snapdragon76: Did I mention that I like reading? (books)
Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 27 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #27)Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 27 by Hiromu Arakawa

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Wow. Here we are at the end of an era. What a ride it has been.



I've been a longtime fan of this series due to the excellent storyline and the fabulous art, especially the art. I love how the characters have always had a distinct look from each other. And the detail is amazing.



We have come to the end of a long journey with these characters and while I know everything must come to an end, it's still very bittersweet nonetheless. It just goes to show how excellent this series is when you can feel such emotion at the conclusion of the story.



Thank you very much, Arakawa-sensei. I look forward to your next work.



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snapdragon76: this is made of win and awesome (Default)
Skyblue Shore Volume 1Skyblue Shore Volume 1 by Yamada Nanpei

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I saw this series in the bookstore and it looked very interesting. The exact dort of thing I'd be interested in. So, I picked both volumes up and I was right, I did enjoy it.



Unfortunately, it's published by Tokyopop which is no longer in business, so there will be no more volumes forthcoming. There are only a total of six in the original Japanese, and it's a cute series and I would have liked to see how it ended, but that doesn't look likely.



I dunno if it will be picked up by anyone else or not and I cannot find anything about it online to satisfy my curiosity about what happens. That's really sad...



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snapdragon76: this is made of win and awesome (Default)
Skyblue Shore Volume 1Skyblue Shore Volume 1 by Yamada Nanpei

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I saw this series in the bookstore and it looked very interesting. The exact dort of thing I'd be interested in. So, I picked both volumes up and I was right, I did enjoy it.



Unfortunately, it's published by Tokyopop which is no longer in business, so there will be no more volumes forthcoming. There are only a total of six in the original Japanese, and it's a cute series and I would have liked to see how it ended, but that doesn't look likely.



I dunno if it will be picked up by anyone else or not and I cannot find anything about it online to satisfy my curiosity about what happens. That's really sad...



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snapdragon76: Did I mention that I like reading? (books)
Just South Of Normal

I somehow forgot to add this when I originally got it many months ago.

EDIT: I finished reading this and I must say, I do like it. It was a nice, fun read and I found myself eager to find out what happened next.

I don't know if this is this authors first book, but if so I do hope she writes more. She has a nice, easy style that doesn't try to talk down to the reader of overdo it with a lot of flowery language. It felt very true to life of being a teenage girl.

In many ways I was expecting Ivony to start falling for her best friend Davin, but the ending was left ambiguous without them getting together. Generally I dislike open endings. I tend to like complete endings. But with this one, I wasn't bothered by it. It kinda left the reader to draw their own conclusions as to if Ivony and Davin do get together eventually. I kinda think they do, mostly because I'm a bit of a romantic that way and plus there were a few hints here and there that Davin likes Ivony more than he's willing to admit.

I originally heard of this book by a post written by the author on the MST3K community on LiveJournal promoting it. Normally I'm wary of new authors promoting stuff they wrote because it tends to be bad, but in this case I thought I'd give it a chance and I'm glad I did. Plus, the two or three MST mentions were a nice touch.
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snapdragon76: Did I mention that I like reading? (books)
Just South Of Normal

I somehow forgot to add this when I originally got it many months ago.

EDIT: I finished reading this and I must say, I do like it. It was a nice, fun read and I found myself eager to find out what happened next.

I don't know if this is this authors first book, but if so I do hope she writes more. She has a nice, easy style that doesn't try to talk down to the reader of overdo it with a lot of flowery language. It felt very true to life of being a teenage girl.

In many ways I was expecting Ivony to start falling for her best friend Davin, but the ending was left ambiguous without them getting together. Generally I dislike open endings. I tend to like complete endings. But with this one, I wasn't bothered by it. It kinda left the reader to draw their own conclusions as to if Ivony and Davin do get together eventually. I kinda think they do, mostly because I'm a bit of a romantic that way and plus there were a few hints here and there that Davin likes Ivony more than he's willing to admit.

I originally heard of this book by a post written by the author on the MST3K community on LiveJournal promoting it. Normally I'm wary of new authors promoting stuff they wrote because it tends to be bad, but in this case I thought I'd give it a chance and I'm glad I did. Plus, the two or three MST mentions were a nice touch.
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snapdragon76: Did I mention that I like reading? (books)
One DayOne Day by David Nicholls

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


OK, I heard good things about this book and my curiosity got the better of me and I said to myself, 'What the hell.' I'm glad I did though because it's a very compelling read and hard to put down.



