Buzz Buzz Little Crow (Black Bird of the Gallows – A Book Review)

Black Bird of the Gallows (Black Birds of the Gallows #1)
Author: Meg Kassel
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

black bird of the gallows - The Scarlet Reader

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

A simple but forgotten truth:

Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues of soon be full.

Angie Dovage knows there’s more to Reece Fernandez than the tall, athletic boy of mystery that the whole school is swooning over, just like he can tell there’s more to her than the spazzy band-geek. When he tells her that him being here, in her town, means a great tragedy will strike, she knows he must be full of it, right? But then why is there a murder of crows always around him? Why is he sneaking off and to who know where?

When something dark and supernatural attacks Angie, she’s lucky that Reece is there to help her. Then fellow students and people around town have been going crazy. She’s left with more questions than answers. There’s a battle between good and evil, chaos and death, she never saw coming. In the middle of it all, and which is a bad idea, she may or may not be falling in love with a harbinger of death

 

The cover of this book is utterly gorgeous and breathtaking!!!!! If that didn’t make me curious enough, then the mysterious back cover did. All around, this book drew my interest and I enjoyed it! It was quirky and funny mixed with the drama of teenage love mixed with the chaos of an intriguing mythos around the harbinger of death and creator of chaos.

Scarlet Reader - Excited

the approach to magic was genius and unique. Major disasters became so much more. So did animal mythos. Evil bees? I love bumble bees so I surprised when they were used as a force of evil. The logic behind was awesome though. Same with crow. It was like the dark met the light and the light met the dark in this book and was sprinkled with love and a hint of tragedy from the main characters. Everybody has a little tragedy though, right?

Scarlet Reader - Black Bird of the Gallows

The magic was incredibly enchanting, yet dark, reminiscent of Sleeping Beauty in that way. It wasn’t overbearing, but perfectly fitting into everyday life, perfectly hidden. This design was beautiful.

Angie was both interesting and not. There were times I wasn’t into her. She’s a teenager, so she’s going to have those dramatic moments, but her tone came off goofy. She rambled off from time to time and it seemed pointless. But I loved her relationships with her dad and her friends and how mixed up she felt for Reece. I admired her passion. It was louder than a bass dropping at a rave.

I love Love LOVED the style and unique vocabulary that Kassel used to sweep this book away. It was brilliant and refreshing and kept my attention with such enthusiasm. I giggled. I felt my heart break. I was swelling with emotion and engulfed in the words.

 

Overall

I’ve never read anything like this before. Something that was both enchanting and chaotic and tragic and yet, filled with love. My big problem? The ending felt hugely rushed and vague and confusing. I was as clueless as Angie and Reece were, but more so because there was no real hint as to how everything happened. And the special possibility about magic in Angie’s family? It didn’t feel very solid. I was more fascinated than anything so it was easy to let those bits slide. I feel like they’ll possibly come into play in later books, which I hope to read someday.

 

Quotables:

“Crack your bones and eat the marrow, snap your spines like broken arrows.” (p. 104)

“…I don’t kiss guys who don’t tell me what planet they’re from.” (Angie, p. 119)

“Death doesn’t require a prediction. It’s an inevitability.” (Reece, p. 128)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles

 

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All Hallows Read – A Book List

Scarlet Reader - Halloween

Halloween book list!

 

Halloween. Is there a better time for a book list! I think not! And there are so many scary books to choose from! If I haven’t said it enough, I LOVE Halloween. I can’t get enough of it and the books that come out during this time of year, I love to see which one will scare me the most.

So, grab a flashlight, hide under the covers, of even just dim the lights or sit by the fire…

Scarlet Reader - by the fire

Here are some killer YA books to pick up this scary season.

 

The Sacrifice Box
Author: Martin Stewart

Scarlet Reader - The Sacrifice Box

Don’t go back to the box alone.

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Amazon

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Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel
Author: A. W. Jantha

Scarlet Reader - Hocus Pocus 2

The Sanderson Sisters are back for an encore.

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Amazon

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The Wood
Author: Chelsea Bobulski
Scarlet Reader - The Wood

It’s dark and sinister and alluring. Don’t go in alone or you might not come out.

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Amazon

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Little Monsters
Author: Kara Thomas

Scarlet  Reader - little monsters

Sometimes appearances cane be deceiving. 

