January Wrap-Up | aka; My First Wrap-Up!

Hiya everyone! Today I will be ‘hosting’ my first ever wrap-up! I’m super excited for this! However, I have no idea what a wrap-up is supposed to look like, so bear with me here. 😂 Anyways, let’s get into it!

Novels I Read (In order)

Journey to the Center of the Earth By Jules Verne: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 out of 5 stars) I really enjoyed reading this classic! It took me 6 months to finish, so I was really happy that I was FINALLY able to mark it as ‘read’ on goodreads. It is 100% worth the read guys! You can read my review for this book here!

This Train Is Being Held By Ismee Williams: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (3.75 out of 5 stars) I finished this book relatively fast, and I did enjoy it! It’s a cute YA romance that has an almost all latinx cast, which was super cool to see! You can read my review for This Train Is Being Held here.

(eARC) A Pho Love Story By Loan Le: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (3.8 out of 5 stars) This was my first ARC!! I received an eARC for this novel via Netgalley. Thank you Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy of A Pho Love Story! It was good, but too long. Overall, I do recommend you read it! You can read my review here!

A Song Below Water By Bethany C Morrow: ⭐⭐⭐ (3.5 out of 5 stars) I wanted to love this book so much! However, it was incredibly confusing, and even boring at times. I found myself not liking the characters that much, except for Effie, Wallace, and Tavia, they were the best! I wanted to love it, but I just couldn’t get into it. I still think it’s worth the read if you love fantasy though. And it does have some searing social commentary! Review to come!

Graphic Novels and Manga read (I doubt this is in order…oops)

Blue Flag Volume 1 By Kaito: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 out of 5 stars) This was an incredibly powerful and stunning manga. I highly recommend you read it if you’re trying to get into reading graphic novels and manga.

Something Is Killing The Children Volume 1 By James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera:⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 out of 5 stars) This was a very intriguing horror story. Although thrillers aren’t necessarily my favorite genre, I still enjoyed reading it!

(eARC) The Disability Experience: Working Toward Belonging By Hannalora Leavitt and (Illustrator) Belle Wuthrich: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 out of 5 stars) This was a very educational and inspiring read, that I highly recommend you take a look at! Thank you Netgalley and Orca Book Publishers for an eARC of this book!

Ao Haru Ride Volume 9 By Io Sakisaka: ⭐⭐⭐ (3 out of 5 stars) The art style is phenomenal, but the storyline in this volume was just okay.

(eARC) Rebel Girls Lead: 25 Tales of Powerful Women By Rebel Girls: ⭐⭐⭐ (3 out of 5 stars) This is more of a non-fiction educational book with pictures versus a graphic novel. I decided to settle on three stars only because I had previously read the two other books by the same author titled ‘Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls’ which were amazing! In this one however, a lot of the art and stories where repeated, so I didn’t necessary learn anything new. If I hadn’t read the other books beforehand, this would have surely been a 5 star read! Thank you Netgalley, Rebel Girls, and Publishers for an eARC of this book!

(eARC) Dryfoot By Jarred Lujan, Orlando Caicedo, and Warnia Sahadewa: ⭐⭐ (2.5 out of 5 stars) Since Dryfoot is an ARC, I won’t say much about it. However, it was simply not my cup of tea. Thank you Netgalley and Diamond Book Distributors for providing me with an eARC of Dryfoot!

(eARC) Feelings By Manjit Thapp: ⭐⭐ (2 out of 5 stars) Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy reading Feelings. It was okay. The art was beautiful though! Thank you Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group for providing me with an eARC of Feelings!

Let’s just say there weren’t many this month 😆

Total Number Of Books Read: 11

Total Number Of Posts Published: 10

Average Rating: 7/10 or 3.5 out of 5 stars

Some of my goals for February include…

  • Read the 5 novels on my February TBR
  • Finish reading my list of eARCs
  • Drink more water for 💫clear skin💫
  • Complete my February buddy read novels

And that’s a wrap! Hopefully you enjoyed reading this very long post. Do check out the posts by the other bloggers I listed. Every blogger is unique and amazing in their own way! What was your favorite read of January 2021? Have a wonderful day! 💟

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Author Interview With Francesca Burke

Hiya everyone! Today I am here with a special treat; An author interview! I am super excited to be introducing the lovely Francesca Burke who is here with me today to answer some questions about life as an author. I hope you enjoy!

First let’s talk about Burke’s newest novel; The Princess and the Dragon and Other Stories About Unlikely Heroes. Here’s a quick synopsis!

Princess Amelia’s home, the Kingdom of Mirrors, is on its knees, ravaged by the cantankerous Sapphire Dragon. She must find a way to rid her country of its unwelcome guest and work out how to restore its fortunes before her parents marry her off to clear the kingdom’s debts. Prince Richard of the Valley of Dreams knows he’s not very heroic… he’d rather read about quests than actually go on one. But when he finds himself travelling to a haunted tower, he discovers a treacherous conspiracy that could rip the Three Kingdoms apart… and learns there might be some heroism tucked up his sleeve after all. Esme Delacroix is a psychic living in Stormhaven, the only part of the Three Kingdoms where magic is taboo. A terrifying vision sends Esme and her friend Violet on a perilous quest that shakes Stormhaven and the Three Kingdoms to its core.

Without further ado, let’s get right into the interview!

1. Was there anything that inspired the making of The Princess and the Dragon and Other Stories About Unlikely Heroes? If so, what inspired it?

Ms. Burke: Yes! I wanted to write the sort of fairy tale I wish I had read as a child/teen. Something with all the magical elements and questing, but with fewer irritating princes and helpless princesses.

Saniya: I totally agree!

2. If you could give your past writer self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Ms. Burke: Learn to plan! Or at least try to know where your story’s going before you start. It’s going to make the editing process so much easier.

Saniya: That’s a great point! Effective planning is really important, regardless of if it’s for writing or not.

