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The wildly funny, occasionally heartbreaking internationally bestselling memoir about growing up, growing older, and learning to navigate friendships, jobs, loss, and love along the ride When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming an adult, journalist and former Sunday Times columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts fal The wildly funny, occasionally heartbreaking internationally bestselling memoir about growing up, growing older, and learning to navigate friendships, jobs, loss, and love along the ride When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming an adult, journalist and former Sunday Times columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, finding a job, getting drunk, getting dumped, realizing that Ivan from the corner shop might just be the only reliable man in her life, and that absolutely no one can ever compare to her best girlfriends. Everything I Know About Love is about bad dates, good friends and—above all else— realizing that you are enough. Glittering with wit and insight, heart and humor, Dolly Alderton’s unforgettable debut weaves together personal stories, satirical observations, a series of lists, recipes, and other vignettes that will strike a chord of recognition with women of every age—making you want to pick up the phone and tell your best friends all about it. Like Bridget Jones’ Diary but all true, Everything I Know About Love is about the struggles of early adulthood in all its terrifying and hopeful uncertainty.


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The wildly funny, occasionally heartbreaking internationally bestselling memoir about growing up, growing older, and learning to navigate friendships, jobs, loss, and love along the ride When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming an adult, journalist and former Sunday Times columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts fal The wildly funny, occasionally heartbreaking internationally bestselling memoir about growing up, growing older, and learning to navigate friendships, jobs, loss, and love along the ride When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming an adult, journalist and former Sunday Times columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, finding a job, getting drunk, getting dumped, realizing that Ivan from the corner shop might just be the only reliable man in her life, and that absolutely no one can ever compare to her best girlfriends. Everything I Know About Love is about bad dates, good friends and—above all else— realizing that you are enough. Glittering with wit and insight, heart and humor, Dolly Alderton’s unforgettable debut weaves together personal stories, satirical observations, a series of lists, recipes, and other vignettes that will strike a chord of recognition with women of every age—making you want to pick up the phone and tell your best friends all about it. Like Bridget Jones’ Diary but all true, Everything I Know About Love is about the struggles of early adulthood in all its terrifying and hopeful uncertainty.

30 review for Everything I Know About Love

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    2.5 rounded down I'm on the fence with this one - it was light and very readable (even while discussing some heavier topics) and I enjoyed the early 00s nostalgia trip for a bit (yes, we all remember MSN messenger), but overall this felt bloated, self-indulgent and could have been 100 pages shorter. I wasn't a fan of the inclusion of the "recipes" (one was for scrambled egg?!) or fictional satirical emails either. I’ve enjoyed Dolly’s writing in The Sunday Times magazine in the past, but this coll 2.5 rounded down I'm on the fence with this one - it was light and very readable (even while discussing some heavier topics) and I enjoyed the early 00s nostalgia trip for a bit (yes, we all remember MSN messenger), but overall this felt bloated, self-indulgent and could have been 100 pages shorter. I wasn't a fan of the inclusion of the "recipes" (one was for scrambled egg?!) or fictional satirical emails either. I’ve enjoyed Dolly’s writing in The Sunday Times magazine in the past, but this collection of “hilarious” anecdotes of her making poor choices in men and doing drugs/getting drunk while seemingly not learning much left me feeling frustrated. And the conclusion that female friendships are the important thing overall? I didn’t buy it - all of the stories shared throughout the rest of the book didn’t support this conclusion. Only Dolly’s friend Farly comes out of this book looking good! Reading about other people being hungover and self absorbed throughout their 20s (while not doing much else) doesn't make for a fun read, at least for me, anyway. I don't know why so many people in their early 30s are writing memoirs these days - collections of anecdotes that were hilarious (for you) at the time aren’t bringing anything new or insightful to the table for the rest of us.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Pip

    Ladies and gentlemen, I have met my new personal hero. I started reading this book and immediately felt like I was cushioned perfectly in cotton wool and marshmallows, covered in fluffy blankets with cherubs singing to me and playing with my hair. In other words - this is genuinely one of the most lovely and funny and heartwarming memoirs I've read in my rather short life so far. I LOVE it more than I could possibly say. I laughed out loud (even on the tube which I find daunting) and cried on and Ladies and gentlemen, I have met my new personal hero. I started reading this book and immediately felt like I was cushioned perfectly in cotton wool and marshmallows, covered in fluffy blankets with cherubs singing to me and playing with my hair. In other words - this is genuinely one of the most lovely and funny and heartwarming memoirs I've read in my rather short life so far. I LOVE it more than I could possibly say. I laughed out loud (even on the tube which I find daunting) and cried on and off throughout as so many of Dolly's words rang true to me. Dating stories are my kryptonite and insights about loss and love I am always, always more than happy to gobble up. I love reading about peoples' experiences with love - romantic love, friendly love, young love, lost love. I WANT IT ALL. I LOVE IT MORE THAN SPRITE Whether you're single/dating/relationshipping/married, I highly recommend this. IT'S DIVINE. New all time favourite! (Re-read in July 2019: just as brilliant, if not even better the second time. Will this be something I read every year? YES AND WHAT OF IT)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nadia