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that’s NOT what happened
Author: Kody Keplinger
Scarlet Reader - that's NOT what happened

Finding the truth has it’s consequences.

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Paper Valentine
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Scarlet Reader - Paper Valentine

Love can be killer.

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Something Strange and Deadly
Author: Susan Dennard
Scarlet Reader - Something Strange and Deadly

There is something strange and zombie on the loose…

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More to come soon…

-K.

 

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Double Double Witchy Toil and Drama (Double Eclipse – A Book Review)

Double Eclipse (Summer on East End #2)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Published: 2016

On Goodreads

Double Eclipse - Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Full boltFull bolt

 

Dear Diary…we’re back.

Twin witches, Molly and Mardi Overbrook are spending another summer in East End with their aunts, Freya and Ingrid. This year they’re avoiding trouble and dedicating themselves to actually enjoying their summer. Mardi is hoping to deepen her new relationship with her boyfriend, Trent and Molly is hoping to forget about her disaster of a relationship from last year. She does just that when she meets the son of the local bartender, Rocky.

When their mother shows up with a mysterious prophecy involving the two of them, their vacation as well as their sisterhood is threatened. Their having strange dreams, father, the great Thor, is hurt, and their emotions are causing strange surges with their powers. They must try to come together if they hope to calm the coming storm that threatens all of East End.

 

Triple Moon

Triple Moonhere

In another whirlwind of a summer, the girls are discovering even more about themselves and that comes with a large amount of magic and heartbreak. Great turmoil grows between Mardi and Molly as their mom tries to get them to fulfill a prophecy.

Double Eclipse

I’m super excited that I finally got to the sequel of Triple Moon. The fire and fierceness was still crackling in this book with Molly and Mardi getting their feisty witchiness on.

This book picks up the summer following last in Triple Moon. The style is steady and really stayed in tune with the characters and the previous book. Mardi and Molly stayed true to themselves; Mardi being fierce and bold, and Molly being elegant and timeless. With new bombs dropping on the Overbrook twins, so many secrets and issues came to light, really testing the twins’ bond. All that magic tied in? Oh boy…

The POV changed up since the first book. The book still flips between Molly and Mardi which is really neat because while they are twins, they are incredibly different. But, the story is told from their diaries which is unique. It adds to their character, Molly being more classic with writing in a diary and Mardi writing on what I’m guessing is either her cell phone or a laptop.

Double Eclipse - Scarlet Reader

(And when I think about it, Nina Dobrev would be a nice fit as the Overbrook twins.)

And the new hottie addition, Rocky, the new hottie on the scene, made me blush! Sadly, previous hottie, Trent, blipped out. It made me upset. He peeked in and then disappeared and I was really looking forward to seeing him again.

There were a lot of open ends left by the end that I had a few questions too. When that happens, I get irritated. According to Goodreads, there isn’t another book coming either, so I’m a little annoyed that those questions will remain unanswered. It drives me crazy!

 

Overall

This was like Gossip Girl meets Charmed. Double double toil and drama! Summer may be over, but this was a great summer read. Even though I had a lot questions at the end and it made me feel unfulfilled, I still loved it. It’s original and sparking with magic on every page.

 

Quotables:

“What is it with gods and secrets?” (Molly, p. 37)

“Life is not a gift that can be taken back. It belongs to all sentient creatures—forever.” (Janet, p. 106)

 

More to come soon…

-K

 

P.S. Song today? All Good Things (Come to an End) by Nelly Furtado

 

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Keep a Light On (Nightlight – a Book Review)

Nightlight (a parody)
Author: The Harvard Lampoon
Published: 2009

On Goodreads

Nightlight

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

 

About three things I was absolutely certain.

First, Edwart was most likely my soul mate, maybe

Second, there was a vampire part of him—which I assumed was wildly out of his control—that wanted me dead.

And third, I unconditionally, irrevocably, impenetrably, heterogeneously, gynecologically, and disreputably wished he had kissed me.

In a self-appointed exile, Belle Goose come to live with her window washer of a father in Switchblade, Oregon. There, this vampire obsessed teenager becomes instantly popular and is pretty sure she’s got all the guys’ attention, just not Edwart Mullen.