3. Did you always want to be a writer? Or did you have something else in mind?

Ms. Burke: I think I wanted to be a pilot when I was very small! I sort of fell into writing when I was 12 or so, and I’ve been doing it ever since (I’m 25 now), so I think I’ve wanted to do it and been doing it for long enough that I can’t really remember a time when it wasn’t part of my life.

Saniya: That’s very cool!

4. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Ms. Burke: Is that… is that…do people do things other than write? Just kidding. I like to read, obviously, and I like walking, which is good because there’s not a lot else to do at the moment… I have a blog, Indifferent Ignorance, where I chat about books and writing and sometimes more intense things like politics. It’s kind of part of my writing work but doesn’t really earn any money, so I think it counts as a hobby. Or I hope it does, I really don’t do much else. Let’s blame the pandemic for that, and not my being an introvert.

Saniya: Reading and walking are wonderful things to do!

5. Do you have a specific writing routine? Is there a certain time of day that you write the most?

Ms. Burke: I yo-yo between a strict routine and no routine. I work best when the rest of the world’s still asleep, and my general routine fluctuates with the seasons, so in the summer I’m usually up early and working away at 7am. Left to my own devices, I do nothing between about midday and early afternoon, and then I work in the evenings. This is not conducive to being a student or having a job, I should add. Why does no one in the UK take a siesta?! Anyway, in the winter I’m in hibernation mode so I do write in the morning and evenings, but more in the evenings.

Saniya: I can totally understand how your routine would fluctuate depending on the season you’re in!

6. What is the main message you would like your readers to take away from The Princess and the Dragon and Other Stories?

Ms. Burke: That evening dresses should always come with pockets. There are other, more serious, ‘messages’ in the novel, but telling you any of them would be a GIANT SPOILER so you’ll just have to read it to find out!

Saniya: All dresses should come with pockets!!! Well there you have it folks, now you just have to read Francesca Burke’s newest novel!

Alrighty~ That’s a wrap! I hope you all enjoyed the interview! Here is some information about Ms. Burke!

The Outstanding and Mystery Blogger Award Nominations!

First off, I just want to give a big thank you to much; Isha @ paperbacktomes for nominating me for the Outstanding Blogger Award! And thank you so much; Musing Of Souls for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award! I really appreciate it. It means so much! Please follow their blogs. Their posts are amazing! 💞💞💞

Outstanding Blogger Award

Here are the rules for the tag:

  • Have the link to the creator’s original award post.
  • Answer the questions provided.
  • Create 7 unique questions.
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers. Neither the award’s creator nor the blogger that nominated you can be nominated.
  • At the end of 2020, every blog that ping-backs the creator’s original post will be entered to win the 2020 Outstanding Blogger Award

Isha’s Questions

What are your thoughts so far on blogging?

I love blogging, as it’s so fun! It’s a great way to destress, and pour your opinions and feelings out onto ‘paper.’ I love writing, and learning about other people’s opinions as well. So you could say that my thoughts on blogging so far is that it’s very enjoyable!

List me 3 of your favorite fantasy books.

Um heh…I haven’t read a fantasy book since I was 10. If you have any recommendations that aren’t too magical, then please recommend them. I’ve been meaning to read Six of Crows. I cannot wait to get into it!

One bookish hobby that you want to cultivate for real.

That’s a great question! I want to read more in the morning! It’s such a relaxing way to start the morning.

numb memories ➳ shouto todoroki. - playlist | ongaku | 音楽 | Anime gifs,  Cenário anime, Anime

What is your favorite go-to TV show/series?

I enjoy watching Studio Ghibli films, along with other animated shows. They’re really nostalgic, and remind me of my childhood. My faovrite movie nowdays is ‘Whisper of the Heart.’

There must be at least one book that shattered your world. Which book would this be?

That would definitely be ‘History Is All You Left Me’ by Adam Silvera. It’s such a beautifully done book. It was so sad, yet so happy? It made me question the meaning of life. 😆

One self-care tip that you follow every day.

One self care tip I follow everyday is exercising! Sometimes I fail, but whenever I do workout, it feels very rewarding!

via GIPHY | Imessage sticker, Sassy animals, Stickers

Your favorite trope in books.

  • Enemies To Lovers
  • Great sibling dynamic trope
  • Tall person, short person
  • childhood best friends to lovers
  • mafia!
  • international travel or stories set in different places- it’s refreshing to see other countries!

Mystery Blogger Award

Rules for this award:

  • Display the award logo on your blog 
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog 
  • Mention Okoto Enigma, the creator of the award, here is their new site link
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • Answer 5 questions from the blogger who nominated you 
  • Nominate 10-20 bloggers
  • Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog (I’m not comfortable randomly commenting on other people’s posts, so I won’t be doing this.)
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, including 1 weird or funny question 
  • Share the link to your best post

Three Things About Me!

  1. I love bullet journaling and have been doing so since I was a kid.
  2. For the longest time I used to only read non-fiction books and manga.
  3. The coldest weather I’ve ever been in was below -25 degrees Celsius.

Musing Of Souls’ Questions

What is that one book that you can give all other books for? (I got you there!)

Ahhh you sure did. Probably The Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. It’s a childhood favorite of mine. I finished it in 2 days. Younger Saniya was very proud. It’s a wonderfully written middle grade story you need to check out!

A Talking Tree, 200 Years Old and Fed Up With Intolerance - The New York  Times

2. What is you one of your most anticipated reads this year/month?

This year I am especially looking forward to reading Ace Of Spades! I’m sure you’ve all heard of it by now. 😆 This month I cannot wait to pick up He Must Like You. It’s been on my TBR since it came out way back in July of 2020.

If you have to choose from two or more of your favorite authors to go on a coffee meet and greet? Will you choose one? Name two or more of your fav author and then choose one! (*wiggles eyebrows*)

Okok so I don’t have favorite authors per say, but I do have some favorite books! I admire Jules Verne’s work. He cultivated the adventure genre way back in the mid 1800s. My most favorite work of his is Journey To The Center Of The Earth! I’ve been getting into Adam Silvera’s and SK Ali’s books as well. Their writing is very thought provoking and poignant. However, I guess I’d have to say Jules Verne as I’d love to know what it’s like being an author living in the 1800s.

