continue this series.


Magic Mike "Red Band" (AKA X rated) Trailer

If you are a young blog follower, please avert your eyes! There is a spicy Magic Mike trailer that was just released. It's cheesy, but looks like SO much fun.

I was going to embed the video, but as I may have young followers, you can find the trailer on Youtube! :)


Jimmy Fallon and Carly Rae Jepsen and the Roots sing Call Me Maybe

Cute song, and a totally cute video. Jimmy Fallon is awesome, and this song is so catchy. You'll be singing it forever afterwards. Impressive that it was done with only elementary school instruments.

So what you are obsessed with this week?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Friday Hops!

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends. This weeks question is:

Q: Happy Father's Day! Who is your favorite dad character in a book and why?

Either Mr Weasley from Harry Potter, or Lola's dads from Lola and the Boy Next Door.

Mr Weasley is so endearing and charming that you can't help but love him. His kind heart and sweet nature rubbed off on his children as well.

As for Lola's parents, I love them because they are so present throughout the story. They care about Lola and take an active, parental role in her life. This is something often missing from YA novels and was refreshing too see. It also helps that they are humourous and awesome in their own right.

TGIF at GReads! is a weekly blog hop hosted by Ginger from GReads

This weeks question is

Most Valuable Book: From your personal collection of books, which ones hold the most value to you - is it signed by the author? or maybe it's your favorite story of all time? Share it with us.

My most valuable book would have to be a set of them. My Harry Potter collection. They are not signed, or anything like that but I LOVE this series and cherish the set. I have read all of the books numerous time and will most likely read them many more.

Happy Weekend!

Book Expo America - Day Three

The third and final day of Book Expo. By day three your shoulders hurt, you are usually pretty tired, and all you want is a massage. Luckily the last day tends to be a little less crazy and busy.

I really wanted to meet Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian so the Burn for Burn signing was my first stop that day (after a quick booth walk around). Both Jenny and Siobhan were lovely, and Siobhan recalled my blog from when I had Burn for Burn as my Waiting on Wednesday. Again, totally mind blowing that authors would remember me or my blog. I will never get used to it. They also had cute little bottles of sunblock to give out at the signing. I had gotten my 2 bottles in the package of goodies from Teen Author Carnival!

I read Burn for Burn on the bus ride home and I REALLY liked it! I am already dying for book two!

I also went to signings for A Fractured Light by Jocelyn Davies, and 34 Pieces of You by Carmen  Rodrigues.

The day ended early and I bid farewell to NYC with plans to return next June!

To all the authors, amazing bloggers, and publishers I met during Book Expo - Thank you for making this an incredible experience.

Books from day three are

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian (goodreads)
A Fractured Light by Jocelyn Davies (goodreads)
34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues (goodreads)
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole (goodreads)

I also managed to meet Claire Legrand and fangirl over Winterspell. I am so excited about this book (and it doesn't come out for TWO years).

I am already counting down the days until next year's BEA and can't wait to see what awaits in 2013!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Book Expo America 2012 - Day Two

Welcome to day two of my Book Expo recap (or as I like to call it The Day of the Never Ending Lines).

This is the day that tends to be the busiest. There are usually more people around and it makes it slightly crazy. It also happened to be the day that Chris Colfer was there.

To start the day while waiting to get into the exhibit hall the unveiling of the cover for Becca Fitzpatrick's Finale happened. To promote her signing and the unveiling Simon and Schuster had some hotties in black, low slung jeans and black angel feathers walking around. It provided a very nice distraction from sitting in line and the guys were sweet enough to pose for photos. The cover of Finale is actually really stunning and matches the rest of the series.

Cute right?! Simon and Schuster wins the award for best promotion. :)

As soon as I entered I did a quick browse to see what the publishers had going on in the booths and went to line up to meet Chris Colfer. This signing should have been ticketed and it should not have been in booth. The amount of people that showed up, and the unorganized milling around waiting to start an official line up created a blockage in the middle of a walkway. I think Little Brown did not expect the reaction or the amount of people that showed up. People were trying to line up at 9:00 AM for the 11:00 AM signing.

I manged to be one of the first 200 people that scrambled to get in line when Little Brown decided to create one. I was around the 40th person or so. Getting to meet Chris Colfer was worth all the craziness. He's super friendly, very sweet, and seems like a bubbly bundle of energy. I mentioned the breakfast he was part of earlier that morning and he seemed very gracious and humble for the compliments I gave. After he quickly signed my book, I manged to snap a photo and was rushed off. Whirlwind doesn't begin to describe the experience.

