Top 5 Fictional Fashion Icons


Style is a personal thing. We know what looks good on our bodies and tend to not stray from that safety net. But we all have those days where we look at our wardrobe and sigh over how predictable and/or familiar it is. In those moments we look to others for inspiration - whether that be in a magazine, bloggers, well known style icons, or even our friends. But I, like many, tend to look to the fictional women in my life. Being a TV show gal at heart, I find it easier to grow to love someone's style on screen rather than only spotting a new outfit every now and again on Instagram, plus I'm a strong believer in finding style icons with a somewhat similar body shape/height as you, which makes it an easier process. It's all well and good to look at Kate Moss for an outfit idea but let's face it, is that high neck crop top and trumpet skirt really going to look good on 5'3" me? Yeah, no. Not likely. I feel better looking at someone's style and knowing that it wouldn't look completely off on my body shape. So in those moments of dire need, I pull up Google Images and search for my favourite characters and then stare longingly at the clothes they don. It's a terribly lonely process, so let's now do it together. Yay! Here are my...

"Sexy librarian chic" answers Berry when asked to describe her style, and you can't really argue with that. I've adored Rachel's clothing since I saw my first episode of Glee when it aired on Channel 4 six years ago (I know, I'm crying over how fast that time has gone too). With chunky sweaters and mini skirts, you can't really call season 1 Rachel a fashion icon, though I did always have a secret love for the reindeer sweaters and white tights. But as the seasons went on, her style evolution was something to be admired. What I loved most about her wardrobe was how easy it was to replicate - her style being mostly built around basics that you can get for any price you choose. Berry is a queen and if I could steal anyone's wardrobe, it would be hers. (Minus the H&M pieces that I've already managed to snag on Ebay.)
BLAIR WALDORF || Gossip Girl
If you've ever Googled "Top Style Icons on TV" Blair Waldorf is usually spotted somewhere around the top. Unlike Rachel Berry, Blair's closet is compiled of patterns and textures and makes for more of an unattainable but admirable style. Due to being British, I particularly adore her outerwear and fondness of stockings and various hats, after all, it can be bloody hard to feel put together and stylish when you're wearing 35 layers. I've found inspiration in Blair's outfits more often than I'd care to admit and though I may not be able to always polish off a look with six inch heels, I sure can match my hat to my shoes.
SPENCER HASTINGS || Pretty Little Liars
She has always been my gamble when it comes to fashion. With her slim physic and height going against me, I'm always cautious when mirroring Spencer Hastings style. The only lady on my list who is miles from wearing anything I can replicate. I was unsure of whether I ought to include her, but then I thought of all the fashion tips I have taken from the character over the years - such as, it's okay to wear something super baggy if you makes you comfortable. It's okay to belt a cardigan, and PS: cardigans go with everything. And most importantly, it's okay to be little too dressed up for an occasion. I have many items of clothing in my wardrobe that don't really fit with my daily lifestyle, but I'm learning that it's okay to wear them just for an outing to the local shop or a thrifty hunt. Who cares? If you feel put together and somewhat pretty, go for it. 
 LOUISA CLARKE || Me Before You
The only character from a movie (and book) on the list, but how can you not admire Lou and her wacky wardrobe? Now I'll admit that at least half of the outfits in Me Before You were questionable as all heck, but the few good ones marginally made up for it. With funky skirts and all the collars you could possibly want, how can you not fall it's charm?
 CLARA OSWALD || Doctor Who
I was thoroughly disappointed when Clara's fashion choices changed during her last season of the show. But alas, there were a few gems hidden among the questionable. This is another choice of mine partly due to the height/body shape similarities. I have gained a fair few outfits that I never would of tried if it hadn't been for seeing Jenna Coleman's character wearing something of the sort. Plus I may of also chopped my hair off thanks to her. So, yeah, just keep talking me out of getting bangs, people. 
The Ones That Almost Made The Cut: 

JESS DAY || New Girl
I really wanted to add Jess on my list, due to my regular Googling of Zooey's outfits - on AND off screen. But to be 110% honest, I've never seen an episode of New Girl. If I had, I imagine she would be much further up this life. Possibly snagging 2nd place.
(I repeat: Keep talking me out of getting bangs!!)
MELINDA WARREN || Ghost Whisperer
BROOKE DAVIS || One Tree Hill
RORY GILMORE || Gilmore Girls
Who are your style icons? Do you look to fictional characters? 
Let me know! Tweet me at @RootingBranches or leave a comment!