I liked the format where we see a peek into one day of the two main character's lives over the course of 20 years. Nothing is sugar coated though. It's realistic enough to be believable and the characters are flawed enough where they seem real and relateable. While some of the flaws are pretty bad, you still feel sympathy for them because you know the kind of person they are and still like them anyway.



I haven't reached the end yet, but from what I've read in other reviews, it makes me reluctant to do so. But, I'm in it for the long haul so will be sticking around.



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P.S. There's going to be a film version coming out in August that I'll most likely go and see. It stars Anne Hathaway and I've been a longtime fan of hers for a number of years now.
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snapdragon76: Did I mention that I like reading? (books)
One DayOne Day by David Nicholls

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


OK, I heard good things about this book and my curiosity got the better of me and I said to myself, 'What the hell.' I'm glad I did though because it's a very compelling read and hard to put down.



I liked the format where we see a peek into one day of the two main character's lives over the course of 20 years. Nothing is sugar coated though. It's realistic enough to be believable and the characters are flawed enough where they seem real and relateable. While some of the flaws are pretty bad, you still feel sympathy for them because you know the kind of person they are and still like them anyway.



I haven't reached the end yet, but from what I've read in other reviews, it makes me reluctant to do so. But, I'm in it for the long haul so will be sticking around.



View all my reviews

P.S. There's going to be a film version coming out in August that I'll most likely go and see. It stars Anne Hathaway and I've been a longtime fan of hers for a number of years now.
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snapdragon76: Did I mention that I like reading? (books)
Papillon Volume 7 (in Japanese)Papillon Volume 7 by Miwa Ueda




As you may have noticed, this is the Japanese edition of this volume. This series WAS being published in English by Del Rey, but due to the fact they stopped publishing manga, there is strong doubt this will get translated.



You would think KondanshaUSA would publish this and volume 8 (the final two volumes in this series), but there is no indication they plan on doing so. I feel this is a shame. They could publish the last two volumes together like volumes 5 and 6 were done so that the series can be finished.



I am rather disappointed in how this was handled. Granted, it might not be as popular of a title as others published by Del Rey, but there was still an audience for it, and to leave a series hanging with only two volumes left is kind of pointless.



I have read detailed summaries of this and volume 8, so I do know the basic gist of what happens. Still, I'd like to read it in English sometime like the rest of the series beforehand.



Maybe they will decide to translate the remainder sometime in the future. I hope so.



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snapdragon76: this is made of win and awesome (Papillion -- Ageha and Kyuu-chan)
Papillon Volume 7 (in Japanese)Papillon Volume 7 by Miwa Ueda




As you may have noticed, this is the Japanese edition of this volume. This series WAS being published in English by Del Rey, but due to the fact they stopped publishing manga, there is strong doubt this will get translated.



You would think KondanshaUSA would publish this and volume 8 (the final two volumes in this series), but there is no indication they plan on doing so. I feel this is a shame. They could publish the last two volumes together like volumes 5 and 6 were done so that the series can be finished.



I am rather disappointed in how this was handled. Granted, it might not be as popular of a title as others published by Del Rey, but there was still an audience for it, and to leave a series hanging with only two volumes left is kind of pointless.



I have read detailed summaries of this and volume 8, so I do know the basic gist of what happens. Still, I'd like to read it in English sometime like the rest of the series beforehand.



Maybe they will decide to translate the remainder sometime in the future. I hope so.



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And I uploaded this icon specifically because I knew I'd be posting this on here. But, I still plan on keeping it in the regular rotation. :D
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snapdragon76: this is made of win and awesome (Taiga)
A Bride's Story, Vol. 1A Bride's Story, Vol. 1 by Kaoru Mori

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This series is by the same manga-ka as 'Emma' and has the same meticulous attention to detail and research as in the previous series. The artwork is outstanding. I have always been impressed by the amount of details that Mori-sensei put into her work.

Set in the 19th century along the Silk Road, the story is about a new bride in central Asia along the Caspian Sea. Her husband, interestingly enough, is a sweet 12 year old boy, the youngest in his family. She herself is 20 and considered too old to marry off by her family.

The story follows her as she adjusts to her new life with her new family and delves a little into the life of the peoples of the region during this time period.

I do suggest picking this up if you can.



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I really must thank [livejournal.com profile] secondlina for piquing my interest in this series.

