The Best Bookish Costumes I've Seen So Far

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween, everyone. As you may know, or don't know, I'm cosplaying as Kaz Brekker for Halloween.

Aka this guy below.

In case you're wondering, I have everything except the little vest and the tie and the gloves and the CANE. Don't worry. I'm getting the gloves and tie soon. So I'm missing the cane most importantly.
So I'm kinda screwed. Never fear, though! I'll think of something! (I might end up using an umbrella for the cane. Haha. Photoshop skills activate!)

So let's enjoy some photos of other people's costumes! (Because I fail at costumes. I was Queen Bitterblue last year, though. And I wore a dress. GASP!)

And all the credit goes to the owners of the pictures. I do not own any of these.

Parenting goals. 
I mean, this is what children are for...right?

Zombie Librarian?
Or a normal librarian. Either way, it's awesome.

Pun-y Fifty Shades of Grey
Humor. Fantastic. 
This gets all the chicks. Am I right? 

This Book Cover: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
The skills required to do that makeup. Love it.

And Game of Thrones
I've actually never read or watched this. (People told me it's too inappropriate for me. Haha.) But this is still an amazing cosplay. Gotta love cosplay, right?

So. What are you going to do for Halloween? 

Need a Good Scare? Check Out 'Slasher Girls and Monster Boys'

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys
Multiple Authors

For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Lois Duncan, and Daphne Du Maurier comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best writers of YA thrillers and horror

A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke.

Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.

Fans of TV’s The Walking Dead, True Blood, and American Horror Story will tear through tales by these talented authors:

Stefan Bachmann
Leigh Bardugo
Kendare Blake
A. G. Howard
Jay Kristoff
Marie Lu
Jonathan Maberry
Danielle Paige
Carrie Ryan
Megan Shepherd
Nova Ren Suma
McCormick Templeman
April Genevieve Tucholke
Cat Winters

I'm going to rate these stories from the best to the worst. And, on top of that, I'll add in a Chills-n-Thrills meter for each story to judge its scariness. (Which will be easy since I'm easily scared.) I'll be rating each story on a one to five scale with five being the scariest and one being easily manageable.\
  1. Stitches
  2. The dark, scary parts and all
  3. In the forest dark and deep
  4. Hide and seek
  5. Verse Chorus Verse
  6. Emmeline
  7. The girl without a face
  8. The flicker, the fingers, the beat, the sigh
  9. Snow
  10. M
  11. Fat girl with a knife
  12. Sleepless
  13. Birds of Azalea Street
  14. On the I-5
The Birds of Azalea Street
Uhm. This was a bit boring. It felt like the story was too short. I didn't get any chills or thrills.

In the Forest Dark and Deep
Ooh. This one was creepy. I liked it. I always liked 'Alice in Wonderland' retellings. The story ('Alice in Wonderland') is about madness, and retellings portray it differently. That's why it's been retold a lot. And the whimsical aspect too.
I'll definitely be looking out for white rabbit ears when I pass forests.

Wow. That was haunting and sad. Definitely not a horror story, though.
I loved it. It was beautifully told. A lonely girl. An American boy.
Quite amazing.

Verse Chorus Verse
Leigh Bardugo has done it again. I got chills. I got thrills. This one was creepy. The type of creepy that makes your spine tingle. I think it's the unknown that does it. You don't know what the weird whine is. Your imagination is left to wander.
Amazing work.

I liked this one. It was a cool action story. It definitely wasn't scary or anything, though. I liked the idea and the execution. Pretty awesome action short.

The Dark, Scary Parts and All
Oh my gosh. I loved this. So much. I loved the storytelling element. And I really want more. Danielle Page, please continue this!

The Flicker, the Fingers, the Beat, the Sigh
I thought this was a beautifully told story. Haunting and creepy but without being scary. Definitely interesting.
Brownie points for mentioning 'Carrie' in the story itself.