- Anne x

Massive by Julia Bell || [spoiler-free] Review


Food. It keeps us alive. We find comfort in it. It brings people together. Heck, some of our days are revolved around it. We use sugary treats to celebrate or to congratulate someone. It's a happy thing. We all love food. Right?

Like most girls her age, teen Carmen's mentality is build around what she looks like and the craving for Big Mac's. Looks define people, at least that's what her mother leads her to believe. Thin is beautiful and anything else isn't. Simple. So when Carmen's mother packs both their bags and takes the young girl away from the only father figure she's known, her single friend, and in retrospect, the only people in her life who normalises food, the young girl's life takes a spiralling path downward. Returning to her mother's hometown of Birmingham, Carmen's daily life becomes revolved around restriction, bullying, and listening to her frail mother tell her how much happier they'd both be if they lost a few more pounds. That is when she's not telling her daughter that life would've been better without her.

I'd never heard of this book which is surprising given the topic and my online circles. I just happened to stumble upon Massive in my local charity shop. Hows that for fate?  Surprisingly, this was my first time reading a fictionalised novel covering the topic of an ED, written from the POV of the sufferer. Straight off the bat, I liked this book. Grim topic and all. I found it comforting in a sense, but more on that later. My biggest worry going into this book, and well, my biggest assumption was that the author, Julia Bell, was going to try and make ED's seem poetic and hauntingly beautiful like most of Tumblr does. I worried that it was going to glorify the illness in some way, or make it appear as though the main character just wanted attention. After all, I think we can all agree that topics regarding mental or physical health shouldn't be held with such irresponsibility *side-eyes 13 Reasons Why* Nothing is beautiful about hating yourself with such intensity that you put your health and well-being in jeopardy. Nothing is glorifying about being bent over a toilet and throwing up the contents of your stomach. Thankfully the author did the illness some justice and never set out to make something seem poetic or "quotable". It just was what it was.

Documenting the mind of someone with an eating disorder is never going to be simple. Speaking from experience, when your mind is in such a place, no thoughts truly make sense. It's just a muddle of air, sadness, hatred, and obsession. So if you pick up Massive, you have to be prepared to dislike most of the characters. Notably Maria (the mother) and Carmen, yeah, the two characters that the story revolves around. But to go alongside that dislike, you understand them in some twisted way. Carmen isn't written as a character you feel deeply for, nor is she one written for you to hate. She's simply a realistic portrayal of a teenage girl going through a lot of crap. Teenagers are cruel and when put together with her single role-model, you can understand why she is the way she is. But you have to be willing to explore all layers of her. You can't read this book and not put your own thoughts and understanding into it, it won't work like that. Massive deserves your time and heart.

When it comes to the important matter of "Does this book do the ED awareness community justice by opening up the eyes of a reader who hasn't had any dealings with the disorders? Will it help them understand, or does it just make us all look a little crazy and obsessive?" It's a hard one to answer. On one hand, it's refreshing to read a book on the subject that isn't full of magical cures or, let's face it, a man changing the mind of a woman who doesn't see herself properly. This story is gritty and makes you wince with discomfort or anger numerous times, which is what you want when reading about something this serious. But I'll admit that it is problematic in the sense of the mother. She is what some would class as "the worst case scenario" for a sufferer and I don't entirely see why they made her so horrid toward Carmen regarding the regret she felt for having the girl. I could see that the lack of control in her life when she gave birth was substituted with the control she had over food, but maybe it could've been written better. I don't know.

