Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥'s Reviews > Vicious

Vicious by V.E. Schwab
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it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy-series

”Someone could call themselves a hero and still walk around killing dozens. Someone else could be labelled a villain for trying to stop them. Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

(Just in case you actually want to read my full review. *lol* You can read it here!)

This is easily one of the best books I’ve read in 2019 and that’s quite something, because I already read so many other awesome books this year. To give “Vicious” 5 stars was a no-brainer though and I’m very glad that my reading buddy saw it the same way. As it seems we were both hooked right from the beginning and the longer we read, the more we immersed ourselves in the story.

I thought long and hard about the many reasons I liked this so much and I think it’s mostly due to the way it was written. V.E. Schwab made her story some sort of puzzle and the longer you read, the more is revealed and every piece eventually falls into place. It wasn’t until I started to write down a few of the quotes that I finally realized why I could relate to her writing style so much. XD It felt like reading one of my forum role-play games. *lol*

Let me explain a little bit more: There are people that will write short posts that cover the basics and then there are people that will write an entire character with its background story and play it out in 900 – 1.000 word posts that stretch over the course of years, sometimes even decades. Yes, you already guessed right, I’m the latter one. ;-P And so it’s no surprise I was intrigued by V.E. Schwab’s handiwork.

There’s a certain depth to her characters you never actually see on the pages, but it’s all there, in their actions, the way they behave. In the way they talk and interact with each other. There’s an entire background story and we get it piece by piece, little by little, but never all of it and to say I was captivated by this would be the understatement of the century. XD I lived and breathed for it, I tasted blood and I crave for more!!! <3

Next time I’m at the library I’m going to pre-order “Vengeful” and if it’s only half as good as “Vicious” I shall be more than just fine! ;-) This said, I’ll go right into my character’s section because damn, there’s a lot to discuss! XD

The characters:

Welcome to my spoilery spoiler section! Take a seat, make yourself comfortable and enjoy the show! Be warned though, I’m at least as fierce as Victor when it comes to book characters and just like him I won’t sugar-coat things and spoil you not only thoroughly but also relentlessly! ;-P

Eli Cardale (Ever):

”Well, when you wonder something,” said Eli, “doesn’t that mean part of you wants to believe in it? I think we want to prove things, in life, more than we want to disprove them. We want to believe.”

I didn’t like Eli which actually made him the perfect villain. *lol* The funny thing is that I’m pretty certain he’s more human and compassionate than Victor, yet this also seems to be the main reason why he’s worse than him. Am I already confusing you? XD Okay, let me put it this way, whilst Victor’s analytical mind controls his actions the same can’t be said about Eli. When the shit hits the fan Eli is following his gut feeling and because he believes he’s doing the right thing he goes through with it and never second guesses his decisions. I’d even go as far as to say that Eli is some sort of religious fanatic and that he sanctions his actions by his belief. And what is more human and more powerful than people’s beliefs? There are centuries of history that prove how many bad things have been done in the name of religion and Eli’s character is some kind of embodiment of it. He lives by his principles and this doesn’t only make him a very dangerous man, it also makes him very human. Eli is on a mission and everyone who interferes with it will be the next victim on his Ever-growing list. ;-) (see what I did there?! *lol*)

”On the surface, Eli seemed perfectly normal, but now and then Victor would catch a crack, a sideways glance, a moment when his roommate’s face and his words, his look and his meaning, would not line up. Those fleeting slices fascinated Victor. It was like watching two people, one hiding in the other’s skin. And their skin was always too dry, on the verge of cracking and showing the color of the thing beneath.”

”A hero. Wasn’t he? Heroes saved the world from villains, from evil. Heroes sacrificed themselves to do it. Was he not bloodying his hands and his soul to set the world right? Did he not sacrifice himself every time he stripped away an EO’s stolen life?”

”I died begging for the strength to survive, and it was granted. But it’s a trade, Professor, with God or the devil, and I’ve paid for my gift with the lives of my friends. Every EO has sold a part of themselves they can never have back. Don’t you see?” He knelt beside Lyne, whose fingers twitched. “I can’t let anyone else sin so heinously against nature.”