Who inspires you to write/read books?

That’s a great question! I’ve always been into writing, so no one really inspires me to write 😅. However, other book bloggers have actually inspired me to read. You are all the reason I got back into reading! 🥰

Name five of your most recently viewed booktubers/bookbloggers!

Booktubers

Some inspiring book bloggers

My Questions for Outstanding Blogger Award

  1. Persuade me to read your most favorite book. 😏
  2. What is one book you will never ever read, and why?
  3. What is your go-to ramen order? (Or your favorite instant noodle recipe/flavor.)
  4. Do you have any embarrassing library moments? If so, what are they?
  5. Write a three line poem about your favorite color!
  6. What is a childhood book you still cherish till this day?
  7. What is the weirdest and cleanest insult you can come up with?

Bloggers I Nominate For The Outstanding Blogger Award

My Questions for the Mystery Blogger Award

  1. Persuade me to read your favorite book. 😏
  2. What is your favorite desert and why?
  3. What is the weirdest most thought provoking question you can ask someone?
  4. Write a three line poem about your favorite color!
  5. What is the weirdest and cleanest insult you can come up with?

Bloggers I Nominate For The Mystery Blogger Award

And that’s a wrap! Thank you once again Isha and Musing of Souls for nominating me! It means so much! 💗💗 If you would like to participate and I did not nominate you PLEASE DO SO! Every blogger is amazing and unique in their own way! Have a fabulous day everyone!

(PS: If I got any links wrong, please let me know)

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This Train Is Being Held | A Review

Hiya everyone! Today I’ll be reviewing This Train Is Being Held by Ismée Williams. Before I get into my review, look at this beautiful cover! I say this in every review, but I can always, ALWAYS, appreciate a stunning book cover. This was easily my most anticipated YA novel of 2020, so I’m super excited to have finally read it! Without further ado, let’s jump right into it!

This Train Is Being Held by Ismée Amiel Williams

When private school student Isabelle Warren first meets Dominican-American Alex Rosario on the downtown 1 train, she remembers his green eyes and his gentlemanly behavior. He remembers her untroubled happiness, something he feels all rich kids must possess. That, and her long dancer legs. Over the course of multiple subway encounters, Isabelle learns of Alex’s struggle with his father, who is hell-bent on Alex being a contender for the major leagues, despite Alex’s desire to go to college and become a poet. Alex learns about Isabelle’s unstable mother, a woman with a prejudice against Latino men. But fate—and the 1 train—throw them together when Isabelle needs Alex most.

First, let’s talk about the plot. The original premise of ‘This Train Is Being Held’ sounded, rather generic. We’ve all heard the story of ‘they meet one day on a train.’ However, going into the story, I knew I wouldn’t be delving into a creative plot. And you know what? I’m okay with that. I prefer contemporary, so it was nice to be met with a rather simplistic story. The plot was executed pretty well, so I had no issues with that aspect of the novel. Unfortunately though, it was a bit too insta-love for my liking.

Furthermore, with that said, the characters were complex. It was amazing to see an almost all Latinx and Hispanic cast. The diversity within the cast was so cool! The main characters; Isa and Alex weren’t bland. Alex wants to be a poet, and Isa wants to be a dancer. In many immigrant households, pursuing the arts is a rather taboo topic. So it was great to see that they were showing colored people in the arts. However, I was hoping for more communication between the characters. From the parents to the children, to Isa and Alex, there was so much miscommunication! That part of the story left me a bit frustrated. Without giving away spoilers, for a large part of the story, Alex kept on trying to talk to Isa, but she would constantly respond to him indirectly. And Alex always kept on assuming things without even trying to communicate with other people.

“Because it doesn’t matter where you come from. If you work hard enough, you can do anything. Become anyone.”

― Ismée Amiel Williams, This Train Is Being Held

The side characters were also well crafted. First we have Isa and Alex’ parents. Their parents were complex, and I loved that. In a lot of stories, the parents literally have no personality. In This Train Is Being Held, Isa’s mom and older brother are bipolar. I can’t say for sure how accurate the illness was portrayed in the novel because it simply isn’t my place to comment on that. However, Isa’s mother has a fascinating backstory. (You’ll have to find out what is it for yourself. 😏) I also liked how Alex has a sweet relationship with his parents. He has a great relationship with his mom, and step mom; Yaritza. His dad however, not so much. I like how the family dynamic was explored throughout the book. Alex’s dad is hard on him and his little brother Robi. Robi is just such a cutie, and I love how Alex was protective over him. Alex’s friends; Danny and Bryan are great characters as well. In the story, the police constantly target Alex and his friends because of the color of their skin. They assume they’re in a gang, much like the one Danny’s brother was in. The book readily explores police brutality, and I thought it was so amazing and unique to see such topics present in contemporary novels. Another interesting side character was Kiara; a girl that likes Alex. Without giving away too much, in the beginning I didn’t like her. However, she proved to be an empathetic character in the end! Isa also has a loving relationship with her older brother Merrit. She looks up to her brother, and cares for him. It was refreshing to see a brother-sister dynamic where the dialogue isn’t just “GeT OuT oF My RoOM.”

Looking back, I realize that there wasn’t much dialogue between Alex and Isa for the last 3/4 of the book. For the dialogue that there was, I would say it was rather unrealistic. Within the first 20 pages, they kiss….um what. Nevertheless, I was very intrigued with the dialogue between Alex and his friend Danny. A portion of the narration was in Spanish. Personally, I found it to be rather refreshing. Although I don’t understand the language, it was still nice to see another language other than English spoken in a American YA novel.

“I want to be with you through the bad. Not just laugh next to you during the good.” He tells me what his mami told him. That falling in love is easy but fighting for it is hard. “You, this.” He points to the two of us. “It’s worth fighting for.”