One big thing I will put out there, if you have or are on a path to recovery with an ED, maybe don't pick this up until you feel strong enough. It isn't triggering per say, but I became overly cautious of what I was eating after reading a few chapters. I felt guilt for eating more than the characters in the book (idiotic, I know. But that's just how my mind works sometimes.), and it put me somewhat back into that mental space. Read with caution. Be prepared to put the book down.

One thing with Massive that I both like and dislike, is that it has so many layers. You find yourself coming to a realisation days after finishing the last page. It's all connected but you have to choose to see the irony or rather, connections, of some aspects of the story - domino affect and all that. I want to study it with a sharpie and post-its. Maybe I will one day. Speaking of studying, I read online that this has been pushed toward the high school demographic before and to that I think, what the hell? I've only ever been one teenage girl, so I can only speak for my past self, but.. this book would've given me tips and tricks. I would not of finished Massive feeling grateful for my lumps or bumps nor would it of helped me get a better understanding of bullies. You have to be in the right head space before you pick this up, I will say it over and over. It isn't something to be taken lightly. I would never suggest that my daughter read this, despite it's YA tag. This is for people who need someone to understand them or want to understand someone with a similar illness, or for those of us who appreciate reading about the various forms of ED's and the people they consume - whether that be in fiction or reality. This isn't for young girls who can easily be influenced by the words they consume.

All in all, I appreciate this book for what it is and that may be hugely down to the gratitude I felt when I got near the midway point and realised that it wasn't trying to mask itself as beautiful. If you're up for this journey of think that you could better yourself/your understanding by delving into some aspects of an ED, then pick this one up. Tweet me about it. This is a novel that ought to be spoken about with one another.

Do you have any book suggestions hcovering similar topics? Let me know!

- Anne x

PS: To Buy Massive click HERE.

The Second Collective Book Haul


Who doesn't love a book haul? They're personally one of my favourite kinds of videos to watch on YT. As I'm not one to be in front of a camera or speak in public, a shoddy blog post showing off the new shiny paperbacks on my shelves will have to do. This is a collective haul but most came from the same charity shop that my previous hauled books (blog post HERE) came from. I do love a bargain.

Not That Kind Of Girl
by Lena Dunham

In Not That Kind of Girl, Dunham illuminates the experiences that are part of making one’s way in the world: falling in love, feeling alone, being ten pounds overweight despite eating only health food, having to prove yourself in a room full of men twice your age, finding true love, and most of all, having the guts to believe that your story is one that deserves to be told.

by Julia Bell

"I'm fat," I hear myself saying. I look in the mirror. My face has gone hot and red; I feel like I'm going to explode. "I'm fat." It sizzles under my skin, puffing me up, pushing me out, making me massive. 

Weight has always been a big issue in Carmen's life. How could it not? Her mom is obsessed with the idea that thin equals beautiful, thin equals successful, thin equals the way to get what you want. Carmen knows that as far as her mom is concerned, there is only one option: be thin. 

When her mother sweeps her off to live in the city, Carmen finds that her old world is disappearing. As her life spirals out of control Carmen begins to take charge of the only thing she can -- what she eats. If she were thin, very thin, could it all be different

Water For Elephants
by Sara Gruen

Jacob Jankowski, a veterinary student, is close to graduating when a terrible tragedy forces him to leave school. With nowhere else to go, he hops on a passing train and finds it belongs to a travelling circus. Jacob takes a job as an animal caretaker and meets Marlena, a beautiful circus performer. Their shared compassion for a special elephant named Rosie leads to love, but August, Marlena's cruel husband, stands in their way.

Before I Sleep
by SJ Watson

As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child, thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me... 

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love--all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. 

Welcome to Christine's life. 

After You
by Jojo Moyes

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living? Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can't help but feel she's right back where she started. Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life.

