Firstly, before I begin what is to be a shiningly positive review of Carrie Hope Fletcher’s book ‘All I Know Now’ I would like to clarify something. My knowledge of Carrie, her videos, her songs, her book etc my respect for her and my love for her work has nothing to do with the fact she is Tom Fletchers sister or Giovanna Fletchers sister in law. I only mention this because it bothers me profusely when I see people refusing to admit that someone can do well, or have talent without it being as a result of being so and so’s relative or friend, it’s a little demeaning and disrespectful to the hard work and talent that they put in/have for anyone to make such statements. I love McFly, I love Giovanna’s videos/books etc and I love Carrie’s book/songs/videos etc but I enjoy them individually, not as a result of each others fame. Okay. Cool. Semi-Rant over. Soz. Onto the review, I promise.
So, lets start by explaining what the book is about; well the front cover says “wonderings and reflections on growing up gracefully” and I’d say that’s a pretty good summary. Although it may be a slightly modest summary but then something like “A perfectly eloquent collection of reflections of teenage years, accompanied by wonderfully insightful, honest and witty opinions on how to deal with them, and the future” might have been a tad long winded for the front cover. Yet that is exactly how I’m going to sum it up. Carrie compiles subjects and ideas she has confronted before on her videos, or written about on her blog into this smile inducing read, while going into further detail!
Although, from what I gather, the book is primarily aimed at teenagers and helping them get through the emotionally confusing time that is the teenage years and I am, as of just under 5 months ago, no longer a teenager, I still really wanted to read it. Chances are the target audience a book has are indeed suited to it more-so than others, but they are not the finite limitation, there are no red barriers with signs saying “No non-teenagers allowed”. In fact All I Know Now isn’t just about the teenage years, it’s about growing up, and let’s be honest how many of us ever completely grow up and know everything there is to know about life? Despite being 20 years of age, and thus only 2 and a bit years younger than Carrie I still feel more personally knowledgeable after finishing the book than I did before.
I’d also like to add at this point that the actual design of the book is practically flawless. When I first bought the book a couple of days ago, I was excited before I had even delved into the content, just by looking at the slip cover, and then looking at the design underneath. It is such a simple design but it’s so elegant and fun as well, even including the hopeful logo, a touch I particularly loved!
The format of the entire book is a heartwarming one, one that with it’s intentionally colloquial language helps to make you feel like you are being consoled, or comforted by someone you can trust, and as a result can accept advice from. As a long time theatre enthusiast and wannabee actor and writer the fact that the book was split into ‘Acts’ and even had an interval helped me to adore this book even more, and just showed the love and personality that had gone into it.
She speaks early on about those celebrities that are gorgeous, talented and still modest, and how they are such good role models, and give a nicer light on what can be a self obsessed industry. Yet I will venture now to state some facts about Carrie:
- Beautiful? – Absolutely.
- Talented? – Great singer, great writer, addictively good vlogger, yeah I’d say so!
- Modest? – Incredibly.
So what’s your point Liam? Ah good question reader! I was hoping you would (even though you probably didn’t) ask that! She’s lived a life that has included quite a few opportunities in terms of acting and singing (none of which just came to her, she worked for them) all of which that when all added up, and especially now she is Eponine in the official cast of Les Mis at the Queens theatre, gives her a good enough reason to have even a little arrogance. But no. As you can see from her videos, her blogs, her generous nature, and now her book none of this has gone to her head, and although she doesn’t seem to realise or admit it… she is one of those beautiful, talented and modest role models that she praises. At the end of the book I was left smiling to the brim, and feeling as If I was sat in a theatre watching her deliver the most incredible, emotive monologue ever given, to which I then burst out of my seat, clapping in a well deserved standing ovation. I have, as of recent years, felt pretty determined to be what I want to be, and feel relatively confident that if I put the work in it will happen, and now after reading All I Know Now, my dreams and my wishes have been given that little extra push. You leave the book with a sort of need to make her proud, after she’s been so personal and loving towards us.
All I Know Now is so beautifully written, with a non-clique feel that allows any age, gender, sexuality to feel completely welcome to reading it, and I highly recommend it!
P.S. Carrie, if this review ends up being seen by you, I only hope that after all the help and love you give your hopefuls that you feel like that help can be returned!
Currently Reading: TBC