Toradora! Volume 1Toradora! Volume 1 by Yuyuko Takemiya

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Based on a series of light novels published in Japan. I love this series. It's cute and charming and the art and story are both very well done. The chapters seem a little short, so it makes for a fast read which for me is a little disappointing since I want to savor the story.

Taiga is very adorable and the very definition of a Tsundere. However, she does mellow quite a bit (but never completely, you know) with the influence of Ryuuji.

And yeah, I do think Taiga and Ryuuji make for an adorable couple... if if they don't quite see it yet. I have been watching the anime as well which explore the story further. I never read the light novels so I have no idea how the series itself ends.



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I forget how I found out about this series. But, it is very cute and I do recommend it!
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snapdragon76: Did I mention that I like reading? (books)
A Bride's Story, Vol. 1A Bride's Story, Vol. 1 by Kaoru Mori

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This series is by the same manga-ka as 'Emma' and has the same meticulous attention to detail and research as in the previous series. The artwork is outstanding. I have always been impressed by the amount of details that Mori-sensei put into her work.

Set in the 19th century along the Silk Road, the story is about a new bride in central Asia along the Caspian Sea. Her husband, interestingly enough, is a sweet 12 year old boy, the youngest in his family. She herself is 20 and considered too old to marry off by her family.

The story follows her as she adjusts to her new life with her new family and delves a little into the life of the peoples of the region during this time period.

I do suggest picking this up if you can.



View all my reviews


I really must thank [personal profile] secondlina for piquing my interest in this series.

Toradora! Volume 1Toradora! Volume 1 by Yuyuko Takemiya

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Based on a series of light novels published in Japan. I love this series. It's cute and charming and the art and story are both very well done. The chapters seem a little short, so it makes for a fast read which for me is a little disappointing since I want to savor the story.

Taiga is very adorable and the very definition of a Tsundere. However, she does mellow quite a bit (but never completely, you know) with the influence of Ryuuji.

And yeah, I do think Taiga and Ryuuji make for an adorable couple... if if they don't quite see it yet. I have been watching the anime as well which explore the story further. I never read the light novels so I have no idea how the series itself ends.



View all my reviews

I forget how I found out about this series. But, it is very cute and I do recommend it!
snapdragon76: Did I mention that I like reading? (books)
Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years LaterSweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Ahhh, the Sweet Valley High books. I read them religiously as a preteen/teenager. Now we follow the Wakefield twins into adulthood and their distinctly different lives.



I think this series started me on my fondness for twins. Sure, the stories and characters were idealized and a little fanciful. But that's what makes good fiction. Best of all, the characters had identifiable flaws.



Personality-wise I identified more with Elizabeth (except the flawless beauty of course) than with her twin Jessica. But I was engrossed by their many adventures and day to day lives. The books were a nice escape.



ETA:



Well, it's strange to see how the truth is masked by nostalgia. I think my fondness for the series was tempered by the fact I was a teenager and teenagers tend to not have the greatest taste in literature (the twilight series being a prime example).



Basically what I'm saying is the SVH series was the literary equivalent of Beverly Hills 90210. Your basic cheesy High School drama series.



In any case, in this particular book, we revisit the pretty, perfect California Wakefield twins ten years after they graduate High School. Elizabeth has moved away from Sweet valley, California and is a struggling writer in New York (is there any other kind?) writing for a small Off-Broadway review blog and living in a tiny apartment. Her once close relationship with her identical twin Jessica has been seemingly irreparably damaged after it was revealed that Jessica had been involved in a secret relationship with Elizabeth's fiance, the staid, stalwart Todd Wilkins.



This is the very same Todd Wilkins that Elizabeth has had a relationship with throughout almost the entire series and also with-whom she's had the warm fuzzies for since KINDERGARTEN. We find out later in flashback (and there are a LOT of flashbacks in this book), that Jessica and Todd had sex once during their senior year of college five years prior. Granted they had secret meetings with one another over a period of one month in a out of the way diner.



So Liz leaves the two in a fury and flees to New York, stewing in her hate and disgust. Meanwhile, Jessica and Todd have moved in together and are planning to wed. Jessica is feeling tremendous amounts of guilt, not only for her betrayal eight months before the start of the story (which led to Liz moving to New York), but also for the initial affair five years previous.



The story is told mostly in third person, but when we get to a particular plot point, the perspective shifts to first person narrative and it can be a little confusing as to who's talking at first since it's used for several different characters throughout the book.



