BUT, I have some major concerns and issues with what Messenger and her editors decided. It feels like Shannon Messenger is drawing out the series. There did not need to be a book 8.5. Yes, there is a major cliffhanger and there are new developments, but Messenger could have easily put the whole thing in book 9. The first 500 pages contains mostly summary information from the previous books. The majority of those pages are the Registry Files, which contain extremely detailed information about each character that is not only irrelevant and repetitive, but unrealistic. And why include it- does Messenger think her readers are suddenly going to forget? I did learn some interesting tidbits and enjoyed Keefe's detention record and the quizzes, but it easily could have been 150 pages instead of 500.
I wish I waited for the book to be in libraries instead of buying the giant physical copy, and I would have if I knew what I was buying. Amazon claims it's the #1 New Release in Children's Friendship Books, but if we all knew that nearly 70% of the book is not the book, then I know it would be rated much less. The description is completely misleading, claiming to "delive[r] what fans of the series have been begging for! Told in an exciting new way, the saga continues with plenty of huge reveals and shocking new twists—plus a complete series guide with beautiful color and black-and-white illustrations and other awesome bonuses!". Uh, nope, a 500 page encyclopedia is not what fans have been begging for, and the order is inaccurate- this makes it sound like the the "complete series guide" is at the end with other bonuses. Heck, why didn't they flip it and put the story first?
You can read my reviews of all the books in this series here.
Author: Shannon Messenger
Series: Yes, Book 8.5
Rating: 3 Stars