On The Road
by Jack Kerouac

Inspired by Jack Kerouac's adventures with Neal Cassady, On the Road tells the story of two friends whose cross-country road trips are a quest for meaning and true experience. Written with a mixture of sad-eyed naivete and wild ambition and imbued with Kerouac's love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz, On the Road is the quintessential American vision of freedom and hope, a book that changed American literature and changed anyone who has ever
picked it up.   

The Diary Of A Young Girl
by Anne Frank

In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

Happy Accidents
by Jane Lynch

In the summer of 1974, a fourteen-year-old girl in Dolton, Illinois, had a dream. A dream to become an actress, like her idols Ron Howard and Vicki Lawrence. But it was a long way from the South Side of Chicago to Hollywood, and it didn't help that she'd recently dropped out of the school play, The Ugly Duckling. Or that the Hollywood casting directors she wrote to replied that "professional training was a requirement."
But the funny thing is, it all came true. Through a series of Happy Accidents, Jane Lynch created an improbable and hilarious path to success. In those early years, despite her dreams, she was also consumed with anxiety, feeling out of place in both her body and her family. To deal with her worries about her sexuality, she escaped in positive ways such as joining a high school chorus not unlike the one in Glee but also found destructive outlets. She started drinking almost every night her freshman year of high school and developed a mean and judgemental streak that turned her into a real- life Sue Sylvester.

What have you been reading lately? Have you read anything on this list? 
Let me know!

- Anne x

Material Girl In A Material World

If you know me personally and/or you know anyone who has ever tried to buy me a gift, it'll be well within your knowledge that I'm difficult to buy for. I have particular likes and dislikes (who doesn't?), and I'm quite picky when it comes to material things. To go alongside that, I don't treat myself often with a luxurious self-gift as I'm a cheap skate. Yup, I admit it. Heck, a few weeks ago I almost sobbed over spending £5 on a Topshop dress from the charity shop. I'm that girl. I digress, I thought it was about time to gather up a list of my favourite things to 1) help guide gift buyers along, and 2) to make myself realise how much I love these little things and that I ought to indulge sometimes. It's healthy to treat yourself. Hell, the entire world seems to be falling down right in front of our eyes, so we ought to be able to partake in a little self love. Here are things that I don't need in life, but that I enjoy having.

Disclaimer: I hope I get the message behind this post properly across. This is in no way asking for expensive gifts or saying that I'm going to go on a shopping spree and buy all the things. It's merely a list of material items that you may find a little joy in too. Life is more about moments, and I'm fully aware of that. It's all in aid of fun, and blogging. Just sayin'.

Or more specifically their satin and lace chemises. If you want buttery soft PJ's that also gives more support than any bra I have tried, check out this brand. My chest has never felt so comfortable on my skin, come to think of it, nor have it ever felt more uplifted. I'm a strong believer in "Wear something that makes you feel nice, even if you're the only one who gets to see it." Whether that be lingerie, stockings, or fancy smancy nightwear. What I like most about these specific chemises is the cut - it's pure perfection which amounts to a hell of a lot during low confidence days. Hell, I've worn one under my dresses countless times. At over £40 a piece, it is quite the investment. But like with most things, you have to work out whether you'll get your wear out of it for the price. I have easily spent that, if not more, on crappy PJ's that I've hardly worn because they make me feel unpretty and/or they've broken. So, yeah, I'd say it's worth it. I'm definitely going to try out their bras at some point in the near future. Have you tried things from this brand other than nightwear? Let me know!

Who doesn't like a soft glow in the room? This is entirely on my list because of comfort. My mind is a place of absolute chaos 99.9% of the time, and these little tiny dots of warmth help. So who am I to argue? I particularly enjoy doing some yoga at night with the only light source being the fairylights draped over my bookshelves. It's simply calming. If you don't have at least one string of lights in your room, get some. Try it. Read under them. If you hate it, your box of Christmas decorations will thank you.

