Cover Image: The Babysitter

The Babysitter

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Member Reviews

This was a great psychological thriller that hooked me in from the first few pages.
The story is told from different points of views from each of the main characters and resolves around Mark a policeman, Melissa his wife and Jade the Babysitter.
A well deserved 5 stars from me.
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Jade kinda slithered her way into the Cain’s family. She wanted to be part of the family and so she found a way in. This was evident from the beginning of the story when readers are introduced to the family and to Jade. We quickly learn about her motives and then wait with bated breath to see what would happen next. Would her plans succeed? What exactly did she have in mind for this family? It was obvious that the Cains were in trouble. I kept waiting for them to find out what was really going on. At the same time, I watched with trepidation as the family fell apart clearly knowing that things could only get worse. I was especially mortified as I watched Melissa fall apart. You would have to read the book to know what I mean by this.

The story is narrated through alternating POVs between Melissa, Mark and Jade. As expected, one of the narrations was pretty dark. However, it helped in providing information about the baddie. We get some background information and insight into their dark thoughts. The other narrations reflected the effect that Jade was having on the young family.  Mark’s narration bugged me just a bit. I think the fact that he was a detective and his inability to see what was happening right under his roof seemed off to me. I liked his personality though but I felt as if his portrayal was a bit unrealistic and this made me a little frustrated by this character.

This was a tense read in that readers know that there is a storm coming. The antagonist is revealed from the start so this wasn’t a case of finding out the who. It was more focused on the what. What will Jade do next?  What will happen to Cain and his family? What will save the family?  The Babysitter ended up being a disturbing but captivating read.  Watching the events play out was chilling. I especially found myself feeling nervous for the other characters especially the kids in the family.

Although I do prefer books where the identity of the baddie remains a mystery until the end, I think the author did a great job in making this an interesting read even without big, shocking twists/reveals.
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A truly enjoyable and gripping book. I read it in a day because I read well into the night! Mark and Melissa's neighbours house burns down so she temporarily moves in with them. But they badly need a babysitter so it becomes a long-term arrangement. Mark is a police officer but doesn't see what's going on in his own house. Is Melissa going out of her mind? Who is the babysitter really? Are Mark's and Melissa's two daughters safe? What about the missing little girl from Mark's current investigation? Read on!!!! Thanks Netgalley and Bookouture for allowing me to read this book. HIGHLY recommended.
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Grace, age 13, is the only survivor of a house fire that claimed the lives of her parents and her little sister.  Detective Inspector Mark Cain has helped to reassure the frightened girl that all will be OK.

Years later

Mark and Melissa Cain now have two children, 7-year-old, Poppy, and 6-week-old, Evie.  When a fire erupts in their neighbor’s house, Mark is able to rescue a cat and the owner, a young woman named Jade is grateful for his help.

As a new mother, Melissa, is overwhelmed at times taking care of both girls and working making her sculptures.  When they realize that their neighbor, Jade, is now homeless until repairs can be made to her home, they invite her in and she blends right into the family taking care of the children, the house, cooking, and helping Melissa.  It appears that Melissa tends to be rather fragile as their first baby had died at six months which send her spiraling into depression.

Soon, Melissa starts becoming depressed, sleeping a lot, and acting strange.  Mark loves her so much and is very worried about her.  With his busy job and the case of a missing child that is demanding much of his time, he is pleased when the calm and efficient Jade is there to keep his home running and caring for his wife and daughters.  What would they do without Jade?

But are things as perfect as they appear?   Who is this young woman they invited into their home and their lives? 

This is a good story that builds and keeps the reader’s attention.  The tension will have you biting your nails.  My only complaint is that this family would be so gullible as to invite an unknown into their family without checking them out first.  But, then again, it wouldn’t have made the story, now would it?

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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This suspenseful thriller is like a train wreck. You don't really want to see the damage, but you can't help yourself and look anyway. Throughout the whole of the novel, I was screaming at the characters to open their eyes and see what was happening. 

