High as the Heavens Book Review

 

Hello, everyone! I had such high hopes this Summer for my blog, and I was excited to become a consistent blogger; however, life happened. Something happened a couple of months ago that made me want to just enjoy life for a bit. I have enjoyed doing other things, taking advantage of my free time while I still have. I still don’t know what I’m going to do with this blog, but I will pop on every so often. This is a creative outlet for me. Something fun, where I can share my thoughts on books and other things that I love. Hopefully you all understand my side of this, and thank you to all who have hit that follow button while I’ve been gone. ❤ Now, let’s get onto this review!!

 

Number of Stars: 5

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Synopsis:

“In 1917, Evelyn Marche is just one of many women who has been widowed by the war. A British nurse trapped in German-occupied Brussels, she spends her days working at a hospital and her nights as a waitress in her aunt and uncle’s café. Eve also has a carefully guarded secret keeping her in constant danger: She’s a spy working for a Belgian resistance group in league with the British Secret Service.

When a British plane crashes in Brussels Park, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to discover she recognizes the badly injured pilot. British RFC Captain Simon Forrester is now a prisoner of war, and Eve knows he could be shot as a spy at any time. She risks her own life to hide him from the Germans, but as the danger mounts and the secrets between them grow, their chance of survival looks grim. And even if they do make it out alive, the truth of what lies between them may be more than any love can overcome.”

 

Guys, this book was AMAZING. There were so many twists and turns, and I never knew what was coming next. You will not be disappointed if you pick up this book, especially if you love romance set during war time.

The characters in this book were built beautifully. Eve, the main character, was brave and cunning…sometimes taking risks that left me holding my breath, hoping all would be well in the end. All of the citizens of Belgium are full of secrets and are there for each other like family.

When Eve finds Simon Forrester, she has a long road ahead of her. A road full of secrets, lies, and heartache. I found myself hurting for her at her internal struggle. None of the suspense ended until the very last page. As I was nearing the end, I was wondering how all of my questions would be answered, but Kate Breslin tied everything in perfectly. I loved this book as a standalone. It was definitely a wonderful read.

One of my favorite things about this book was the references to God and the Bible. I loved seeing the Christian lifestyle in this book. Bethany House never disappoints with the books they publish! I have loved each book that they have sent to me.

 

Do you guys think you will be picking up High as the Heavens? I have already recommended it to two people, and plan to keep on recommending it! If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask in the comments! What have you been reading lately??

-Jamie

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We Were Liars – Book Review

Hey, guys! I hope your day is/has been going well. Today, I am coming at you with a book review! I managed to finish We Were Liars in less than 24 hours, so it was a VERY quick read. Sitting at just 225 pages, with suspense on every page, it is a great book to pick up if you want something quick.

Number of Stars: 5

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Synopsis (taken from Goodreads):

“A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.”

 

Non-Spoilery Review:

This book is full of suspense. Even the synopsis is incredibly suspenseful. The writing style creates such a foggy tone. I say “foggy” because as you read this book, it feels like you are searching through fog for answers, but the fog just gets thicker and thicker. Then, suddenly, it clears. All answers are spilled out at the blink of an eye. And you really aren’t ready.

The characters in this book are frustrating, but real. A family broken by money, but pretending as if everything is hunky dory. It truly puts into perspective what money can do. Cadence, the main character, starts to see the truth about what the money is doing and wants to change things, but she really can’t.

A romance forms among some of the main characters in this book and it is both beautiful and heartbreaking. I think the best way to describe this book is with those two words: beautiful and heartbreaking.

If you haven’t yet picked up this book, please do so. You won’t be disappointed! It is a page-turner, with an excellent setting and well-built characters.

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Spoilery Review:

As I was reading this book, I was thinking “I just want to know how it endddssss.” Then, the truth came and it hit me so. Hard. There were tears in my eyes because it was SO unexpected. The part I am speaking of is when you find out that Gat, Mirren, and Johnny perished in the fire that they set.