Gin & Tonic or Gin & Soda tends to be my go-to choice if having a drink at home. I don't have a particular brand favourite - give me a few more years - so I can't pinpoint one and go "Try it!" but alas, Gin = yum. (Drink in moderation/not at all, kids)

In the words of Rachel Berry, 'Sexy Librarian Chic'. That is how I'd happily describe my style. The closest brand I ever found to matching my wardrobe needs was Joy Louche but the price tags put me off more than once. There stepped in Joanie. Affordable clothes that are so freaking pretty I could weep at the screen. I won't, but I could. Petticoats, cat prints, and vibrant colours. Eek! Here are some of my current favourites to lust over.

The weird one on the list, but yeah, I'm a girl who loves some lotion. My favourite being Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days Repair. Lotions/body butters can be quite expensive, especially given how often you have to replenish your stock (much like skincare) So it's always worthwhile stocking up when they're on offer or pleasant to receive as a gift. Every few months or so I question my spending on them and instead buy some other brand in Home Bargains or Poundland, and I always regret it. We spend so much on our facial skin, so why do we skimp when it comes the rest of our skin? Anne, always asking the big questions. But yeah, I like lotion.

I can justify this (non)fun one! I take a lot of photos. And when I say photos, I mean photos of my cat. I'm a photo hoarder, I even keep the ones that are a little blurry. It's a problem, but one I am not yet ready to discuss so let's move on. Memory sticks/cards are bloody expensive for what they are. I probably ought to invest in a external hard-drive one day but the thought of having everything important in only one place gives me the heebie jeebies. So for now, I'll stick to the little pieces of memory that I can label as "Bruno: Years 1-3", "Bruno: Years 4-7".

Classic girly investment. We all want to smell nice, and fragrance pretty much covers that (though, you know, let's all keep slapping on the deodorant too). My personal favourite brand is Library of Fragrance due to the countless unique scents they cover - personal favourites being Rain, Rose and Jasmine. Designed to layer over each other, you can have endless fun customising your own personal scent. And at only £15 for 30ml, it isn't going to break the bank.

I'm a doodler. I like drawing meaningless things around the margin of my notebook. I like jotting down quotes and usually trail a graphic on paper before screen. I have many notebooks and am never afraid to splash out a few pounds every now and again on some new ones. But the pens and pencils? Well, let's just say I still doodle with a pencil that I had in primary school and I stole my favourite pen from my fiance. I currently have my eye on the sets listed below on Amazon but I would love some recommendations.

What are some of your favourite material things? How do you like to treat yourself?
Have I caused Madonna to be stuck in your head now? I'm sorry! 

- Anne x

Breakfast Bake: Cottage Cheese, Broccoli and Tomato || Recipe


Sometimes you need a hearty breakfast to kick-start your day off right. That, or you need a brunch that'll keep you going until tea time. I call this a Breakfast Bake but it really can pass for a meal at any time of the day, depending on what you pair it with. If you try this at home, please let me know what you thought and whether there is anything you think could be improved. Opinions matter! Enjoy.


1 Medium Broccoli, Chopped
1 Large Tomato, Sliced OR Handful of Cherry/Plum Tomatoes, Halved
Small Bowl of White Mushrooms, Peeled and Halved
8 Spring Onions, Chopped Finely 

Cupboard Staples
3 Medium Eggs, Whisked
3 Cloves of Garlic, Crushed
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Parsley (Or a good chunk of fresh)

Special Ingredient
450g Cottage Cheese

Grated Mature Cheddar

Preheat oven to 375 F /  Gas Mark 5

Step I
Cook your broccoli in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for 4 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop further cooking.

Step II
While the broccoli boils, whisk together your cottage cheese, garlic, eggs, spring onion and parsley.

Step III
To your mixture add your broccoli and raw mushrooms. Mix eventually before transferring to an ovenproof dish. Top with sliced tomatoes and some grated cheese.

