Friday, March 27, 2015

Early Book Review: Sisters of Blood and Spirit by Kady Cross

Author: Kady Cross
Series: Sisters of Blood and Spirit #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: March 31st 2015
My Rating: 5 cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Wren Noble is dead—she was born that way. Vibrant, unlike other dead things, she craves those rare moments when her twin sister allows her to step inside her body and experience the world of the living.

Lark Noble is alive but often feels she belongs in the muted Shadow Lands—the realm of the dead. Known as the crazy girl who talks to her dead sister, she doesn't exactly fit in with the living, though a recent suicide attempt and time in a psych ward have proved to her she's not ready to join her sister in the afterlife.

Now the guy who saved Lark's life needs her to repay the favor. He and his friends have been marked for death by the malevolent spirit of a vicious and long-dead serial killer, and the twins—who should know better than to mess with the dead—may be their only hope of staying alive.

First of all, thank you Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for the chance to read this book in advance.

I absolutely adored this book! I can't even tell you how much I loved the book, but I loved it a lot.

This was a slightly creepy book. The pacing was good and the suspense...WOW! It's been a while since a book had me so freaked out, my heart was beating wildly in my chest. And some of the details were actually kinda scary. I loved that. I also loved the dual POV. It gave the story much more depth and it made the characters seem more realistic.

I loved the twins. They were so, so entertaining. At the same time, my heart broke for both of them. There were moments when I thought Lark was a little bit too snarky with people. I did understand why though, so it wasn't a huge deal, but I would've wanted to see her be a little bit more nice to people. I liked that in the end she discovered that she did have friends and that, although not exactly perfect, they did make the perfect group for her. I also enjoyed seeing her be honest about her feelings, at least with herself. I liked that she was realistic and that although she acted tough, she knew that there was a chance things might end up bad. And I liked that she was willing to do anything to keep her sister safe.

Speaking of Wren, she was awesome. I liked how sometimes American expressions were a bit hard for her to understand and that made it even clearer that she wasn't like her sister at all, what with her being dead and all. She seems so lonely in certain scenes in this book and that really broke my heart. I am hoping that in the next book she'll get to meet other good ghosts, because I felt like she needed to spend a little bit more time with her kind.

I am anxious to see what happens next, especially with a few interesting details Wren and Lark found out about their family. There's also a bit of a mystery surrounding the girls and what they can do. I hope that this will get to be explored more in the next book.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Book Highlight: Touch Me by Skye Malone

Title: Touch Me #1
Series: Touch Me
Author: Skye Malone
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Wildflower Isle
Publication Date: February 18, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-940617-30-5
Cover Designer: Karri Klawiter

Caitlin Faire was only expecting a simple night out to celebrate her best friend’s twenty-first birthday. But enter one gorgeous and mysterious guy, and inexplicable visions that can’t possibly be real, and you have an evening that becomes anything but simple.

Suddenly, she’s seeing visions everywhere. Being overwhelmed by strange impulses she can’t control. She thinks she’s going insane.

Until she almost kills the first man she touches.


Dark eyes meet mine.
Everything slows, like the world melts into molasses and in it, I’m stuck. A guy stands in front of me, his body only inches away, and suddenly, he’s the only one in the room. The dancers fade into shadows and mist. The music is the low thrum that underscores the world. And there’s just him. Black skin, dark as I’ve ever seen. Sculpted arms hinting at a strong body, as if everything of him is muscle and sinew. He’s about my age, at least six-foot-two, and easily the most gorgeous man I’ve ever laid eyes on. And he smiles like he knows me. Like he’s saying hello.
His hand reaches out. Brushes a shadow, a girl, and shimmering mist ghosts away from her to caress his arm like a lover. His smile broadens.
The mist absorbs into his skin.
He nods to me, still friendly. Still like we’re acquaintances who’ve simply run into one another on the street. And then he’s gone into the shadows and the crowd comes rushing back again.
I gasp. Bodies buffet me on all sides, crushing me, and my exhilaration is shattered. The music is too loud. The lights spin like deranged kaleidoscopes, blinding me. I’m hot, covered in sweat, and the emerald green dress is glued to my skin. My pulse is flying but my body keeps moving like it can’t help itself, like it’s lost to the rush of swirling lasers, pounding music, and fog.
Fog that’s pouring into me.
My eyes go wide. Flecked with sparks of color and light, clouds of it rise from the dancers like mist over a pond. Tendrils stream away from those nearest to me, moving like charmed snakes to coil around my body, slipping over my dress, my skin, and then vanishing inside me.
It’s so not a fog machine. Not this. Sweet God, what’s happening?

