Personal Posts, Strike Back

#Strikeback Day 3 (Day 11)

Day three of the #Strikeback a-thon (details here).  Shoutout of the day goes to Alessandra Tore. She’s a best-selling self-published author. While I don’t read her genre, her YouTube channel is full of great marketing advice for new authors. I particularly enjoy this one.

And now, onto the topic:

Day 3

Series I Won’t Finish

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Image description: Again, I apologize for having no idea what this thing is on the cover of this book. If anyone knows, please describe it in the comments!

  1. The Missing series by Margaret Peterson Haddix 

Summary: Thirteen-year-old Jonah has always known that he was adopted, and he’s never thought it was any big deal. Then he and a new friend, Chip, who’s also adopted, begin receiving mysterious letters. The first one says, “You are one of the missing.” The second one says, “Beware! They’re coming back to get you.”

Jonah, Chip, and Jonah’s sister, Katherine, are plunged into a mystery that involves the FBI, a vast smuggling operation, an airplane that appeared out of nowhere — and people who seem to appear and disappear at will. The kids discover they are caught in a battle between two opposing forces that want very different things for Jonah and Chip’s lives.

Do Jonah and Chip have any choice in the matter? And what should they choose when both alternatives are horrifying? (from author’s website)

This one is probably going to confuse a lot of people because if you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that Margaret Peterson Haddix is one of my favorite MG and YA authors and I recommend this series ALL. THE. TIME. It’s a unique mix of time travel and historical fiction. Allow me to explain.

I started reading these books in late middle school/early high school, and I stand by the fact the second through fifth books are amazing (book one is not bad, just a lot of set-up and light on the historical aspect). I feel like though, this series is very much written toward its target audience, which is not a bad thing whatsoever. It just means that the older I got, the younger the books sounded to me and the aware I became that I was not the target reader.

The other thing that I think affected my level of investment in them is that I was simply more interested in historical aspect than the sci-fi one. When the series started coming to a close in books six and seven, naturally the sci-fi plot had  a bigger role cause it was the overarching conflict the  pushed the characters forward from one book to the next, plus there were large plot threads that had to be resolved. In the end, I just wasn’t as interested in that portion as I was the first five books of the series.

However, that is not at all to say that I do not recommend this series. What I did read has stuck with me since day one, but just be aware it gets heavier in terms of the sci-fi elements toward the end.

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Image description: Five teens, three boys, and two girls, are running toward the reader surrounded by an ocean blue mist. In the background is Cinderella Castle. Maleficent’s face rises from the mist behind the castle, showing only her green-tinted skin, and yellowed eyes lidded with purple eyeshadow.

2. The Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson

Summary: In this fantastical thriller, five young teens tapped as models for theme park “guides” find themselves pitted against Disney villains and witches that threaten both the future of Walt Disney World and the stability of the world outside its walls. Using a cutting-edge technology called DHI–which stands for both Disney Host Interactive and Daylight Hologram Imaging–Finn Whitman, an Orlando teen, and four other kids are transformed into hologram projections that guide guests through the park. The new technology turns out, however, to have unexpected effects that are both thrilling and scary. Soon Finn finds himself transported in his DHI form into the Magic Kingdom at night. Is it real? Is he dreaming? Finn’s confusion only increases when he encounters Wayne, an elderly Imagineer who tells him that the park is in grave danger. Led by the scheming witch, Maleficent, a mysterious group of characters called the Overtakers is plotting to destroy Disney’s beloved realm, and maybe more. This gripping high-tech tale will thrill every kid who has ever dreamed of sneaking into Walt Disney World after hours and wondered what happens at night when the park is closed. (from author’s website).

Again, this one is probably going to make some people scratch their heads. I love everything Disney and especially learning behind the scenes secrets. For a long time, this was my top favorite series ever. Like with The Missing, however, I started reading these in middle school and kept on through college. For me, the first four books, which were set it in each of the Disney World parks were new, interesting, and a lot of fun. Once it reached book five, though, I felt like the author was running out of ideas and just kept reusing really similar plotlines.

The characters’ voices were my other big issue. When the series starts, they’re all pretty young, about 12-13, but by the time it ends, they’re ready to head to college. Yet they still talk and act the same way. I did manage to make it through books 1-6, but I have yet to be able to finish the final book.

For readers who love Disney, Kingdom Keepers is definitely worth a shot, even if the quality goes down after awhile.

I also definitely plan to read the spin-off series The Return 

Summary: With the defeat of the Overtakers behind them, the five teenagers known as the Kingdom Keepers should be celebrating. By all accounts, they saved Disneyland from certain destruction. Why then did their mentor leave one last puzzle for them to decipher? The Keepers must solve a puzzle of the past, or be crushed under an evil that makes the Overtakers seem like gentle souls. (from author’s website)

Disney and historical fiction? Yes, please!

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Image description: In the center of the cover is a witch-like figure in black and red rags with white hair, giving the reader a conspiratorial look. She is perched on a twisted grey tree stump and surrounded by a dark green tree bark border and Firefly/butterfly like bugs on the left side. Fablehaven is written in across the top in an all-caps gold font, as is the author’s name along the bottom.

3. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

Summary: For centuries mystical creatures of all description were gathered into a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite.

Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken — Seth is a bit too curious and reckless for his own good — powerful forces of evil are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save their family, Fablehaven, and perhaps even the world, Kendra and Seth must find the courage to do what they fear most (from Goodreads).

I don’t really have a reason for not finishing this series the way I did the last two. Maybe it was because at the time I had read too many similar, and, in my humble opinion, better, books, or maybe it was the mismatch of mythical creatures when I was expecting more of a fairy tale retelling. Either way, while this series is lighthearted and interesting, it just didn’t pull me in enough to want to continue. If it sounds up your alley though, try it and prove me wrong 🙂

Prompts 

1 Favorite books you’ve read because of booktube (Any number of favorite reads you’d like to mention)

2 5 books you really want to read this year (Any genre no real limits here.)

3 Favorite fantasy reads (Any number just limited to fantasy, YA or NA or Middle Grade it’s all fair game.)

4 favorite music and favorite book (The favorite songs that make you think of particular books)

5 Sequels I want to read (Any number, no big limitations.)

6 bookish merch collection (No real limits here either.)

7 Classic I want to read

8 Book, boyfriends/Girlfriends (Let’s face it we’ve all wanted to date a book character at more than one point)

9 Cover buys

10 “Small” Booktuber shout out

11 Series I won’t finish

12 favorite bookish romances

13 quick reads recommendations

14 disappointing reads

15 favorite things about book tube

16 auto-buy authors

17 top 10 TBR books

18 Series I want to finish

19 What is monetization on YouTube/Do I monetize (Choose to talk about either monetization or whether you do/n’t and why.)

20 5 “Small” Channels shoutouts

21 Favorite moments in the last year in the BookTube community?

22 Something you look forward to in the future of YouTube

23 Why did you join BookTube?

24 5 Channel Starting Tips 25 What has been one of the more trying videos to make since you started booktube?

26 Twitter, Goodreads, and BookTube Oh My (Discuss the way the community interacts and some highlights from your perspective)

27 Behind The BookTube (Talk about your setup to film and edit)

28 Channels That Inspire You (not exactly a shoutout video, and it doesn’t need to be just booktube channels.)

29 Bookshelf Tour

30 5 More “Small” Channel Shoutouts

Question of the day: What’s one series you won’t finish?

Until tomorrow! And as always, keep making magic, word weavers!

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