― Ismée Amiel Williams, This Train Is Being Held

The writing style was raw, and I loved that. It was nice to see Alex and Isa’s inner thoughts. The point of view is in first person, and in present tense. Present tense writing is something I don’t encounter often within the Young Adult Genre. I enjoyed the writing because it was very ‘in the moment.’ This allowed the readers to immerse completely into the story. Unfortunately though, the pacing was incredibly awkward, and the words girlfriend and boyfriend, were only mentioned till way later. That made me extremely confused as to whether or not they were dating, or simply just liked each other. On a side note, the description of the foods present in the novel where done so well. I’ve never tried guava pastries, but I really want to now!

The overall enjoyment level of the book will be different for everyone. If you enjoy contemporary, then I recommend This Train Is Being Held! However, if romance isn’t your thing, then you might not enjoy this book as much as I did. What others would define as boring, I define as nail-biting suspense. The author had me hooked throughout the entire story!

I will admit, I was going to give this one three stars. The middle proved frustrating, but the ending was phenomenal. So I bumped it up to four stars!

Age Rating: 15 and up

TW: Police brutality, gang violence, some mature content

Final Rating: 7.5/10 or 3.75 stars

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

What is your favorite YA contemporary novel? Have a fabulous day everyone!

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Book Recommendations Based Off Of Your Favorite Avatar The Last Airbender Characters!

Water *SwOosh*

Waterbending Avatar GIFs | Tenor

Earth *StoMp Stermp*

earth fire air water

Fire *Pfheww*

Best Tlok Openning GIFs | Gfycat

Air *Wooo~*

Pin by Grace E on gif | Legend of korra, Korra, Intro

Long ago the four nations lived together in harmony, then everything changed when the fire nation attacked-

Hiya everyone! I hope you are all doing well. Today I’m bringing you some book recs for your favorite Avatar The Last Airbender and Legend Of Korra characters! As a die hard Avatar fan, I just had to make this!

For those of you who don’t know, Avatar The Last Airbender is a series centered around the journey of 12-year-old Aang, the current Avatar and last survivor of the air nation, along with his friends Katara, Sokka, Toph, and many others. The Legend Of Korra is a spin-off of ATLA. PS: Click on the book cover images to add them to goodreads. Anyways, let’s get right to it!

1. Aang

“When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change.”

At number one, we’ve got Aang! I chose Howl’s Moving Castle! I’m sure some of you had no idea there was a book version of the critically acclaimed Studio Ghibli film. I didn’t’ either! The movie was actually based off of this novel, and was written by Diana Wynne Jones. Sophie, the main character, reminds me so much of Aang. They are both soft and kind people who have hearts of gold. (Yes that was cringy don’t come at me.) If Aang is your favorite character, this is the book for you!

Avatar The Last Airbender GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
Howl's Moving Castle: Jones, Diana Wynne: 9780061478789: Books - Amazon.ca

2. Katara

“I will never, ever, turn my back on people who need me.”

Up next we have Katara! This feminist water bender fights both the fire nation, and the patriarchy. So what better than to recommend the whimsically political novel; A Song Below Water by Bethany Morrow. I mean come on, this cover just screams waterbender!

avatar katara gif | WiffleGif
A Song Below Water: A Novel: Amazon.ca: Morrow, Bethany C.: Books

3. Sokka

“It’s The Quenchiest”

For Sokka, who quite frankly is one of my favorite characters, I decided to go with the witty YA novel; The Field Guide To The North American Teenager by Ben Philippe. No matter the scenario, Sokka can always come up with a snarky remark, even in the hardest of times. Not to get ✨deep ✨ or anything, but Sokka always has a smile on his face, and I really admire that. If I wasn’t a bender in the Avatar world, I’d be pretty bummed out all the time. So kudos to Sokka for always finding a way to fight without fancy powers.

Sokka GIF - Find on GIFER
The Field Guide to the North American Teenager eBook: Philippe, Ben:  Amazon.ca: Kindle Store

4. Toph

“I Am The Greatest Earth Bender In The World; Don’t You Two Dunderheads Ever Forget It!”

Toph is an incredibly stubborn and blunt character. She’s confident, and powerful. So what better a novel to recommend than the exciting read; Jade City by Fonda Lee! Toph is such a fighter, so I thought this book would be the perfect fit as Jade City gives off such earth bender vibes, and is so action packed! 👊😆

Toph - so cool gif, love her | Avatar airbender, The last avatar, The last  airbender
Fonda Lee | Science Fiction and Fantasy Author

5. Zuko

“I don’t need luck, and I don’t want it. I’ve always had to struggle and fight, and that’s what makes me strong. It’s what made me who I am.”

Zuko started off as such a jerk. He’d always whine and say the very iconic line “I MuSt CaptURE ThE AvaTAR To ReGaiN My HoNor.” However, Zuko’s redemption arc changed him. He was able to empathize with others and realized that his honor wasn’t something his father could give him. Grief and guilt are things Zuko had to overcome in order to truly be happy with himself. So what better than the coming of age novel; Patron Saints Of Nothing by Randy Ribay. The novel is very character and emotionally driven, much like Zuko. (Also, doesn’t this cover just scream Prince Zuko of The Fire Nation 😂)

Zuko the Dragon's dance red dragon avatar last airbender | Avatar, The last  airbender, Avatar zuko
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay: 9780525554929 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

6. Azula

“Maybe You Should Worry Less About The Tides, Who’ve Already Made Up Their Mind About Killing You, And More About Me, Who’s Still Mulling It Over.”

How could I not list the book Vicious when the title is literally her primary character trait. Azula is my favorite character, but sometimes, I just don’t understand her. Much like how I had literally no idea as to what was going on in Vicious when I was reading it. I still don’t know what went down in that book. (I haven’t finished it so please no spoilers 😆) The grit and determination of the characters reminded me so much of Azula. I knew I just had to include it!

