MARCH 2019

So 2018 ended in the shittest way possible and I’m not going to lie I generally could not be bothered to read and write.  To be honest, I didn’t really have the time to read and write between work and travelling between home and Sheffield. I’ve had minimal me time over the past 6 months or so.

The start of 2019 was definitely tough. However, a little time has now passed and I’m starting to feel myself again. I’m determined to change a lot of things in my life as I have so much to look forward to. Therefore, I am back.

Now, my opinion of TBR lists has once again changed and I think I have a new way to keep myself on track. Especially with my reading. Hopefully, this will eradicate all stress out of my life and help me complete my monthly tasks with ease.

With regards to my TBR, I intend to pick two maybe three books a month that I have to read and then all of the other books I pick up will be selected due to my mood at the time.

The books I will pre-select will be from my TBR shelf as the pile is ever growing and I would really like to make a dent into it before I start buying more books. I’m not strict enough to put myself on a book buying ban. That is just setting myself up for failure straight away but I do intend to spend less money each month though. I have a wedding to save up for!

I am also tempted to bring my book jar into play again as there are quite a few books that have been on these shelves for far too long that I don’t seem to be picking up.

So March TBR:

The two books that I will be reading this month are:

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang 

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Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

Goodreads

 

Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood series) by J R Ward

Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3)

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other – six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…

Goodreads

Both of these books have been on my TBR shelf for a long time and I’ve decided now is the time to read them. Two completely different genres but I’ve heard nothing but goods things about them both!

All of the other books will be selected randomly depending on my mood. By doing it this way in the past I’ve had pretty good reading months so my fingers are crossed.

If you do have any recommendations let me know. Or if you have read either of the above two books tell me what your thoughts are I’m eager to know.

Lucy xx

 

 

 

 

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October TBR

 

This is yet another late post and I don’t know whether to blame having so little free time or the fact that I have a new bullet journal that I’m obsessing over. When I do eventually have some time to myself I’m doing that.

I have another eventful month coming up with a trip home for a week and my engagement party / huge family get together. Due to this I fear that a weeks worth of reading time is probably going to be taken from me. This does depend on the plans my family make around my visit. I am selfishly hoping that there will be a couple of days where I can veg on my mum’s sofa with the dog and do nothing but read. I’m not going to lie, my mum’s dog is like a tornado and being alone in the house to read with the terror will inevitably result in no reading time. It’s most likely going to leave me with a half eaten book.

Due to the visit home I have purposely made my TBR small this month. This just means that if I do get some extra reading time in throughout October I can pick a few books out of my TBR jar.

So the three books I will read this month are:

Shadow of Night – Deborah Harkness.

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I started this book at the end of September and I mean the end. I think I managed to pick it up on the last day of the month. I intend to get this finished at some point this week.

The Book of Life – Deborah Harkness

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The third book in the All Souls series is the second book I intend to complete this month.

 

His True Queen – Jodi Ellen Malpas

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I read the first instalment of this duology last month and I do intend to complete the series as soon as possible.

As I said it’s a short list this month.

It just feels so empty.

There is a fourth book by Debora Harkness called Times Covert which I have avoided looking into in case there are spoilers of the series around. As far as I am aware it is a follow on from the All Souls series. Depending on how the series turns out and if I am still in the mood for the story this may also be added into my October TBR.

Additionally, as I stated above my ever-growing TBR jar really does need some attention. Once I have completed the books above I will be selecting my next reads at random. Hopefully, if I start using the TBR jar to chose my next reads I will have more space on my TBR shelves by Christmas.

What is on your TBR this month?

Lucy xx

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September Wrap-Up

September Wrap-Up

So this post is super late and it’s going to be brief for so many reasons but without boring you here is my September wrap-up.

With trips home at the beginning of the month and awful things thrown in in between I’ve been a little preoccupied. Sadly, not much reading took place over September.

I have managed a total of four and a half books this month which is awful.