Victor Vale:

”She watched him as he worked, his touch impossibly light, as if he was afraid of breaking her. Everything about him was light – his skin, his hair, his eyes, his hands as they danced through the air above her skin, touching her only when absolutely necessary.”

I absolutely ADORED AND LOVED Victor Vale!!! <333 What an intriguing and morally grey character! I just loved the way he thought! His analytical and cunning mind was everything I ever craved for and even more and I just couldn’t get enough of his character. I loved that he was so unapologetic and that he knew exactly who he was. Yes, he tried to blend in with the others, but he never claimed to be something that he wasn’t. If you ask me I’d say Victor is a psychopath, at least if you consider all the typical signs of it. Then again Eli certainly was one too. He might have been more empathic than Victor but whilst Vic knew what was expected of him, Eli ultimately seemed more inclined to ignore human morals than to follow them. I loved how Victor questioned his actions, how he paused to think if what he did was right or wrong, how he weighted both sides against each other and then eventually decided to do what his logic told him. He was vicious and brutal, but he could also be gentle and caring and boy, did I live for that moral ambiguity. *lol*

”The paper called Eli a hero.
The word made Victor laugh. Not just because it was absurd, but because it posed a question. If Eli really was a hero, and Victor meant to stop him, did that make him a villain?
He took a sip of his drink, tipped his head back against the couch, and decided he could live with that.”


”Victor watched his friend, mesmerized by the transformation. He himself could mimic most emotions and pass them off as his, but mimicking only went so far, and he knew he could never match this … fervor.”

”You can’t kill me, Victor,” said Eli. “You know that.”
Victor’s smile widened as he buried his knife between Eli’s ribs.
“I know,” he said loudly. He had to speak up over the screams. “But you’ll have to indulge me. I’ve waited so long to try.”


Sydney:

”That’s what Sydney was giving these people. A second chance.
Her fingers hovered over the dead man’s chest for a moment as she wondered if he deserved a second chance, then chided herself. Who was she to judge or decide or grant or deny? Simply because she could, did that mean she should?”


Poor little Sydney! I felt so sorry for her! She didn’t choose to have a power like that but she was hunted for it nevertheless. I found it interesting that she was so young but already asked herself the right questions. In some way that made her a good counterweight to Victor and Eli. I mean there is this powerful girl and she has no idea what she can do with her abilities or what she’s capable of. She was a very strong character though and I loved her for her defiance. <3 It takes guts to live with a man like Victor and she might have questioned his actions but she was never afraid of him. XD

Serena:

”She looked at Victor’s profile one last time, and tried to picture the man who had once been Eli’s friend, who had brought him back, made him what he was, saved her sister … and for a moment, as she finished dialing Eli’s number, she almost wished he stood a fighting chance.”

Now Serena was a character that caused me to think long and hard as well. On the one hand I liked her for standing up to Eli by charming him to do her will, and on the other hand I disliked her for helping him to find and eliminate his targets. If she was so good at compelling people why didn’t she try to stop Eli for good? She played him, yet at the same time she did what he wanted her to do. Why? Did she really think that this was the only way to save her own skin? Did she truly believe that EO’s are dangerous and that they deserve to die? Her character posed so many questions and to my chagrin none of them were answered. >_< She definitely had one of the best scenes in this book though. The moment Victor killed her and quoted Ulysses was priceless!! <3

The relationships & ships:

Victor & Eli:

”You asked me if I ever wanted to believe in something. I do. I want to believe in this. I want to believe that there’s more.” Victor sloshed a touch of whiskey over the edge of his glass. “That we could be more. Hell, we could be heroes.”
“We could be dead,” said Eli.
“That’s a risk everyone takes by living.”


