Buttons Book Reviews

All books are magical, whether enchanted or not.

In The Afterlight, by Alexandra Bracken — December 21, 2018

In The Afterlight, by Alexandra Bracken

When the Children’s League disbands, Ruby becomes a leader and forms an unlikely alliance with Liam’s brother, Cole, but competing ideals threaten the mission to uncover the cause of IANN and free psi children from the camps.

This book was a thrilling conclusion to The Darkest Minds series!!! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading this book. Alexandra’s writing was very good and I can’t wait to read The Darkest Legacy.

Alex’s writing style is very distinctive. Her style is also very addicting, which means that right after Christmas I know what book I’ll be getting. I really enjoyed how well Alex described the setting. I could envision myself in the book with Ruby and her crew, experiencing what they were experiencing and learning what they were learning. I wish that I had been able to spend more time in certain places, but I loved traveling all around the country. There were other ways that I learned about the setting, like through people’s stories. I really wish I knew how to travel inside of books so that I could see whether the setting that Alex described was where I wanted to be.

The characters were really great!!! They were so detailed and I enjoyed reading about them. Some characters that we previously met and had left, have returned!!! That made my day. When characters did return from previous books, their backstories were explained and their traumas were dealt with. I really enjoyed seeing some of the newer characters react to situations that the other characters had already been through, and them learning how to act. There were some heartbreaking deaths as well. I was crying at some points in this book because of who died and what happened to some of my favorite characters.

They don’t burn do they? Not like us.


Bracken, Alexandra. In the Afterlight. Hyperion, an Imprint of Disney Book Group, 2015.

The fight for a cure was very impressive and I was really interested in seeing what characters wanted a cure and what characters didn’t. I found it really interesting to see what Clancey’s thoughts on the cure were. His mother was an interesting character and I wish that she got more page time. The cure wasn’t all that it seemed to be, and Clancey turned out to be fairly on point with his thoughts on how the cure would be. I wish that I could have talked to him on his thoughts and that he wouldn’t have manipulated me if I did.

The plot was very action-packed and I loved it to the end!!! There were a couple camp breakouts and I was sitting on the edge of my seat for all of them. I wish that I had been a part of the story so that I could have helped with some of the stuff that they did. There was a lot of relationship stuff, but that was okay. There was a lot of questions on who could be trusted during this book, which helped keep me engrossed in the book. I really enjoyed reading In The Afterlight.

I loved reading this book and I highly recommend it. I got the book summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

The Rose Society, by Marie Lu — December 15, 2018

The Rose Society, by Marie Lu

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her. But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele, and the Dagger Society want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?

This book was a stunning chronicle of Adelina’s descent into darkness. I highly recommend it and can’t wait to read The Midnight Star.

Marie’s writing was so lyrical and I loved it a lot. It was also really addicting and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. I wish I had the next book on hand so that I could start reading it. Marie described the setting very well and I felt like I was in the world with Adelina and her Roses. I wish that Adelina wasn’t the only character in the first person, though. It was a bit disconcerting when the story switched POVs. I really enjoyed reading Marie’s writing and I hope that it is just as good when I’m reading The Midnight Star.

The characters were very well-written and I loved reading about them. I wish I knew all of them in real life. All of the characters were very detailed and I knew the side characters almost as well as I knew Adelina and Violetta. I really enjoyed reading about all of the character drama and Adelina’s slow descent into something less than human. I wish that there was more Adelina and Enzo time, but I understand why the book needed to be written the way it did.

The effects of the magical deterioration were really well-written. When Raffaele, found out that all of the Elites were dying, my heart stopped in my chest. I wish that all of the characters didn’t have to die, but it is logical that they should die. Adelina took a dark terrible path in this book and I just wanted to stop her and tell her that she was making a terrible choice so many times while reading this book, even though I know that her abilities were driving her insane. I appreciated the realisticness of this predicament in The Rose Society, but I wish that it didn’t have to be this way.

They were the flash of light in a stormy sky, the fleeting darkness before dawn. Never have they existed before, nor shall they ever exist again.


Lu, Marie. THE ROSE SOCIETY (#2). G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2015.

The plot was very well-written, but, once again, I wish that it had been different. I wish that Adelina’s mental health didn’t deteriorate, I wish that Adelina had tried to win over the Daggers, and I wish that some people hadn’t died. I really enjoyed reading about the intensity of the bond between Adelina and her Roses. I wish that the ending wasn’t written the way it was and that it was happier. I saw Adelina turn darker and darker every day and that made me decide that if I ever go down that path, I’ll talk to a therapist.