To be honest, when I heard their plan (one person on the second floor, one person on the first, one person on the main, and one person in the basement), I really wondered how they all got out alive. I guess this should have been a clue, but I was truthfully just happy that they all lived. But they are dead. Three of the Liars are dead.

Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I wanted Gat and Cady to stay in love and get married one day. I feel as if they were doomed, like Romeo and Juliet, from the very beginning. Cady’s grandfather’s dismay with their relationship certainly wasn’t helping them have a happy ending.

Sometimes, I didn’t know what was ACTUALLY happening in this book. What was reality, and what was simply a metaphor? For example, E. Lockhart speaks of Cady bleeding on Gat, but she was never physically bleeding. She was hurting, and he was there. It wasn’t physical pain, it was emotional pain. Little details like these metaphors throughout the book added to the overall dismal and spooky tone. It was so perfect and I wouldn’t change it.

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I know this was relatively short, but share your thoughts down below. Have you read this book? What were your opinions?

Thanks For Reading 🙂 – Jamie

Friday Favorites Edition #2: My Favorite TV Shows

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Friday Favorites! Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite TV shows with you guys! These will all be shows that I start over throughout the year just because they are THAT fantastic.

  1. 90210 (the newer version) – I will never stop raving about this show because I will never stop loving it. I know this because I have restarted it maybe 10 times…or more. All of the episodes are on Netflix and I will cry the day that they are taken off! It takes place in California and revolves around a bunch of spoiled rich kids, so there is a TON of drama. I love watching that kind of stuff!!! And of course, the romance is my favorite. ❤ I think I love this show so much because the ending was just perfect.
  2. Gossip Girl – Oh my my my! Gossip Girl is equivalent to 90210 in the aspects of drama and spoiled rich kids. This TV show takes place in the Upper East Side in New York, and it also has a perfect ending. I just love this show and have restarted it soooo many times. All of the episodes are on Netflix, too!
  3. Switched at Birth – This show is almost over (sadly), but it is on Netflix! I liked the earlier seasons the most, but I still love the show (don’t mind the fact that I am behind)! It revolves around two girls who were switched at birth and when they find out/how their lives change/etc. It is full of drama and other good stuff!
  4. The Fosters – This show is also still playing, and I have loved it from the very beginning. It follows Stef and Lena, who begin to foster Callie and Jude. A lot of crazy stuff goes down (more drama…yum) and there are so many good messages throughout the show regarding family and having the courage to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences may be for your own life!
  5. Young & Hungry – This TV show is quite different from all of the others on this list because it is a comedy! I love all of the characters in this show; they are hilarious! It is primarily about a chef who starts working for a really rich guy. I really don’t want to give anything away because I am a hater of spoilers of any kind, so just please go watch the first episode (yes, it is on Netflix)! It is only 20ish minutes long! You WILL laugh, I promise!!

 

This is a short list, but I only wanted to mention shows that instantly came to my mind because I love them THAT much! Have any of you seen these shows? Do you love them too (say yes…or else (jk, I wouldn’t hurt a fly))? What shows do you love? I love recommendations! J

Bye For Now ❤ – Jamie

Limited Edition Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette

Heyyyy! Is this title not a mouthful (mindful?)? Lol…well, this eyeshadow palette certainly is limited edition, and it is BEAUTIFUL! From the packaging to the eyeshadow colors, it is so pleasing to look at.

Price: $36

Where did I purchase? Sephora

So first let’s take a look at this beautiful packaging (I am slightly obsessed with it tbh). The outside is this very pretty gold and purple combination, with some nice texture on the top.

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The packaging is made very nice and hinge is kind of amazing. The palette opens really far and it opens so smoothly (the hinge, guys, is nicely oiled…or something).

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There is a nicely sized mirror that takes up the entire inside of the cover of the packaging. It would be great if you don’t have a mirror with you!

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Alright, now onto the BEAUTIFUL colors. Oh! And I have to mention the names of the colors. So cute, guys! I had (and still have) a hugggee obsession with mermaids when I was a kid, so this palette was made for me. The color names are not even as nice as these colors.