Ohh those two gave me a lot to wonder about. I’m convinced Victor was in love with Eli and that this was the reason why he wanted his revenge so badly. I mean he was betrayed by the person he loved and to make it even worse Eli didn’t even bother to hear him out. He didn’t give him the benefit of the doubt, no, he ratted him out to the police the moment he knew his girlfriend had died. It was like Eli always expected Victor to go off the rails and only waited for an opportunity to turn on him. Funnily enough it turned out that Eli was the one that actually went off the rails in the end. After all Eli’s girlfriend was the only person Victor killed and this was by accident and not intentional. The same certainly couldn’t be said for Eli though. He killed his victims on purpose and went after them with a vengeance. Sure, once Victor got out of prison his death tally went up as well, he never killed without a purpose or reason though. Which is the main difference between those two. Victor always considered the pros and cons while Eli acted as judge and executioner and didn’t even give his victims a chance to defend themselves, let alone to speak. Now that Eli is in prison I can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen next. I guess I’ll find out once I get my hands on a copy of “Vengeful”. ;-P

”He and Eli were bonded, by blood and death and science. They were alike, more so now than ever. And he had missed Eli. He wanted to see him. And he wanted to see him suffer. He wanted to see the look in Eli’s eyes when he lit them up with pain. He wanted his attention. Eli was like a thorn beneath Victor’s skin, and it hurt. He could turn off every nerve in his body, but Victor couldn’t do a damned thing about the twinge he felt when he thought of Cardale.”

”I don’t want to see Serena,” said Sydney.
“I know,” said Victor. “But I want to see Eli.”
“Why?” she asked. “You can’t kill him.”
“That may be.” His fingers curled around the shovel. “But half the fun is trying.”


Sydney & Victor:

”I’m cold,” she said.
“I’m Victor,” he said, and she offered him a small, exhausted flicker of a smile.


Their relationship was so precious! <3 Victor became some sort of father figure for Sydney and even though she knew that he had a bad moral compass she still trusted him and felt safe with Victor. I loved that he was always so honest with her and didn’t even try to sugar-coat things. He gave her room to come to her own conclusions and he provided a safe environment to live in. In some way that made him an amazing father even though he certainly wasn’t the best choice to raise a kid like her. *lol* Still, those two worked because Sydney acted as some sort of conscience for him and that ultimately made him a better person. XD I wonder if their relationship is going to change after she brought him back from the dead and if yes in which direction it’s going to head. Oh and I just realized that Vic joined Eli in not being able to age. ;-)

”Sydney, look at me.” He rested his hands on the car roof and leaned in. “No one is going to hurt you. Do you know why?” She shook her head, and Victor smiled. “Because I’ll hurt them first.”

”Serena hadn’t told Sydney to go home. She hadn’t told her to run away. She’d told her to go somewhere safe. And over the course of the last week, safe had ceased to be a place for Sydney, and had become a person.
Specifically, safe had become Victor.”


Serena & Eli:

”She pulled away enough to hold him with her cold blue eyes. He could see the devil in them, silver-tongued and cunning, and Eli thought, not for the first time, that he should have killed her when he had the chance.”

Serena and Eli had one of the most abusive relationships I ever witnessed. They both abused each other in equal measure and this was weirdly fascinating. Their dynamic was crazy and they both didn’t hesitate to use their powers in order to get what they wanted. I think in some way they even loved each other, yet they both couldn’t change the way they were. Eli craved to kill Serena but was fascinated by her and Serena wanted to stay alive but couldn’t seem to be able to turn away from Eli. What a stalemate. XD Wicked faerie tongues (like mine) would say Victor relieved them from the trouble of killing each other and they might be right. *lol*

Conclusion:

I loved this and I could kick myself for not reading it sooner! “Vicious” was the amazing start of a compelling story and I can’t wait to read its sequel “Vengeful”. Morally grey characters, a captivating storyline and the omnipresent question of what is right and what is wrong made this a truly thrilling journey! I don’t know about you, but I want more! ;-)