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Book Review & Giveaway: Vicious by V.E. Schwab |

7. Suki

“Wait a second! There’s no way a bunch of girls took us down!” -Sokka “A bunch of girls huh? The Unagi’s going the eat well tonight.” -Suki

Suki is a Kyoshi warrior, and an incredible fighter. Like Katara, she was often underestimated by her male counterparts. Nevertheless, she always finds a way to prove them wrong! That’s why I chose the novel; Fight Like A Girl by Sheema Kamal. The novel focuses on a teenage girl who’s a Muay Thai fighter, and is struggling to keep her family from hurting any longer. Fight Like A Girl is a powerful read that carries almost as much passion as Suki does.

GIF suki - animated GIF on GIFER
Fight Like a Girl: Kamal, Sheena: 9780735265554: Books - Amazon.ca

8. Korra

“I Needed To Understand What Real Suffering Was, So I Could Become More Compassionate To Others.”

Korra is my all time favorite fictional character. People hate on her too much. 😦 I must say that choosing simply one book to represent Korra was really difficult. She’s compassionate, but also stubborn. In the end, I decided to go with Throne of Glass and The Poppy War!

Legend of Korra gifs - Album on Imgur
Amazon.com: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, 1) (9781599906959): Maas,  Sarah J.: Books
Tonraq |Father of the Avatar | Avatar airbender, Avatar series, Avatar aang
The Poppy War (Perang Opium) – hanabooktopia

9. Mako and Bolin

“We Were Orphans Out On The Street. I Did What I Had To Do To Survive And To Protect My Little Brother.” -Mako

The books I chose to represent Mako and Bolin represent their relationship. (I know that people might not agree with these, but then again, it’s just for fun!)

Avatar Respect Thread: Mako and Bolin - Off-Topic - Comic Vine
October 2018- "Pachinko" by Min Jin Lee. | Book awards, National book  award, Good books
Top 30 Lok Spoilers GIFs | Find the best GIF on Gfycat
30688435. sy475

10. Asami

“People Usually Assume That I’m Daddy’s Helpless Little Girl But I Can Handle Myself.” 

Asami is known to be glamorous, intelligent, and an excellent fighter. Much like Sokka, she didn’t let her non-benderness get the best of her. Her constant persistence and grit reminds me of; The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid!

juliawithseashelleyes | Avatar airbender, Korra avatar, Legend of korra
Taylor Jenkins Reid: How I became a bestselling book author

Bonus; Zuko and Azula’s Dysfunctional Family

It’s no secret that Zuko has quite the dysfunctional family. From a power hungry sister, to a downright evil dad, his family is dysfunctional galore. *Flashback to The Last Agni Kai* To top it all off, his mother abandoned them when he was a kid. So what better a novel than; The Dutch House by Ann Patchett!

Avatar / The Last Airbender / #GIF | Avatar airbender, Avatar the last  airbender, Avatar
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

And that’s a wrap! Hopefully you found a book or two to read. If I missed your favorite characters, I’m sorry. (Please forgive me for not doing May or Ty lee. 😆) Who’s your favorite Avatar Universe character?

I hope you enjoyed, and I’ll see you next Tuesday!

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Journey To The Center Of The Earth | A Review

Hi everyone! Today I bring you the long awaited review of ‘Journey To The Center Of The Earth’ by Jules Verne. After six long months, I finally finished it! I didn’t DNF it, I just got carried away into other books. (And that’s on reading 4 books at the same time.) For those of you who don’t know, this novel is a 295 page classical adventure that takes place in, for the most part, Iceland, England, and the center of the earth.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne - Penguin Books New  Zealand

When German professor Otto Lidenbrock stumbles upon a mysterious, ancient manuscript, it’s the first step in an epic adventure-one which will take him to the planet’s very core! Lidenbrock, together with his nephew Axel and Icelandic guide Hans, mounts an expedition downward through the layers of the Earth, coming face-to-face with strange creatures, overcoming terrific obstacles, and discovering truly wondrous sights.

First, let’s talk about the initial premise of the story. A journey into the earth sounds exciting and fun! I for one have never heard of such a unique plot, so I was rather intrigued to see how it would turn out! However, the plot execution is where the novel falls a bit short. Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely did enjoy reading this classic, but the ending is what really bummed me out. The story had so much potential to grow! There were so many amazing species they talked about, and even saw, but never really discovered. Then again, there is only so much you can do in 295 pages. So overall, the plot execution was just okay. Not incredible, but considering the fact that this was most likely THE FIRST adventure novel out there at the time, I’ll give Mr. Verne a pass.

The characters where actually really interesting. First we have Professor Lidenbrock, who is absolutely hilarious. The novel is told through the eyes of Axel, the professor’s nephew. His sarcastic and rational reactions to his Uncle’s outgoing and determined behavior keeps the story lively and interesting. Hans, their Icelandic assistant, literally saves their butts ten times in row, and it gets even funnier every time. Overall, the characters were simple, yet well-crafted. Not to mention that despite being published in the early 1860s, there were no sexist or racist remarks made by the author in the novel! That pushed me to give this book an immediate extra star.

“Is the Master out of his mind?’ she asked me.
I nodded.
‘And he’s taking you with him?’
I nodded again.
‘Where?’ she asked.
I pointed towards the center of the earth.
‘Into the cellar?’ exclaimed the old servant.
‘No,’ I said, ‘farther down than that.”

― Jules Verne, Journey to the Center of the Earth

The dialogue was absolutely hilarious! I never ever got tired of it. The language was so easy to understand, yet it was very descriptive. Speaking of descriptive, Journey To The Center Of The Earth had me playing a literal movie in my head. It was so descriptive, but in a great way! You also learn A LOT about geology and science. However, due to the stressful situations the characters go through, it isn’t nearly as boring as reading a high school geology textbook. (No offense.)

The writing style was surprisingly simple yet energetic. It was quite easy to understand. So if classics intimidate you due to their formal and hard-to-understand nature, this book is a wonderful place to start!