I really enjoyed reading this book, even though it dragged Adelina’s mental health through the mud. I highly recommend it, as well as the rest of Marie Lu’s books. I got the summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

City of Ghosts, by Victoria Schwab —

City of Ghosts, by Victoria Schwab

Ever since her near-fatal drowning, Cassidy has been able to pull back the “Veil” that separates the living from the dead and see ghosts, not that she wants to, and she was really looking forward to a ghost-free summer at the beach; however her parents are going to start filming a TV series about the world’s most haunted places, starting with Edinburgh with its graveyards, castles, and restless phantoms–and Cass and her personal ghost companion, Jacob, are about to find out that a city of old ghosts can be a very dangerous place indeed.

I really enjoyed the fun (yet slightly dark) little story that is City of Ghosts. It was so sweet and charming and I can’t wait to read the sequel.

Victoria’s writing style was so unique and I loved it a lot. I wish I had been able to pick up City of Ghosts faster. Victoria says that Edinburgh is the city where she buried her heart and it really shows in her descriptions of the city. I was blown away reading about all of the places in the city, especially Blackwell’s Bookstore. I think that after reading City of Ghosts, I have to visit Edinburgh sometime in the future if only to see if it’s as beautiful as it seems.

I loved the characters so much. I wish I had been able to talk to them and meet them in real life. Cassidy seemed so realistic and I loved reading about her. The side characters were great too, but my favorite character was Lara. Lara is her own person, and that’s what drew me to her. She takes Cassidy under her wing and teaches her most of what she knows. I wish we had a spinoff series for her.

It might surprise you to know that I have, on occasion, broken a few rules.

Schwab, Victoria. City of Ghosts. Scholastic Press, 2018

The ghosts in this book were very well-written. I enjoyed learning about ghost hunting and the ghosts themselves. Jacob, The Raven In Red, and all of the ghosts were very detailed and had very clear boundaries. Like their inability to touch things and their avoidance of certain objects. I wish I knew more about why the ghosts couldn’t move onto the Afterlife when other people could, but I think that’s a question for another book. I can’t wait to learn more about ghosts and ghost hunting in the next book.

The plot was very action-packed and surprisingly dark for a middle-grade book. You don’t normally read about some of the topics in this book when you’re in middle school.  I really loved reading about the ghost hunting and I can’t wait to see what happens next in the Cassidy Blake series. I had one main thought after I finished City of Ghosts. That book didn’t need a series. It would have been an open ending, but I’ve always enjoyed those. I’m not sure whether I want this book to become a series or not, but I’ll pick up the second book to see what happens next for Cassidy.

I really enjoyed City of Ghosts and I recommend it. I got the book summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

The Diviners, by Libba Bray — December 7, 2018

The Diviners, by Libba Bray

download (1)Seventeen-year-old Evie O’Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.

The Diviners was a great book!!!! Everyone has been reading and loving this book recently and so I just had to pick it up. The characters were superb and I loved reading about them. The plot was like nothing I have ever read before and I loved it so much!!! I can’t wait to tell you how much I loved this book.

Libba Bray’s writing style was so funny!! No, it really was funny. Her sarcasm was appreciated and I will definitely be picking up another one of her books just to see if her style is the same (as it probably will be). Libba described the setting very well and I imagined myself with Evie and the rest of her crew hunting Naughty John. I really enjoyed this unique writing style and can’t wait to read more from Libba. Her writing style really was like nothing I have ever read.

Evie, Sam, Memphis, and all of the other characters were really well done. But I didn’t understand the point of some of the characters, like Mabel. She was a very well written character and I enjoyed reading about her, but I didn’t see how she was crucial to the plot. Mabel wasn’t helping Evie figure out who the killer was, she just sat around. But, Mabel and all of the other side characters were very detailed. I really liked reading about them and hearing how they interacted with each other. Even though I couldn’t see the point of some of the side characters, I did enjoy reading about them.

There was one main thing in this book that I didn’t like. That was the trope of us knowing the killer before Evie and the other characters. I hated that. Whenever this happens I find myself wanting to yell at the characters for their ineptitude. I know that is probably cruel, but that is why I don’t normally like books like this. The Diviners was an exception to this. That trope in The Diviners was well written, but I didn’t particularly want to be reading it. I wish that it was not in this book, but at least it was done well.

