My Rating: 8/10
I have known about Carrie Hope Fletcher for a while now being most acquainted with her Youtube channel, ItsWayPastMyBedtime. Like many Hopefuls, I do look up to her as a Honorary Big Sister and her videos have a way of inspiring me to accomplish more in my personal life. I picked up her book because I was interested in how she would approach the topic of her life and the general advice she could provide to those struggling through what she has termed as the “Teen Age.”
All I Know Now is written in a very casual conversational style. As the author gives off advice and further grounds it in past reflection and recollection, she writes as if she is talking directly with the reader, one on one. There is an earnestness that comes through her writing. She admits her own faults and the missteps she’s taken during her life in the hope that her readers could probably take something away from her experiences. I really enjoyed it and it made the book really easy to buzz through. It took a little while to settle into it only because there were smatterings of certain colloquial terms that my American-ness couldn’t readily comprehend (I got the book shipped straight from England before the American release which may have remedied this). There was enough context for the reader to understand though.
All I Know Now did read a lot like a self-help book during certain passages. This wasn’t a bad thing. The book is clearly geared to a more teenaged audience as it discusses getting along with friends, bullies, people on the internet (and the internet) relationships, self-acceptance and the many hurdles teenagers face in their climb to adulthood. Due to this, some sections didn’t really resonate with me as it much as it would have if I were still in high school (Ah, I feel old saying that!).
Most of the advice she gives however could be applied to any stage of life. The section of the book that I got the most out of was “I Dreamed A Dream” in which she discusses the importance of holding onto personal aspirations and how it is never too late to chase after what you love. As a twenty something still trying to find her way through life, I really took a lot from this section.
In the end, I really liked All I Know Now. Though I couldn’t relate to everything between its pages, I was still very happy that I read it. This book could have really benefitted fifteen year old me and I believe that everyone who is still struggling through the “Teen Age” should pick it up if they have the time. Even if you are not, the book is filled with wonderful reflections and anecdotes to keep you engaged throughout.