Review: My True Love Gave To Me Edited by Stephanie Perkins

My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins (UK edition)

Title: My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Winter Romances
Editor: Stephanie Perkins
Authors: Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance, Short Story, Young Adult
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books (9th October 2014)
Blurb:

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . .

This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays.

Rating: *** (3 stars)
Review:

MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME is a collection of Young Adult short stories edited by Stephanie Perkins. All twelve of the short stories are set during the Christmas period. Each story varies in length, some of the stories read like a contemporary story, whilst others are more fantastic.

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Review: Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

Title: Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society #3)
Author: Ally Carter
Genre: Contemporary, Crime, Young Adult
Publisher: Orchard Books (7th February 2013)
Blurb:

Kat’s never been afraid of a challenge – but now she faces the impossible . . .

Katarina Bishop’s family of loveable criminal masterminds couldn’t be less like the gorgeous Hale’s high-society relatives. So when Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother’s billion-dollar corporation, there’s no place for Kat. Kat won’t give up that easily, though, especially when she gets a tip-off that the will is a fake: an elaborate con to steal the company’s fortune. Only the most audacious plan yet can hope to rescue the situation. But is Kat willing to save her boyfriend’s company, if it means losing the boy?

Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Review:

Having loved the first two books in Ally Carter’s Heist Society series, I have been looking forward to getting my hands on Perfect Scoundrels for a while. I really enjoyed reading Kat’s adventures, but the blurb for this book really got me interested. It seemed like there was the potential that Kat could have a lot to lose in this book.

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Looking forward to 2013

So, I did a post Looking Back at 2012 so I thought I it only fair that on the first day of 2013 that I did The Top Nine Books I Cannot Wait To Get My Hands On In 2013 to even things out – this list will include both books that are already published, and books that will be published in 2013. All dates are taken from Amazon.co.uk, and all blurbs are taken from Goodreads.com

If I Die by Amy Plum

If I Should Die (Revenants #3) by Amy Plum [YA]

I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself.

Vincent waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future together was shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend, and I lost him. Now our enemy is determined to rule over France’s immortals, and willing to wage a war to get what they want.

It shouldn’t be possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent is somewhere out there, I know he’s not completely gone, and I will do anything to save him.

After what we’ve already fought to achieve, a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying—to go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others—so that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my love back to me?

Published: 1st May 2013

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) by Richelle Mead [YA]

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch–a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood–or else she might be next.

Published: 12th February 2013

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society #3) by Ally Carter [YA]

Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it’s that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting–or stealing–whatever they want. No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale’s family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother’s billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there’s no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won’t let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother’s will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company’s fortune. So instead of being the heir–this time, Hale might be the mark. Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she’s willing to save her boyfriend’s company if it means losing the boy.

Published: 7th February 2013

Eona: Return of the Dragoneye by Alison Goodman

Eona: Return of the Dragoneye (Eon #2) by Alison Goodman [YA]

Finally able to embrace her true identity, Eona has already won a massive personal victory. However, a major battle still rages for control of the empire. After slaughtering his own family, High Lord Sethon has seized the throne. Left unstopped, his relentless ambition would leave the whole country in ruins.

Although she is new to her powers, Eona is now the resistance’s only hope. She must learn to harness the mysterious strength of her Mirror Dragon if Emperor Kygo is to claim back his kingdom. Yet knowledge comes at a price. Who can she trust, and how long can she resist the terrible truth of her ancestor’s prophecy?

In the second book of the stunning Dragoneye duology, Eona’s quest for self-discovery leads her on a perilous and devastating journey in which ties of love, loyalty and legend are shaken to the core.

Published: 4th August 2011

Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #7) by Patricia Briggs

Shapeshifter Mercy Thompson’s life is calming down, at least enough that she can focus on mundane matters like Black Friday sales. But on her return, Mercy is unable to contact her mate, Alpha Adam Hauptman, or the other members of their pack. All she knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. With the werewolves fighting a political battle to gain acceptance from the public, Mercy fears Adam’s disappearance may be related – and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outclassed and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from the most unlikely of allies: the vampire seethe.