The Diviners

The plot was exceptional and I loved it!!! It was very unique and I couldn’t wait to hear what happened next. It made being forced to put the book down a very side time for me. I wish I had been able to sit down and read this book in one sitting, but I don’t think that was possible. I have never read a book like this and I loved reading a unique idea. I don’t think that very many people could have pulled this off but Libba could.

I loved reading The Diviners and I highly recommend it. I got the book summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

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Bright We Burn, by Kiersten White — December 5, 2018

Bright We Burn, by Kiersten White

download (1)To build the country she wants, Lada, the brutal ruler of Wallachia, must destroy everything that came before, including her relationships with brother Radu and former love Mehmed, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

This book ended me!!! I loved it so much and I wish that it had a happier ending. I wish that I had met Lada and bonded with her and that she learned valuable people skills. That was what I hoped for Lada, and it wasn’t achieved. I loved reading about Lada, Radu, and Mehmed and learning about the magical world of the Ottoman Empire.

Kiersten’s writing style was phenomenal!!! It was really realistic and I loved hearing her voice portrayed through Lada and Radu. Kiersten described the setting perfectly and I loved hearing about the forests and the cliffs and all of the beauty around Wallachia. I was engrossed in the story and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next to the beautiful landscape. Kiersten’s writing was very smooth and addictive (I can’t wait to read her next book). It reminded me of Marie Lu’s writing style. I wish that I could have read more about Lada and Radu, but I understand that it would be complicated.

Lada and Radu were amazing main characters!!! I loved them so much and couldn’t wait to see what they did next. I probably should have cared more about Mehemed, but who cares about him when you have the scheming Lada and Radu to deal with. Lada and Radu really grew into themselves in this book and it was amazing to see the changes that both of them underwent. I wish that I could have talked to both of them and learned more about their tactics and the way that they thought (the book was in the third person).

Bright We Burn

The side characters were also really well written and I enjoyed reading about them. Stefan and Dacina became very prominent in this story and I was grateful to know more about all of them. There were also some very sad side character deaths that broke me and I think that I might have become a little too emotional. But it might just be me. I cried for a while at two of them (the two most heart-wrenching). I was also reunited with some side characters from earlier books that I loved dearly. I wish that I had learned more from them.

The plot was amazing!!! I was engrossed in it from the very first page and I couldn’t wait to learn more about Lada, Radu, and the tactics that they employed. It was amazing to see the plot finally culminate and all of the characters come together in an epic battle. Lada and her people were so strong and proud of their country, while Radu and Mehmed didn’t want to do what they had to do, but they did it anyway. It was really impressive to read about, but the ending broke my heart. I wish that it could have been any other way.

I loved Bright We Burn and I highly recommend it. I got the summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

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Never Fade, by Alexandra Bracken — December 4, 2018

Never Fade, by Alexandra Bracken

download (1)In the second installment of The Darkest Minds trilogy, Ruby joins forces with the revolutionary Children’s League to find critical information about the epidemic that has torn both her life and America apart.

This book was amazing and I loved it so much!!! I was engrossed in the plot and I loved the characters. They seemed so much more detailed and realistic. I loved the writing style and all of the plot twists. Never Fade was a little bit better than The Darkest Minds, that’s for sure. My only complaint with this book was the number of pages.

The writing style was superb. I have always appreciated Alex’s writing style and wanted to write like her. Her style is so unique and definitive and I was engrossed in it for the whole story. I loved the way that Alex described the setting and mentioned references from the other book if you were paying attention. I loved hearing more about the economic crisis that the U.S.A. was in. All of the detail in the backstory was not lost on me, and I can’t wait to see what else happens with the background and the way that the series progresses.

Ruby, Liam, and all of the other characters were so realistic!!! I loved all of them so much and I can’t wait to see where they go in the rest of the series. I particularly enjoyed the dialogue between Liam and Ruby. All of the villains should get the ending that they deserve. Otherwise, I will riot. All of their backstories were superb and I can’t wait to see what the villains become in the next book. All of the side characters were so fleshed out and realistic as well. I loved some of the side characters as much as I loved the main characters. Vida was such an amazing character and I hope that she gets her own story.

Never Fade

The Children’s League was one of the most interesting parts of this book. Ruby starts off working for them and we quickly learn that the League is divided into two. There are people who think that the children should be used as weapons, and people who believe that the children should be protected and cared for. I put my lot in the second group of people. So the League is an interesting group because of the power struggles and dynamics.