Strange and quiet, Belle must know him. He rushes off at the sight of her, doesn’t eat his tater tots, and has an uncontrollable rage about computer games. He even saves Bell from a flying snowball, which cements Belle’s feelings for him, and one other thing. With all of these strange things about Edwart, Belle knows he must be a vampire. Now she just has to figure out how to get him to bite her so they can be together forever, but how will that happen when he seems to find girls repulsive?

 

Okay, I swear somebody handed The Harvard Lampoon a Twilight themed Mad Libs and said, “Okay, let’s publish this.”. I cringed, I laughed, and there was possibly a lot of eye-rolling. I couldn’t believe this book! I wasn’t blown away, but I was shocked. Having read the Twilight series and seeing the movies, this parody was really something. The entire book was a fun non-sense story.

Nightlight

 

There were vampires! Sort of. His name was Josh and he wasn’t very cordial. LOL. Josh actually came off as sarcastic, which is understandable since he’d been trying to get Belle’s attention the whole time and she only has eyes for storm chasing, computer nerding Edwart.

All of the characters were strange. I don’t know how else to explain it. Completely laughable and a good time. Belle’s POV of throughout the book showed them under quite the dramatic light as she ended up dragging them into her obsessive life. One thing I really did love about Belle though, was how confident she was and that she never let anyone get to her. Granted, she sounded like her brain flew the coop, but she didn’t let anything negative that anyone had to say get to her. I admire that quality. I’m still working on it with myself and it’s a struggle some days.

I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to the style of this book. It was crazier than a crazy straw. At one point, the biology class is asked to give blood, not for a blood type test, but so the teacher’s son can possibly have one of their kidneys, leading Belle to faint and then wiggle like a worm on the floor out of the classroom. I must say, that I love that Belle drives a U-HAUL. She’s not moving anywhere. That’s her regular vehicle she drives to school.

With how the book is written, it does skip around a lot. It was at times, confusing. There was nothing definite amongst all of this silliness.

 

Overall

This was a fun read. Definitely read in one sitting. You’ll laugh, you’ll question what you just read, and you’ll probably donate this book for some other poor soul to read. Lol. It’s not a book that’ll stick with me, but it was hilarious. If you ever wanted to know what it’s like to have a parody movie done a book, this is it.

 

Quotables:

“None of us were very good at saying good-bye. For some reason, it always came out good-BUH.” (Belle, p. 5)

“It was like when you sip an energy drink with a skull on it, even though your mom said not to, and your brain kind of speeds up as you sip and then goes slower as you swallow then speeds up and goes slower until you throw up. And then you drink another one on a dare.” (Belle, p. 28)

“We walked together, our pointer fingers romantically linked. The cemetery loomed ahead of us covered in a dark haze of night, lit only by a sliver of moon. Twilight! I mean, Nightlight!” (Belle, p. 101)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today?

 

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The ABCs of YA ( A Booklist)

Hello book clan! How have you been?

It’s already the middle of September. Wowzers.

This is the book list for the month. It’s quite a long one compared to the norm.

The ABC book list is really popular, and I couldn’t help, but jump on the bandwagon. My ABC’s are based on a Young Adult list. As you know, that’s the forte I love. Maybe you’ve already completed part of this list. I know I can check a couple of them off.

Now, I don’t have descriptions. BUT! If you click the Goodreads links they will take you to the book description, so click away, find new books to put on your list, or even make this a To Read check list.

 

A…

Ash Princess
Author: Laura Sebastian

ash princess

   Goodreads        Amazon        Barnes and Noble

 

B…

Broken Beautiful Hearts
Author: Kami Garcia

Broken Beautiful Hearts

 Goodreads         Amazon      Barnes and Noble

 

C…

Children of Blood and Bone
Author: Tome Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone

Goodreads       Amazon       Barnes and Noble

 

D…

Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken

Darkest Minds

Goodreads        Amazon        Barnes and Noble

 

E…

Echoes
Author: Alice Reeds

Echoes

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F…

Flame in the Mist
Author: Renee Ahdieh

Flame in the Mist

Goodreads       Amazon       Barnes and Noble

 

G…

The Gathering
Author: Kelley Armstrong

The Gathering

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H…

Holding Up the Universe
Author: Jennifer Niven

Goodreads         Amazon          Barnes and Noble

 