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From left to right: mermaid, sand, cove, starfish, reef, abyss, wave, and seashell. I think my favorites are all of the shimmery shades! The first three are a tad light, but would be great for a more subtle, natural day-to-day look.

I love how there is a nice range to choose from! There are lots of brown tones, both dark and light, along with two purple/pink toned colors (seashell and wave). The purple and pink undertones are subtle, though! I don’t get too crazy with my eyeshadow (I am not quite that confident with my abilities!), so these colors are perfect for me. There are both shimmery shades and a few matte shades. Personally, I prefer shimmer shades, and every single one of these are absolutely stunning!

The pigmentation is fantastic and the shadows are very easy to work with. Also, It comes with this handy card on how to make a few looks!!

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Overall, I LOVE this palette. Let me know what you think of it, or if you have bought it yourself! I have an addiction to eyeshadow, and I should really stop buying it…but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. If you guys would like me to review more makeup, please tell me! This was super fun, and I’d love to do it more often. 🙂

Thanks For Reading ❤ – Jamie

Friday Favorites Edition 1: My Favorite YouTubers

As some of you may or may not know, I am kind of obsessed with YouTube. In particular, I love to watch book-related videos, beauty/lifestyle videos or vlogs! I wanted to share a list of the YouTubers I have been loving lately. If you love YouTube, then keep reading!

  1. KirstenLeighty – I have watched her for YEARS. She does planner videos, beauty videos, and hauls. I typically don’t watch her planner videos, but I love her other videos!!
  2. Brianandkirstentv – Brian and Kirsten’s little family is ADORABLE. Kirsten’s main channel is the first one I listed (kirstenleighty) and this little family vlogs almost daily. I never miss a video!
  3. Katie Legate – I have been subscribed to Katie for quite some time, but I didn’t start watching her videos loyally until recently. She’s been doing “My College Life” vlogs and I love them. They are very true to what college life is like, so I really relate to her! She also does beauty videos!
  4. EleventhGorgeous – The two sisters who make videos for this channel are awesome!! They do beauty videos. Unlike other YouTubers, they review a lot of drugstore makeup. Also, they are super funny and inspiring!
  5. Zoella – Zoe is adorable and inspiring. She is British and beautiful. I love watching all of her videos! She does beauty and lifestyle videos.
  6. MoreZoella – This is Zoe’s vlog channel. She vlogs occasionally, and they are always entertaining to watch!
  7. PointlessBlogVlogs – The creator behind the Pointless Blog brand is Alfie, Zoe’s boyfriend. Zalfie (Zoe and Alfie) are so cute and I love any videos with them in it. Alfie vlogs every single day and I have really been enjoying watching his videos!
  8. PointlessBlogGames – This is the only gameplay channel that I have been watching. The reason I included this channel is because I’ve been obsessed with The Sims lately. Zoe and Alfie are doing a Sims 4 series that I have been keeping up with. They have convinced me that I really need to buy the game. My sister claims that I’ve “reached a new level of weird” because I enjoy watching these videos. Lol!

 

Do any of you like to watch YouTube? What are your favorite channels? I go through phases where sometimes I will be obsessed with beauty– videos, other times– book videos, and other times– vlogs! I will post updated lists as my obsessions change. However, I’m always looking for new YouTubers to support and watch, so tell me any and all channels that you guys think I would like!

Have a Fabulous Day – Jamie

Limited Edition Book Boyfriend Box: The Infernal Devices

*I realize this post is up wayyy late, but I still wanted to share everything for those who haven’t seen what was in the box!*         

Hello hello hello!! I hope everyone is having/has had a fantastic day! Today, I am bringing you my unboxing of the Limited Edition Book Boyfriend Box, which was themed around The Infernal Devices series. When I saw this, I thought how I NEEDED it. Also, I had never purchased a box from a subscription service so I decided to give it a try! Let’s get on with the unboxing.