Side-note: If you don't appreciate having to cook in the morning, prepare the night before and refrigerate until you're ready to pop it in the oven. 

Place on the middle shelf of your oven and allow to bake for 30-35 minutes. 
Optional: Follow our lead and serve with some pan fried sweet potatoes. Yum! 

- Anne x

The Personal Tag : From Bloggers To Bloggers


If you're a regular blog reader or follow some amazing ladies (or gentleman) on Twitter, you may of seen The Personal Tag that has been going around for a few months where a blogger will answer 11 questions that were asked by the blogger before her, and then ask a new set of questions to the 11 bloggers that she tags herself. Does that make sense? I'll put the rules lower down in the post, so scroll to that if your nose is scrunched in confusion.  And if you're just here to get your own questions, that is perfectly fine, you'll find them lower down. Enjoy!

Tags like these have been floating around the blogsphere for years, but they never get old because there is always something new to learn about the writers behind our favourite blogs. It's fun. Who doesn't love fun? I was tagged by both the lovely Emily of ThatAutumnGirl (Thanks, girl!) and by Amber of MyLifeInLimbo at the end of June. (Mega big thanks to you too!) Seen as it completely slipped my mind to writer this out when I was first tagged, I'm going to combine both tag questions into 11 that you may not already know about me. (I hope that's okay, tagger people! I'm super sorry.)

1. What type of posts do you like to write about?
My favourite posts to compile together and the ones based around pretty photos. (Example: Sunset State Beach & Aber Falls) as they resemble a teeny tiny online scrapbook. But my favourite posts to actually write out are ones covering health - both mental and physical (Examples: Living with Body Dysmorphia and my Bath Musings series).

2. Why did you start blogging? 

I wanted a creative place online to share the inner workings of my mind. I started countless blogs before this one, but I always wound up deleting them due to either inactivity or chickening out and thinking that it was pointless as no one would care. It took me a long while to learn to write for me, not others. 

3. What have you learned about yourself while blogging?
That I'm surprisingly comfortable writing about things that some people see as a "taboo". I'm okay with writing out why I'm overly sad sometimes and publishing it for so many to see. I post some of the links of my Facebook, even. I don't know, I guess I just feel safe behind a screen. I can be the person who lives inside of my mind, instead of the outer shell that I think people will appreciate more. 

4. What is the blog post that you are most proud of? Why?
My "You Are My Sunshine" post. Because it was bloody hard to write and I didn't know whether I could gather the strength to. Writing about loss is near impossible. Nothing can accurately put it into words.

5.  Do you have any pets?
Yes! I have my little munchkin (literally) Bruno, and as for family pets, I - by default - have two dogs named Lily (the one needing a haircut) and Sally (the collie). 

6. What is one new thing you’ve started doing lately?

I've been trying to teach myself how to play the Ukulele, but it's going terribly. 

7. What is your favourite book?

Either The Host by Stephanie Meyer (Don't judge a book by it's author!) or Wild by Cheryl Strayed. 

8. What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

Stop overthinking everything, it does nothing but harm. 99.9% of the happenings in your life are out of your control, so don't stress yourself silly about them. You can't change people or what they want to do. You may be right in thinking that your have the better understanding of whats good or bad in the world, but some people just like to not set themselves free. Just free yourself instead, it's okay to take yourself out of circumstances that aren't making you happy. It isn't selfish.

9. What is a favorite quote of yours?

"You gotta have roots before branches." Shocker, right? I totally keep that low-key. 

10. What is your favorite television show?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. From now until forever. 

11. What do you love about your life?

Besides the obvious "My loved ones", I guess, that I have so many options. It's ironic because a large part of me hates it, I wish my life was set on one straight path so I could just go along for the ride and not have to make any decisions that could possibly hurt those I love. But I know of so many who have no control over their future, so I ought to start loving the fact that I do. Grass is always greener and all that, right?

