Thursday, 7 May 2015

All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Title: All I Know Now
Author: Carrie Hope Fletcher
Published by: Little Brown
Publication date: 23rd April 2015
Pages: 288
Genres: Non-fiction/Memoir
Format: Hardback
Source: Bought.

Dear You,

My name is Carrie and I'm twenty-two years old. Apparently that makes me an adult. Yikes. *hides stuffed animals*

Anyhow, grown up or not, I did manage to make it through 'the Teen Age' more or less in one piece and, a few years ago, I started talking and writing online about some of the things I learnt back then... and a few things I've realised since. My daft videos and blogs about broken hearts, bullies and body image - among other things - seemed to help people, so I collected all those thoughts and bits of advice and ramblings into a book. This book. And gosh, isn't it pretty? Go on, stroke it. You know you want to.

I'm not an expert on 'life' (things I am an expert on: cake, Disney, making the perfect cuppa - that's about it) but I think I do know a bit about what's worrying you and maybe, with a little bit of luck, some of my stories will make you smile, make you think and, most of all, give you faith that it will all work out all right in the end. Because it will. Promise. All I Know Now is not all that much, but I hope it's enough to help.

Lots of love, Carrie

As you know, it doesn't bother me at all that vloggers are getting book deals,  and it doesn't bother me that some books by other vloggers were ghostwritten; it doesn't have a negative impact on me or the world, and it's none of my business how others live their lives. As I see it, it's another book to add to the shelves, and I do like books, as you might have noticed... However, I think All I Know Now is in a league of its own to other 'YouTuber books' simply because Carrie wrote and illustrated it all by herself, and she approached the publishers rather than being approached by them. It lends to a much lovelier reading experience.

I've enjoyed Carrie's videos for a while now, and I fully believe that, like her book is in a different league to other vloggers' books - she is, too. She's so down-to-earth and humble about everything, and she's always willing to have discussions with her viewers. She is also a true example of the saying that if you believe enough, think positively enough and work hard enough, your dreams will come true. For example: when she was eight, she played Young Eponine in Les Mis. Afterwards, she said she would be back as adult Eponine. And twelve years later, that's exactly what she's done!

So, as you can imagine, Carrie has had a rather eventful and extraordinary life. She's an honourary big sister to hundreds of thousands of people around the world, she's written a book, and every night she performs in London's West End. She grew up watching her brother become part of a globally-famous band, she dabbled in a bit of TV acting, and she is also a musician. But, like everyone else, she's had her heart broken multiple times, she was bullied, and she found herself in an array of awkward situations.

Carrie is wise beyond her years and in All I Know Now she tells us what she's learned from her mistakes. I originally wrote that as, "wise beyond her ears." That would be a bit weird, wouldn't it? Anyway - in one of her videos, Carrie said that the aim of the book was to help, and that if even just one person drew comfort from it, her job would be done. As much as I was looking forward to reading the book, I didn't expect to be helped by it - not many books have that kind of impact on me. However, I did draw comfort from it, especially from pages 169 and 278 which I noted down so you can have a look, too, if you like. When reading the last quarter or so of the book, in which those pages fell, I shouldn't have been reading. Instead, I should have been mulling over a really, really important decision about something which I'm not going to go into here. At the time, I was stressing out and half of me was reading the book while the other half kept going back to what I was supposed to be thinking about. I wasn't sure what I was going to do and I felt well and truly stuck. Limited. Trapped. So, as I read, those particular pages resonated with me because they seemed to go so perfectly with the problem I was having at that moment in time. Don't you just love it when that happens?

That was quite deep. On a less serious note, I love the cover. It's so bright, bold and wonderful. It also made me realise that yellow is, in fact, my favourite colour. I always thought it was blue, but apparently not. So, there you go. You learn something new every day.

Overall, this book is so Carrie. Disney, Harry Potter, musicals and tea all seemed to wriggle into her writing - which, by the way, felt really personal as Carrie writes exactly how she talks. I also love that, instead of chapters and parts, there were scenes and acts. Even the resources section - a great addition, by the way! - was called 'props'. How cool?

Don't deny yourself the pleasure of reading All I Know Now because it's (in a grumpy voice) 'just written by a random YouTuber.' Reading it is worth every hour in the day, and it truly is a big sister in book form. Grab yourself a cuppa and a cuddly Disney toy of your choice, Carrie-style, and prepare for all of your worries to disappear.
P.S I'm meeting Carrie tonight! I'm sure an event recap and/or vlog will be up in the coming week. :)


  1. To be honest I don't really pay much attention to YouTubers outside some music reviewers but this book does look pretty interesting. I really like that she actually wrote it herself because that shows, to me anyway, that she actually cares about it and isn't just writing it for the money. I've never really read any books like this that focus on life advice and stuff like that but, who knows, maybe this'll be a first. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it anyway and I really liked your review!

  2. I'm not a massive fan of Carrie but this book seems like it would be an interesting read!