I must say, I really did enjoy Journey To The Center Of The Earth. In my 2021 Winter TBR Post, I talked about how I’ve been reading this book for a while now. The reason behind that is because adventure is simply not my style. I love realistic fiction and contemporary, so that’s why I decided to take a break from the novel for a while. Nevertheless, it was an incredibly spontaneous read, and I highly recommend it to anyone eager to read a good classic novel. If classical reads aren’t your style, this is the story that will hopefully get you out of your comfort zone! (In a good way of course.)

Journey To The Center Of The Earth is a charming classic that everyone should read!

Age Rating: 10 and up

Final Rating: 8/10 or 4.5 stars

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Have you read Journey To The Center Of The Earth? If not, what do you think of classical novels? Let me know in the comments down below! Take care and have a fabulous day everyone!

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Book Blog Newbie Tag

Wow Saniya, are you actually doing the book blog tag you’ve been putting off for a month because you thought you weren’t interesting enough to talk about….y e s . I am!

Hiya everyone! It’s me Saniya here to do the Book Blog Newbie Tag. This is my first tag, so apologies if I don’t do it properly. Anyways, let’s get into it!

Why did you want to start a book blog?

In August 2020, I was telling my mom about the most recent book I had read; Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe. At exactly 2:35 PM on a Sunday afternoon, my mom said, ‘Why don’t you just start a book blog?’ I’m sitting there thinking…A what. I had never heard of a book blog, and always associated blogging with ‘highly professional blogging connoisseurs.’ Which, by any standards, I was none of. However, I figured that since we’re in quarantine, I would have more time to spend on it. And thus, sunnysidereviews was born! (Well actually not really, I ended up officially publishing my website in December.) Fun fact, I didn’t know my blog was published until late December. So when I was going to publish it, I realized it was already out in the world….oops.

Typing Anime GIFs | Tenor

Where did the name ‘sunnysidereviews’ come from?

My blog name originated from my nickname. My real name is Saniya (pronounced san-ee-ya). Sunny is my nickname, so I decided to make that my whole aesthetic 😂. The reviews portion is pretty self explanatory. It comes from the fact that I review books! Or rather, am planning to.

Best Teletubbies Morning GIFs | Gfycat
This GIF remidns me too much of my blog pls not the Teletubbies I-

What can we expect from your blog in the future?

Wow, fabulous question! You can expect….

  • Reviews
  • Lists and Wrap Ups
  • Discussion Posts
  • Tips
  • Challenges and read-a-thons
  • and a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff!

P.S: Expect an author interview coming sometime this year. 😏 

Why do you love reading? Did you always enjoy reading?

I love reading because….

  • It’s a great way to get off screens
  • I love imagining stories in my head more than watching movies
  • It’s fun!
  • Yes this is a shallow answer please don’t come for me but, I would literally read the worst book ever if it had a pretty cover. (Okay maybe not the worst book, but you get the point.)

I’ve always enjoyed reading. As a kid I would join my local’s library’s book club during the summer. Reading allows me feel productive, and it makes me feel refreshed. So yeah I’ve always enjoyed reading, it’s a wonderful way to spend free time!

What are some fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging?

This is such a hard question to answer. I bring my opinions, and my personality. I might not be the most unique person out there, but I believe that no two people are the same. Therefore, no two book bloggers are the same. I guess I can also bring some fun and interesting content as well! I really cannot wait to bring some exciting stuff to all of you in the future!

gifs my gifs barbie reaction gifs ken Matel barbie life in the dreamhouse  thewayitscalling-me-tangled •
Did any of you guys watch Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse as a kid 💀💀 

When and where do you read?

I will typically only read at night. I usually read in my bed, or on a sofa. It’s just so much better then reading in the morning. Mainly because I’m comfy, and I can read for a long time at night, *cue the all-nighters*.

via GIPHY | Reading art, Anime, Book lovers

What kinds of books do you like to read?

I enjoy reading anything contemporary related. I prefer character driven stories, and contemporary has a lot of those. Psychology, self help, and classical books are always nice to read from time to time as well.

What is your favorite book and why?

My favorite book is probably Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. It’s philosophical, character driven, and a contemporary, so it pretty much hits all the marks for me! 

Who is your favorite author?

To tell you the truth, I don’t really have a favorite author. Mainly because I don’t read too many series, so I don’t really read multiple books from authors. However, I am getting into Adam Silvera’s books. I hope to read his novel ‘They Both Die In The End’ soon!

What’s one pet-peeve you have?

A pet peeve of mine is when authors make a second book where the main couple break up, or where they break up at the end of the first book. WHAT WAS THE REASON?! I spent a good 5 hours of my life reading this book, for a sad ending?! (However, if the story was meant to be sad from the beginning, then I’m not upset.)

讀書 唸書 認真 翻頁 考試 圖書館 GIF - Studying Reading Books - Discover & Share GIFs |  Ghibli artwork, Aesthetic anime, Ghibli art

What is one book that has been on your TBR for ages?

This Train Is Being Held has been on my TBR since September. I really cannot wait to read it! I also want to read The Little Princess! It seems like such an adorable classic. (Not @ me buying six classical novels because they looked pretty. At least they were on sale though 😅)

Pin on gifts
How could you not want these beautiful books? (The photo isn’t mine by the way.)

What is your favorite show?

Ever since I was younger, I’ve always loved The Legend of Korra! It will always hold a special place in my heart. I also enjoy watching British dramas such as Bletchley Circle and The Crown. I’ve been meaning to watch The Bridgerton as well.

Korra In Avatar State GIFs | Tenor

What’s a non-bookish fact about you?

Some non-bookish facts about me include….