Skye Malone is a fantasy and paranormal romance author, which means she spends most of her time not-quite-convinced that the things she imagines couldn’t actually exist.

Born and raised in central Illinois, she hopes someday to travel the world — though in the meantime she’ll take any story that whisks her off to a place where the fantastic lives inside the everyday. She loves strong and passionate characters, complex villains, and satisfying endings that stay with you long after the book is closed. An inveterate writer, she can’t go a day without getting her hands on a keyboard, and can usually be found typing away while she listens to all the adventures unfolding in her head.

Skye also writes YA urban fantasy as Megan Joel Peterson and is the author of The Children and the Blood trilogy.

First Prize: Kindle Paperwhite (US Only)
Second Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card (International)

Click HERE to enter or click the image below!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Release Blitz & Giveaway: Perfect Game by Collette West

Title: Perfect Game
Author: Collette West
Genre: Contemporary/Sports Romance

For New York Kings' first baseman Scott Harper, scoring women is easy. He's ready to get naked anytime, anywhere. But when a hacker leaks his nude selfies, he's unprepared for the scrutiny his full-frontals receive.

Carrie McKenzie has a love-hate relationship with her body. No longer the fat chick guys can ignore, she wins the job as the Kings' clubhouse reporter. With her svelte new figure, she nabs an exclusive interview with Scott to get his take on the scandal.

However, the two are already on a first-name basis after Scott came on to her in the hotel bar, and she woke up in his arms. The problem is that Scott doesn't do relationships and Carrie doesn't date jocks, yet the way they burn up the sheets is deserving of more than just a one-night stand.

Scott shows Carrie that he has a sweet, caring side beneath all the swagger. But can she really trust her heart to the biggest player in the game? 



I turn around, and my eyes zero in on the door. My heart starts hammering in my chest because Scott is standing there looking absolutely incredible in a crisp, white shirt and tight, black pants.

"Oh my God, he came alone,” I mumble, hardly believing it to be true as my heart skips a beat. I thought for sure he’d want to show me up by draping some rail-thin model on his arm. “Damn it. Why does he always have to look so amazing?”

"'Cause he's Scott Harper,” Grey chuckles. 

Chase is waving Grey over, and she gives me a wry grin. 

“Poor Jake never stood a chance, did he?" She gives my hand a quick squeeze before moving through the crowd to join her husband.

I turn my back to the revelry and face the wall, trying to collect myself. This is going to suck so bad. Yeah, I accepted Jake’s offer just to piss Scott off because I'd thought he’d bring one of his past flames in a surefire tit-for-tat move, but he didn’t. Now, I feel like an idiot. I thought Scott didn’t want to be seen with me in front of his teammates because I don’t quite measure up to the standard he’s used to. But this is a couple’s party, and he flouted the rules and came here stag, willing to be the odd man out, just because of me. 

He'd asked me to go with him and I'd said no, but he hadn’t asked anyone else either. He'd been serious. He hadn't just offered me some secondhand invitation because his friend had beat him to it. He really wanted to go with me, and I messed it all up by coming with Jake. 

Damn it.

I feel myself start to shake, but then a familiar hand grazes the exposed skin on my back, making me shiver.

"Hey, Care Bear.”

I glance over my shoulder, and Scott’s face is so close that I can almost taste the velvety softness of his lips. I’m lost in the moment as I find myself turning into his strong, hard frame, loving how his hand never leaves my body. Instead, his fingers skim the curve of my waist, following my every movement. His gray eyes are stormy with desire when we finally come face to face. He wasted no time in coming over to me, and my heart flutters at the thought. He’s sending a clear message: He’s here because of me, and he doesn’t care who knows it. 


About Collette

Collette West grew up as somewhat of a jock-nerd hybrid. Entering the world three weeks premature, her dad nearly missed her birth because he had seats behind the dugout for a sold-out, highly-anticipated match-up between two of baseball's biggest rivals. Not to be outdone, her book-loving mom taught her how to read by the time she was three. A love of the game coupled with an appreciation for the written word were instilled in Collette's impressionable brain from a young age. No wonder her characters believe in the philosophy: sports + romance = a little slice of heaven.

