Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Career > Her20s

Dolly Alderton’s ‘Everything I Know About Love’ is a MUST-READ for Your 20s

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

Dolly Alderton is a journalist and author with numerous best-selling titles, one of her biggest being ‘Everything I Know About Love.’ The book goes through a majority of her life where she navigates relationships, friendships, crazy stories in her 20s, and how she got to where she is now in her 30s. It takes a personal account of what she went through, and how she has changed throughout her whole life.

This story starts out with Dolly stating how she hated being a teenager. She always wanted to be taken seriously and viewed as an adult. When she was a kid she viewed drinking as a tangible way to be perceived as an adult, because drinking was something adults did. She constantly communicated with random people on MSN Messenger, searching for love that didn’t come as a teenager. She experiences all of this with her close friend Farly whom she had known since she was a kid. She formats her book through different stories, recipes, lists, and lessons that she has learned. The further you read, the more you see how Dolly has grown through the events she went through.

She has numerous hard-hitting and lesson-learning experiences that she shares, such as the loneliness she felt when her best friend got a boyfriend; how she felt like she was left out. She explains how she had such a desperate desire to be liked that she would blow all her money on a night out with strangers to feel validated. She even goes into how her desperate desire to feel loved led her to try and find it in all the wrong places. Yet even through her hardships you can learn lessons from her experiences, realizing that there is so much change that happens in your 20s. You can take your time figuring out who you are, and how to like that person.

“I would like to pause the story a moment to talk about ‘nothing will change’. I’ve heard it said to me repeatedly by women I love during my twenties when they move in with boyfriends, get engaged, move abroad, get married, get pregnant. ‘Nothing will change.’ It drives me bananas. Everything will change. Everything will change. The love we have for each other stays the same, but the format, the tone, the regularity and the intimacy of our friendship will change for ever.”

Everything I Know About Love by, Dolly Alderton

Dolly has stories that just about anyone could relate to. Through transparency on her actions and feelings she writes a memoir that is real and full of the life that she has lived. A big turning point in her book was her realizing that the problems in her life weren’t a reflection of her situation nor where she lived, but they instead were due to her own actions. By the time she enters her late twenties she realizes she needs to change. She seeks therapy and learns why she acts the way she does, why she seeks validation, and what she wants out of her relationships. She writes a chapter listing the things she has learned after, and it is vastly different than the things she had known earlier. Reading about her growth and how she became the person she is today is an inspiring story that almost any 20-something could enjoy, and relate to. She discovers who she is and eventually believes that that person is enough, after spending a long time searching for that validation.

“Because I am enough. My heart is enough. The stories and the sentences twisting around my mind are enough. I am fizzing and frothing and buzzing and exploding. I’m bubbling over and burning up. My early-morning walks and my late-night baths are enough. My loud laugh at the pub is enough. My piercing whistle, my singing in the shower, my double-jointed toes are enough. I am a just-pulled pint with a good, frothy head on it.”

Everything I Know About Love by, Dolly Alderton

By the end of the book, Dolly explains the biggest thing she has learned about love. She feels as though she can not explain love due to her lack of a long-term relationship, and she had only been in love once in her early 20s. But her friend Farly explains to her that she knows what love and commitment mean, because of the long-term friendship that they have had with each other. She learns from this conversation that the love she holds for her friendships should not be viewed as lesser than romantic relationships. It is simply just a different form of love that is equally as important. This lesson is so important to learn. Love can come in so many forms, and all forms are important and valid.

“Nearly everything I know about love, I’ve learned in my long-term friendships with women. Particularly the ones I have lived with at one point or another. I know what it is to know every tiny detail about a person and revel in that knowledge as if it were an academic subject.”

Everything I know About Love by, Dolly Alderton

Overall, this book needs to be read and enjoyed by many. It holds so many hard-hitting lessons and stories, taking you on a journey through Dolly’s life. You can find yourself in the characters and navigate through the transitional period of your life that is your 20s. This book is definitely a must-read that should be on your shelf.

Hi! My name is Makenna, and I am the GCU Her Campus correspondent. I am a senior majoring in business management, and I am from Arizona! I love reading, writing, and being a part of Her Campus GCU!