*Side Note: sorry for the bad pictures in this post. I thought I had taken better ones. Forgive me. :/

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Item #1: A pen (aka stele) from Dynamic Alley

So this is a really really cool design for a pen, but I wasn’t very impressed with the paint job. On the bright side, I am now one step closer to being a shadowhunter, right? Haha!

Item #2: The mini print by Taratjah

Item #3: A little mirror

Item #4: Clockwork angel necklace

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Item #5: A candle by Wick and Fable

This candle smells wonderful! I am very pleased with it. I have never been one to burn candles, and now I really want more!!

Item #6: Lotion by Amber Hollows

I not only love the name of this lotion, but the quality and the smell as well! I put it on last week, then gave my two dogs baths and I could STILL smell it on my hands afterwards.

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Item #7: A tote bag

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Alright, so overall, this was a cool box. I really like the candle, lotion, tote bag, and the mini print. These are definitely items I wouldn’t have chosen to buy for myself, so it was fun to get them in a box like this as a surprise! I am not sure if I will be purchasing another Book Boyfriend Box in the near future, but I might try some other subscription services!

Now, PLEASE share some of your favorite Etsy shops with me! I really want to support people who create their own business. I already have one shop in particular I plan to buy from in the near future. One of my bookstagram friends owns it. She makes candles and bookmarks! Check out her shop: Flameworks Creations.

Did you guys receive this box? If so, did you like the items? What is your favorite subscription service? What is your favorite item of the one I received?

❤ – Jamie

The Pros and Cons of Having Bangs

Hello all! I hope you are having a wonderful day! So I have had bangs since the beginning of the year, and I’ve heard that they are the hottest new trend when it comes to hair (I like to call myself a trendsetter…lol), so I wanted to share a list of pros and cons to having bangs. I would like to start out by saying that, while they can be a pain at times, I LOVE MY BANGS. My confidence improved once I got them, and I just love how they look on me! Let’s get onto the pros and cons, shall we?

Pros:

  1. They change up your style. So this is only a pro if you like change, which I do. I have had the same hairstyle for years, and I just really, really needed change. Bangs were a huge change for me, and I was certainly scared to get them, but it turned out great for me!
  2. They make updos look AWESOME. Okay, okay, so updos look cute no matter what, BUT I have found that I love updos much better now that I have bangs! I love putting my hair in a bun, and bangs make it look so cute. Also, if you just add makeup to your look, BAM you look ready for a night out!
  3. There are so many different styles to choose from. So when I got bangs, I opted for a Spencer Hastings looked. I have longer bangs on the sides and they are relatively straight across about my eyebrows. However, if you just google “bangs hairstyles” (or something along those lines), then you can see lots of different styles to choose from!! Your choices are endless!!
  4. Darker lipsticks look AMAZING with bangs. It is true. I need to get myself some dark, vampy lip colors because they look AMAZING with bangs! I’ve started to get more adventurous with lip colors since getting bangs, and it is so fun.
  5. They don’t go unnoticed. Okay, so I don’t particularly like attention, but I have had friends tell me multiple times that they love bangs on me. This is a HUGE confidence boost!
  6. They hide some of my acne. So my face has good days and bad days in regards to breakouts. Lately, my forehead hasn’t been too much of a problem, but when there are problems, nobody knows!! My bangs hide all those breakouts!
  7. They are ADORABLE. Okay, I don’t want to toot my own horn, but since getting bangs, I just find them so incredibly cute. (Not that not having bangs isn’t cute, because they aren’t for everyone!) When my bangs look good before I head out for the day, I have a little extra confidence.