Published: 5th March 2013

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Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin

Because It Is My Blood (Birthright #2) by Gabrielle Zevin [YA]

Since her release from Liberty Children’s Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship.But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape. It’s a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve–and her heart–will be tested as never before.

Published: 11th April 2013

Natural Born Angel by Scott Speer

Natural Born Angel (Immortal City #2) by Scott Speer [YA]

Life turned upside down for Maddy Montgomery when she found out she was half-Angel and was catapulted into the scene of flashbulbs, paparazzi, and the fervent adulation that comes with being in the celebrity Angel world. She’s trying to juggle her ordinary life—high school, family, friends—with the intense demands of being in the public eye as heartthrob Angel Jackson Godspeed’s girlfriend.

And now Maddy must face the most difficult choice of her life. She’s been offered the chance to become a Guardian. This means entering into dangerous and high stakes training, with no guarantee that she can succeed. But more than that, it would mean leaving her mortal life behind—forever—and allying with the Angels at a time when their relationship with humans is heading for war. . . .

Published: 1st April 2013

Night School: Legacy by C. J. Daugherty

Night School: Legacy (Night School #2) by C. J. Daugherty [YA]

In the last year, Allie’s survived three arrests, two breakups and one family breakdown. The only bright point has been her new life at Cimmeria Academy. It’s the one place she’s felt she belongs. And the fact that it’s brought the dreamy Carter West into her life hasn’t hurt…But far from being a safe haven, the cloistered walls of Cimmeria are proving more dangerous than Allie could’ve imagined. The students, and faculty, are under threat and Allie’s family – from her mysterious grandma to her runaway brother – are at the centre of the storm. Allie is going to have to choose between protecting her family and trusting her friends. But secrets have a way of ripping even the strongest relationships apart…

Published: 3rd January 2013

The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

The Lost Prince (Call of the Forgotten #1) by Julie Kagawa [YA]

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

Published: 6th January 2013

Those are the nine books I am most looking forward to getting my hands on in 2013. Have I missed any books on my list? What books are you looking forward to in 2013? Let me know in the comments!

Looking Back at 2012

As today is the last day of 2012, I thought it would be a good time to look back at what has happened on The Flutterby Room in 2012.

The Flutterby Room celebrated it’s 1 year blogversary in March. We also held 4 giveaways.

And we went from posting just one review a week to posting two reviews a week – Mondays and Fridays.

So, as today is the last day of 2012 I thought I would do My Top Ten Books of 2012.

Abandon by Meg Cabot, UK edition cover

Abandon (Abandon Trilogy #1) by Meg Cabot

Pierce knows what it’s like to die.

Last year she flatlined following an accident.

During that time Pierce saw a dark world and met a mysterious, irresistible boy.

Now that boy, John Hayden, has turned up at school. Every time she sees him Pierce finds herself in terrible danger. Yet she’s still drawn to him.

John wants to take her back to the place she fears the most: the Underworld.

The question is, why?

You can read my review for Abandon here and for its sequel UnderWorld here.

I really liked Abandon. I thought Cabot did a brilliant job of re-writing the Persephone myth – kind of. It was a really interesting premise and there was a LOT going on. I didn’t enjoy UnderWorld as much, which is why it’s not on the list, but I did like finding out what happened next to Pierce and John. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the third and final book!!

Black Heart by Holly Black, UK edition cover.

Black Heart (The Curse Workers, Book 3) by Holly Black

Cassel Sharpe knows that he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy.

But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong is blurred. When the Fed’s ask Cassel to do one of the things he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s the truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet – this time on love.

You can read my review for Red Glove here, and my review for Black Heart here. Apparently I read White Cat before I started the blog, so no review.

Black Heart was the final book in The Curse Workers, a series which I had really enjoyed; Black Heart was no exception. What’s not to love about magic and the mob?! I also thought that Cassel was a really interesting and likeable character, even if you couldn’t really trust him.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Oct. 11th, 1943–A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.

You can find my review for Code Name Verity here.