 

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The Controversial Princess – Jodi Ellen Malpas

On a busy Friday rush hour train choosing something to read that requires my sole attention is probably the worst decision I could make. I get distracted too easily when I’m on trains. I will start up a conversation with the person at the side of me and my concentration disappears. A clear example of this is when I was heading down to Sheffield at the beginning of the month. A lecturer from The University of Sheffield sat down at the side of me and we chatted most of the way home about EVERYTHING. Our studies, our favourite classics, why we moved away from home and never moved back. The list goes on. With easy reads I can dip in and out of them without losing my place and forgetting things. Jodie Ellen Malpas’ writing is so easy to ready and follow so it is great for these moments.

 

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Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas

At the beginning of the month I decided to re-read Maas’ Throne of Glass so I could continue with the series. This backfired. As soon as I had completed the book and I was ready to move onto Crown of Midnight I found a copy of A Discovery of Witches. I’d heard that the show was coming out and all of the reviews online had hinted that it needed to be read so obviously I had to buy it.  The Throne of Glass series has been forgotten for the time being. I’ll get to it eventually I just hope this is sooner rather than later.

 

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A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness

I am so glad a picked this book up when I did. I LOVE IT! It’s my favourite read this year so far. My review was uploaded a little while ago if you want to check it out. After reading the first instalment I needed Shadow of Night in my life. As usual when there is a huge hype about a book Amazon run out of their copies and there was a pre-order system going on. After stewing over the wait time for a while I decided to order elsewhere. (I am happy to announce my new books have arrived and I own the complete series)

 

I have only just noticed how specific my selection of books was during September. It seems I was in a Deborah Harkness and Sarah J Maas mood.

 

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A Court of Frost and Starlight – Sarah J Mass

This is by far my worst read of September. I hated it. This is a new experience for me with Maas’ writing. I don’t think she has ever disappointed me before. I just can’t get over how poor this book was. Yes, I know it was a novella and it was released to fill the gap between Feyre’s story and the upcoming new release but the writing was dreadful and the way the characters were portrayed just didn’t work for me.

 

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Shadow of Night – Deborah Harkness

I am still reading this book and was debating whether to add it to my wrap-up but I don’t think I could have finished the month with a total of 4 books. It would just make a shitty month even worse. This book has been stated and will be finished shortly.

 

Lucy
xx

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REVIEW – A COURT OF FROST AND STARLIGHT

Image result for a court of frost and starlightBook: A Court of Frost and Starlight
Author:
 Sarah J Maas
Genre: YA 
Fantasy
Release Date:  1 May 2018
Pages: 250(ish)

My Rating:  2 Stars 

Goodreads

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

Review

So, it’s time for me to actually write down my thoughts on Sarah J Maas’ A Court of Frost and Starlight. People seem to be loving this book and honestly, I just don’t get it. The last thing I want to do is offend someone who really enjoyed this book but each to their own. I was so disappointed with this book. There were so many problems with it and absolutely nothing happened.

I was expecting so much more from this story. Maybe it’s because I have so much love for the series. From what I understood going into this story, it was a bridge between the old series and the upcoming new release. I thought everything would have been tied up and closed neatly in preparation for the next instalment. In my opinion this did not happen, and I am left feeling a little sad that Sarah’s writing for the first time has made me feel blah. I don’t even know what to call this mood that I am in.

At the end of A Court of Wings and Ruin I was a little sad that Feyre and Rysand’s story had come to an end. After learning this novella was being released I was a little excited because I’d be getting a bit more from the two of them. Never in a million years did it cross my mind that it would get to the point where I am over them and their relationship. I think this book just took it too far.

I know this book is focusing on the end of the war and how the group are moving on with their lives and coping with the aftermath of everything but there are things that I’m really struggling to appreciate. Feyre’s ongoing battle with having nothing to having everything got tiresome.  Additionally, Rysand’s constant I’m horny attitude got on my nerves real quick. I’m all for a little smut but I didn’t expect so much of it in a YA book. The worst thing is that it was cringeworthy and badly written. Especially in the later chapters. There was too much of and it was not needed. Image result for gag gif

“Do you want to begin at the wall, or finish there?”

NO!!!!!!!!!!! In  a YA book I think things should be left to the imagination. Especially if it’s badly written.

A part of the book that I hated involved Amren. Out of all the things we could have learnt about Amren from her past or currently life experiences Maas focused on her toilet habits. Since when has this been an interesting topic for anyone to discuss with their friends? Just no. That was a moment that could have easily been avoided.