Splitting her time between the Pocono Mountains and Manhattan, Collette indulges her inner fangirl by going to as many games as she can from hockey to baseball and downloading every sports romance novel in existence onto her iPad. When she's not clicking away on her laptop, she enjoys walking her dog in Central Park, satisfying her caffeine craving at the Starbucks on Broadway and keeping an eye out for Mr. Right. But above all, she loves dishing with her readers. Email her at

She is the author of NIGHT GAMES, GAME CHANGER and GAME ON.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Book Review: The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: January 1st 2010
My Rating: 5 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “Duffy,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

I'm sitting here trying to figure out a way to adequately express how much I enjoyed reading this book. I loved it, actually. The DUFF is one of those books that surprised me, because I did not expect to like it this much.

The first thing that stood out while I was reading this book was how real the entire thing seemed. I felt like I myself was back in high school (thank God I wasn't!). The dynamics were all there, the relationships were there, everything that I remember high school to be was in this book. It might have to do with Keplinger's age while she was writing the book, but still, she had an amazing ability to capture all of that and put it on paper and make it seem genuine.

I adored Bianca and Wesley. Bianca is the type of girl that has a mildly bad time in high school. She's not the popular one or the pretty one. She doesn't fall for every line guys her age through at her, which I personally thought was awesome. She seems like the girl you'd deem "the crazy one", until you actually get to know her and understand her. I was so sad because of her family situation.

Wesley is a difficult guy to like at first. I didn't quite understand him in the beginning, but then certain scenes made me realize he is so not the guy I thought he was.Yes, he was always chasing girls, but what teenage boy doesn't? I liked how he respected Bianca's wishes and how he didn't try to push her to open up about what was bothering her. And eventually, like Bianca, I ended up liking him a lot.

There are so many good themes in this book: sex, alcohol abuse, bullying. And they are presented not in a preachy way, but in a natural, "shit happens sometimes" kind of way. However, the most important thing in my opinion, is when Bianca is shown that everybody has self esteem issues and that everyone has that something they don't like about themselves. That I think was the best lesson Bianca got in this book and that is why I loved The Duff so much.

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Obsessed With Covers #18: A Thousand Pieces Of You, Wicked Luck & Endless

Y'all know how much I love a pretty cover. I think about...40% of the books that end up on my shelves (be they physical or digital) do so because of the covers. Call me shallow but you have to admit that a pretty, shiny cover will catch your eye faster than a dull, boring one. Two, simple rules that I'll follow:

  • 1, 2 or 3 (no more than 3, though) covers per week;
  • books should be new-ish; no more than 2 years old.
Oh, before I share the covers that made me drool or want to stare at them for hours and hours, I have to say something. This is a semi-original idea. Why semi? Because almost every book blogger has something similar. The only thing I came up with was the title. If by any chance there's another blogger with a similar feature with the same title, I assure you I'm not stealing your idea. I'm just THAT bad with titles. Believe me, I'd love to be smarter and have a witty name for this feature, but I don't. So, no copyright infringement/theft/steal or anything of the sort was desired. All I can say is sorry :P


I've seen so many gorgeous covers this week, I don't even know where to start or which ones to pick!

The watercolor background effect is gorgeous. And I love the night vs day, dark vs sunny contrast. Not only that, but there's a sort of irony in the cover, too. There's the dark, rainy half, that somehow gives me a sense of life, crowds, of stuff happening, while the sunny, shiny part gives me the impression of solitude and of still life. I absolutely adore this cover and the artist really did a great job.

Where to start? The skull covered in flowers is pretty awesome, but I also love the flower "frame" too (I'm going to assume they're roses, though I have no clue *hangs head in shame*). I recently developed a think for dark purple, so that is also another reason why I adore this cover. And the eye sockets are "staring" straight at you, sort of daring you to pick the book up. Interesting choice of cover art, given the title.

Wicked Luck - Shannon L. Maynard

This is such a simple, yet pretty cover. The thing that caught my attention is that the girl is hiding her face. And the way she's sitting makes me think that she's either really sad or she's trying to hide something. I wonder what. Then there's the awesome swirly design around the title. It's just so pretty to look at.

Endless - Amanda Grey

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Reading Blogs & Eating Popcorn #8

Reading Blogs & Eating Popcorn is a weekly feature here at Ruby's Books, in which I share some of the posts written by other fellow book bloggers over the last week, posts that I loved so much I have to share. 

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I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I did. Did you read any good posts that you think everyone else should?