The second INSANE line of the day was the Harper Collins Teen Author signing. Bethany Griffin, Veronica Roth, Aprilynne Pike and Elizabeth Norris were all signing at the same time. The signing was at 1:00 pm, and people started lining up at 10:30. I rushed there after the Chris Colfer signing and was still pretty close to the front (I think I was like 40th or so). I was very excited to get to say hello to Bethany as our paths had not crossed yet. She's super nice, and I wish I would have had more time to talk with her. Veronica Roth is as awesome in person as you would expect!

The books from day two are

The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer (goodreads)
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (goodreads)
Entice by Jessica Shirvington (goodreads)
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin (goodreads)
Insurgent by Veronica Roth (goodreads)
Destined by Aprilynne Pike (goodreads)
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris (goodreads)
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter (goodreads)
Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone (goodreads)
The Innocents by Lili Peloquin (goodreads)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas (goodreads)
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (goodreads)
Crewel by Ginnifer Albin (goodreads)
Altered by Jennifer Rush (goodreads)
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter (goodreads)
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa (goodreads)

Chris Colfer's novel came in a cute box that included a note from Chris that is seriously "awwww" inducing. The cute tote bag that came with is something I intend to use this summer while trekking to my sister's pool.

Day three tomorrow. A more low key, relaxing day (which was nice!).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Book Expo America 2012 - Day One

Nothing really compares to Book Expo America. It's an exciting, intense, whirlwind and a book lover's dream. A three day long book love fest filled with amazing authors, knowledgeable publishers, and excited bloggers and other industry professionals. I love being around people who love books just as much as I do and this whole event fills me with warm fuzzies for everything about it.

Upon arriving at the Javits Center I immediately freaked out over the amazing Cassandra Clare Shadow Hunter stairs. Each year the stairs get decorated with a book and this year honoured Cassandra's amazing series. While waiting to go into the exhibit hall Harper Collins had a bunch of people in Carnival masks and Carnival of Souls t-shirts to hand out masks advertising Melissa Marr's signing later in the day. I manged to snag a mask on my way in.

I also met up with Kelly from KellyVision in the morning and it was lovely to chat with her in line while waiting. It made it bearable and we ended up meeting up quite a bit during the week.

The mad rush to enter the exhibit hall is exhilarating and frightening at the same time. Forget staying with your friends because you will be separated in the crowd.

I attend the YA Buzz Panel first thing in the morning. The novels discussed were Crewel by Ginnifer Albin, What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang, Skinny by Donna Cooner, Skylark by Megan Spooner, and Colin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz. I left the panel very excited about each of these books and eager to read them. The editors love and admiration of the novels they were discussing was evident and it made you want to read them as well.

I went to autographing sessions for Gretchen McNeil's Ten, Amy Garvey's Glass Heart, Melissa Marr's Carnival of Souls, Tonya Hurley's The Blessed, and Kat Zhang's What's Left of Me. Meeting each of these authors was a highlight, and I am super excited to read all of their novels. 

The novels I picked up on day one are -

Ten by Gretchen McNeil (goodreads)
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (goodreads)
Glass Heart by Amy Garvey (goodreads)
What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang (goodreads)
The Blessed by Tonya Hurley (goodreads)
Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr (goodreads)
The Diviners by Libba Bray (goodreads)
Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman (goodreads)
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (goodreads)
Eve and Adam by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant (goodreads)
The Prophet by Michael Koryta (goodreads)

Tuesday night also happened to be Teen Author Carnival. I went this year and was so glad I did. It is so much fun. If you attend BEA and love Young Adult novels this is a must attend event.

The two panels I sat in on were

Is This The Real Life? Or Is This Just Fantasy?

The authors on this panel were - Barry Lyga, Tom Pollock, Hannah Mokowitz, Michelle Hodkin, Corrine Jackson, Rebecca Serle, Eliot Schrefer, Crissa-Jean Chappell, Kody Keplinger, Tiffany Schmidt, Fiona Paul and Gretchen McNeil. All the authors were funny, happy to answer questions and it was a fantastic panel. Barry Lyga is less intimidating in person than I was expecting (I Hunt Killers is seriously scary, sue me) and Tom Pollock has a lovely accent that was making all of the audience swoon. Of course, Michelle Hodkin is lovely, so pretty, and awesome (but everyone already knows this). Gretchen McNeil was a fantastic moderator, kept things flowing and was hilarious (she is also so pretty). 