 

Cons:

  1. You have to wash your hair every day. Maybe some of you already wash your hair every day, but before getting bangs, I would wash my hair about every other day. Now, I have to wash my hair every day to keep my bangs looking clean (usually by about 6 or 7 at night they will start to look and feel quite greasy). This problem stems from the fact that that I have very oily skin on my face, so I’m sure some people don’t have this problem!
  2. Once your bangs get greasy, your forehead gets greasy, and vice versa. This detail is super annoying, but you can’t have everything, can ya? This point goes hand in hand with the first con I listed, but I wanted to mention it anyways.
  3. I am constantly fixing the bangs. Now, I am constantly combing through my bangs with my fingers to make sure my bangs are laying in place (this doesn’t help with the grease problem), but I think I’ve been getting better.
  4. Bangs take WORK. So before getting bangs, I’d just put my hair in a ponytail and walk out the door (yeah, sometimes I don’t even brush my hair…it makes my hair too poofy and big). Now, when I shower in the evening, I have to blow dry my bangs and straighten them (let me know if you want a “How I Manage My Bangs” video or post), then in the morning I typically straighten them again. If I don’t dry and straighten them the night before, they are a MESS in the morning and sometimes I give up on them and just pin them back.
  5. They need cut OFTEN. My hair grows so fast, and as much I love this, I also kind of hate it now that I have bangs. To keep my bangs looking really nice, I should cut them every week and a half to two weeks. However, they are relatively easy to cut on my own, or with a friend’s or my mom’s help.

 

So, even though there are a quite a bit of cons to having bangs, I still LOVE them. They do need work, but for the most part, they are a joy to have. Do you have bangs? If so, what pros and cons would you add to my list? Does my list make you want bangs? Or does it deter you from getting bangs?

Much Love – Jamie

I’m Back! + Changes for the Future of ALSOJ

Hello everyone! So I’ve been gone for….awhile….BUT I am back! I completed my second year of college (time flies, whoa), and I will now be working all summer, meaning I will have time to start blogging again. I am super duper excited to start writing and interacting with you all again!

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Confession time: I have not picked up my book since January. *gasp* I know, I know…I can’t even really be called a bookworm at this point. *cries* However, friends, I will start reading again this summer, so reviews and other bookish posts will be coming at ya! There will be changes coming to this wonderful blog of mine, though. I have realized that niching down just isn’t for me right now; I have so many interests. For example: I LOVE makeup, and I want to share this love.

Basically, I am just making you all aware that ALSOJ will not contain only bookish posts for the time being. If I feeling like reviewing the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea palette (which I recently bought, and love, so there will probably be a review), then I shall. If I want to gush about how I get money back for my receipts, I most definitely will (because who doesn’t love some side cash??). But don’t worry guys, there will still be bookish posts! I already have one in mind! Just bear with me as I try to find myself in the blogging universe!

Time for a little life update. So, as I said, I finished my second year of college! Three more years and I will become a full-fledged adult and enter the workforce full time! Scary, but SO exciting to think about! So what all happened this semester? Well, I joined an engineering sorority. This is super out of character of me, but when we transitioned into the new year, I promised myself that I’d try new things and get out of my comfort zone (I believe I mentioned this in my New Year’s Resolutions post.). I’ve already met some amazing girls, and I got my Big who is so sweet and we are turning out to be incredibly similar individuals!

A couple weeks ago, I saw The Chainsmokers in concert and it was a blast! It was my way of celebrating another successful semester. Then, the weekend following the concert (the concert was on a Wednesday), I went to an indoor waterpark. So you could say that my “summer break” is turning out to be a really good time!

Well, that is all I have for now. Give me some feedback down below on what you want to see on ALSOJ in the future! College advice? Relationship advice? Lists? You name it, I will see what I can do! Also, welcome to all you lovely new followers! Thank you for supporting me, you guys are fantastic!

Much Love – Jamie

I had A Dream…

So, hi. This blog post is very random, but I wanted to share this slightly humorous dream I had with you guys. I have dreams that feel VERY real on most occasions and I will usually be going about my day the next morning/afternoon/evening and then I’ll remember the dream and for a second feel the emotion from the dream, then finally realize it wasn’t real. It happens multiple times a week (almost every single night, honestly).

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So, last night, I’m sleeping…and I have this dream that Book Outlet is having another 30% off sale. I saw an ad clear as day. So, in the dream, I click on the ad to shop for some books (Bad dream-state Jamie! Bad!) but something (I don’t remember what, but probably homework) interrupts me and I get off of the site.