Last but not least I want to thank Mr. Babygreys for another great buddy read! It’s always a pleasure to read books with you and I’m glad our reading habits and preferences are so similar. *lol* We seem to be on a roll, let’s keep those books coming! ;-P
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Quotes Virginia Ronan Liked

Victoria Schwab
“There are no good men in this game.”
Victoria Schwab, Vicious


Reading Progress

July 13, 2017 – Shelved
July 13, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
September 3, 2017 – Shelved as: fantasy-series
July 15, 2019 – Started Reading
July 20, 2019 –
page 26
7.1% ""Those fleeting slices fascinated Victor. It was like watching two people, one hiding in the other's skin. And their skin was always too dry, on the verge of cracking and showing the color of the thing beneath."

OMG this is already so good! <3 I can't wait to read the rest! AND this turned into a buddy read with "Babygrey"! Let's hope he won't pull a Houdini again. *lol*"
July 22, 2019 –
page 56
15.3% ""I'm cold," she said.
"I'm Victor," he said, and she offered him a small, exhausted flicker of a smile.


I think I might be a little bit in love with Victor Vale! *lol* I mean he's so gentle and sweet with Sydney and then he's all like "Oh, and btw I'm going to try to kill Eli." XD"
July 24, 2019 –
page 91
24.86% ""If Eli really was a hero, and Victor meant to stop him, did that make him a villain?
He took a long sip of his drink, tipped his head back against the couch, and decided he could live with that."


That's my boy! *lol* <3"
July 27, 2019 –
page 129
35.25% ""He prided himself on control, but for all his efforts, he hadn't found a way to fully manage his power during sleep. Which is why he didn't sleep, or at least, not much."

Seriously, right now it feels more like Eli might be the villain of this story. I mean wth!? He didn't even hear Victor out. *shakes head*"
July 28, 2019 –
page 172
46.99% ""Victor named him Dol," she said.
"It's a measurement of pain," explained Victor.
"Well, that's morbidly appropriate," said Mitch.


Can I say how much I love those three? 😍 They are everything! ❤"
July 30, 2019 –
page 223
60.93% ""Beneath the drawing ran a single sentence: I made a friend.
Victor."


Hahahahaha! Oh, boy! This really made my day! Jeez! Victor even manages to make stick-men's look intimidating! *lol* I love this! 😂😂"
August 1, 2019 –
page 264
72.13% ""Tell me again about Ever," he said.
The officer met his eyes. "Eli Ever is a hero."
"Well, that's discouraging," huffed Victor.


You gotta admire Victor's style. *lol* I'm kinda becoming a fan of Serena now though. She could be Victor's perfect match. ;-)"
August 3, 2019 –
page 294
80.33% ""Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human."

This quote is so true! XD I'm really enjoying this a LOT! 😍"
August 4, 2019 –
page 323
88.25% ""She looked at Victor's profile one last time, and tried to picture the man who had once been Eli's friend, who had brought him back, made him what he was, saved her sister ... and for a moment, as she finished dialing Eli's number, she almost wished he stood a fighting chance."

Now that's an interesting train of thought. I wonder if Serena could be swayed. *wriggles eyebrows*"
August 8, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-45 of 45 (45 new)

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Autumn I absolutely adored this one and I hope you do too!!


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Autumn wrote: "I absolutely adored this one and I hope you do too!!"

Yay! That sounds great! 😄 I'm glad you loved it so much!


message 3: by Cláudia (new) - added it

Cláudia You go, girl!


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Cláudia wrote: "You go, girl!"

Haha! Thank you, Claudia! 😊


Har.the.rat. just read it a couple weeks ago and I thought it was incredible!


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Har.the.rat. wrote: "just read it a couple weeks ago and I thought it was incredible!"

That sounds amazing! 😊 Everyone and their grandma told me to read this book because I love villains and morally grey characters so I'm really curious now. XD


Rusty Grey Ooh you gonna start it Ginny !! Hope you enjoy it .


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Rusty wrote: "Ooh you gonna start it Ginny !! Hope you enjoy it ."