My second panel was 

Where Have You Been All My Life (Let's Talk Boys)

The authors on this panel were - Hannah Mokowitz, Scott Tracey, Michelle Hodkin, Kieran Scott, Jackson Pearce, Crissa-Jean Chappell, Jennifer E Smith, Kody Keplinger, Sarah Tregay, Victoria Schwab and Jen Calonita. Also a fun, interesting panel. I enjoyed Victoria Schwab and found her really sweet. Her Tom Hiddleston crush was shared by a majority of the audience. She had an ARC of The Archived and I may have squealed a little. Michelle Hodkin got a huge round of applause for her answer to the "Marry, Kiss, Kill" question involving the Hunger Games Boys (for those curious Michelle would Marry Peeta, Kiss Finnick and Kill Gale).

In both these panels the highlight was getting insight into how these authors write the novels we love. Many questions were about the writing process, and what they hoped to convey while writing. Unanimously, the authors wanted to provide an experience for the reader, instead of teaching some lesson.

*so this happened! :)

After the panels there was a mass signing. I was able to chat with Michelle Hodkin for a bit about Noah, her teasing us with a bind up of The Evolution of Mara Dyer, and she signed my hardcover. I also got to chat briefly with Jackson Pearce, Fiona Paul, Lauren Morrill, and Aimee Carter (who recognized me from Twitter). All of the authors were incredibly nice. It's pretty mind blowing when an author recognizes you or your blog.

I volunteered to ask an author a question that was selected out of a box of pre-written questions. I was given a box of goodies for doing this. Included in the box were

The City's Son by Tom Pollock (goodreads)
Level 2 by Lenore Applehans (goodreads)
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (goodreads)
Fathomless by Jackson Pearce (goodreads)
Narc by Crissa-Jean Chappell (goodreads)
Winter White by Jen Calonita (goodreads)
Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney (goodreads)
The Wood Queen by Karen Mahoney (goodreads)
Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey (goodreads)
Demon Eyes by Scott Tracey (goodreads)

Another highlight of Teen Author Carnival was running into Katherine (from The Lady Critic's Library) and Katie (from Bookishly Yours). Both ladies are awesome Ottawa bloggers whom I love hanging out with and getting to see them in NYC was so fun.

So that was day one of my BEA/NYC experience. Tomorrow's day two post features my reaction to meeting Chris Colfer, getting to meet Bethany Griffin, and line ups from hell! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
Release Date –  June 12, 2012
Publisher Website –  Penguin/Razorbill
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  418 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**provided  from publisher for an honest review**


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spinoff series 
Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought. 
Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.
Romance, action, beloved characters, and enthralling mythology is what readers can expect from The Golden Lily.  A new, and dangerous threat emerges and Sydney has a whole new sets of problems including Angeline, and getting asked out on a date.

The mythology is beginning to deepen and become less murky. I am really enjoying learning about the magic side of this mythology and learning more about the alchemist and their backstory. This is something Richelle Mead does really well. She manages to extend the mythology and give you just enough to answer some questions, and yet totally surprise you a few books later with new information.

I liked Sydney in this novel much more than in Bloodlines. She has begun to grow on me. Her flustered and shocked reaction to being asked out on a date was hilarious, and her nervousness while on the date endearing. She’s a young woman being pulled between what she’s been taught to believe, and what she is beginning to believe for herself. As we grow up we begin to realize our parents may not always be right. We stumble and make up our own minds about certain things and this is what is happening to Sydney. The pressures of her assignment, mixed with forbidden feelings, friendships and new relationships make her easy to root for.

Adrian, if possible, becomes even more swoon worthy and captivating. While Dimitri will always be my first love in this series, Adrian is a close second.  The burgeoning flirtation and friendship with Sydney in Bloodlines is explored and deepens in The Golden Lily. The connection he has with Jill provided some comedic moments when Jill was seeing Sydney through Adrian via the connection. Seeing his feelings grow, even as he is aware that Sydney does not care for Moroi is bittersweet. Those who grew to care about him in the Vampire Academy series will be glad he is moving on from Rose and falling for someone else, however, this seems destined for heartbreak as well. I literally sighed and swooned when Adrian tells Sydney  ‘If I were him, I would have said, 'You are the most beautiful creature I have ever seen walking this earth.” after Sydney’s date tells her a gorgeous dress she is wearing is “historically inaccurate”. Seriously, I don’t know how Sydney keeps her hands off him. 