#Shelflove: Share Your Sources for Free Books

This month we're talking about free books. Who doesn't love freebies, right? Here are my sources for free books:

  • Charity shops - There's a charity shop near my house that has a box right at the entrance, full of free books. The only obligation you have is that you pick up just one and that if you have a book you want to donate, you put it there. Also, most charity shops have really cheap books, some of them in very good conditions, so I check out their shelves too (not free, but almost free).
  • Library - Same as before. A lot of them have books that they give away for free. Actually, a few of the books on my #Shelflove list came from a library that was giving away free books.
  • BookBub - A very cool website where you can find a ton of freebies from many genres. All you have to do is sign up (it's free) and it will send you daily emails with freebies. Also bargains.
  • The Fussy Librarian - Same as the previous website, you just sign up for free and you'll receive tons of free books and bargains on your mail. 
  • eBookSoda - Another website with free subscription.
  • Pixel of Ink - A website full of Kindle freebies and bargains. They update their site daily. You can either subscribe with your email address or you can follow them on Facebook.
  • eReader Love - Same as before, you can either subscribe or follow on Facebook, where they post daily about the freebies/bargains they discover on Kindle.
  • eReader News Today - Yet another website that has Kindle freebies. 
  • Pulseit - A website owned by Simon & Schuster. They feature two free books each week. You can't download them, but you can read them online. Oh, the cool part? In December they have the 31 Days of Reading, when they have a free book EACH DAY! So that's awesome. 
  • FeedYourReader - Awesome website full of Kindle freebies and bargains. 
Phew. I think that's it. Yeah. I hope this helps you feed your bookish addiction and help you save some money. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Book Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: The Dark Elements #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: February 1st 2014
My Rating: 5 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):
One kiss could be the last

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world>

You know what I love? When an author shows me again and again why I love their work and why I can trust them. Armentrout is pretty much on my "forever buy" list. I remember when the news about this new, exciting series came out and I was so happy. I mean, GARGOYLES. I've never read anything with gargoyles and the only time I saw gargoyles and liked them was in the animated series Gargoyles. I'm ignoring the funny companions in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I wanted hot gargoyles.

I loved White Hot Kiss. It definitely wasn't what I expected, at least not based on the prequel, Bitter Sweet Love. I can always trust Armentrout to write sassy, funny characters. Just as I can trust her to write creepy bad guys. The other thing that I can trust about her is that she'll write about "good" guys that are rotten to the core and "bad" guys who can make the right thing. I love that. I hate it when the guys on Team Evil are always bad and same goes for Team Good. 

Layla was an interesting character. She was sheltered growing up, but what really made me love her was her struggle with her self image. She was brought up to hate the "bad" half of her, as if somehow she was responsible for who her parents were. I really wanted to punch some of the people in her family (if I dare call some of them that). I don't know if she's more reckless at times or more brave than anyone around her thinks, but I do like that she stands up for herself when she needs to. And I like that by the end of the book she's starting to accept that part of her that everyone fears. Not completely, but a little each day is all that matters, right? 

Zayne is the boy our heroine grew up with. She's kind of in love with and he really doesn't notice her. At all. And that part kind of pissed me off. Let's be honest here, how blind do you have to be to not notice that this girl has a crush on you? It wasn't as if she was that great at hiding it.

Which brings me to Roth. Oh man. I am obsessed with him. The one thing that I absolutely love him for is that, unlike Zayne, he accepted her other half (in this case, her Warden half). He didn't make her feel like she was at fault for her parents' relationship, just like he didn't make her seem like a freak for being able to suck someones soul out. Of course, I will be honest and say that I was kind of weary of him at first. Yes, he was hot, really dangerous, flirty and a smart-ass, but at the beginning I was expecting for him to show his colors so to speak. He was a demon, so he had to be one of the bad guys. But then he does something for her, something that completely blew my mind and made me realize he really wasn't the enemy here. Which is probably why the ending crushed me so much. Oh, and let's not forget about the tattoos, shall we? He has awesome tattoos. And great names for both of them.. *swoon*

The ending blew me away and made me want to curl up in bed and cry. I did not see that one coming. I am sad that this is only a trilogy. Of course, you might wonder how many times can the world be in danger in this series, but I am so not ready for "The End". Anyway, this book was amazing and I really am keeping my fingers crossed for my boy Roth to win the girl.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Obsessed With Covers #17: Six of Crows, Listen, Slowly & The Eterna Files

Y'all know how much I love a pretty cover. I think about...40% of the books that end up on my shelves (be they physical or digital) do so because of the covers. Call me shallow but you have to admit that a pretty, shiny cover will catch your eye faster than a dull, boring one. Two, simple rules that I'll follow:

  • 1, 2 or 3 (no more than 3, though) covers per week;
  • books should be new-ish; no more than 2 years old.
Oh, before I share the covers that made me drool or want to stare at them for hours and hours, I have to say something. This is a semi-original idea. Why semi? Because almost every book blogger has something similar. The only thing I came up with was the title. If by any chance there's another blogger with a similar feature with the same title, I assure you I'm not stealing your idea. I'm just THAT bad with titles. Believe me, I'd love to be smarter and have a witty name for this feature, but I don't. So, no copyright infringement/theft/steal or anything of the sort was desired. All I can say is sorry :P


So, here are the prettiest covers I've seen this week.

