Dolly Alderton takes us with her on a trip down the memory lane through her teens and twenties, sharing the anecdotes and moving stories to explain what she learnt throughout that time.

everything i know about love review

Teens and twenties are a turbulent time for everyone: only then, you learn your place in the world, refine your personal values, and learn the lessons that could hardly be passed onto you if you didn’t experience certain events in your life. And those who share their stories can often fall into the trap of glorifying their past because they yearn for the times long gone or moralising for the sake of the younger generation they’re trying to inspire. It’s definitely not the case with the memoir from an accomplished journalist Dolly Alderton, who turned her experiences into well-written, amusing, enchanting stories that make the reader a part of her circle for 328 pages that go by like a flash of a lightning.

In Everything I Know About Love, Dolly Alderton talks about her own experiences without being patronising or pushy, inviting you for a chat through the pages of the book. With an intimate insight into her life, she reminisces the sweet, hilarious, strange and painful things that her adolescence was filled with. Echoing the memories and filling them with fascinating details, she gets to the core of the confusing muddle that the twenties can be with intertwining ups and downs spread across the decade.

The funny anecdotes are aplenty: be it the story of mistaking a London area for another city and ordering a cab to see a friend there at 4am, a Rod Stewart themed party gone awry, or every bad date that the author listed; all of these small things make up the fabric of our lives, and Alderton’s sharp wit cuts through them to reveal conclusions that fit every twenty-something girl that has ever walked the earth, even if they’re neighbourhoods and backgrounds away from the heroine of the story. Recipes for different life situations, lists of tips and faux correspondence that recur in the book are another welcome addition, full of observations and sarcastic humour that hits the top notes.

Between these, a sequence of heart-breaking, raw, painful life events forms a significant part of her story. Dealing with the terminal illness and death of a person you love, grappling with imposter syndrome and self-sabotage, fighting an eating disorder that hovers over your life and covers the joys with its overbearing shadow, therapy and finding yourself by changing your perspective and tearfully dissecting the things that made you who you are – all of these create a rich, rare portrayal of one’s life that resonates on a universal level.

The refreshing memoir that the writer put together charms the reader with the honesty and humour that every chapter is laced with. The author speaks about her experiences, featuring the circle of colourful characters in vivid, humane portrayals as she tells us the stories of her twenties. All of them are portrayed with their quirks and strengths: each of them stands out with their individuality and are as far from traced stock characters as one could get. They’re a crucial part of the events, and the fleshed-out portrayal lays the foundations for a tribute to the female friendship like no other.

Buy Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton on Amazon.

Kasia Kwasniewska

Editor in Chief

Loves reading, watching films, eyeing (and producing) good design, listening to music and stuffing her face with chocolate whenever the opportunity arises. Cooks from time to time, and drinks far too much coffee to be a normal human being. Liked my work? Buy me a coffee!

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