The plot was also very well done and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. I was hanging on the edge of my seat and I was tempted to skip ahead to see if Ruby and the others were okay. Old characters (that we all thought were gone) were brought back and I loved every second of it. There were some parts that had me wanting to (or actually) throwing the book across the room because I had just been thrown in an epic spiral because of a plot twist. I loved the plot and hope that the plot in the next book is just as good.

I loved Never Fade to pieces and I highly recommend it. I got the book summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

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What If It’s Us, by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera — December 2, 2018

What If It’s Us, by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

download (1)Told in two voices, when Arthur, a summer intern from Georgia, and Ben, a native New Yorker, meet it seems like fate, but after three attempts at dating fail they wonder if the universe is pushing them together or apart.

What If It’s Us was such a great book!!! Arthur and Ben were the greatest characters, and I was rooting for them the whole way through the book. The plot was very well-written and I loved the LGBTQ+ representation. The setting was quite detailed, even though I’ve been only to NYC once, I can tell. This book pulled on my heartstrings and I can’t wait to tell you about it.

Becky and Adam’s writing style combined made for a wonderful book, full of joy and gut-wrenching moments. Becky and Adam have two very different writing styles, yet somehow they manage to make it work. I really liked how the dialogue was written. It could be really funny at times, but other times it could be very pessimistic. The combined writing style was definitely one of the most unique styles that I have read. At least for a while. If you like unique writing styles, this is the book for you.

Arthur and Ben were so sweet!!! I shipped them together from their first encounter, which made the ending so much harder. All of the side characters were also well-developed and I loved hearing them with Arthur and Ben. Arthur and Ben were both well-written and detailed. I loved learning about their likes, dislikes, and basically everything about them. I really enjoyed listening to the characters dialogue. It had me laughing out loud at some points, and begging some of the other characters to reconsider their words at others. Arthur, Ben, and the whole crew were so great and I hope that we get a sequel.

The LGBTQ+ representation was spot on. I loved the way that everyone dealt with Arthur and Ben’s coming out. I was touched by how Becky and Adam portrayed New York. Apparently, it isn’t the LGBTQ+ paradise that all of us other Americans are lead to believe. I thought that the representation would be a little bit better considering that both Becky and Adam have written books with LGBTQ+ characters before, but it is better than some books featuring LGBTQ+ characters that I read (you don’t want to know).

The plot was very well-written. It was an easy contemporary to read and I enjoyed it. I wish that we saw Arthur and Ben together more in the first part of the book, though. I really liked how well the sense of losing time was conveyed by Adam. He has definitely had practice. I really liked the multiple first dates thing. It was sweet, and I would like to do that one day. The plot was very character based and I loved that. I couldn’t wait to learn more. I loved all of the musical references, especially HAMILTON. You write a book about HAMILTON and I will die.

What If It's Us

What If It’s Us was an amazing and I loved it so much!!! I highly recommend it and any other books by Becky and Adam. I got the summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

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Girls Who Code: Team BFF: Race To The Finish — November 30, 2018

Girls Who Code: Team BFF: Race To The Finish

download (1)Sophia and her coding club BFFs have the best time together. Sure, they work on coding projects, but mostly they gossip about crushes, eat cookies, and do totally silly impersonations. Now they’re about to participate in their first hackathon–a full day of coding and meeting other coders–so it’s time to step up their game!

I really liked this book, although I think that it could have been done better. I enjoyed the character development a lot, but the pacing was off and all of the responsibilities heaped onto Sophia seemed a little bit inaccurate.

The writing style didn’t change at all from the last book. I wanted it to be a little bit different, but it wasn’t. Stacia’s style was (once again) really really basic. I wish that there was a little bit more prose in it, just because prose makes a story interesting and I love interesting stories. I really liked the way that Stacia used the setting to convey the mood of the characters, and how the others reacted to it. I didn’t particularly like the way that Stacia wrote, but I can live with it.

Team BFF_ Race To The Finish

The characters were okay, but I wish that they had been more detailed. I enjoyed reading about them, but I think that they could have been better written. All of the characters seemed very two-dimensional and I just wanted some well-written 6th graders (that aren’t from the Percy Jackson universe). All of the characters developed during the course of the book and I loved that a lot. All of the characters were so sweet and funny. I really enjoyed reading about the friendships in this book and hearing about how diverse it was. Stacia tried to make this book as diverse as possible, and I love her for that. 