There are so many amazing things about this cover. There's the cloudy sky, the buildings that are separated by the feathers, the feathers that are so full of detail, and the gorgeous font. I just love this cover so much, that I have to see what the book is about.

Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo

This cover is hauntingly beautiful. I love that the background is so colorful and so... happy, I'd say, while the two characters are just silhouettes. It makes me wonder if this book ends on a happy note or not.

Listen, Slowly - Thanhha Lai

Okay, I have a confession. I have a thing for crows. I love them. No, really. They are so gorgeous. And black. And...yeah, you get the point *clears throat* Anyway. This cover is quite simple. Scary, but simple. And the, I really want to know if there's a crow in the story. Sometimes simple covers are so beautiful, like this one.

The Eterna Files - Leanna Renee Hieber

Taylor Swift Book Tag

I discovered this tag about a month ago on Youtube and I've seen some of my favorite bloggers do it to, so I decided to join in. I love Taylor's music and I think this is actually a cool idea. The tag was created by Sarah @ The Book Life.

So, here we go.

1. For ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ pick a book (or book series) that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with.

This one is easy. It's Divergent by Veronica Roth. I read the first book and LOVED it. Read the second book and I wasn't that impressed. I have no interest in reading the third book. And not because of the ending. Yes, I read the spoilers. Funnily enough, the ending actually kind of makes me want to read the last book.

I felt like instead of seeing Four and Tris mature and grow in Insurgent, they became the characters that I would've expected to meet at the beginning of their journeys.

2. For ‘Red’ pick a book with a RED cover.

This is my favorite book so far with a red cover. It is AH-MAZING! I love Roth. *swoons*

3. For ‘The Best Day’ pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic

I was a kid when this book came out and it basically became the center of my universe for a long period of time. I am part of the generation that grew up with this series, so it's hard not to get a little bit nostalgic when I read it. But then again, this is the only book I've ever read in my life that manages to take me back to that moment in time when I first read it and it makes me feel like a kid again.

4. For ‘Love Story’ pick a book with forbidden love.

This series! I do not even want to think about the fact that it has ended. I just refuse to acknowledge that little detail.

5. For ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love.

Sometimes authors do something so incredibly magical and fantastic and makes me love them more. They write a series about good vs evil, where the evil is just that. And the magic happens when they write a book for a character from "the other team". And that's just pure awesomeness and I love it. Same thing happened with Obsession.  

6. For ‘Innocent’ (written b/c of Kanye West!) pick a book that someone ruined the ending for.

I don't know if I've told this story before or not, but back in middle school, about the same time that the 1st Harry Potter movie came out, a classmate and I were reading The Three Musketeers at the same time. I was a bit behind though, because back then I was a slow reader (think snail-like speed). We used to take the same subway on the way home, and we'd start talking about random stuff and when we realized we were reading the same book, we chatted about it. I kept asking him questions about where he was at, so in all fairness, it wasn't his fault that he spoiled the book for me. He would always start saying how I should read it myself and not ask him, but by then he'd already started telling me stuff, so the will to read it kind of disappeared. Maybe one day I'll try reading it again and see for myself how it ends.

7. For ‘Everything has changed’ pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development.

Hmmm...This one is a bit tough, but I'll point to the Bloodlines series above and to Adrian Ivashkov. He grows up in this series. A lot.

8. For ‘You Belong With Me’ pick your most anticipated book release.

I need this book like I need to breathe. I NEED MY ROTH FIX!!!

9. For ‘Forever and Always’ – Pick your favorite book couple

I really, really can't choose one. There's just too many book couples that I love to choose from. However, the most recent one has to be Layla & Roth from the Dark Elements by Jennifer L. Armentrout (I choose to believe that they'll end up together).

10. For ‘Come Back, Be Here’ pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much.

Yeah, no one is ever touching this puppy but me. EVER! And if that sounds mean then so be it. Come to think of it, no one can touch his brother's book, Acheron, either. Just... not an option.

This was so much fun! I'm bad at tagging people, so if you read this and want to give it a go, consider yourself tagged :D

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