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Hi! I'm Laura, a 23-year-old millennial girl discovering who I am by sharing my life experiences on my blog. You'll find me writing about me discovering my personal style, my growing wanderlust or giving any sort of style, uni or mental health advice.

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From July 2012 all items marked with a (*) are gifted items or PR samples. Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please read my disclaimer for more details.

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This post contains affiliate links. All links to the books mentioned in this post are affiliate links. Please read my full disclaimer here.

It felt like the right time to post this post, as it has been sitting in my drafts for a little while. After last week’s post about my hobbies making a comeback this year, I thought it would be a good time to share my favourite books I read last year. This is a short little list of the books I have read and fell in love with this past year. These are all books that to this day have stayed with me and I still think about from time to time. Reading has been hobby of mine for as long as I can remember. It's like opening a little door into a different world and I can easily get sucked into a book, into that different world if I really love the book, the topic or how a book is written.


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This story has made the biggest impact and impression on me this past year. This technically is a book for young adults, but I still think that every single person should read this book if you haven’t already. Thomas pulls us in by telling the story of Starr Carter, a sixteen-year-old girl who lives in a poor neighbourhood, while going to school in a suburban and preppy one. Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil by the police. He was unarmed and soon this shooting becomes a national headline. Some call him a thug, gangbanger or drugs dealer, while protestors start to take the streets in Khalil’s name. Everyone wants to know what happened and Starr is the only one with an answer to it.
Thomas discusses topics as racism, discrimination and police brutality in America in this book. These are so important to be discussed, as they are still a part of reality for so many people around the world. This story brings insight into unbearable suffering and injustice still happening daily. I personally find this so hard and emotional to think about, as I cannot comprehend people treating others differently because the colour of their skin or any other invalid reason. This book gets that social and political message across, which is why I feel like this book is so important for everyone to read. Some books are important to read. And this book is not only important; it’s also well written, emotionally charged. I found it so hard to put it down.


Normal People by Sally Rooney

Another book that had me glued to its pages is Normal People by Sally Rooney. Just like I loved that the previous book was packed with emotion, Normal People was also packed with emotions. The story begins with Connell and Marianne pretending not to know each other in high school. Connell is the popular boy, while Marianne is a proud and private loner, an outsider. The two meet each other when Connell comes to pick up his mum from her housekeeping job at Marianne’s house. And that’s when a strange and memorable connection grows between the two. A year later they are at college and the roles are reversed. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell is living life at the sideline, shy and uncertain of himself. Throughout their years in college they keep being drawn back together like magnets. And as readers we follow their lives over a couple of years in college. We get to read about their highs and lows in life. That’s what particularly prickled my interest in this book. Rooney has a very enjoyable writing-style; she discusses topics such as depression and awkwardness in relationships. Something pretty much any millennial can relate to. And as this is written by a millennial, this book felt like a breathe of fresh air, which made it so easy for me to read and like this book. The characters aren’t particularly likeable, but they get under your skin. They make you think. Once I finished this book I still had to think about it for a couple of weeks. I couldn’t let Connell and Marianne go. I kept thinking about them, their story. Although I didn’t personally love the ending, I just couldn’t let go of these characters.

The Power by Naomi Alderman

I remember reading this next book so well. I even remember the setting around reading it. I read this back in July and August. It was super warm; we had not had heat waves like this this in The Netherlands ever before. The only thing I could bring myself to do is sit in the shade in our garden and read this book. And there was nothing else I wanted to do, because this book had me hooked. The novel begins with girls and women all around the world suddenly having gained a power to shock and kill others only with a touch. It’s not even this power these girls and women gain that got me hooked. Alderman knows how to write about oppression and gender in a very smart way. This book did not make me feel empowered in a way you might think, it made me feel uncomfortable. I got uncomfortable but not with men. Not with women. The uncomfortable feeling I got in my stomach was with what humans can do if they get enough power. Power can be transferred, and when it does power can be corruptive. While reading this I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that this book felt similar to big classics such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Brave New World. I remember finishing this book late at night last summer. All throughout the night I just kept thinking about this book and how power can poison the mind and what it might do to mankind if it falls into the wrong or one set of hands.


To bring a bit of light into it all, I also I want to share some more light-hearted read too. Some days I am all for more meaningful books, other days I feel like I need to read something funny, uplifting and heart-warming. I am a sucker for love and love a good old romantic story.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

The first three lines on the cover of this book already had me pulled in when I saw this. Tiffy and Leon share a flat. Tiffy and Leon share a bed. Tiffy and Leon have never met. Does this not immediately raise so many questions?! At first I found this book to be a bit slow, but once I got deeper into it I couldn’t put this book down. I think I finished it under a week. Yes this was funny, uplifting and obviously heart-warming read. But what I loved most about this book was that it wasn’t too light. It wasn’t too fluffy. It didn’t make me cringe like some of the other chick-lit novels I have read last year. This book has a bit more depth to it, which is why I think I enjoyed it so much. It takes a little while until we get to the joy-part of this story. It was emotional, stressful and angst-y to read at times. I found this book very heartfelt and it shows the importance of supportive love in life and especially when healing from trauma and abuse.

No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter

Yet another Young Adult book makes the cut to this list. Once again, I remember reading this book, the whole setting around it. I read this book while on holiday and finished it a day because I couldn’t put it down. No Big Deal shares the story of Emily, a seventeen-year-old girl who is cute, stylish, funny and intelligent. Oh and let’s not forget; Fat. One of the first lines I read in this synopsis was “It’s not my body that is holding me back. I think it’s more of a problem that people tell me my body should hold me back”. Emily likes herself and her body, but the people around her make her doubt herself. Her body. And when she meets Joe, he becomes the Crush of Her Life and he seems perfect. But she soon starts to doubt everything about that relationship.
What I personally loved most about this book, is that is everything I needed when I was growing up. It’s not really a chick-lit. It’s to learn to love yourself for who you are. Thinking back on how I grew up and was in high school, I could relate to Emily. No one, thankfully, ever called me fat to my face while growing up, but I always compared myself to others while growing up. I looked different. I wasn’t as skinny. And I knew it. This is an empowering book to read for young girls if they feel insecure about being a bigger size. Rutter also provides such a positive and important message in this book for any other teen who might feel like an outsider or feels like one because of their size. It is hard to love yourself and it is no secret I to this day sometimes struggle with this myself. Even though Emily is only seventeen years old in this book, she is so intelligent. So strong. So wise. She embraces herself. She loves herself. It’s inspiring to read and it makes you realise to be more kind and loving to yourself. We should all love ourselves and be strong and kind. These aren’t just messages plus size teens need to embrace, they are messages every single person in this world needs to embrace and carry around with them in life.