Now let me ask you, ladies especially -- would you really take a near stranger into your home and put her in charge of your children?? NO WAY. Especially if she was young and pretty and seemed the answer to an overworked mother's dream. So when Melissa and Mark Cain try to help their poor neighbor who was burned out of her home by a fire, you just KNOW that nothing good is going to come of this. They are too nice and you sense the menace of Jade immediately. Would you check references before you hire on a nanny -- of course you would. But, do they? Oh no, they are so happy to have some help in their busy and chaotic lives.

What Jade does to this family is pure evil. Should we overlook Jade's past and excuse her behavior? I don't think so! Even as the chapters roll by and as you are glued to the book  to see what heinous act Jade will pull next, you can't help but turn the pages as fast as you can to see if she is successful at being such a master manipulator and a shrewd planner. 

This book was great fun to read because, even as you knew (hoped) that Jade would be outed and taken out before she could ruin the family, you weren't quite sure what damage she would leave behind. What I didn't understand was how Mark and Melissa so totally missed the clues and evidence that Jade was not the paragon she seemed to be. When everything started to fall apart right after Jade came to live with them, I was sure that one of them would be suspicious. But, oh no, we had to go through a lot of drama. Nevertheless, I guess it wouldn't have been such a story if they had!

You can read this in a couple of hours and I can honestly say that I enjoyed it though there is one character I would have liked to see get his comeuppance! And, I'm a little worried about Dylan...

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the e-book to read and review.
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Loved the book from start to finish. One of those ones you can feel yourself screaming at the characters to wake up and see whats happening right in front of them. Had a great thriller storyline. Nice characters who were all very different. Based around a lovely couple with 2 daughters. How can lives be destroyed by a babysitter who is perfect. Or is she? Could see this being a top seller, highly recommend
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Mark Cain, a police officer, and Melissa Cain, a mom of two/business owner, have the perfect babysitter, Jade, fall into their lap. It seems Jade came at the perfect time, with Melissa slipping into depression and Mark working long hours and was the best thing to happen to the couple and their children.

This book is told from multiple points of view. I have a rocky relationship with books written in this fashion, but this one pulls it off and it seems that it is necessary to propel the story forward. Things continuing spiraling downward in this thriller and the conclusion to what is going on comes at an appropriate time, not leaving a ton of extra pages to read through to wrap up, which I appreciate. There were a few things that stopped me from giving this book a higher rating, the first being that Mark is a detective, why did he not figure out what was going on sooner? Was he so consumed with his job that he paid NO attention to his home life? The second was how Melissa did not search to figure out what was going on with her body. The book explains that she had a bad experience(s) with doctors previously, but I feel like that is kind of a trash explanation. Outside of those two things, I enjoyed the book. I found myself mentally yelling at the characters at points, which tells me I was relatively involved in the story, which of course is a good thing. I was not all consumed, and I would not refer to this book as unputdownable or a “page turner” but it was generally a good read. Thank you to the publisher, the author and Netgalley for allowing me to read this book as an ARC.
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I adore this cover!!!! The simplicity of it but it totally encapsulates underlying themes in this stunning psychological thriller.

Sheryl Browne really knows how to create a psychopath and how to destroy a family! You tell quite early on that Jade is up to no good but why is the question…..Sometimes it’s not about the who, it’s about the how…with Jade it is definitely about the what’s she going to do next?! She is a loose cannon, ready to explode. As the front cover suggests, she’s perfect, just too perfect!!

I thought the other characters were perfectly crafted.  Mark the loving father and husband….a busy detective, maybe a little too trusting. Melissa, a mother recently given birth struggling to adjust to life with two kids, paranoid about her appearance – I could identify with her. Their marriage is the epitome of normal! Before the arrival of Storm Jade who turned their lives upside down.