Yes, that's my intention! *lol* I hope so too but if it's only half as good as everyone claims it to be I'll be a more than just happy camper! 😂


Stacy Fantastic one to start with!!


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Stacy wrote: "Fantastic one to start with!!"

Thank you, Stacy! I'm sure it will be awesome! =)


Glyn Ashworth-Cobban (Updates) OMG Virginia we keep reading books at the same time! XD First City Of Ghosts now this! :) Hope you enjoy it!


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Icarus' Bookshelf (Glynjabin) wrote: "OMG Virginia we keep reading books at the same time! XD First City Of Ghosts now this! :) Hope you enjoy it!"

OMG! You're reading it too? *lol* That's so funny! Guess we have a similar taste in books! xD


Glyn Ashworth-Cobban (Updates) Probably. XD Happy reading! :) (though it's Schwab, so you'll probs love it anyway XD)


Ashley I’m actually struggling with This Savage Song, I just feel like the writing is so... childish? I don’t know. I could freakin slap myself for saying that about a Schwartz book because she is a QUEEN. The shades of magic series and vicious books are among my favorite books of all time! Sigh. I’m trying to finish books that I put “on hold” but I don’t want to end up in a book slump 😣. Anyway, I hope you’re enjoying this!!!!


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Icarus' Bookshelf (Glynjabin) wrote: "Probably. XD Happy reading! :) (though it's Schwab, so you'll probs love it anyway XD)"

Thank you! Happy reading to you too! =) It's only the second Schwab book I'm reading so *lol*!


Glyn Ashworth-Cobban (Updates) Fair enough. You could binge read Schwab's books! XD If you like Mulan retellings I recommend a book called The Hand The Eye And The Heart by Zoë Marriot. Welcome to the Schwab fanclub! :D


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Icarus' Bookshelf (Glynjabin) wrote: "Fair enough. You could binge read Schwab's books! XD If you like Mulan retellings I recommend a book called The Hand The Eye And The Heart by Zoë Marriot. Welcome to the Schwab fanclub! :D"

Haha! Thanks for that nice welcome! XD Yeah, actually that's what I'm kind of doing right now. I started with "City of Ghosts" now I'm reading the "Vicious series" and after that I plan to read "A Darker Shade of Magic" *lol* A Mulan retelling sounds good, I'll check it out! Thanks for the tip! =)


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Ashley wrote: "I’m actually struggling with This Savage Song, I just feel like the writing is so... childish? I don’t know. I could freakin slap myself for saying that about a Schwartz book because she is a QUEEN..."

Thank you, Ashley! So far I'm really loving this one! <3 And I'm sorry to hear you don't enjoy "This Savage Song". I guess it might be for a younger audience? City of Ghosts was okay but it was obivious that it was middle grade when I read it. XD


message 19: by K Roma (new) - added it

K Roma Viktor <3 omg i'm so glad you're reading this book.


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ K Roma wrote: "Viktor <3 omg i'm so glad you're reading this book."

Me too! I could kick myself for not reading it sooner. *lol* 😍


Glyn Ashworth-Cobban (Updates) It's okay. :) If you want to buddy read A Darker Shade Of Magic I'm up for that reread! (I'd have to wait until after 22nd August though so if not it's fine). Hope you enjoy this one! :D (I finished it! Hooray!)


message 22: by Iris (new) - rated it 4 stars

Iris Yasssss I'm so glad you liked it!! Victor and Mitch and Sydney own my heart <3


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Icarus (HIATUS UNTIL 22ND AUGUST) wrote: "It's okay. :) If you want to buddy read A Darker Shade Of Magic I'm up for that reread! (I'd have to wait until after 22nd August though so if not it's fine). Hope you enjoy this one! :D (I finishe..."

Thanks for the offer! I'll come back to it once I'm ready to read it. I definitely want to read "A Darker Shade of Magic" this year, I just have to get to it. *lol* And thank you, I loved this one! =)))
(P.S: Sorry for the late reply, for some reason goodreads didn't inform me.)