Also, we find out that the twins' older brother Steven is gay (which came out of the blue. I think because in order to be relevant to the times, there needed to be at least one gay character).



I don't know if Ms. Pascal wrote this book herself or had one of her ghostwriters do it. But the style seems uneven from the previous series. Jessica's vocabulary is very off in that she uses 'teenage' slang frequently when she never did in the book. It seems especially odd since she's now in her late twenties.



Also, is no one physically flawed in this book. Everyone has perfect hair, perfect breasts (well, the women do) and perfect teeth. They all have interesting jobs and impeccable fashion sense.



There's also swearing in this book when there never was in the original series. It seems very out of place. I guess it's to show this is a more 'mature' story. That and the sex (which is always fabulous, btw).



In the end, after a major fiasco at the twins' grandmother's 80th birthday party, they eventually make up when Liz realizes she fell out of love with Todd a long time ago but due to her committed personality, she never thought of leaving. Then, Liz hooks up with Bruce Patman (rich, gorgeous and a former jerkass), and they have awesome sex and they go to the wedding and things are fine.



I know this series is far from realistic, but I may be a little cynical anymore. I just hoped to have a little more depth to it is all.







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I really need a twins icon...
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snapdragon76: Did I mention that I like reading? (books)
Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years LaterSweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Ahhh, the Sweet Valley High books. I read them religiously as a preteen/teenager. Now we follow the Wakefield twins into adulthood and their distinctly different lives.



I think this series started me on my fondness for twins. Sure, the stories and characters were idealized and a little fanciful. But that's what makes good fiction. Best of all, the characters had identifiable flaws.



Personality-wise I identified more with Elizabeth (except the flawless beauty of course) than with her twin Jessica. But I was engrossed by their many adventures and day to day lives. The books were a nice escape.



ETA:



Well, it's strange to see how the truth is masked by nostalgia. I think my fondness for the series was tempered by the fact I was a teenager and teenagers tend to not have the greatest taste in literature (the Twilight series being a prime example).



Basically what I'm saying is the SVH series was the literary equivalent of Beverly Hills 90210. Your basic cheesy High School drama series.



In any case, in this particular book, we revisit the pretty, perfect California Wakefield twins ten years after they graduate High School. Elizabeth has moved away from Sweet valley, California and is a struggling writer in New York (is there any other kind?) writing for a small Off-Broadway review blog and living in a tiny apartment. Her once close relationship with her identical twin Jessica has been seemingly irreparably damaged after it was revealed that Jessica had been involved in a secret relationship with Elizabeth's fiance, the staid, stalwart Todd Wilkins.



This is the very same Todd Wilkins that Elizabeth has had a relationship with throughout almost the entire series and also with-whom she's had the warm fuzzies for since KINDERGARTEN. We find out later in flashback (and there are a LOT of flashbacks in this book), that Jessica and Todd had sex once during their senior year of college five years prior. Granted they had secret meetings with one another over a period of one month in a out of the way diner.



So Liz leaves the two in a fury and flees to New York, stewing in her hate and disgust. Meanwhile, Jessica and Todd have moved in together and are planning to wed. Jessica is feeling tremendous amounts of guilt, not only for her betrayal eight months before the start of the story (which led to Liz moving to New York), but also for the initial affair five years previous.



The story is told mostly in third person, but when we get to a particular plot point, the perspective shifts to first person narrative and it can be a little confusing as to who's talking at first since it's used for several different characters throughout the book.



Also, we find out that the twins' older brother Steven is gay (which came out of the blue. I think because in order to be relevant to the times, there needed to be at least one gay character).



I don't know if Ms. Pascal wrote this book herself or had one of her ghostwriters do it. But the style seems uneven from the previous series. Jessica's vocabulary is very off in that she uses 'teenage' slang frequently when she never did in the book. It seems especially odd since she's now in her late twenties.



Also, is no one physically flawed in this book. Everyone has perfect hair, perfect breasts (well, the women do) and perfect teeth. They all have interesting jobs and impeccable fashion sense.



There's also swearing in this book when there never was in the original series. It seems very out of place. I guess it's to show this is a more 'mature' story. That and the sex (which is always fabulous, btw).



In the end, after a major fiasco at the twins' grandmother's 80th birthday party, they eventually make up when Liz realizes she fell out of love with Todd a long time ago but due to her committed personality, she never thought of leaving. Then, Liz hooks up with Bruce Patman (rich, gorgeous and a former jerkass), and they have awesome sex and they go to the wedding and things are fine.