So, this morning, I open my computer to check my school email and such. I have a tab open for my Gmail so I click on that and then I see an email from Book Outlet and I instantly thought “omg I need to find the email that says 30%.” Then….I realized it was a dream. SOMEONE IS TRYING TO GET ME TO STRAY FROM MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS (You can read about them here.)!! I can’t even catch a break in my DREAMS guys!!! Lol.

Do any of you have very memorable dreams?? I’d love to hear about them if you do! Do you ever dream about books or bookish related things?? If you want me to hear about some more of the dreams I have, just let me know! (Even if you don’t ask me to, I might still tell you all about some of my weird/crazy ones!)

-Jamie

Book Review: Unfathomable Chance

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are always my own!*

Hey guys!!! So it is just a short way into 2017 and I’ve already completed two books. I feel pretty successful! This book was weird, but not a bad weird. I really enjoyed it overall! Now, let’s get onto the review!

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Number of stars: 4.5/5

Synopsis:

“When Diana woke up on her 23rd birthday she thought it was going to be a normal day. She thought of donuts, coffee, and laughter. She did not think she was going to become the center in a galactic race to win her heart. None too pleased with the prospect of alien races descending on Earth to try and woo her, Diana does the only reasonable thing she can; she runs. Now she has to try and find a way to get rid of the blasted bracelet that is the cause of all the recent craziness in her life. The problem is this isn’t an ordinary bracelet; it contains the Heart of the Cosmos. Furthermore the Cosmos chose her for a reason and it isn’t keen on letting her go until she finishes what it started over ten years ago. Something tried to destroy it and now Diana isn’t just worried about her heart, she is worried about her life.”

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Non-Spoilery Review:

This book is like a mixture between Narnia, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Star Wars. At first, I didn’t enjoy the similarities, but the plot was so imaginative but I quickly started to enjoy the read. It was pretty fast paced, and felt a bit rushed at times, but I think I prefer this over a book going too slow.

Diana is bearing the weight of the world on her shoulders…in the form of a bracelet. People are expecting so much out of her and she is simply trying to grasp everything that is happening in her life. She meets lots of aliens, including some attractive ones. These aliens praise and fear her.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The ending made me ridiculously happy for some reason, and I LIVE for happy endings!

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Spoilery Review:

So, Diana is the Bearer of the Cosmos. What does this mean? It means she is, essentially, supposed to be the queen of the universe. Universe as in a lot of planets and such. Sounds pretty stressful if you ask me.

The oddest part is that Diana is completely human. AND she accepts everything relatively quickly. She quickly makes friends with all of the aliens and she gains many followers while she travels through the universe.

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She meets everything from a talking cat to a Jar Jar Binks-like character. The talking cat, Kal Zed, is like her guide throughout the whole situation. He helps her to understand what all needs to happen in order for her to become queen of the universe: she has to choose a husband.

Diana quickly decides that she doesn’t really want this life. She finds her way to the Cosmos to ask a question: “Why me?” The Cosmos makes a deal with her: if you figure out what REALLY happened to the previous queen. Word on the street was that the queen killed herself, but the Cosmos believes there was more to it than that.

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A special thing about the bracelet that the bearer wears is that it protects the wearer. However, if the wearer isn’t aware of danger, it can’t protect them. Diana figures out that the previous queen would have done ANYTHING for her sons. She manages to find out that Hamyl, the king’s son, was the cause of the previous queen’s death.

The best part of this entire book was the end. Diana does NOT become queen of the universe. She goes back to her normal life. Then, Dimar, the attractive alien figure in the book, comes to Diana. Their lives weren’t going to work out because of how different they are, but they would make it work. Such a romantic ending!!

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I’m sorry this review is so short. I finished this book a few days ago and a lot has happened since. Life is just getting crazier! If you guys enjoy fantasy, I recommend this book. It was a really fun, quick read!!

-Jamie