Saturday, 23 May 2015
All I Know Now- Carrie Hope Fletcher
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. It includes 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.
I'm really not the target audience for this book. I know I say that a lot, especially when it comes to YA fiction, but this is different. This book is non-fiction, aimed almost exclusively at the teen market.
I'm a married woman.
I'm a mum.
I have worked in the same field for seventeen years.
Surely I should have figured life out a bit by now?! That I purchased All I Know Now for myself proves that's not the case...
I know I'm not alone in being an older reader of this book. Yes, a lot of Carrie's fans (or 'Hopefuls') fall into the teen age bracket, but she's also won a host of older fans for her honest, open approach, her good nature and humour, and her positivity. She's a vlogger with a difference- she doesn't talk exclusively about fashion, or make up, or books. Instead, she uses her vlog, tumblr and twitter to connect with fans and answer their questions, sharing her own experiences and reinforcing that you need never think you have no one who cares. I suppose in some ways she's an agony aunt or a wise older sister, someone who's got your back and has a waiting ear to listen to your problems.
All I Know Now is just like her vlog, but in book form. It's chatty, and easy to read, and it's mostly a very positive and upbeat collection of stories that remind you you're stronger than you think. Each chapter is a life lesson, something to mull over whilst candidly sharing Carrie's personal stories.
This book is a perfect way for Carrie to impart what she's learnt. She shares her own experiences of notable milestones and those difficult adolescent moments- bullying, peer pressure, sex, relationships, self confidence- and because it's written in Carrie's typically chatty style, it makes you feel like you're listening to a friend, giving you advice over a pot of tea and a slice of Victoria sponge, not just flicking pages in a book.
I read this book when I had a lot on my mind, and Carrie's words were genuinely comforting to me. They were a big, warm blanket which made me feel safe. Thank you for that, Ms Fletcher.
So, to wrap up this review, I want to say that whatever your age, whatever your outlook, whatever your dreams...you can learn from this book. It encourages introspection and self awareness, and is a perfect way to help you reassess what is important to you. Not to anyone else, YOU.
I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone.
Empower yourself. Buy it.
All I Know Now is out now in ebook and paperback, published by Sphere.