I…

Ink and Bone
Author: Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone

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J…

Just One Day
Author: Gayle Foreman
Just One Day

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K…

Kissed by An Angel
Author: Elizabeth Chandler

Kissed by an Angel

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L…

Love & Luck
Author: Jenna Evans Welch

Love and Luck

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M…

Monday’s Not Coming
Author: Tiffany D. Jackson

Monday's Not Coming

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N…

Nyxia
Author: Scott Reintgen

Nyxia

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O…

One of Us is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus

One of Us is Lying

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P…

Poison Princess
Author: Kresley Cole

Poison Princess

Goodreads          Amazon          Barnes and Noble

Q…

The Queen’s Rising
Author: Rebecca Ross

Queen's Rising

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R…

Roar
Author: Cora Carmack

Roar

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S…

Sweep
Author: Cate Tieran
Sweep

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T…

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han

To All the Boy I've Loved Before

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U…

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

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V…

Vengance
Author: Megan Miranda

Vengeance

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W…

The Wish List
Author: Eoin Colfer

Wish List - svenlib.sandy.ru

Goodreads          Amazon          Barnes and Noble

 

X…

X-Isle
Author: Steve Augarde

X-Isle

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Y…

You Will Be Mine
Author: Natasha Preston

You Will Be Mine

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Z…

Zenith
Author: Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings

Zenith

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A couple of these I’ve got on my cue list to read and a few others I really want to add to it. There are a couple I’ve read like Children of Blood and Bone, The Wish List, Poison Princess (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve already geeked out about this book. Rereading the series right now actually.), and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and I think they are great to add to this list.

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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Mirror Mirror on the Wall (Devoured – A Book Review)

Devoured
Author: Amanda Marrone
Published: 2009

On Goodreads

Devoured

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Half bolt

 

There’s always one bad apple.

Since the car accident years ago, Megan has been trying to move on with her life. It hasn’t gone well. Her mother is obsessed with dog dancing competitions. Her dad has been in a coma since the accident. And Remy, Megan’s twin sister, has been haunting from beyond the grave.

Now, she’s gotten a job at an amusement park. Of course, she didn’t get the job to keep tabs on her boyfriend and his best friend (who admitted her undying love to him). And the cute boy, Luke, who works there too (and whom her friend likes) doesn’t matter either. Nope. She just wants a normal summer job experience before she goes off to college.

When Remy starts saying weird things and causes things to break, Megan has to figure out what’s going on. People are missing and with Remy’s violent outbursts, Megan just knows somebody is going to be next, but who? She knows she should avoid Luke, but he may be the only that can help her.

 

Megan isn’t the typical teenage girl. Or at least I don’t think talking to ghosts is typical. Neither is a magic mirror. Yep, that’s right. A magic mirror. If you’re thinking about Snow White then you’d be in the right area. This book stems from the fairy tale. In this book, Snow White is a true story and that pesky mirror is actually a prison for the djinn inside of it.

 

I thought the idea of the mirror being villainous was incredible since its viewed as nothing more than a pawn that is under the Evil Queen’s control. Instead, the mirror is the one in control, causing paranoia and fear with its visions of the future. The other connections to the fairy tale with Megan being as fair as Snow White and the family related to the woodsman was a great tie-in since the book wasn’t a retelling.Devoured - fandoms

The writing really had me on the fence. There were times when the writing kind of dozed off. Some bits came off as pointless in regard to the story and I didn’t understand them. Megan’s love triangle with her boyfriend and his best friend, for example. It was just awkward. This issue that Megan had with them didn’t feel like it was any part of the main plot. It came and went and I didn’t get any strong feeling that Megan truly cared, especially since this relationship was so new. There was just no real attachment, I felt.

The style, however, was witty and funny at times, lightening the story up some when at other times it got scarily dark. Remy is one terrifying little girl, and I’m talking on a Supernatural level. The psychic energy was strong in this book, which was cool. I haven’t read many books that include the psychic ability. That last one I read was back in high school and it was Dark Visions by L. J. Smith. So, getting to read another novel that included this was great.

Unbreakable

Megan was at times a curious character, but overall, I wasn’t a fan of her. While I understood her heartache after everything she’d been through, she was quite bratty at times. I loved her best friend, Nicki, and the cute boy, Luke. Luke was swoon worthy and Nicki was outright hilarious. There were a few times when she’d say something I’d say. So, there was a fair share of those I liked and didn’t.