Fat Girl With a Knife
Ooh. A revenge story. Awesome. This could actually be brought out to be a whole novel.
This doesn't mean I liked it, though.
It could have been better.
I liked the ending, though. You don't know what will happen next.

Wow. That took a surprising turn. It was definitely creepy.

Wow. This was actually really cool. It was like a short murder mystery. Pretty awesome.
And the children do see all.

The Girl Without a Face
Man. One word. Creepy. And an interesting revenge plot. A little disappointed since I adore Marie Lu's writing. It didn't feel very Marie Lu to me.
But not bad.

A Girl Who Dreamed of Snow

This can really be brought into a full novel. It was a cool idea. Being able to call forth darkness. Where did she learn how to do that? How did she practice? What's the Hunter going to do to her? All these questions. I do want more.

Wow. This was so sad. I loved the storytelling, though. was so sad. I want to have more. I want a novel made of this story.

On the I-5

What did I just read? Was she undead? Was she a vampire of some sort? I'm so confused...

Rating: (For the overall compilation)


Ask the Author Halloween Edition: Mackenzi Lee

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ask the Author

This time on Ask the Author...
I'll be interviewing Mackenzi Lee author of This Monstrous Thing.

Who is Mackenzi Lee?

Mackenzi Lee final.jpg

Website / Facebook (Gasp! People still use Facebook?!?!) / Twitter / Pinterest

Mackenzi Lee is a reader, writer, bookseller, unapologetic fangirl, and fast talker. She holds an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults, and her short fiction for children and teens has appeared in Inaccurate Realities, The Friend, and The Newport Review. Her young adult historical fantasy novel, THIS MONSTROUS THING, which won the PEN-New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award, as well as an Emerging Artist Grant from the St. Botolph Club Foundation, is out now from Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.

She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three. She currently calls Boston home.

Note: I do not own any of these pictures. The credit goes to the owners. 

What is so appealing about the story of Frankenstein?
Frankenstein is a story that has never stopped being relevant, in spite of the fact it was first written two hundred years ago, and I think this due to the fact that, at its core, it’s about what makes us human. There is the science aspect, obviously, which continues to become more relevant as we get closer to being capable of the things Mary Shelley was imagining, but I think everyone wonders at some point about the quality of their own humanity and, inversely, their own capacity for monstrousness. It’s pretty compelling stuff.
How did you get your idea for your retelling?
From a lot of places! It partly came from hearing Frankenstein misidentified as a steampunk novel, partly from a trip I took to Germany at Christmastime, and partly from my first exposure to Frankenstein via a stage production at the National Theater. It’s also a lot inspired by a lifetime of being the older half of a sibling pair. 

What's your favorite Halloween costume that you've worn?
I was pretty darn proud of my Buster Bluth costume last year. I even had a seal with a yellow bow tie. 

(I, truthfully, don't know who this is.)

What's your favorite Halloween costume you've seen?
At a Halloween party in college, a girl came as Max from Where the Wild Things Are. Ever since, I’ve wanted a wolf suit. 

(Being Max is one of many goals in life.)

What's your favorite memory of Halloween? (Trick-or-treating? Handing out candy? Pranking old neighbors?)
Growing up, my sister and I were really good friends with another family in our neighborhood who had a son my age and a daughter my sister’s age. We all were obsessed with Star Wars, so one year, the four of us and their middle brother all went as various members of the Jedi order. My little sister was so committed to her Yoda costume that she had my mom buy her green gloves and, since Yoda only has three fingers, sew the pinkie and ring finger and middle and pointer finger together so she would similarly only have three digits. She then walked around all night flashing the perpetual Spock sign. 

(Enjoy this picture of an adorable Yoda baby.)

What's your favorite horror story?
Frankenstein. Is that cheating? (Nope. Not cheating.)

What would you do if you saw Dracula outside your window?
Invite him in. I’d have a lot of questions. 