By the end of this highly addictive psychological thriller, my heart was racing with all the events in the closing stages.  Sheryl Browne had me hooked on The Babysitter.   I can’t wait for her next book!!!
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Whenever I read a thriller from Sheryl Browne, it severely disturbs my sleep patterns – in fact, I blame her entirely for the black circles under my eyes today. “Unputdownable” is a much overused word, but it just has to be used for this one – oh my goodness.

One of the author’s greatest strengths is her ability to create strong and believable characters, to draw you into their world (kicking and screaming, in this case), and then to place you right in the centre of the action, feeling everything that they do. And it’s never a particularly pleasant place to be, but she does it so very well. After the really striking and disturbing prologue, I particularly liked the way she told this story – three viewpoints with Mark, his wife Melissa, and babysitter-from-hell Jade. For the reader, it’s just fascinating to be party to Jade’s nasty and twisted thinking – it’s so cleverly done, keeping you one step ahead of everyone else in the story, and makes every twist and turn even more shocking.

The issues of loss, depression and mental illness are so well handled, sensitively but with a feel of absolute authenticity – I cared so much about Mark and Melissa that it really hurt, aghast at the way they were being manipulated. The writing, as always, is quite superb – smoothly readable, emotions perfectly represented to the extent that you feel them too, every exchange wonderfully done. This was a really disturbing but absolutely compelling read – a little different, and unreservedly recommended to all thriller fans (just don’t start reading before bed, like I did…!).
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5☆ Wow!!!

The Babysitter is a fantastic read. It's creepy, kept me guessing, cleverly written, suspenseful.

The Babysitter is written in short sharp chapters consisting of the Mark (The Father & DI), Mel  (The mother) and Jade the babysitter.

I really can't go into detail incase I give too much away.
But what I will say is Jade is a force to be reckoned with.
She's Minipulative, Evil creepy, underhanded, secretive and she wants Mel out if the way! 

I read a Review that mentions it's like the hand that rocks the cradel. I can honestly say that after reading it I have to agree.
I think this book might even be better.
Definetly think it would make a fantastic film.

There are a few stories that are running alongside the main story. But they are all so cleverly weaved together I didn't suspect a thing.

I've read a few stories involving children lately but this is bar far the most creepiest and could quiet easily be real.

It's full of intrigue, a perfect psychological thriller that once you pick up you won't be able to put down!

Highly recommend this suspenseful Thriller! Enjoy! 

Thank you to Bookouture for this copy which I reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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I do love to read a good psychological thriller and the premise of this new book sounded right up my alley. The opening scenes are very dramatic, a fire burning on a house as a young child looks on in fear. We meet a man who is set to become one of the central characters, Mark Cain, who is called to the scene of the fire to investigate. The scenes here are shocking, the images they leave in your mind not pleasant. It is not gratuitous in its telling, but the facts of the story are very stark and very sad.

Fast forward a few years and Mark is faced with another fire, this time at the home of his next door neighbour, Jade. Mark and his wife Melissa are parents to a new baby, and Melissa is glad to provide shelter to Jade in exchange for help with looking after the children while she returns to work. But all is not as it seems and what seems to be the answer to their prayers, could turn out to be their worst nightmare.

Now I will be honest, I had guessed very quickly where this story was heading and it didn't surprise me when certain events started to take place. The story is told from varying points of view, mainly Mark, Melissa and Jade, and all bring a new element to the plot and a very different perspective. Melissa has been crafted well, developed as someone suffering from depression and struggling to cope with life. As the story progresses she begins to doubt herself and the things which happen to her do add an element of tension to the story as you wonder just how far things will go before they come to a head.

Mark is an interesting character. I did find myself drawn to him very quickly. He has a giving nature but is also quick to temper, especially where one of his colleagues is concerned as he has pride in his career in the Police Service and seeing anyone abuse that is hard for him. However, his commitment to the job, and especially investigating the disappearance of a young girl, do lead to him missing the blindingly obvious at home. His stress levels are high but his love for Melissa and his children is never in doubt.