Overall

This wasn’t some Disney movie. Nope. It was pretty twisted and quite surprising at times. I liked this book and yet, I didn’t. The villain was pretty awesome. For the first time in a long while, I really dug him and thought he was cool. The djinn was such a trickster. I liked him more than the other characters. And as a side note, the cover was a little confusing. As you can see, it’s Megan between two boys while holding an apple. So…there’s no apple involved in the book. Also, only one boy got seriously involved in the mysterious ghost-psychic mystery and overcoming of tragedy. All in all, the cover makes no sense, though the color scheme is vibrant and beautifully dark. This book had me feeling all kinds of mixed up.

 

Quotables:

“…Anyone with more than twenty lawn gnomes in their yard was most definitely a psycho, not a psychic.” (Nicki, p. 30)

“Land of Enchantment isn’t just about stereotypically helpless women in need of rescue—there’s Hansel and Gretel’s Haunted Forest, which is more of a celebration of child abuse and cannibalism, and the petting zoo in Mother Goose’s Family Fun Farm, which is all E. coli, all the time!” (Ari, p. 37)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Good Girl by Carrie Underwood.

 

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Even In Your Sleep (Down a Dark Hall – Book Review)

Down a Dark Hall
Author: Lois Duncan
Published: 1974

On Goodreads

Down a Dark Hall

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

The terror is real only in her dreams.

Kit is dropped off at Blackwood School for Girls along with others. Each of them possess unique traits. Strange things begin happening around the grounds. Kit is having weird dreams and sleep walking. With each passing day, it gets stranger. She knows evil lurks down the dark halls, but she only sees it when she’s asleep. How can she escape? How can she get free if no one will believe her when her fears are only in her dreams? Or are they?

Like Duncan’s other books that I’v read, this was pretty good. She brought the supernatural element again to one of her novels. The dark halls of Blackwood are chilling and creepy. There are many unexplainable instances. Sleepwalking. Dreams of dead people. And becoming oddly talented and skilled at something you typically aren’t.

Kit experiences all of this and she’d love to run away. Her parents dumped her on the doorstep of this private school and didn’t look back as they to go on their honeymoon. Jerkfaces. Lucky for Kit, she made some friends. I really like the story. As you progress, the story intensifies until BAM! Everything breaks loose and Kit is feeling helpless.

With supernatural forces at work, I’m a little unnerved. Losing control is scary. It’s a feeling that can make anybody go over the edge, which is exactly what happens with Kit and her friends.

I found the characters to be quite like-able…except for Headmistress Madame Duret. She can go jump in a ditch because there is a special place for a person that lets ghosts possess teenagers. Kit was a strong-headed girl and has no time for bullshit. She also doesn’t leave her friends behind, which puts her in a high place on my list.

Each of the girls were having different things happening to them that were unexplainable. Kit was hearing music everywhere. Her closest friend, Sandy, was creating poetry, which doesn’t seem all that bad, but it was in foreign languages. The other girls, too. It was alarming and I wanted to figure this book out more. When I did, I was surprised. They weren’t just experiencing supernatural events but were pulled into them, getting possessed by ghosts. And being in the front seat of that was crazy!

This also just came out as a movie. I’m kind of intrigued. Ghosty movies are always chilling to me and I would love to see the differences between it and the book.

Down a Dark Hall

The style Duncan has with her books is one that I love. Incredibly simple and attention grabbing. She knows all the tricks to make a person go investigate the dark and creepy places, though they probably shouldn’t. There’s bread crumbs of curiosity behind with a twist of scary. And the TWIST! There always a twist, and Duncan did NOT disappoint. It gets me going and like it. This was also a quick read. Her novels aren’t usually long.

Overall

While I can’t say this is some epic literary piece, it was pretty epic. Period. She really approached the teen slasher/supernatural genre with great skill. These are instant classics in my opinion. A fun read to indulge in when you want goosebumps, like a story you tell around the campfire.

Quotables:

“Somewhere in the quiet dormitory someone had shrieked, In pain? In terror? Perhaps only from a nightmare, and yet, perhaps for some other reason. For—help?” (p. 42)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Help I’m Alive by Metric

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