  • My hair has never past three inches below my shoulders (I honestly don’t know why. Every time I want to grow it long, I end up cutting it even shorter. 😅)
  • I’ve been bullet journaling every month of my life since 2017.
  • I’m super short. (No seriously, take your height, then deduct 6 inches and that’s my height.)
Short Girl Problems | Short girl problems, Short girls, Short girl memes

Alrighty, that is it for today! I hope you enjoyed this little tag I did. I tag anyone who wants to do this tag! If you end up doing this, let me know, I’d love to see it! Have a fabulous day everyone! 💛💙

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Five Books On My Winter TBR

Hiya everyone! It’s me Saniya, here to share the five books on my winter TBR! For those of you who don’t know, a TBR is a To Be Read list that includes any books you want to read. What counts as winter you may ask? Anywhere till May would be realistic where I live, but I for the sake of you all, winter is anywhere from January to March. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish all these books by then. Unfortunately though, I am not a fast reader. (I know right, what kind of a book blogger isn’t a fast reader.) Anyways, enough rambling, and let’s get into it! (Please note that all book synopsis are from Goodreads. However, I did alter some.)

1. Journey To The Center Of The Earth

Journey To The Center Of The Earth is about an adventurous geology professor who comes across a manuscript in which a 16th-century explorer claims to have found a route to the earth’s core. Professor Lidenbrock can’t resist the opportunity to investigate, and with his nephew Axel, he sets off across Iceland in the company of Hans Bjelke, a native guide. The expedition descends into an extinct volcano toward a sunless sea, where they encounter a subterranean world of luminous rocks, antediluvian forests, and fantastic marine life — a living past that holds the secrets to the origins of human existence.

The story is told through the eyes of the main character Axel. I am currently reading this book, and have been reading it on and off for the past 5 months. It’s incredibly witty, especially for a classical novel. Journey To The Center Of The Earth is definitely a change of pace compared to the young adult fiction I typically read. I find that it’s actually quite refreshing to read classics from time to time. I sure hope I finish this one soon!

2. The Field Guide To The North American Teenager

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager: Amazon.ca: Philippe, Ben:  Books

Norris Kaplan is clever, cynical, and quite possibly too smart for his own good. A black French Canadian, he knows from watching American sitcoms that those three things don’t bode well when you are moving to Austin, Texas. Plunked into a new high school and sweating a ridiculous amount from the oppressive Texas heat, Norris finds himself cataloging everyone he meets: the Cheerleaders, the Jocks, the Loners, and even the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Making a ton of friends has never been a priority for him, and this way he can at least amuse himself until it’s time to go back to Canada, where he belongs.

I hate to admit it, but I was close to DNFing this one. The main reason for that is because it started to become predictable at around 100 pages. Yes the main character is witty and snarky, but his humor becomes boring after a while. Furthermore, I can 100% relate to Norris, so that is probably why I decided not to DNF it just yet. I am determined to finish it! In January, I actually plan on reading all the books I haven’t finished from 2020. Hopefully I actually succeed this time!

3. This Train Is Being Held

This Train Is Being Held by Ismée Amiel Williams

When private school student Isabelle Warren first meets Dominican-American Alex Rosario on the downtown 1 train, she remembers his green eyes and his gentlemanly behavior. He remembers her untroubled happiness, something he feels all rich kids must possess. That, and her long dancer legs. Over the course of multiple subway encounters spanning the next three years, Isabelle learns of Alex’s struggle with his father, who is hell-bent on Alex being a contender for the major leagues, despite Alex’s desire to go to college and become a poet. Alex learns about Isabelle’s unstable mother, a woman with a prejudice against Latino men. But fate—and the 1 train—throw them together when Isabelle needs Alex most. Heartfelt and evocative, this romantic drama will appeal to readers of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen.

This Train Is Being Held was easily my most anticipated read of 2020, and of course being the slow reader that I am, I didn’t get to it yet. I cannot wait to read this one!! I just absolutely the book cover, and the cute plot. The book cover is what initially drew me to the novel. I’ve also never read anything from the author, so I am excited to see what they have in store for their readers!

4. Castle In The Clouds

A Castle in the Clouds Book Cover — Melissa Lee Johnson

I’ve heard that Castle In The Clouds has a very descriptive story, and gives off a cozy feel, which is great for winter!

Way up in the Swiss mountains, there’s an old grand hotel steeped in tradition and faded splendor. Once a year, when the famous New Year’s Eve Ball takes place and guests from all over the world arrive, excitement returns to the vast hallways. Sophie, who works at the hotel as an intern, is busy making sure that everything goes according to plan. But unexpected problems keep arising, and some of the guests are not who they pretend to be. Very soon, Sophie finds herself right in the middle of a perilous adventure–and at risk of losing not only her job, but also her heart.

I cannot wait to read this one! (I know I’ve said that about every book, but I am just so excited!) Although storyline and plot are important, I’m really just here for the winter-y feel of the novel.

5. He Must Like You

He Must Like You by Danielle Younge-Ullman

Libby’s having a rough senior year. Her older brother absconded with his college money and is bartending on a Greek island. Her dad just told her she’s got to pay for college herself, and he’s evicting her when she graduates so he can Airbnb her room. A drunken hook-up with her coworker Kyle has left her upset and confused. So when Perry Ackerman, serial harasser and the most handsy customer at The Goat where she waitresses, pushes her over the edge, she can hardly be blamed for dumping a pitcher of sangria on his head. Unfortunately, Perry is a local industry hero, the restaurant’s most important customer, and Libby’s mom’s boss. Now Libby has to navigate the fallout of her outburst, find an apartment, and deal with her increasing rage at the guys who’ve screwed up her life–and her increasing crush on the one guy who truly gets her. As timely as it is timeless, He Must Like You is a story about consent, rage, and revenge, and the potential we all have to be better people.

Consent is something so incredibly important!! Although I typically read books with lighter topics, I just knew I had to read this one, and I think everyone else should too! Real life is messy. In the YA genre, most characters are depicted as perfect and flawless. However in real life, our lives are complicated. Therefore, I think that He Must Like You will be a powerful story about how hard it is to be an assault survivor. It’s immensely important to share these kinds of stories so that survivors of abuse can have a voice, and listeners can be educated.

Those are all the books on my winter TBR! I hope to finish them by March 15th! Have a fabulous day! What books are on your winter TBR?

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How To Request A Review

Want to request a review? Well you have come to the right place! Anyone can request a review. Whether you’re an email follower, an author, or another blogger, it doesn’t matter! If you are unsure of the eligibility of the review request, simply email sunnysidereviewssk@gmail.com. Please read my review policy before requesting a review, thank you!