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Iris wrote: "Yasssss I'm so glad you liked it!! Victor and Mitch and Sydney own my heart <3"

They are awesome! I loved them all three!! Not to forget Dol! XD He was cool too! <33


Waqar Arif I'm really glad to know that you liked it! This is one of the most adorable series by Schwab 😊


Ruthie Just started this today!! Yay!


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Waqar wrote: "I'm really glad to know that you liked it! This is one of the most adorable series by Schwab 😊"

I really enjoyed this book and I'm already looking forward to "Vengeful". *lol*


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Ruthie wrote: "Just started this today!! Yay!"

Yes!! Happy reading, Ruthie! I hope you'll enjoy it!


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Wonderfully in depth review again Jenny. I love and share your enthusiasm with what you wrrote and we had a blast with this awesome book! Who knows but maybe that... Idea we've been discussing about a future read may be our downfall *winks* haha. Thank YOU again 😊


Dean the Bibliophage This review is everything!


v.vy Imagine if both Victor and Eli were work together, hell they would be a disaster.


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Craig wrote: "Wonderfully in depth review again Jenny. I love and share your enthusiasm with what you wrrote and we had a blast with this awesome book! Who knows but maybe that... Idea we've been discussing abou..."

Thank you, Babygreys! XD This book was great and I hope Vengeful will live up to our expectations as well. 😉 Haha! I hope not! We just have to find something good. 😜😂 So get your old man brain cells in gear and make some suggestions. *lol* 😜


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Dean the Bibliophage wrote: "This review is everything!"

Haha! Glad you enjoyed reading it! 😊


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ V.Vy wrote: "Imagine if both Victor and Eli were work together, hell they would be a disaster."

So true! XD To watch them would be fun though. *lol*


Waqar Arif Virginia Ronan wrote: "Waqar wrote: "I'm really glad to know that you liked it! This is one of the most adorable series by Schwab 😊"

I really enjoyed this book and I'm already looking forward to "Vengeful". *lol*"

Vengeful is even better 😊


Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰ AWESOME review! I wanted to read this before but now I'm desperate!!!


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Waqar wrote: "Virginia Ronan wrote: "Waqar wrote: "I'm really glad to know that you liked it! This is one of the most adorable series by Schwab 😊"

I really enjoyed this book and I'm already looking forward to "..."


Ohhh! I can't wait to read it then. XD


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰ wrote: "AWESOME review! I wanted to read this before but now I'm desperate!!!"

Thanks, Alex! 😊 Let me know when you get to it! I need to hear your thoughts! XD


BrooKe Wow. You really did love this book. I so wish I shared your enthusiasm. I just finished it and... well, haha I don’t share your enthusiasm. I’m glad you liked it, though!


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ BrooKe wrote: "Wow. You really did love this book. I so wish I shared your enthusiasm. I just finished it and... well, haha I don’t share your enthusiasm. I’m glad you liked it, though!"

Aww I'm so sorry you didn't love it as well! I guess tastes differ. *lol* Which is actually a good thing. ;-) I hope your next book will be better though. =))


Glyn Ashworth-Cobban (Updates) AHHHHHHHHHHHHH THERE IS A NEW TRILOGY BY SHCWAB AND IT'S SET IN THE SAME SERIES AS SHADES OF MAGIC AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Icarus wrote: "AHHHHHHHHHHHHH THERE IS A NEW TRILOGY BY SHCWAB AND IT'S SET IN THE SAME SERIES AS SHADES OF MAGIC AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"

OMG!! Really!? I need to look it up! 😊 And it's about time to start reading ADSOM too. *lol*


message 43: by Dary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dary I started to love Eli in Vengeful maybe you will too :)


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Dary wrote: "I started to love Eli in Vengeful maybe you will too :)"

Really? That's interesting! Let's see if I'll like him too! XD


Glyn Ashworth-Cobban (Updates) It's called Threads Of Power. I'M SO EXCITED AHHHHHHH


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