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  • Writer's pictureLaurel Anne

Books of 2019: 21-30

How is it September already?!

I'm currently on book 32 out of 50 for this year, and it's definitely a race to finish everything in time. And as I've decided to keep track of what I'm reading both here and on my personal Instagram, I'm checking in with books 21-30, most of which I read this summer.

Enjoy my reviews, and if you have any thoughts on any of these books, I'd love to hear them!

21. What Do You Do With a Problem? By Kobi Yamada

I am in love with this children's book series. I read the first in college, in a Children's Lit class. I was completely enamored by What Do You Do With an Idea? and now I'm enamored with its companions.

What Do You Do With a Problem is not only clever (as I believe all good children's stories are), it's also just beautifully real. Adults deal with problems all the time, but you know what? So do kids. And I love that this author is teaching children how to deal with problems we encounter in life. The writing is different than a lot of children's stories I've read and it's part of why I love these. The illustrations are BEAUTIFUL. I'd frame many of these pages.

Overall, definitely a 9/10. Maybe even a 9.5/10. So good.

22. What Do You Do With a Chance? By Kobi Yamada

Again, Kobi Yamada just hits it out of the park. These books are kind of a trilogy, and I wish he'd write more of them. I would read them all (and buy them when I have enough money).

And I say this about all three books, but really, in this one... THE ARTISTRY. WOW. The colors especially. They spoke to my heart. This story is super cute, just like the others. The first one I read (the Idea one) is still my favorite, but you guys they all rank high in my rating system. I feel like child Me would have loved these, but adult Me definitely does too.

I think we all need a bit of whimsy in our lives. A bit of a reminder that we can do the things, that there is beauty, that life is full of amazing stuff. Overall, 9/10.

23. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

This book was so different than I'd expected! But it was really fun, and a little bit unusual. It's a middle grade fiction about a 12-year-old evil genius millionaire. Mad props to the author for thinking that one up, along with all the adventures Artemis has. I love how he blended our modern world with faerie lore. Totally a fun world he created. I got a little bit bored in a few spots, but overall it was interesting. Not entirely predictable (which I like).

Some characters were hilarious and some were sweet. I liked it. It's a series but I don't think I'll be going back for more at the moment--maybe sometime in the future when I have more time to pick up every book on every shelf. For now, I'll just leave Artemis as I left him.

Overall, 7.5/10.

24. Nancy Drew: Without a Trace by Carolyn Keens

I haven't read Nancy Drew since I was a kid, and I wanted to give it a try as an adult! It was definitely a quick read--no wonder the library assigned so many as part of our summer reading programs.

It's about as fun as I remember the stories being. It's kind of cute, but I honestly never liked Nancy all that much so her character isn't my favorite. Still, especially as a summer read, it's good for kids and adults who like an easy mystery read. So, not too bad!

Overall, I give it a 7/10.

25. Storybound by Marissa Burt

I loved this book! It started off a little slow, but I kind of had a hunch it would get better. By the end, I couldn't put it down. This book has such a cool premise, mixing fairy tale characters and their own worlds/lore and the real world. I honestly can't even describe the way this author has created her fairy tale world but it's fascinatingly beautiful.

She took the story into places I hadn't expected, but really enjoy. There's a sequel and I'm definitely looking it up. The characters are dynamic, the dialogue is interesting, and the story is timeless yet has some twists. I might even buy this one someday. Well done, Marissa. You write well.

Overall, 9.5/10.

26. Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare isn't always my favorite but this one was fun. I read it a few years ago but wanted to go through it again before I saw a play of it (a few days after I read it). It's one of his earlier plays and you can tell, but it definitely has his usual sarcasm and wit.

The storyline is pretty funny--obviously, since it is one of his comedies. And it actually ends differently than most other comedies, considering there's a death near the end and it doesn't finish with a wedding... but that's part of what intrigues me about this one. I wouldn't read it over and over, but it was interesting for now.

If you're a fan of Shakespeare, you should read this one.

Overall, 7/10.

27. The Sacred Enneagram by Christopher L. Heuertz

Okay, I might have a different opinion of this book than some other people (and that's okay), so hear me out. I like the Enneagram and like many people in recent years, I took the test to find out which number I am. I've read up on all the numbers online, laugh at the memes, etc.

It's a cool tool for thinking deeply, for identifying fears and motivations in our lives, and it does help to learn about others sometimes. This book was a little weird though because I felt like the Enneagram became this guy's Bible. When that happens, we've taken the Enneagram too far. So that's a caution I have when talking about this book with others. People sometimes get crazy about Ennea stuff.

Don't let it replace the Gospel, y'all. Overall, I give this one a 6/10. That's kind of being generous, sorry...

28. Cress by Marissa Meyer

This is the third book in a series I'm working through, and I think it's simultaneously my favorite and my least favorite. I'm enjoying the way this plot is going, and the characters are still mostly fun... but some parts are turning into a teenage girl-fest and I felt myself roll my eyes more than once.

However, I'm still committed to finishing the series so I'm going to keep reading! The fourth book is on hold at the library. And I'm intrigued about how some things are potentially happening in the next book, which is always a good thing when you're in the midst of a series. Overall, I'm enjoying this series!

Overall, 7/10

29. Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones

STRAP IN. Y'all. If you know me, you know I am in love with the Miyazaki movie Howl's Moving Castle. I didn't know it was a book--and I certainly didn't know that book had a sequel! But, here we are. This book was so much more than I expected it to be, especially for a random library find. I'm in love with the world and everything that this author has created.

The story was engaging and surprising--my favorite kind! And a rarity for me. The characters were fun, the story was well-paced, and now I want to read Howl's too! It's definitely a recommended read, you guys. My jaw dropped in a few places. I actually laughed out loud, too.

Overall, 8/10.

30. The Story Raider by Lindsay A. Franklin

This book was a bit different than I think I expected, after reading the first in the series. It actually just came out, so we have no clue what's going to happen next. I love the author's magic system she's created, it's definitely unique. The story was predictable though and I kind of saw everything coming...until the last page. There's a plot twist there that I hadn't anticipated, and I appreciated that.

A few spots got a little bit slow for me too, but overall it was an enjoyable book. I don't know if I'll buy the next book but I'll definitely read it and see how the story all wraps up!

Overall, 7/10.

And that's it so far, folks! I hope you found some books you might want to give a try through reading my reviews--whether you're reading them here or on Instagram. If you've read the same books I have, let me know! I'd love to talk about what you're loving, what you're not, and every book in between.

Until next time!


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