Jade ... where to begin with Jade? To be fair she is a hard character to discuss without giving away too much. She has a difficult past for sure, and as her voice takes over the narrative you quickly get the measure of her as a person. Whether you like her or not ... well you'll have to decide for yourselves. They say don't look a gift horse in the mouth but also beware the cuckoo in the nest. Read into that what you will.

A good proportion of the book is spent in setting up the story and I do feel here this could have been pulled in a little to bring the pacing up just a notch. That said, when the action gets going it really gets going and the feeling of jeopardy, the angst which is felt by the characters, leaps from the page. Mark's career is hanging in the balance, his family's life at stake and he has no idea from who or why. And there are one or two ewwww moments too, one especially that might have you looking sideways at your Danepak in a morning.

All in all a really good and intriguing read and my first from Sheryl Browne. I look forward to reading more from the author in the future.
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As soon as good ol' Jade came on the scene, I had her cards marked. There was just something so shifty about her and to begin with, I had absolutely no idea why. Sometimes not knowing is often a good thing....

What a toe-curling read this was! I have to say that I did find the psychologically dark theme regarding the children, very difficult to swallow and hard to read - I am only human after all! I actually found Mark to be a bit of a wuss considering what he did for a day job! For a man who says he loves his wife and trusts her with his life, he seemed to doubt Melissa a lot quicker than I would have thought. But hey, what do I know?

I couldn't put 'The Babysitter' down, even when I was reading the book with a muckle frown on my face - Sheryl Browne totally held me hostage with her storyline and her multi-dimensional characters.

I have to be really vague with my review, as 'The Babysitter' is yet another book which has a lot of details linked to multiple events within the storyline, with a lot of minor details entwined with things readers may flag up as important later on. 

I have to say that, whilst there were parts of the storyline which weren't really my cup of tea, I did enjoy reading the majority of 'The Babysitter'. I was pleasantly surprised by how intense and gripping the story was, especially as the author maintained that throughout the entire book. I loved how fast paced it was as well, leaving no room for pregnant pauses or time for me to twiddle my thumbs. Definitely a major plus point for me!

All in all, 'The Babysitter' glued me to its words like good ol' PVA, filling my arms with goosebumps, and making my mood incredibly dark. Without even realising, I had invested a lot of myself into Sheryl Browne's latest novel, blurring the line between fiction and reality. I am really impressed that the author managed to make me think that some of the events were actually happening for real, right in front of me. That said, I was also a little disturbed!

Definitely a gritty, suspenseful and more-ish read from Sheryl Browne - I cannot wait to read more from this author!
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I was given an ecopy of this book by Kim at Bookouture, Sheryl's publishers; in exchange for an honest review.  This is something I'm more than happy to do. 

It is no secret that I love Sheryl's writing, she has the ability to shock me and then some - each book leaving me with palpitations and an after-shock.  This book was slightly different in that the horror and destruction that comes into the lives of Melissa and Mark and their children Poppy and baby Evie comes from within.

Meet Jade, homeless after a house fire she is rescued by Mark and invited into their home.  She is gorgeous, kind and very soon becomes an invaluable help to the family before taking on a role as a full-time, live in babysitter.  But.......she's a little to wholesome to be true and manages to unravel the tight knit family as easy as dropping a ball of wool.

This was a book that had me cussing and cursing, silently berating and muttering throughout - it was scarily frightening how easy their lives fell apart, doubting each other and second guessing their own sanity.  With Mark grateful that his children had got the love and care of Jade, 'the babysitter' as his wife loses the ability to function and care for her family or herself.  If only he knew.......I repeatedly wanted to shake him, wanting him to see what was happening around him.  The pressures of his job as a detective and his home-life meant he took his eye off the ball allowing Jade a way in!

Jade played them both, in a sickly twisted way.  I felt helpless and disgusted as Sheryl took me on an uncomfortable, voyeuristic journey as she allowed Jade to systematically chip away at Melissa's and Mark's life.