I know this series is far from realistic, but I may be a little cynical anymore. I just hoped to have a little more depth to it is all.







View all my reviews

I really need a twins icon...
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snapdragon76: Did I mention that I like reading? (books)
Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years LaterSweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal




Ahhh, the Sweet Valley High books. I read them religiously as a preteen/teenager. Now we follow the Wakefield twins into adulthood and their distinctly different lives.

I think this series started me on my fondness for twins. Sure, the stories and characters were idealized and a little fanciful. But that's what makes good fiction. Best of all, the characters had identifiable flaws.

Personality-wise I identified more with Elizabeth (except the flawless beauty of course) than with her twin Jessica. But I was engrossed by their many adventures and day to day lives. The books were a nice escape.



View all my reviews
◾ Tags:
snapdragon76: Did I mention that I like reading? (books)
Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years LaterSweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal




Ahhh, the Sweet Valley High books. I read them religiously as a preteen/teenager. Now we follow the Wakefield twins into adulthood and their distinctly different lives.

I think this series started me on my fondness for twins. Sure, the stories and characters were idealized and a little fanciful. But that's what makes good fiction. Best of all, the characters had identifiable flaws.

Personality-wise I identified more with Elizabeth (except the flawless beauty of course) than with her twin Jessica. But I was engrossed by their many adventures and day to day lives. The books were a nice escape.



View all my reviews
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snapdragon76: this is made of win and awesome (InuKag hands)
InuYasha, Volume 56InuYasha, Volume 56 by Rumiko Takahashi




Final volume of this series. My first serious foray into manga.

I shall remember you fondly, InuYasha...



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Vampire Knight, Volume 11Vampire Knight, Volume 11 by Matsuri Hino




More adventures of Yuki "Mary Sue" Cross. Face it, I'm here for Zero...



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snapdragon76: Did I mention that I like reading? (books)
InuYasha, Volume 56InuYasha, Volume 56 by Rumiko Takahashi




Final volume of this series. My first serious foray into manga.

I shall remember you fondly, InuYasha...



View all my reviews

Vampire Knight, Volume 11Vampire Knight, Volume 11 by Matsuri Hino




More adventures of Yuki "Mary Sue" Cross. Face it, I'm here for Zero...



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snapdragon76: (Tamaki and Haruhi)
Ouran High School Host Club, Volume 14Ouran High School Host Club, Volume 14 by Bisco Hatori

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


OK, I totally fell for this series while watching the anime on Netflix. I thought it was super cute and wanted to read the manga series. While I have read the ending already, I did want to buy at least a few of the later volumes so I could refer back to them and revel in the adorableness.

Plus, I find it very hard for me not to root for Tamaki and Haruhi. Even though I do like Hikaru as well, the concept of Tamaki and Haruhi is just to cute not to support. Besides, it's dorky love at it's best!



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Honey Hunt, Volume 6Honey Hunt, Volume 6 by Miki Aihara




OK, I will say that I was kinda pissed with the way this volume ended. With Yura running off with Q-Ta. I admit my partiality to Haruka. There's just something about Q-Ta that I don't trust. He seems very manipulative.

The manga-ka has put the series on hold for the time being. I don't know why exactly. It's not been explained. She does say she will pick it back up again in the future. I hope so, because I would like some closure with the characters. And yes, I admit I hope Yura hooks up with Haruka...



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Fables: Animal Farm (Fables #2)Fables: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham




Curse you Isa for getting me hooked on this series in the first place. Do you know how many volumes there are?!

*lament*



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And yes, I have more icons. I discovered yesterday that I have 15 icons spaces instead of six. Yays!
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snapdragon76: Did I mention that I like reading? (books)
Fables: Legends in Exile (Fables, #1)Fables: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I had this series recommended to me by many people, so I thought I would bite the bullet and check it out. I only have the first volume (compiled issues 1-5), but what I've seen so far looks to be promising. The story and premise is compelling and the art is decent. I think I might pick up the next few volumes and see what fate has in store for these characters...



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snapdragon76: this is made of win and awesome (GG -- Reading is Sexy)
Fables: Legends in Exile (Fables, #1)Fables: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I had this series recommended to me by many people, so I thought I would bite the bullet and check it out. I only have the first volume (compiled issues 1-5), but what I've seen so far looks to be promising. The story and premise is compelling and the art is decent. I think I might pick up the next few volumes and see what fate has in store for these characters...



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