Whoop, whoop! I'm done! Now it's your turn. 


1. Answer the 11 questions that were asked by the person who tagged you.

2. Come up with a new round of questions for the people you tag.

3. Tag 11 people with under 200 followers or a small following.

Easy peasy, right? If you don't want to tag anyone, feel free to skip that step. I know it can sometimes be a little overwhelming.



1. What are your favourite type of blog posts to read?
2. Which social media platform do you favour? Why?
3. What's your choice of cheat food?
4. What is the most important thing a person can do to improve themselves?
5. How would you define your style in 5 words?
6. What was one of the best days of your life?
7. What skill or craft would you like to master?
8. What are your biggest likes and dislikes of the blogging community?
9. Is there anything that you hoard?
10. What makes a person beautiful?
11. What keeps you blogging?

Happy answering! Be sure to tweet me your blog posts as I'd love to give 'em a read!

- Anne x

2017 Book Wrap-Up [January - June]


One of my New Year resolutions was to read at least 50 books during the year of 2017. We're currently at the midway point (if not a little after it) and I'm doing semi-okay. I really need to up my game if I hope to accomplish my goal, but I've always read better in the Winter months so I'm hoping that'll give me the edge to excel at this. Here are the books I have read so far:

Image source:

Talking As Fast As You Can
by Lauren Graham
Our lovable Gilmore wrote an autobiography and I really urge you to give it a read if you're a fan of hers or just the show in general. She writes as if it were Lorelai speaking so that certainly gave it a kick. She's an inspiring woman.

A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness
The first Ness book I read at the urge of my partner, and I'm certainly glad he talked me into it. You can read my full review HERE.

More Than This
by Patrick Ness
Yup, I enjoyed A Monster Calls so much that I instantly picked up more of Ness's work. More Than This wasn't as gripping as I hoped, but I did enjoy it.

Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes
I jumped on the bandwagon and you know, I'm actually glad I did. I'm not a sappy romance book type. I can take or leave anything Sparks and don't get overly mushy. But Me Before You offered what so many others lack - a relatable, cheery protagonist that makes you want to strut around your hometown in flamboyant clothing and grin at strangers. Lou sold this book to me, 100%,

by Diana Gabaldon 
I had so many problems with this book that aren't worth discussing about right now, but overall I did liked it. Not love, like. I was hoping for a more hardcore female (girl power, woo-whoo), and not a lady who forgave so easily. Alas, I liked the story and am interested in picking up the 2nd book of the series. So that counts for something.

The Girl On The Train
by Paula Hawkins 
Meh. So.. meh. I was really looking forward to this thriller but was instead met with an outcome and had the result of "Oh. Okay.". I was let down and I don't know whether it was just a hyped book, or I simply expected way too much. Either way.. meh. Sadly.

by Cheryl Strayed 
Hands down my favourite book that I've read in years. A beautiful story that I instantly wanted to reread once I turned that final page. Read my full review HERE.

A Year Of Marvellous Ways
by Sarah Winman
This was a total surprise. I didn't entirely know what I was heading in for with AYOMW, but I lost myself in the poetically written story about lost love, changes, and mermaids. Read my full review HERE.

Paper Towns
By John Green
I wanted to love this book. but instead it didn't really leave an impression. I enjoyed the last few chapters, but before that it was all so.. cliche. And angsty. The characters didn't interest me a whole bunch, and it was entirely what I expected. Which isn't always a good thing.

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky
My first reread of the year, yay! I have a love for this "so tumblr" book. I hate that it's had such a bad rep online. The story is beautiful and the characters even more so. I can hand-on-heart say that TPOBAW is a new-age classic. And if you even have a smidgen of social anxiety, it'll calm your worrying mind and you'll see yourself in Charlie. Just read it.