(Technically, you'd be inviting in Vlad the Impaler, but that's all semantics.)

In a zombie apocalypse, who would you choose for your survival team? (Fictional or real!)
Teddy Roosevelt. Captain Malcom Reynolds. Imperator Furiosa. Jacky Faber. 

(Look at Teddy. All dashing and mustache-y. And NATHAN FILLION. WOOHOO. And badass females FTW. And I have NO CLUE who Jackey Faber is!)

What's your favorite Halloween-themed drink? (Alcoholic or not.)
I don’t know if I have a specifically Halloween-themed favorite drink, so I’m gonna say Diet Coke drunk from a Halloween-themed glass. 

Would you rather stay a night in a haunted mansion or walk through an empty graveyard?
Empty graveyard. I’m the sort of creep who thinks graveyards are actually super cool and beautiful.

Thank you, Mackenzi Lee!

Is It An Accident? A Review of 'The Accident Season' by Moria Fowley-Doyle

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Accident Season
Moira Fowley-Doyle

It's the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.

The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara's life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara's family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items - but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear.

But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free?

With the hype about this book, I couldn't resist the temptation to read it.
I shouldn't give in to hype anymore.
I was sadly disappointed by this book.

There once was a girl named Cara
Whose mother said her full name was caramel
She was such a klutz
And most likely insane
And her friends always said, "Cara fell!"

There once was a boy named Sam
Who was always happy as a clam*
But he loved his sister (Or, technically, ex-stepsister)
As more than a sister
And Sam wasn't happy as a clam

There once was a girl named Alice
Whose boyfriend and temper were fiery
She was the rational one
In a family of none
And Alice was burned without malice

There once was a girl named Bea
Who probably was gay-a
She was kooky unlike some
And definitely fun
But she was always told "See ya latah!"


If you're wondering, this doesn't mean I liked this book. The poem was just a fun way of telling you what I thought. (Although, it's a little vague.)
The romance was annoying. The plot seemed underdeveloped and quickly hit the climax of the book. The main character Cara fell flat. The mystery about the accident season was confusing and barely understandable.
The only cool thing was Elsie, and she was barely touched upon. I wanted more from her. Or maybe a story from her perspective? Hm...
Overall, I was majorly disappointed. Definitely thankful that this was such a quick read.



Unveiling the Tour: 'Return Once More' by Trisha Leigh

Monday, October 26, 2015

Return Once More (The Historians #1)
Release Date: 09/29/15
Bloomsbury Spark

Summary from Goodreads:
If you could learn the identity of your one true love—even though you will never meet— would you?

Years have passed since refugees from a ruined earth took to space, eventually settling a new system of planets. Science has not only made the leaps necessary to allow time travel, but the process engineered a strange side effect—predicting your one true love.

If you could save your one true love from an untimely death, would you be able to resist?

Sixteen-year-old Kaia Vespasian is an apprentice to the Historians—a group charged with using time travel to document the triumphs and failures of the past—and she can’t resist a peek at her long-dead soul mate in Ancient Egypt. Before she knows it, she’s broken every rule in the book, and the consequences of getting caught could destroy more than just her new romance.

Or would you have the strength to watch him die?

But when Kaia notices a fellow classmate snooping around in a time where he doesn’t belong, she suspects he has a secret of his own—and the conspiracy she uncovers could threaten the entire universe. If her experience has taught her anything, to changing history means facing the consequences. The Historians trained her to observe and record the past, but Kaia never guessed she might have to protect it— in a race across time to save her only chance at a future.