Code Name Verity really moved me. And whilst it’s not all that accurate, it was a really beautiful and moving story.  This book moved me to tears, and for that reason alone it deserves a place on this list. I really want to get myself a copy.

Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s not too pleased when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new friends, including a handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately he’s taken – and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s been waiting for?

You can find my review for Anna and the French Kiss here, and my review for the companion novel Lola and the Boy Next Door here.

Anna and the French Kiss was the first contemporary romance I fell in love with this year. There is just something incredibly readable about Anna and her adventures in Paris. I would go as far as to say that Anna and the French Kiss is one of my favourite novels EVER. Perkins does a great job making the events in the story seem and feel real.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

THREE FLYING BIRDS . . . ONE FOR EACH MEMBER OF THE FAMILY I LEFT BEHIND.

Sixteen-year-old Tris is forced to make a terrible choice. In a divided society where everyone must conform, Tris does not fit.

So she ventures out alone, determined to discover where she truly belongs. Shocked by her brutal new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her.

The hardest choice lies ahead.

You can find my review for Divergent here, and my review for its sequel Insurgent here.

I tend to either absolutely love a dystopian, or it somehow doesn’t quite work for me. Divergent REALLY works for me. I found it really readable, and I tore through it and its sequel Insurgent. The dystopian world Roth creates is believable, and I find it really interesting to read about.

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limitsby Katie McGarry

THEY SAY BE A GOOD GIRL,
GET GOOD GRADES, BE POPULAR.
THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT ME.

I can’t remember the night that changed my life.
The night I went from popular to loner freak.
And my family are determined to keep it that way.

They said therapy was supposed to help.

They didn’t expect Noah.

Noah is the dangerous boy my parents warned
me about. But the only one who’ll listen.
The only one who’ll help me find the truth.

I know every kiss, every promise,
every touch is forbidden.

BUT WHAT IF FINDING YOURDESTINY MEANS BREAKING ALL THE RULES?

You can find my review for Pushing the Limits here.

Pushing the Limits is one of the stand-alone novels that I fell in love with this year. I really enjoyed the story and fell in love with the characters. I have heard a rumour that there’s going to be another novel set in the same world, but I think that Pushing the Limits works well on its own and McGarry answers all of my questions.

Immortal City by Scott Speer

Immortal City (Immortal City #1) by Scott Speer

Jackson Godspeed is the hottest young Angel in a city filled with them. He’s days away from becoming a full Guardian, and people around the world are already competing for the chance to be watched over by him. Everyone’s obsessed with the Angels and the lucky people they protect – everyone except for Madison Montgomery.

Maddy’s the one girl in Angel City who doesn’t breathlessly follow the Angels on TV and gossip blogs. When she meets Jackson, she doesn’t recognize him. But Jackson is instantly captivated by her, and against all odds the two fall in love.

Maddy is swiftly caught up in Jackson’s scene, a world of glamour, paparazzi – and murder. A serial killer is on the loose, leaving dead Angels’ wings for the police to find on the Walk of Fame. Even the Guardians are powerless to protect themselves in the face of this threat … and this time it’s up to Maddy to save Jackson.

You can find my review for Immortal City here.

In spite of myself, I fell in love with the world and characters in Immortal City. When I picked it up, I honestly wasn’t sure if I would like it but before I knew it I was completely engrossed in the story and the world. It’s an interesting take on life in Hollywood, where the stars aren’t actors and musicians but angels. I thought it was a unique twist.

Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye by Alison Goodman

Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye (Eon #1) by Alison Goodman

Sixteen-year-old Eon has a dream, and a mission. For years, he’s been studying sword-work and magic, toward one end. He and his master hope that he will be chosen as a Dragoneye – an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a twelve-year-old boy. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured. When Eon’s secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic . . . and her life.

You can find my review for Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye here.

Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye has everything I love in a good sword and sorcery fantasy AND it’s set in a world like China or Japan AND there be dragons! What’s not to love?! I found the world of Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye a really fascinating one, and very different to anything I’d read before. I thought the concept of the book was really interesting, and I thought Eon was a really interesting and brave character.