Then there is Tamiln. Yes he’s the villain. He did some horrible stuff throughout the other books and everyone hates him. We get it. He’s lost everything. He’s alone and he’s clearly suffering. There was definitely no need for Rhysand to behave like he did.  I feel like this was taken way too far. Rhysand’s behaviour was just ridiculous. there was no need for the gloating and the ongoing ‘I want to kill him’ attitude. I think it is time that Tamlin is forgotten about and just left alone. The story can continue quite easily without him.

The fact that Maas included so many different perspectives in such a short book was great. I was so pleased to find out that we would be able experience the thought process of other characters.  Like Cassian and Mor. However, this was ruined with the first person and third person switch over. I don’t understand how it was okay for Feyre and Rhysand’s point of views to be written in a first-person narrative, but all the other characters getting a third person narrative. I just feel that the book would have flowed so much better if everything was the same. It doesn’t even matter which one. As long as it was the same the entire way through.

I feel like this book was pointless. The only positive thing to come out of this book was the teaser for the next instalment. After reading this book I’m actually relieved that Feyre and Rhysand’s story is over. I don’t think I can take any more of their relationship and point of view(s). We get it. They’re mates. They’re supposed to be together forever. It’s so shitty that a short novella can ruin two characters that you used to love. Can we just pretend that I never read this so that they can just stay great?

I can’t lie. It’s about time something new came out that focused on the side characters. I will absolutely be reading the next instalment(s). I just hope that it isn’t as forced and pointless as A Court of Frost and Starlight is.

The only reason this book got two stars was for the teaser at the end of the book. My fingers are crossed that the next book is an improvement.

 

Was anyone else as disappointed with this book as me?

 

Lucy
xx

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Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday

It’s Top 5 Wednesday time.

This weeks topic is:

Top 5 Book Covers

 

Once again this is an awesome Top 5 Wednesday topic.

Now, when it gets to book covers the simpler the better. I hate it when they are over complicated and there is too much cramped into a small space.

Every so often an amazing cover will catch my eye and it usually deserve a spot on my wall instead of on a bookshelf but it is a rarity.

I just have a preference for simple, eye catching book covers with a little bit of colour.

There are way too many covers out there to choose from and the 5 that I have chosen are not in any specific order.

So here are 5 of my favourite covers from my ever-growing list:

 

Colleen Hoover – Confess

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I love this book cover. I was scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest one afternoon and this book randomly popped up.  I bought it straight. It’s so pretty! I think it was around the time the TV show aired in the US.

 

Neil Gaiman – Norse Mythology 

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I am obsessed with history and mythology and I heard about this book and wanted to read it. When I saw the book cover I got even more excited because I love it. This book was published with both a black and a white cover and although I like both the black cover is my favourite. It just really stood out to me.

I went to Budapest over the summer and due to a layover in Amsterdam and the 2 short flights in both directions I wanted something I could pick up and put back down easily without interruption. This is why short stories are great when travelling.

I intended to buy this at the airport before taking off to Amsterdam. Sadly, when I arrived they had sold out of the black cover. I looked around for a while to see if there was anything else I wanted to read but I couldn’t find anything, so I ended up buying the white one. I can’t lie I have no regrets it’s still beautiful.

 

Deborah Harkness – A Discovery of Witches 

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There are several covers for this book but just look at this one. It made it onto my favourite list straight away. It’s simple, effective and beautiful. It depicts important elements of the story brilliantly. The photography and the splash of colour just grab your attention straight away and I don’t have much to say other than I really do love it.

 

Naomi Novik – Uprooted

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Look how beautiful this cover is. One again it is simple with a splash of colour. You should be able to see the trend in my favourite book covers at this point. It’s a wonderful tale with a pretty cover that suits the story completely.

 

Erin Morgenstern – The Night Circus

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I saw The Night Circus cover a long time after the hype of the book died down. I was in a charity shop browsing the shelves and this one just stood out. I know that there are so many different covers for this book and I honestly love them all. The one pictured above is the one on my bookshelf.

This is a story that I went into blind. I bought the book due to the book cover. I remember telling my friend that I had bought it and she started raving about the story. She had really enjoyed it and I’m so glad that I picked it up.