How to Request a Review; A Step by Step Guide

First and foremost, in order to request a review, you must be following this blog. This is to ensure that you will get notified when I post the review. Secondly, please send me an email with the following information (in order).

  1. Your full name, and the name of the publishing company (if applicable.)
  2. The name of the book you’d like me to review
  3. The author of the book
  4. The book genre
  5. Please indicate that you have read my review policy, and this post.

And that’s it! I will send an email stating that I will either review it, or politely decline the offer. Please note that if I do decline any review requests, do not pursue it any further with me. Thank you for understanding.

In what form do you enjoy reading books in?

Here are my preferred formats in order from most to least favorite.

  1. Physical Copies
  2. Ebooks and PDFs
  3. Audiobooks

I do not read books on Kindle.

My Preferred Genres

I enjoy reading…

  • Young Adult Contemporary or romance (favorite genre)
  • Contemporary in general
  • Whimsical fiction (for example; Norwegian wood by Haruki Murakami.)
  • Middle grade novels
  • I love diverse stories and narratives!
  • Manga (favorite genre)
  • Graphic novels (favorite genre)

I will typically not read any fictional book with no specified reading age.

I will not review…

  • erotica
  • non-fiction
  • horror or thrillers

When Will the Review Be Published?

Please note that all review requests will most likely be up on my blog by the end of December 2021 if requested before then. However, please understand that I am a very busy person and might not meet that date. Upon request, I am willing to post my review on other platforms as well.

I kindly ask that you send all inquiries, proposals, and questions to sunnysidereviewssk@gmail.com Please do not post any questions in the comment section of this post as it might go to spam.

Have a wonderful day, I cannot wait to see the books you request!

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Love From A to Z | A Review

Hiya everyone! Today I’ll be reviewing my most anticipated read of 2020, Love From A to Z. Happy new year everyone! I hope 2021 treats you well!

Love from A to Z: Amazon.ca: Ali, S. K.: Books

Even though, for the most part, I’ll read books with aesthetically pleasing covers, I still never review the covers. (Please don’t come for me, I’m a sucker for pretty book covers.) However, can we talk about this book cover! People of color, and Muslims, on a book cover?! I love it! That’s when I immediately knew I had to read this one. And thankfully, I was not disappointed.

A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes—because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together. An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb’s teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how “bad” Muslims are.
But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s angry.
When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break. Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, “nicer” version of herself in a place where no one knows her. Then her path crosses with Adam’s.
Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam’s stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister.
Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father. Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals.
Until a marvel and an oddity occurs…
Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting.
Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting. 

Now on to the actual review! So first let’s talk about the plot. Love From A to Z’s original premise was simple. Two teenagers falling in love is certainly not a unique plot to the Young Adult Genre. But it’s the way the plot was executed that truly made me fall in love with this contemporary novel. The whole marvel and oddity thing keep the story engaging, and gave a unique feel. Every time it switched from Zayneb to Adam, and vice versa, a marvel or oddity would be discovered.

“Maybe that’s what living is—recognizing the marvels and oddities around you.”
― S.K. Ali, Love From A to Z

The main characters were so incredibly diverse and unique. First we have Zayneb; A fiery and passionate hijabi who is half Trinidadian, and half Pakistani. Next we have Adam Chen; An easy going and quiet Chinese, and Finnish boy. I mean, can we talk about the amount of biracial rep?! At first, I didn’t like Zayneb. I thought she was annoying and got overly angry. But then I realized that if you aren’t angry about something, than no one else will be either. Over the course of the novel, Zayneb learnt that there is a method to the madness. What I mean by this is, she learnt how to get angry politely. (Minor Spoilers ahead.) For example; When she wore a t-shirt and leggings in a swimming pool in Doha, the manager told her the custom was to wear tight swimsuits only. To overcome this challenge, she wore a burkini. When the manager refused to let her wear a burkini, it was then that she confronted him. So essentially, what I am trying to say is, Zayneb learnt how to solve a problem calmly. But if she couldn’t solve it calmy, then she would show her anger. Adam was a rather introverted and polite character. He loved making things, especially for his little sister Hanna. Adam was honestly so wholesome. Zayneb and Adam, despite being polar opposites, got along really well. They shared the same values, which certainly was a driving force in their relationship. I don’t want to spoil too much, but I loved how there was no love triangle or any people getting in the way of their love. It was just the two of them. I loved how they accepted each other for who they were, and actually did thorough research on certain obstacles that might affect them in the future. Overall the plot was executed very well! And the characters, including some side characters, were funny, and diverse!

The dialogue between the main characters was raw and pure. The book really gave the readers an interesting and positive look at what it’s like for Muslims to marry. In the media, Muslims are portrayed as terrorists, and women are seen as opressed. In real life, that is totally not the case. In most romantic stories, the couple will always kiss before getting married. In Adam and Zayneb’s case, they weren’t allowed to touch until after marriage. This is done to ensure that lustfullness is not the thriving source of love before marrying someone. It was so cute when they wanted to hug and kiss, but remained respectful of each other and didn’t. It was just so adorably awkward.

The writing style switched between raw and harsh, to poetic and elegant from time to time. However, none of the writing seemed out of place. The author did a great job at setting the mood through her dialogue and writing.

At times the story seemed a bit slow, and at other times it went a bit fast. So the pacing was slightly off. But that didn’t really affect the enjoyment level that much. Overall, this was such a cute read that is great to show people who have mixed feelings about Muslims. Muslims are people just like the rest of the world. That’s why it’s so important to write #ownvoices stories. They can really change a person’s entire perspective. Henceforth why I think that you should definitely pick this one up!

Age Rating: 12 and up

TW: Islamophobia, talk about violence and death

Final Rating: 9/10 or 5 stars

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

If you’re curious about my review policy click here. So, will you read Love From A to Z? Or if you have already, what did you think about it? Have a fabulous day everyone!

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