The plot was not very intense. But maybe I’m just used to reading action-packed fantasy books. There is no magic in this book (unless you consider coding magic). I enjoyed this book, but I wanted things to happen sooner than they did. There was also the matter of pacing. This book’s pacing was very uneven. Things would be happening at the speed of light, and then they’d slow down to a snail’s pace. I just wanted the pacing to be steady like it was in the last book. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I did the first one, but it’s target audience might.

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed the first one, but it was okay. I recommend to middle-schoolers and people who love coding. I got the summary from the Library of Congress. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

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Girls Who Code: The Friendship Code, by Stacia Deutsch — November 28, 2018

Girls Who Code: The Friendship Code, by Stacia Deutsch

download (1)Looking forward to joining the new coding club at school so that she can develop her app idea, Lucy is disappointed by the lukewarm reception she receives from the club’s other members, who work with her to decipher mysterious coding notes.

This book was so sweet!!!! It was about a group of girls who don’t like who they’re grouped with in coding club, and they start getting mysterious notes. The girls need to learn how to befriend each other to figure out who is sending the notes. I loved reading The Friendship Code and can’t wait to talk to you guys about it.

The writing style was very basic because this book was written for 9-or-10-year-olds. I enjoyed it though. The setting was very well done and I could envision myself with the characters, coding. I really loved how The Friendship Code talked about coding because not many books talk about that, and I think that it is a very important topic. I really enjoyed the style of the book, although The Friendship Code could have easily been cut down to half of its size if the publishers just made the font size smaller.

The characters were super well-written and I enjoyed reading about all of them. Lucy is a great main character. Her voice is unique, she handles problems realistically, and she acts like a sixth grader. Lucy acts her age. All of the relationships between characters were very realistic and I enjoyed hearing about them. I loved reading about the growing friendships between the girls, and how all of them grew as people. The girls were such amazing characters and I loved reading about all of them.

The Friendship Code

The plot was very well-written. It was also very character-based. The plot centered on the making of friends and family relationships. It was sweet. I loved the way that the story progressed. The pacing was fairly steady and consistent. The book tokk place over the time frame of a week. I enjoyed reading about the girls and how they handled their problems. I loved reading this The Friendship Code.

I really liked reading this book and highly recommend it. I got the summary from my local library. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

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Muse of Nightmares, by Laini Taylor — November 26, 2018

Muse of Nightmares, by Laini Taylor

download (1)As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected.

This was an intense book. I was engrossed in it from the beginning and I couldn’t wait to see what had happened to Sari and Lazlo. Laini’s writing style hasn’t changed, and I really liked that. I also enjoyed how realistic the characters were and how all of them reacted to the challenges they faced. The plot was very interesting and I really enjoyed reading it.

 

Laini’s writing style was very detailed and I loved it so much!!! Laini made her writing dense and thick, but we were never wondering about what things looked like because of it. I do wish that the writing had been a little bit better, but I really don’t mind that much. Laini described things down to the last room in the citadel, and I really liked being to picture everything that vividly. The amount of work that probably went into making the writing that detailed astounds me. I hope that one day I could write that well and detailed.

Lazlo, Sari, Minya, the whole crowd was back and (maybe not better than ever). We are introduced to two new characters in this book, Kora and Nova. I wish that we had been more chapters with them. All of the characters in came together and I enjoyed reading about all of them. I think that my favorite thing character moment in this book was how Sari and Eril-Fane’s relationship progressed. It was so sweet and my heart melted during some scenes. Lazlo and Sari were as solid as ever. But Minya’s relationship with everyone changed drastically. I was floored by the transformation that she underwent and I wish that I could read more about her.

Muse of Nightmares

We were introduced to several new perspectives during this book and I was really interested in how this would change the dynamic of the story.  Surprisingly,  not a lot changed, except for the fact that we got to see inside other characters’ heads. Getting in other characters’ heads helped me understand the story and characters more. The perspectives of the characters freshened up the book and made it more interesting, for me at least. I really enjoyed the different ways that the characters thought and reasoned. It really defined the characters.

The plot was very well-written. I loved how the book was written and how well information was revealed. It was not dramatic, yet it had my jaw on the floor. The plot was very character-based and I loved the way that Laini made the growth of the characters evident. As I said above, the plot was very intense and I loved all of the action. Everything was suspenseful and I enjoyed sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for what was to happen next. The whole plot was very well done and I will be picking up more of Ms. Taylor’s books to see if they are all this good.

I really enjoyed reading Muse of Nightmares and I highly recommend the duology. I got the summary of the book from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

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