Lie With Me
by Sabine Durrant
I'll be honest, the cover drew me to this one. It's just so vibrant and pretty. The story itself is a thriller/mystery surrounding a bunch of rich folk in their yearly vacation spot. I enjoyed this one far more than I thought, but the character hugely let it down. I get that with thrillery books, the characters have to be dislikable (look at Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train) to all seem guilty, but.. meh. I didn't love it, but I didn't see the twist coming which hugely counts for something.

Storm Front
by Jim Butcher 
This was the first book in my and my partners 'Couple's bookclub' this year. It was his turn for a pick and he chose one of his personal favourites, the first in the Dresden series. I really enjoyed this one, and it wasn't at all what I was expecting. It made me laugh way too many times and despite the fact I spent half the book worrying about the cat, it was an easy read that offered an escape from the world. Fun.

Mike And Honey
by Rupi Kaur
My second reread, and the first poetry book in my wrap-up. Even if you've never heard of Milk and Honey, you've 100% likely seen it quoted across Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and all the quote/relateable accounts on Twitter. It's a pure, gut-wrenching, beautiful book that you will indulge in time and time again. If you have a heart that sometimes needs a little TLC, pick this up. It will stay with you for years.

Dear Amy
by Helen Callaghan
I'm still midway through writing a review for this one, but I'm worried that it's been too long and the little details will of slipped my mind. But I did really like it. The twist was semi predictable, but it was written eloquently and the characters were likeable.

Find Her
by Lisa Gardner
By far my favourite mystery/thriller book I've read so far this year. It gripped me from the first page. The story is a little far fetched, but I personally like that. It makes it way more enjoyable and like you're watching a movie. The characters are well written, the story unfolds itself beautifully and doesn't feel forced, and it has the roughness that you do want with a book of this genre.

Infinite Sky
by C. J. Flood
Infinite Sky is a story of young adulthood, first loves, travellers, family, and tragedy. It's bittersweet but warming. We witness 13-year-old Iris blossoming from child to young woman over a Summer, and ready our hearts for the heartbreak that is written on the first few pages. If you like the kind of stories that hold your heart in their palm only to continuously squeeze and release, then this would be a pick for you. Geared towards young adults but written beautifully enough to make the strongest of adults shed a tear.

After You
by Jojo Moyes
The sequel to Me Before You let's us back into the world of Louisa Clark. This wasn't anything close to the first and often resembled something you'd borrow off your Grandma and read on holiday, but that doesn't necessarily mean it was bad. Would I read it again? Unlikely. But it offered me a few good laughs and it was that cheesy read that you need every once in awhile.

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas
by John Boyne
Much like A Monster Calls, this is a short novella following the story of a naive boy who dips over the line of child to young man throughout the pages. Only this has a harder edge given the truth behind the words. Set in WWII, we view the world through 8-year-old Bruno's eyes and learn the devastating truths that adults are hiding from him. But most importantly, this is a story of friendship. Childlike - sometimes selfish - friendship. Equally as beautiful as heartbreaking, this is one that has to be on your TBR.

The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold
After being brutally murdered, 14-year-old Susie Salmon watches over her family and witness their grief from heaven. Now, this is a beautiful story despite the grim topics that it covers. But my score isn't higher due to the blandness of the characters and storytelling. It took me 3 rereads to get properly into this book and even then, it was around 120 pages until I felt properly invested, which is unheard of for me. I don't know what was missing.

Not That Kind Of Girl
by Lena Dunham
A completion of essays and tales from the Girls actress Lena Dunham. Personally I have never seen an episode of her hit TV show, so I wasn't entirely sure what I was in for when I opened this up. But given all the love this received on Youtube and Instagram, I was curious. The result was an amusing ride of stories that will give you extreme secondhand embarrassment but a little glow in the heart. Charming, that's the only word that comes to mind. If you want a laugh and are a woman still figuring out her life, you'll find comfort between these vibrant pink covers.

Books Read Out Of 50: 20

What are you currently reading?

- Anne x

Latest Instagrams

© Rooting Branches. Design by FCD.