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Merin is a teacher, a book blogger, a baseball addict (Go Cardinals!), lover of music, movies and TV crime dramas, and YA/MG connoisseur. Follow me on my blog at http://ahandfulofconfetti.wordpress.com!

Currently reading

Her Highness, the Traitor
Susan Higginbotham
Progress: 23/323 pages
Jane Eyre
Ruben Toledo, Charlotte Brontë
Progress: 162/453 pages
The School for Good and Evil
Soman Chainani
Progress: 40 %
Rainbow Rowell
Progress: 46/433 pages
Shell Game - Ridley Pearson The Kingdom Keepers are back, this time set to join the launch of the Disney Dream, the newest edition of their cruise line. But all is not right: a journal that belonged to the Disney Imagineers has been stolen by the Overtakers, and more and more teens have joined the ranks of the villains. Finn and the others know that the Dream is the perfect place for the Overtakers to spring a trap, and know that they are sitting ducks. It's a shell game: who can you trust when no one seems trustworthy?First of all, I have loved this series from the very first book, but felt like the last two (including this one) have been a bit of an editing disaster. This book is very long for the age range it's targeted at, and I feel like it's turning Harry Potter-esque in that respect: each book is getting longer and longer and the story seems less tight and concise. Truthfully this book was a bit of a mess; there were typos, lines of dialogue that didn't match up with the speaker, and occurrences where the Kingdom Keepers were in DHI form when they weren't supposed to be, rendering their actions impossible since they were actually in human form. Add to that the addition of new characters, points of view shifting from paragraph to paragraph, and the whole thing was a bit difficult to read and follow at times.That being said, this definitely continues the overarching story line of these five Kingdom Keepers - only freshman in high school - trying to save the Parks from the Disney villains. The stakes keep getting higher and higher, the risks they're taking more dangerous, and the problems they're facing more difficult to manage. This book also has a definite "cannot stop reading" feel to it, even if it does suffer at times from Non-Stop Action Syndrome, which I'm not always a fan of.As for the characters, we're definitely starting to see sides of them that aren't so great; each of them is dealing with changes in their lives, and their feelings for each other. You have watered-down versions of love triangles all over the place, which gets sort of tedious but also fits with this age group. I still really love Finn, but the others have grown on me throughout this book, although I am as annoyed with Philby in this installment as the characters in the book are. I also had qualms with two new editions to the villains: Jack Sparrow and Tia Dalma. I didn't view them as "villains" in the Pirates movie at all, so to see them in that role in the book was a little eyebrow-raising for me personally.This is the fifth of a planned seven books, and it ends with a cliffhanger although I am sure nothing terrible is going to happen to any of the main characters, particularly with the main narrator, so that diminishes its impact a bit, a least in my opinion, which won't be resolved until January of next year when book six is released. While I was disappointed with parts of this one, you can bet that I'll be reading the next installment; I just hope more attention is paid to the editing.