Buy Links:
Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play 

A few lanterns lit the interior of the rickety wooden building. It smelled of animals and hay, of spicy earth and poop. Between the lanterns, the last beams of setting sun pierced the cracks in the ancient wood, combining with the warmth spilling through my body and casting the whole moment in a surreal glow.
“Why must you leave, Kaia? We don’t have long. I had hoped we would spend these days together. I promise to behave.” His voice was soft, coaxing.
In another lifetime, another past or present or future, I would have done anything he’d asked. And I wouldn’t have wanted him to behave.
“Do you think I’m insane? Not right?” I tapped my head, unsure if the translation came through correctly when a Greek word that wouldn’t quite fit into English fell from my lips.
He frowned and reached out, setting his hands on my hips. His long fingers wound around my back, pressing lightly through the thin fabric and weakening my knees. This molecular compatibility thing wreaked havoc on my basic motor function. And with keeping down dinner.
“I do not know what to think of you, Kaia. You are clearly something different. The things you say, they do not seem possible. And yet…”
“And yet?” I pressed.
“And yet they feel not only possible, but true. If a man cannot trust one’s heart, then what can he trust?”
My chest filled with happiness and I grinned up at him, struggling to breathe. “Your heart says you can trust me?”
“My heart seems to know you, even if I do not. Yet.”

About the Author

Trisha Leigh is a product of the Midwest, which means it’s pop, not soda, garage sales, not tag sales, and you guys as opposed to y’all. Most of the time. She’s been writing seriously for five years now, and has published 4 young adult novels and 4 new adult novels (under her pen name Lyla Payne). Her favorite things, in no particular order, include: reading, Game of Thrones, Hershey’s kisses, reading, her dogs (Yoda and Jilly), summer, movies,  reading, Jude Law, coffee, and rewatching WB series from the 90’s-00’s.

Her family is made up of farmers and/or almost rock stars from Iowa, people who numerous, loud, full of love, and the kind of people that make the world better. Trisha tries her best to honor them, and the lessons they’ve taught, through characters and stories—made up, of course, but true enough in their way.

Author Links:

Book Tour Organized by:

Beautiful Books: In Which I Ramble About 'Trixie's To-Do-Before-You-Drop-Dead List'

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Did you know that Cait is doing this awesome NaNo blogger thing? (With someone else I don't know. Sorry...) So I decided to do this! Even though my story is an unofficial NaNo. (I can't do NaNo officially since I'll be using my iPad to write. Haha. Bus rides are good for writing. You get my meaning?)

How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea? 
My beauty idea is called Trixie's To-Do-Before-You-Drop-Dead List. It's about a girl who will die and her completion of her bucket list. Including kissing a girl and getting married. (And she's a teenager. Woohoo!) I personally wanted to make a bucket list, but I'm so lazy. So I thought of this girl who would complete her bucket list. And I also like the name Trixie. Heh heh. It's a brand new idea. (I have this one idea called Ravensoul which has been my baby since two years ago or so. So yeaaah. It'll be written. One day.)

Why are you excited to write this novel? 
Because I'm a better writer than you, Cait. Oh wait what? I also like writing dark contemporaries. I really like the idea of a bucket list. (As I said.) I also ADORE unnamed narrators. For some reason. I think it's because anyone can relate to the character without any defining features. So the other character McLaughan is named but not really described. You'll be surprised who McLaughan turns out to be.

What is your novel about, and what is the title? 
Oh. I already kinda answered this. It's called Trixie's To-Do-Before-You-Drop-Dead List. It's about Trixie who has a disease that might kill her one day. She starts a bucket list and starts to complete them. It's about love and death and poetry and books and writing and road trips and freedom and disobeying and life and grades and school and LGBT and I should stop now.

Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)
Trixie: brave-fantastic-funny-fabulous. The hyphen makes it one word. (Wink wink.)
McLaughan: cautious-but-also-a-little-risky-since-oppressive-parents (Pronounced mick-la-h-an. A little weird throat thing on the laugh part. It's not la-ff but la-h. Yeah...)
Faith: adorable-in-the-bubbly-way
Ardor: let's-teenagers-get-tattoos-without-permission
And there are many more.
And I don't have pictures. Yet. Pinterest sucks me in and wears me out. So I waste hours liking photos.

Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them! 
First. Favourite. Haha.
Second. I think I'll like writing Trixie. She's flirty and fun and out-there. But she's also a reader and a writer. She knows she's going to die, so she's a little negative. But she always tries to be happy. I'm as shy as can be. (It took me forever to try out my new TKD place. I kept procrastinating.) My imagination makes me worry so much about how people will react. In the end, I miss the chance to say things. Which sucks. Trixie is very in the moment, my polar opposite. I write characters who are like me, so it'll be different. For sure. And I get to use sarcasm! Yay!

What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
Will I sound weird if I say not dying? Maybe? She wants to truly live her life. She knows she doesn't have time. She knows her life could send soon. Many are killed by her disease. Not telling which, though! And, duh, her disease stands in the way. Also school and family. And money and time and whatnots.
And my other leading roll McLaughan just wants to get out of Texas. McLaughan wants to be free from the parents and his/her life. (Can't reveal anything about our darling McL, can I?)

Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)
Where? It's in Texas. They also spend time on the Loneliest Road in America and in Vegas. Yaay. You wanted a cooler answer? Sucks. It's a contemporary fiction story.
Again, no pictures. Sorry...

What is the most important relationship your character has?
Most important relationship. Hm. A toughie. I want to say something like McLaughan and Trixie.
But I'll be cheesy and say Trixie and Books. Because books are life, bro. Haha. Kidding.
If I'm being a little more serious, Trixie and her disease is important. It's seeped into her life and spreads harm and hate. She is seriously affected by this. It does change her life entirely.
But. Completely serious mode activated. (Haha. As if.) It's Trixie and McLaughan. These two are polar opposites. One bubbly and fun and crazy and brave. The other more of a stick in the mud. And McLaughan changes because of Trixie. For better or worse, I can't say.How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
How does she change? Well, the answer you're hoping for is if she dies or not, am I right? And I can't tell you that you I'd have to kill you. Haha.
Honestly, Trixie doesn't change too much. That sounds so bad, but it's kinda true. Something she does realize is that
And if we're gonna talk about McLaughan, that's a different story. McLaughan completely changes. The character starts out as a reluctant friend. Someone who doesn't take a walk on the wild side a lot. Then, McLaughan is someone else.

What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
Holy pizzacake I feel like I'm in English. Geez, Cait. Why do you have to do this to me?
I'm just going to answer that second question here.
I want my readers to feel a little warm and fuzzy. I want them to feel like you can change. I want them to feel as if life is worth living and that friends are there for you. I want people to feel as if anything is possible and that there is always a helping hand.
Wow. That's so serious yet cheesy.

BONUS! Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.
As someone who has done and won NaNo twice (in years gone by), I have to say just keep writing. Honestly. It seems so stupid, but you gotta just keep writing. This year, this is an informal NaNo for me, unofficial. I can't write a lot except during bus rides and after studying, and that's mostly on my iPad. This year, I have no goals except for writing. I had a year-long break that left me drained and exhausted. I only read and went to school. It wasn't a fun year. Then, I got back into writing this year. So TTDBYDDL this year! And then, maybe in the future, Ravensoul. And maybe my gender bent Sleeping Beauty and fangirl story.
Another piece of advice: you're not alone. People all over are doing NaNo as well. Internationally even. (For example, Cait who started this feature. She's in Australia.) You can find a NaNo chapter near you. And you can meet other local NaNo-ers. Don't feel discouraged. There is a built-in support group for you. You just gotta meet them. Don't matter your age. It truly doesn't. Writing is writing. The struggles are real.
And more advice: the worst critic of your story is yourself. It's cheesy, I know, but it's true. You will slam down your story, but you gotta let it grow and cultivate. It's your child. Would you call your child disgraceful? If yes, well den. If no, you get my point.
My last piece of advice: your characters will take control of the story. They have their own personalities and backstories. Let them take control. It's their story to tell not yours. Technically, it's yours. But that's semantics. 

