‘All I Know Now’ by Carrie Hope Fletcher (Review by Katie G)

Carrie Hope Fletcher (also known as ‘Itswaypastmybedtime’ on YouTube) is a well-known, and successful YouTuber, singer and actress, with almost 600,000 subscribers, and currently is performing as Eponine in the West End production of Les Miserables.  She is well-known for her perky, positive and ‘Disney-loving’ on and off screen attitude, that has even garnered her the title of ‘Honorary Big Sister’ by her audience (self-titled as her ‘Hopefuls’).I have been a strong ‘hopeful’ since discovering Carrie’s online videos, and when I discovered she was releasing a non-fictional auto-biography, I couldn’t wait to purchase it upon its release date.

Carrie, herself, described the book as a “collection of thoughts and bits of advice and ramblings” containing stories from her life that she hoped would “make you smile, make you think, and most of all, give you faith”. I believe, after reading the book it has fully fulfilled its objective.

The book contained many topics and problems, most of which Carrie provided her personal experiences with those particular issues, and gave her advice that she felt helped her through those difficult times (including friendships, bullying, falling in love, depression, dreams, the internet, work and family). However I feel Carrie really brought a comforting and human sense to the novel, as she didn’t always fully have an answer for some things.

By this I mean, she made it clear in this book that her life isn’t perfect and she has encountered many problems throughout it, (for example, she suffers from anxiety and mild bipolar disorder, and was victim to a very ‘internet-public’ and very upsetting break-up) which I believe was good for those who only see the ‘perfect life’ of Carrie Fletcher on a computer screen, as it shredded away all sense of her being a ‘celebrity’ or of ‘more importance’. This book helped show that like many other famous people, she does have the same problems as anyone else – I also feel her very simple, and chatty form of writing helped portray this mood of similarity and understanding of the issues discussed, between reader and writer.

Although, Carrie also makes a point of saying how she ‘does not hold the answers to everything’ and ‘shouldn’t be treated like she does’; she even states in the blurb, “I am not an expert on life…but I think I do know a bit about what could be worrying you,”.

I really like how this honesty allows her personality to shine through the words on the page even more, and gives a sense of relatability to her, by knowing ‘she doesn’t know anything…but nobody does, providing a perfect line between learning about your ‘idol’s opinions, yet also acknowledging they are their own person, with their own mistakes, and problems’.

Upon beginning the novel I noticed that the structure of it was very unique to anything I had read before, as it followed the style and layout of a stage performance, (due to her career being in performing, and particularly on stage).

For example, the contents was labelled as the ‘Programme’, and contained a ‘Prologue and Overture’ (an introduction), ‘Finale’, ‘Props’ (pages full of useful contact numbers and addresses, for more interactive help in certain situations, seeing as the book obviously could never give exact, nor scientific advice) and a ‘Final Curtain’ (thank you’s).

The book was also split into ‘Acts’, with each one labelled as a different discussion, topic, or theme – although I enjoy reading in chronological order, this allows the reader to skip to sections they need advice on, quicker. As I mentioned before, I thoroughly enjoyed the chatty, and relaxed attitude in the author’s writing, and found the advice to be very relatable to myself, and although I didn’t need some of it, it is good to know that a friendly and reliable source to be providing this help. I also found the real stories and anecdotes she used to conclude her thoughts on certain subjects to be very entertaining and similar to events I have witnessed.

This book has made me come to admire Carrie even more so, purely for her wonderful nature (clearly made noticeable in her videos, style of writing and when I met her recently) and for her utmost honesty and positive outlook on life that she carries well throughout the length of the novel. In conclusion I feel that the best way to describe my feelings towards this book, is best summarised by Andrew Kaufman, the author of ‘All my Friends are Superheroes’, who described ‘All I Know Now’ simply as “A best friend in book form”.

For an auto-biography I would rate it: 10/10

For a book in general: 8.5/10

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