Review: 'everything I know about love' by Dolly Alderton

Is it possible for book to be a form of escapism but also relatable at the same time? I believe the answer is yes. Dolly Alderton’s debut novel ‘everything I know about love’ does not only provide laughter, sadness and comfort in a way that allows you to forget the day to day dramas in your own life, but also embraces these wallows of reality and as a consequence makes you laugh and cry.

The book is an autobiography of Alderton’s life, but rather than being a recollection of her life so far, it is more of a reflection of what she has achieved up until the age of thirty, built on anecdotes and stories, both emotional and laugh out loud. Two of my personal favourites include the story of a girl named Florence, who the book is dedicated to, and the holiday Alderton and her best friend Farly took after Farly’s relationship ended four weeks before she was due to be married.

Whilst this book is hard to put down and was a distraction from reality, it was also incredibly relatable. Alderton’s stories of her university life, the struggles she had to coming to terms with the changing nature of friendships and, the concept of actually ‘growing up’ and establishing a career resonated with me as I am sure they would with others. Her ability to be open and honest about the struggles she faces and how she overcomes them shows her strong-willed nature and resilience which, by the end, made me wish I was her friend!

The book is also glittered with recipes, emails and texts that Alderton has picked up and sent over the years. Despite adding confusion to the flow of the book at times, they add comic value and more informality, making the book a fun and insightful read – I will definitely be making the ‘hangover mac and cheese’ at some point!

It would be wrong to write a review on ‘everything I know about love’ without commenting on what I learnt about love from Alderton’s book. She lists what she knows about love at various ages from twenty-one to thirty and from this I learnt that when it comes to love, you never stop learning! Her opinions and ideas about what it means to love someone and to be loved change as she gets older. Some noteworthy mentions from the book include: ‘the perfect man is olive skinned with brown or green eyes’, ‘if a man loves you because you are thin, he’s no man at all’ and ‘get a Brazilian wax if you want a Brazilian wax. If you don’t, don’t’.

Overall this book is a must read, a pocket guide  to almost all women about to or currently navigating their way through adulthood. It highlights the importance of friendship, self-love and always striving to be the best version of yourself whilst shedding on light on the wild life of Alderton herself who is living proof that success comes through hard work and drive. For me this book deserves a rating of 4.5/5.  

You can learn more about Dolly, her work as a journalist and her book at her website: https://www.dollyalderton.com/

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