 

 

I literally can’t pick just one favourite book cover. Can you? What is your favourite cover?

 

 

Lucy
xx

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Review – A Discovery of Witches

 

Image result for a discovery of witches book coverBook: A Discovery of Witches
Author:
 Deborah Harkness
Genre:
Historical Fantasy
Release Date:  8 February 2011
Pages: 688

My Rating:  5 Stars 

Goodreads

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Review 

A Discovery of Witches is the first book in the All Souls Trilogy. A fantasy series that has everything you would want from a fantasy novel that focus’ on vampires, witches and daemons.  This topic is nothing new. We’ve all read books within this genre before, it is just really hard to find a book that has been done well. I mean don’t get me started on Twilight and The Vampire Diaries.

I read many reviews on this book before deciding to pick it up and it’s clear to see that has divided the people. I find myself getting upset from the opinions of those who did not enjoy it as much as I did. Yes, I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion I just love it so much and it’s upsetting knowing others do not.

The story follows Diana Bishop, a reluctant witch who is descended from one of the most prestigious witch families leading back to the Salem witch trails and her forbidden relationship with a vampire Matthew Clairmont. From the very beginning I was enthralled in the story. Don’t get me wrong, their relationship is not everything this story ha to offer but it is an essential part of time.

It is a slow-paced story so it you’re expecting a fast-paced romance then you’re not going to get it. Usually if a book is slow-paced I find that I get bored easily which tends to disrupt my reading pattern and I’ll stop reading the book altogether. However, the pace of the book suits the story really well. I honestly think that if the book went at a quicker pace it would have a completely different feel to it. Although it is a slow-paced book I can assure you it is an easy read and you will devour the pages quickly. At this point I will mention that the book is just under 700 pages long, so it is on the lengthy side but due to the writing style you will consume it.  It took me just under a week to read it in between work and the everyday jobs that needed completing.

The characters are depicted brilliantly. Diana is so likeable. You watch her develop and grow throughout the book and it makes the story even more enjoyable. I genuinely think that Matthew is book boyfriend material. He is full of tales that need to be shared. I propose a book that solely focus’ on his past. That would be amazing. Furthermore, there are so many interesting characters introduced throughout the story. With long books characters can be introduced and forgotten about easily but all of the characters created for this book bring something to the story, even if it is brief appearance from time to time. You love all the characters you’re supposed to love, and you hate the characters you’re expected to hate.

I’m a complete history nut and Harkness entwines history throughout the story extremely well. Her expertise is demonstrated throughout the novel. After completing the first book and finally having a plot to the series I’m excited to see what the second book has in store. (I’m still all for a Matthew Clairmont spin off!)

I’m not going to lie there are cheesy moments scattered within the book but that is the same with the majority of novels. In my opinion these moments did not disrupt the story in any way. The story continued and my love for the characters and the story grew.

I have heard a few people refer to the book as an adult version of Twilight. I am not a fan of the twilight series, so I withhold my opinion on this concept. However, I feel that if it was to be compared to something it would completely diminish the story. Honestly, it doesn’t need to be compared to anything else.

It has been a long time since I enjoyed a book as much as I have this one. I loved everything about it. It’s so rare that I give out 5 star reviews and it was one of the easiest 5 star reviews I have ever given.  From the first chapter I was hooked on this tale of romance, magic and other worldly creatures. I cannot wait to start the second instalment of the series.

I am super excited to start watching the adaptation of A Discovery of Witches that has recently started on Sky One. Now I have finished the book I’m able to watch it without anything being ruined. I’m so thankful for my Sky box right now.

Have you ever read A Discovery of Witches? What are your opinions?
If you haven’t – why? Go and pick it up!

Lucy
xx

Top 5 Wednesday!

I love this weeks Top 5 Wednesday topic so I am going to get right into it. This weeks top 5 Wednesday is:

 Favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy in Other Media – (Booktube SFF Awards Babbles Crossover Topic)

Goodreads

I didn’t need to think hard to come up with my top five for this week. So I am going to make this short and sweet and get straight into it. I’m not going to lie the majority of my choices are TV shows. I clearly have too much spare time.