I don't think I've read a book in such a long time where I've disliked a character quite so much, Jade has a pure evil centre wrapped in a delicious coating. This is a book that built momentum, I found myself reading quicker wanting to get to the end in order to stop the torment. To watch the happy, connected family become separate entities unable to function in their rightful way was painful.  A sickenly, twisted story that has reality at the heart of it.  I always take people at face value - I'm now thinking there's a lot to be said for those that save judgement. 

Thank you so much Sheryl for writing another totally absorbing read that fully engaged my vivid imagination and sense of judgement - a story that shook my values to the core,
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Absolutely loved it! Kept me guessing! Written very well. Found it to be a very quick read. Would read more from this author for sure!
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The book is about evil wicked babysitter named Jade, who came into Mark Cain’s family life all of sudden. Melissa, Mark’s wife, mom of two kids, without considering her suspicious history, assigned her as a babysitter. Live in babysitter. Imagine, she’s good with kids, beautiful and caring. Who can resist, right? After Jade came into their life, their life start to change. Melissa and Mark start to fight a lot, they become stranger to each other, Melissa has this psychiatric condition that worsen fast, and Mark has this work problem. All of this, absolutely, Jade’s doing. Like I said, she’s wicked and evil. 

I thought this one will fall into mu DNF category. But thanks to Jade, I can survive till the ending. Eventhough we all know who’s the bad guy from the very beginning, I still feel the thrill for the book because of Jade. I just still can’t believe there is people like Jade. She’s really sick. How can someone do it so smoothly is unreal and probably made this book a little  unrealistic, but I kind of enjoy loathing her. 

My favorite part in this book is about mental health. This book tells us much more about how to cope with family that has it. And it’s not that easy. I can tell how it feels like crazy for Melissa, being an antipsychotic user and his family. This is an interesting view for a book, and this made me try harder to finish this one (apart my “amazement” on Jade) 

The book is well written. But it’s missing some magic, some of its conversations are dull. Also eventhough some scenes made me want to read faster, some scenes bored the hell out of me. So I give this 3.0 stars 

I reveived this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I absolutely love the premise for this one, the idea that a couple has let someone into their home to work with their children that has less than honorable intentions, it’s terrifying! Jade seems like the perfect babysitter for Mark and Mel’s children, but she’s too perfect and you know what they say about if something seems too good to be true…

This was an extremely fast paced and exciting read, I read it in just two sittings and only then had to stop to deal with real life otherwise it would’ve been a one sitting read. It had super short chapters which is always a favorite of mine and Jade was the type of character you just love to hate. She was manipulative and deplorable and you know right away she’s up to no good but what intrigued me was wondering what her motivations were and also what her master plan was, what was her end game? I thought I had it all worked out by Browne threw me for a loop with some surprises that were unexpected. I really loved how things all came together in the end and the final chapter was particularly special, clever lady!

The Babysitter in three words: Sinister, Engaging and Sly
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The Babysitter by Sheryl Browne, OMG, OMG what an emotive psychological thriller. 

Why Sheryl, why did you do it, that bloody prologue, a huge sucker punch to the gut hauling my thoughts through a series of emotions even before I hit the first chapter. A taster of what was to come.

Jade is a young woman who has recently moved into the cottage next door to the Cain family. An unfortunate incident occurs when Jades house burns down, now homeless Jade is offered a place to stay with Mel & 
Mark. Upon accepting Jade becomes the live-in Babysitter to baby Evie and seven year old Poppy and all seems to be going well, until Mel starts to show signs of depression. Mel struggles to complete daily tasks for her children and Jade begins to take control and becomes closer to Mark, is it all a coincidence or is something sinister going on.

Jade as a character has been portrayed as a master manipulator intent on destroying Mel’s family to gain a new family, Mel’s family. Jade is evil personified, compounded by her thoughts which we are privy to when she is plotting her next moves. If I am honest I did feel a little sorry for Jade but also horrified when the discover of Jades past became known.