So to simplify: (cue Don't Stop Believing)
Keep writing. You're not alone. The worst critic of your story is yourself. Your character will take control of the story.

Good luck, NaNoers!

(Sassy Beckett. Love it!)

What's Underneath the Lies? 'Underneath Everything' Blog Tour

Saturday, October 24, 2015
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Underneath Everything
by  Marcy Beller Paul
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: October 27th 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, GLBT, Realistic Fiction
Rate: 3.5/5


Mattie shouldn’t be at the bonfire. She should be finding new maps for her collection, hanging out with Kris, and steering clear of almost everyone else, especially Jolene. After all, Mattie and Kris dropped off the social scene the summer after sophomore year for a reason. But now Mattie is a senior, and she’s sick of missing things. So here she is. And there’s Jolene: Beautiful. Captivating. Just like the stories she wove. Mattie would know; she used to star in them. She and Jolene were best friends. Mattie has the scar on her palm to prove it, and Jolene has everything else, including Hudson. But when Mattie runs into Hudson and gets a glimpse of what could have been, she decides to take it all back: the boyfriend, the friends, the life she was supposed to live. Problem is, Mattie can’t figure out where Jolene ends and she begins. Because there’s something Mattie hasn’t told anyone—she walked away from Jolene over a year ago, but she never really left. Poignant and provocative, Marcy Beller Paul’s debut novel tells the story of an intoxicating—and toxic—relationship that blurs the boundary between reality and fantasy, love and loyalty, friendship and obsession.

Let's play a game. You know the rules, right?
I never liked books. 

I never wrote stories. 

I never took karate.

I never almost killed my best friend 

This book was supposed to be about a toxic friendship, and I sure got that. I was continually stunned by what Jolene did. She went too far. She always went too far. I don't care if she said she wouldn't hurt Mattie. It's wrong. I don't care if Mattie got a rush from it. Suffocating someone is not a good way to show love. What Jolene did was dangerous, risky. I'm a normally cautious person, so what she did really freaked me out. 
Admittedly, reading the things Jolene did gave me a little bit of a rush. Not that I'd ever do those things to any of my friends. I consider my friends my family. But I felt like I was experiencing those things. The author made me feel Mattie's fear and panic. But don't think I want to be suffocated or tied up. I'll stick to my books and whatnots. Thanks but no thanks. 

I actually felt like Jolene had some sort of mental disorder. I'm not trying to categorize her; I'm trying to understand her. I'm not sure which mental disorder, though. 
Jolene always pushed things too far. She coated Mattie in stories and drowned her in fantasy. I feel like it's actually Jolene that is drowning in fantasy. She acted as if she was superior, but it was all an act. For this, I started to hate Jolene. I truly, vehemently hated her. She was putting people in danger. All for the thrills. All for Mattie. That's not right. 

Mattie felt so boring. I know that's probably really vague. I wanted Mattie to change. I wanted her to become someone else or at least experience a final conclusion. She really ended up at the same place as in the start of the book. She didn't learn much. She didn't realize things. I was disappointed in her. You didn't learn anything from your experiences? Seriously? 

Now, I want to take a moment to talk about Hudson. He's truly a nice guy. Truly. I don't think he'd hurt a fly. But he was pushed around and hurt. I would love to make him a match. I think he doesn't deserve any of the things that both Mattie and Jolene put through. He deserves happiness. 
Does this mean I approve of the romance? Nope. Do I still want happiness for Hudson? Yes. Does that mean his happiness will come from being with Mattie? Nope.

Amazon paperback

Follow the Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

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Marcy Beller Paul is a young adult author, former editor, and full-time mom who still has all the notes she passed in seventh grade (and knows how to fold them)
She graduated from Harvard University and lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children. Underneath Everything will be published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins, in Fall 2015. It is her first novel.



Prize: Win a signed first edition of Underneath Everything by Marcy Paul (US ONLY)

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