 

Outlander

An English combat nurse from 1945 is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743.
IMDB

Outlander is my favourite show! I mean what is not to love about a historical time travelling fantasy? It’s full of drama, action and romance. I really do love it. Now as an avid reader the books are favourites of mine too and I know that tv and movies don’t usually do the books justice but this show!!! It’s just as addictive as the books.

Jamie Fraser be still my beating heart! What more is there to say about him?

The show makes you laugh, it makes you cry and it constantly makes you swoon. I can watch it over and over again.

If you haven’t read the books or seen the show I cannot recommend them enough.

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

A young woman is forced to fulfill her destiny of fighting vampires and demons with the help of her friends all the while struggling to live a normal teenage life of heart break and drama.
IMDB

I started watching this show when I was in secondary school. I remember it was on every morning just as I was about to leave for school. I used to watch the first ten minutes and record the rest of it for when I got home at around 3:30. Good old VHS players. I would run home after school so that my sister wasn’t there before me. If I won I would get to the TV and the remote before her so I could watch the rest of the episode.

I didn’t start watching it at the beginning either. I’m sure it was part way through the second series. I remember it taking me ages to get ahold of the first season too because the show wasn’t aired much at the time.

I have now watched all of the episodes countless times and it is one of those shows that I can always go back to.

I do prefer the earlier seasons and I will never chose between Angel and Spike. However, my opinion will not be changed with regards to Riley. He served his purpose during the show and I know why he was created but he will forever be one of the most irritating characters. Don’t get me started on Dawn.  That is a rant for another day though.

 

Game of Thrones

Nine noble families fight for control over the mythical lands of Westeros, while an ancient enemy returns after being dormant for thousands of years.
IMDB

This is the one and only show that my boyfriend and I watch together. We weren’t together when the show started so when we made it ‘official’ it was something we adapted into our routine and we started watching with each other.  He once watched an episode ahead of me and I remember stropping with him but since then it has been our Monday entertainment.

I only started watching it because Sean Bean was in it and by the end of the first season I was addicted. Like most thing in my life it brings me to tears on a regular basis. There is so much drama but you get invested into every single aspect of the show. I’m not going to lie I could live happily without all of the gore and the violence but the plot twists are fascinating.

 

Once Upon a Time (Excluding Season 7)

A young woman with a troubled past is drawn to a small town in Maine where fairy tales are to be believed.
IMDB

I loved this show when it first started. I think in life you need a little bit of cheese and this is the show to watch in those moments. The earlier seasons were great but as the show went on I did start to lose interest.

I’m not going to lie I cannot bring myself to watch the most recent season (Season 7 I think). A show that has to revert back to the beginning and use the same plot(ish) to renew the show just isn’t going to work for me. I know that it was slightly different with the character changes but it’s a little unoriginal.

Regardless of the new season that I pretend doesn’t exist, if I do need some cheese in my life I will rewatch the earlier seasons. What’s not to love, fairytales, villains and Jamie Dornan. Even if he was only in it for a few episodes.

 

The Princess Bride (The Movie)

While home sick in bed, a young boy’s grandfather reads him a story called The Princess Bride.
IMDB

My Dad introduced me to this film (yes I know it’s a book but when I first watched this film I didn’t know it was an adaptation). He called me one summer when my sister and I were stuck in the house and told me to turn the Disney channel off for a film he thought we would both enjoy. I grumbled at him for disturbing my Disney time (I was probably watching Lizzy Mcguire or That’s so Raven) but caved and turned it over.

It was a great choice and I don’t care what anyone else says I love this film.

As well as The Full Monty (a film from the 1990’s that everyone needs to see set in my home town) this is a film I watch regularly when I’m homesick.

It’s funny! It makes me smile and I love the story.  I love the film so much that I am reluctant to read the book. It’s usually the other way around for me and I dread adaptations of books but I really don’t want to ruin my opinion of the film.

 

 

 

 

There you have it. My top 5 Favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy in Other Media. I know it is predominately fantasy. I’m really fussy when it gets to sci-fi and it’s rare that I will watch something within this genre. I

What are your favourite fantasy or sci-fi movies or TV shows?

 

 

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Lucy xx