Mel & Mark are characteristic of a normal family who have there ups and down, they have suffered a loss in the past, struggled to gain control of their lives but have become a strong family unit. With this in mind I wondered how Mel managed to appear so unconnected with what was happening around her, at times I felt like screaming at the book ‘open yours eyes, can you not see’. I know depression and anxiety can cause major issues with your mental health, the vulnerability of Mel actually switched on my head like a light bulb, this could be me.

I envisioned Mark as a strong but gentle character who would do anything for his family, the policeman in him yearns for him to protect, to protect his family and Jade has become part of that family. Mark I would say is more blinkered than anyone other character in the book, for being a policeman he can’t seem to grasp what’s right under his nose, but is that an intentional trait or is in part because of Jade.

I don’t know how Sheryl does it but the chill surging through my veins, the haunting adrenaline bound tension, wrenched my heart with fear and sadness, hurtling my thoughts around and around. It was futile to try and stop reading.

I would like to thank Bookouture, Sheryl Browne and Kim Nash for the opportunity to be part of the Blog tour for The Babysitter, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the advanced readers copy, all my opinion’s of The Babysitter are my own and totally unbiased.
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OMG this has to be my favourite Sheryl Browne book....

I am a massive fan of Sheryl Browne's DI Matthews series and I couldn't wait to get stuck into The Baby Sitter which is a standalone psychological thriller the author brings us something totally different with this unputdownable story which is fan-flipping-tastic.  

In this story we meet mother of Poppy, Melissa. Her husband and police officer Mark, who are struggling to juggle their work load around the upbringing and looking after their daughter. Until Jade the Babysitter comes along and is more than happy to help with Poppy and day to day tasks.

The reader is fully aware that Mark has meet Jade before so there I am thinking yeah, yeah I know where this story is going! But I was that gripped and intrigued I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what was going to happen...Then BOOM the story takes a twist I wasn't expecting...How wrong was I !!!

The story is told with alternating chapters between the characters with each chapter leaving you wanting more. The tension build up is out of this world with plenty of OMG moments which will have your pulse racing.

Jade is one bitter and twisted person she made me so angry I just wanted to punch her. I love it when a character gets under your skin!

Fans of  psychological thrillers are seriously going to love this book. I know I did and it  ticked all the boxes for me. Which I cannot recommend enough giving it 5 massive stars. 

Well done Sheryl you have totally nailed it!

Thank you to Kim Nash for inviting me to take part in this fab blitz
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The Babysitter by Sheryl Browne is a psychological thriller but what I think readers need to know going into this one is that it isn’t the type to shock and awe but more to entertain. The story to me was one that was fairly straightforward instead of full of shocking twists and turns but that in no way meant that I didn’t enjoy reading it.

As the book begins we meet the players in here that alternate the point of view in the book. Mark is a police officer who is married to Melissa with whom they have two small children and a happy marriage when we meet them. Jade is a young woman who had just moved into the neighborhood that the couple had really only seen in passing until now.

One night Mark spots that Jade’s house is on fire and being a police officer he feels the pull to help. While Jade and Melissa and the girls watch the first responders fight the fire Mark runs off to save Jade’s cat. When it’s all said and done Jade needs somewhere to go so Melissa invites her inside beginning the psychological warfare that awaits the readers.

With the point of view changing between the trio of key players in the book it immediately becomes obvious that Jade has a dark side and would be the one to watch in the story. Being fairly straightforward what one finds here is just the anticipation of how far the games will go and to what extreme.

To make a sports analogy out of this one I’d say it’s like going to the hockey game and waiting for the inevitable fight to break out, or an auto race and waiting for the big crash. You just know the story is building to an explosion and it’s a matter of getting to that point in the book. Will this be for every reader? Probably not. But for myself I found this one an entertaining trip to the dark side.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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If there is such a word as "unputdownable" this book is it ! I was hooked from the very start even though Jade did make me want to scream !! I thoroughly recommend this
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