All I Know Now: Wonderings and Reflections on Growing Up Gracefully by Carrie Hope Fletcher. Sphere, 2015.
I pre-ordered All I Know Now from Amazon UK because the book’s author, Carrie Hope Fletcher, is one of the Youtubers I subscribe to. When I ordered it, all I knew (heheh) about the book was that it was written by Carrie, and that it was probably about her life in some way, considering the title. On her Youtube channel, Carrie seems cheerful, thoughtful, and an all-around lovely person. She also currently plays Eponine in the West End production of Les Mis. So I was looking forward to reading about her life as a young performer/artist and hearing her thoughts on life and how she learned them. I was then a bit disappointed to learn that All I Know Now is more of an advice book for teens rather than a memoir. But I read it as soon as it arrived in the mail and enjoyed it nonetheless.
Although it is an advice book, Carrie still shares stories from her teenage years along with the advice she gives, so those were the parts that made the book stand out for me. She also includes little drawings and cartoons every so often that make the book very…Carrie. But regardless if you know her from her YouTube channel or not, the book is worth reading. Her writing style is easy-flowing and conversational (though at times a bit immature when she attempts humor), so the book is very “readable.” It is split up into sections about growing up, with rules to follow that Carrie wishes she had when she was battling the teenage years, which for her, weren’t that long ago.
I think Carrie’s young age makes the book more relevant to today’s teens because her teen years are still fresh in her mind and of the same generation. But at times while I was reading, I found myself wondering what advice or stories Carrie would add to the book as she gets older. Carrie is only 22 years old, and being a 23-year-old myself, I often feel like I am still growing up. I wonder if Carrie will revisit her book in a decade’s time and wonder if she really got it right or not. While she shows great wisdom for her age – a quality that gained her a huge teen audience who often refer to Carrie as a big sister – there is always more to learn and grow, especially at this weird 20-something stage in which we are all now trying to figure out the “real world.” Maybe she’ll write a sequel one day!
Though there was nothing “new” for me to discover in this book (I agree with the advice Carrie gives and try to live my life according to many of the guidelines she discusses), the book still served as a refreshing reminder of ways to treat others, and yourself, regardless of what age you are. I think it’s good to get those reminders every so often.
Charming, refreshing, cute. 3/5 stars.
*Also, Carrie recently announced that she is getting a fiction book published next year!