The Rose/Dimitri fan girl in me sighed with happiness whenever he mentioned her, or he received a phone call from her. I am hoping Rose eventually makes an appearance and we get to see them interact again.

The emerging triangle that involves Eddie was one I am one I am not happy to see developed. I really like the thought of Eddie pursuing Jill and wish that would have happened. Hopefully this aspect will be more of a focus in the next books.

While I am not as attached to Sydney as I was to Rose I am still enjoying this series immensely. Adrian and Sydney’s scorching tension and banter is not only well developed but I couldn’t help but become invested in them. Fans of Richelle’s other books will devour this in one sitting and immediately look for more. Her addictive writing, compelling characters and thickening plot all make The Golden Lily a sequel that makes you want more. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

New To My Book Closet

It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews).

I had a very small book week this week. I had to purchase a book for my bookclub. We will be reading We Need To Talk About Kevin so I made sure to pick up a copy. It was nice to have a small week though because of Book Expo! My recap posts start on Tuesday and will consist of one per day.

We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (goodreads)

I had actually taken this out at the library before and never got around to reading it before it had to be returned. Very excited to finally have a reason to read this.

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

I am back from NYC and had a blast attending BEA. Look for my posts starting on Tuesday! I am still exhausted (having not slept yet after being on a bus all night), nor have I downloaded pictures or anything like that. Hoping to get caught up tomorrow after a good sleep.

There are a few things I wanted to highlight and with that -

Here are my obsessions this week:


New cover for Shatter Me

My jaw dropped. That's how amazing this is. I love the new covers, and hope the rest of the series has similar covers. I like it so much better than the original cover!


Girls Only Night

My friends and I are planning on going to see Magic Mike at the end of the month. We figured we'd make a full girls only night out of it and go have a Bellini before the movie. I am so very excited to hang out with everyone, and the hot guys in Magic Mike are icing on the cake!

So what you are obsessed with this week?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Timepiece by Myra McEntire

Timepiece by Myra McEntire
Release Date –  June 12, 2012
Publisher Website –  Egmont USA
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  336 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher/Netgalley**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking... 
Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong? 
Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results.  
Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough... 
The follow-up to Hourglass, Timepiece blends the paranormal, science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts.
Intense. Funny. Page Turner. These are just some of the words I could use to describe Timepiece by Myra McEntire. This follow up to Hourglass takes place shortly after Hourglass ends and sends Emerson, Michael and the rest on a whirlwind race to prevent a disastrous outcome to a stacked ultimatum.

Fans of Myra’s writing in the first novel will be happy to hear that it’s just as great in Timepiece. She’s created an engrossing novel that is a rather quick read. It feels very polished and follows really well from chapter to chapter. The use of small cliffhangers at the end of the chapters made me eager to keep turning the pages.

The story is entirely from Kaleb’s point of view. I fell for his charm, quick wit, and was delighted to find much more to his character. His self assured attitude hides a lot, and it was nice getting to see things from his perspective. I found myself chuckling at a lot of things Kaleb thought, even though there is sadness to him that we get to glimpse under the bravado. This may not have come through without his perspective. I loved his banter with Lily (Emerson’s friend). They play off each other, and the sparks between them make sense. I fully enjoyed getting to learn more about Lily, and seeing her become a larger part of the story.

I didn’t find myself missing Emerson as much as I expected to. She and Michael are still very much a part of this story. Getting to see Michael and Emerson thorough Kaleb’s point of view was interesting. I liked getting to see their connection and actions through the perspective of someone else. It provided an outlook I didn’t think we’d get as I expected the novels to continue with Emerson’s point of view.

It sometimes feels like, with series, that a two book plot is being dragged out to make three. Timepiece avoids this issue. In book one we are introduced to the inner workings of Hourglass, and the complexities of time travel and its repercussions. In Timepiece we are shown that this world is much larger, has more depth, and is more calculated that we could have imagined. The mythology evolved and I was so glad to learn some of the character’s secrets.

With the introduction of the Infinityglass Myra has created a mythology that easily lends itself to more novels in this series. The story is just beginning, the stakes are about to get higher, and time is ticking on our beloved characters. I am looking forward to getting to know whoever narrates the next installment and hope to love them as much as I ended up loving Kaleb.

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