We all know that growing up is hard to do, and sometimes the only thing that makes it better are the reassuring words of someone who has walked that bumpy road just a few steps ahead of you and somehow ended up as a fully-functioning adult. Carrie Hope Fletcher is that person.* Thanks to her phenomenally popular YouTube videos, Carrie has become an ‘honorary big sister’ to hundreds of thousands of young people who turn to her for advice, friendship and, most of all, the knowledge that things will get better.
Carrie has created a safe and positive space for young people to connect and share their hopes and concerns online, and now she will share her most personal thoughts and experiences in her first book, ALL I KNOW NOW. Part memoir, part advice guide, it will include Carrie’s thoughts on some of the topics she’s asked about most regularly: bullying, body image, relationships and perhaps the scariest question of all: what does the future hold for me? With warmth, wit and a sprinkling of hard-won wisdom, Carrie will provide the essential tools for growing up gracefully . . . most of the time.
*Although she did recently post a video about how to pee in a onesie. So the definition of ‘adult’ is a bit flexible here . . .
As a massive fan of Carrie’s (aka a ‘Hopeful’) I was desperate to get my mitts on All I Know Now. I was sure it would be filled with witty, smart and realistic pearls of wisdom and observations from Carrie herself about love, life, growing up and everything in between.
The fabulous Carrie didn’t let me down once as this book is the ultimate guide for navigating life – whether you’re 12, 22 or heck, any age really. There’s always something that you can learn and at the ripe old age of 25 I feel as though I came away from reading this book with lots of useful tips and advice now stored in my brain.
I really wish I had read this book at the start of my ‘Teen Age’. Being a teenager is not easy and this guide will definitely help life to seem more bearable when it starts to seem a bit rubbish. There’s advice on every possible trouble you might experience in teenager-dom and beyond, for example Carrie not only talks about the obvious issues that often arise – body image, bullying, friendships and romance but she also covers a whole chunk of other useful topics including ‘first days’, worrying, following your dreams, ‘Internetiquette’ and how to bite your tongue…
The thing that appealed to me most about this book is, of course, Carrie herself. She comes across just as she does in her videos through the power of the written word – down-to-earth, self deprecating, honest and an extremely nice, caring, clued-up lady. All I Know Now could basically be a 319 page long YouTube video as Carrie makes you laugh, gives you advice and shares some of her own teenage-experiences.
Carrie often states throughout the book that she is asked advice from her fans and that some of them see her as a big sister kind of figure. This book is basically like having a sit down and a good old chin-wag with your older sister who will make you feel one hundred times better about yourself and help to put your mind at rest over some of those silly worries that have been plaguing you.
There’s no doubt that Carrie talks a helluva’ lot of sense, which makes her advice some that you know you can trust. In no way does she come across a bossy or preachy – she just tells it how it is and therefore creates a great relationship with the reader. (She’ll have you eating out the palm of her hand by the end of the book, I promise!) She has a strong voice throughout the book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her past – boy does that girl have some stories!
I thought that the way in which the book if formatted is great. It’s set out in ‘Acts’ and includes a ‘Props’ section at the back to co-inside with Carrie’s love of theatre and shows. This was a really nice touch and along with the AMAZING illustrations and eye-catching bright yellow cover it’s also really aesthetically pleasing too. There’s no way you could clock this book in a shop and not have to pick it up and have a quick flick through.
Carrie is three years younger than me and as I read some of the anecdotes from her teenager-dom I couldn’t help but get excited over some of the things that brought back memories from my past too. I loved how Carrie used to pretend her school was Hogwarts (I DID THAT TOO…I’m not ashamed!) As a fellow lover of all things Disney I loved the various references and quotes relating to the films throughout the book too.
I was a fan of Carrie before I picked up All I Know Now but even though I didn’t think it was possible I now love her even more. I adore her outlook on life – she is a firm believer in being nice for no reason and her positive outlook on life is one to be admired. She doesn’t shy away from her flaws and is the first to admit she’s made mistakes in the past. I also love how honest she is, for example she’s included all of her measurements (including bra size and weight) and hasn’t brushed over any embarrassing things that have occurred in her life. I think she is all-round fabulous and she is the kind of person that everyone needs in their life.
Seeing as we can’t sadly all have our own real-life Carrie to call on for advice I can’t recommend enough that you give this book a read as it’s the next best thing. If you’re at the start of your ‘Teen Age’ then this book has all the advice you could ever need. If you’re a bit older, like me, then it’s still an eye-opening, thought-provoking, bloomin’ funny and realistic take on life with added tips and advice to stop you making a bit of a prat of yourself as you navigate life’s rocky terrain…
A huge thank you to Stephanie at Little, Brown Book Group for sending me a copy of All I Know Now. ♥
Carrie Hope Fletcher is a singer-songwriter and an author. She also plays the ukulele, guitar and saxophone.
She currently plays Eponine in the West End production of Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre. She is the first actress to have played both young Eponine and older Eponine. She is signed on to the cast until June 2015.
Her first book, ‘All I Know Now: Wonderings and Reflections on Growing Up Gracefully’ is due out in May 2015. The book is based on what she writes on her blog.