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society (Heist Society #1) by Ally Carter

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own–scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster’s art collection has been stolen, and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s (very crooked) history–and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

You can read my review for Heist Society here, and my review for Uncommon Criminals here.

Heist Society is a fun read, it’s as simple as that. I also found Kat an interesting character, and I loved reading about her interactions with her family and Hale. Kat has an interesting mind. I also liked the idea of a family of criminals. Carter does a brilliant job of making the read fun and enjoyable but at the same time realistic and believable.

Die For Me by Amy Plum

Die For Me (Revenants#1) by Amy Plum

My life had always been blissfully, wonderfully normal. But it only took one moment to change everything.

Suddenly, my sister, Georgia, and I were moving to Paris to live with my grandparents. And I knew my life would never feel normal again. Then I met Vincent.

Mysterious, sexy, and unnervingly charming, he put me in danger of losing my heart all over again. But I was ready to let it happen . . . until I realized that Vincent Delacroix is no normal human–that he has a terrifying destiny and enemies who are determined to destroy him and all of his kind.

Can I risk everything for love?

You can find my review for Die For Me here, and my review for Until I Die here.

Amy Plum does a brilliant job at evoking the city of Paris in these books. And I have to admit that I really related to Kate in a lot of ways, and found her to be a really interesting character. I also think that Plum does a good job of mixing and blending the supernatural in the books.

Now for some Honourable Mentions. These are books I loved, but didn’t quite (for one reason or another) make it in to the Top Ten. Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, If I Die (Soul Screamers #5) by Rachel Vincent, The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy, Angel (Angel #1) by L. A. Weatherly, The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa, The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead, and Deadly Hemlock (Hemlock #1) by Kathleen Peacock.

So those were My Top Ten Books of 2012, what are yours? Do you think I’ve left anything out – if so let me know in the comments.

Review: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

Gallagher Girl's 1

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

Title: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1)
Author: Ally Carter
Genre: Spy, Young Adult
Publisher: Orchard Books (6th May 2010)
Blurb:

“Do you ever feel like you’re invisible? I know I do – just call me Cammie the Chameleon. But at my [blank] school, that’s seen as cool. Why? Because Gallagher Academy might say it’s for geniuses, but it’s really a school for spies.”

Cammie Morgan might be capable of killing a man in seven different ways, but she’s about to begin her most dangerous mission yet: falling in love.

Rating: ** (2 stars)
Review:

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You is the first book in Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series. The series is about a group of girls who go to an all-girl boarding school, where they just happen to learn how to be spies. The series stars, and is narrated, by Cammie Morgan.

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Review: Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

Heist Society #2

Uncommon Criminals by Alley Carter

Title: Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society, #2)
Author: Ally Carter
Genre: Contemporary, Crime, Young Adult
Publisher: Orchard (5th July 2012)
Blurb:

Kat’s back – and this time she’s making up her own rules . . .

Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life: Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world.

Now she’s been asked to seal the infamous Cleopatra gem – and return it to its rightful owner. Most people say it’s impossible, not least because the emerald is cursed. But with the help of her best friend – the gorgeous Hale – and the rest of her crew, Kat’s not going down without a fight . . .

The sequel to the hit novel, Heist Society, Uncommon Criminals is another heart-stopping, jet-setting thriller by bestselling author, Ally Carter.

Rating: ***** (5 star)
Review:

Uncommon Criminals is the second book in Ally Carter’s brilliant series Heist Society. Kat and the gang are back. Life has moved on since the end of the first book in the series, and Kat and the gang have gone back to work.

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Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society #1

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Title: Heist Society (Heist Society #1)
Author: Ally Carter
Genre: Contemporary, Crime, Young Adult
Publisher:  Orchard (1st September 2011)
Blurb:

Kat’s got a deadline – two weeks to pull off the biggest heist in history . . .

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the Louvre . . . to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her uncle travelled to Austria . . . to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she conned her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. But now her dad’s life is on the line, and Kat must go back to the world she tried so hard to escape . . .

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

Review:

Heist Society is the first book in Ally Carter’s new series of the same name. It tells the story of Kat, a girl born into a world of crime who doesn’t see things in quite the same way as the rest of her family.

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