    Loooooved it! 😍😍😍 I'm a bit embarassed to admit that I hardly knew who Dolly Adlerton was before reading this book, but after finishing Everything I Know About Love, I'm now a massive fan! Dolly took me on a journey through love, friendship, heartache and anxiety that was relatable, honest and funny. Filled with disastrous dates, wild nights out but also moving stories about friendship, this book will make you both laugh and cry. I heard this book being described as Sex and the City for millennials Loooooved it! 😍😍😍 I'm a bit embarassed to admit that I hardly knew who Dolly Adlerton was before reading this book, but after finishing Everything I Know About Love, I'm now a massive fan! Dolly took me on a journey through love, friendship, heartache and anxiety that was relatable, honest and funny. Filled with disastrous dates, wild nights out but also moving stories about friendship, this book will make you both laugh and cry. I heard this book being described as Sex and the City for millennials and it absolutely is!! Right, I'm off to buy copies of the book for all my girlfriends!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Georgia

    I listened to Everything I Know About Love on audiobook, mostly during my commute. This was good and bad - good because I hate to not finish books and there's no way I would've finished this if I had to dedicate 100% of my attention to it, as opposed to listening whilst travelling, cleaning etc. However, the bad was that I perhaps would've interpreted it differently in book form. In audio form, I found Dolly frustrating, whiney and self-indulgent where I might have taken the written format more I listened to Everything I Know About Love on audiobook, mostly during my commute. This was good and bad - good because I hate to not finish books and there's no way I would've finished this if I had to dedicate 100% of my attention to it, as opposed to listening whilst travelling, cleaning etc. However, the bad was that I perhaps would've interpreted it differently in book form. In audio form, I found Dolly frustrating, whiney and self-indulgent where I might have taken the written format more light heartedly. I don't want to be too harsh about this memoir because it's ultimately someone's life and that feels wrong. However my low rating was largely due to the awful, selfish attitude Dolly takes to her friendships. I understand the odd pang of envy when friends are getting married and you're far behind, but Dolly seemed to genuinely wish for her friends lives to go wrong just so their attention could be focused on her. Yet when something does go wrong, she swoops in and describes all the things she said and did because she's such a great friend - it came across as incredibly self-indulgent. There was the odd part of this book which made me think and reflect, but mostly I wanted it to end as I was so irritated by it. I didn't find it funny and, at one point, inadvertently groaned and willed it to stop out loud when it went on.. and on.. and on about some unfunny text messages about bins. If you do want to give this book a try, I'd recommend paper form as opposed to audiobook which I imagine makes it more light hearted.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Bloody hell, pals. This book is sweet and silly, smart and serious. I would highly recommend. I don't read an awful lot of auto-biographical stuff but I knew of Dolly already, through her PanDolly and High-Low podcasts with Pandora Sykes and her amusing dating column in the Sunday Times. And when it popped up on NetGalley, I wanted it. I wanted it real bad. So, yes: this is a NetGalley freebie but thoughts are my own, of course: what is the point otherwise? So. Everything I Know About Love. That Bloody hell, pals. This book is sweet and silly, smart and serious. I would highly recommend. I don't read an awful lot of auto-biographical stuff but I knew of Dolly already, through her PanDolly and High-Low podcasts with Pandora Sykes and her amusing dating column in the Sunday Times. And when it popped up on NetGalley, I wanted it. I wanted it real bad. So, yes: this is a NetGalley freebie but thoughts are my own, of course: what is the point otherwise? So. Everything I Know About Love. That title isn't really a misnomer, not exactly, but it does set you up to think that it's about capital L Love - you know, Carrie Bradshaw's ridiculous, all-consuming, can't-live-without-it Love. But Dolly herself would be the first person to tell you that she has very little experience of that Love, actually. (Pun intended.) Would she like more? Yes. But has she been without love? That's a definite no there, my friend. This book is full of love, in its wild and various guises, but it shines most brightly in Dolly's over-whelming and supportive (but not always healthy) love for her friends, a tight knit group of woman who live with, live for, fight with and fight for each other. I won't lie; I was very jealous. Dolly, her best friend Farley and their extended group of wonderful women have something very special - and Dolly never, ever forgets that. I was eager for this book, you know. I was hungry. And I gulped it all up in three big bites, staying up later than I really should to finish it off. I think the fun here for me was, admittedly, partly because because Dolly and I are both English and close in age. There were many similarities for us, although she is definitely a lot posher. I don't mind saying that I'm a bit older than her, so I did miss some of those cultural things, especially the pure sheer devotion to local MSN - I used it, too, but I talked to people in America who were a little ahead of us here. But there's always interest for me in people who started to come of age as the internet did. (That's probably self-absorbed, but there it is.) And you know how they always say that New York is the fifth character in Sex and the City? Well, if London isn't a main role here, it was definitely a scene-stealing extra, popping up frequently and joyfully. Having lived in London for almost fifteen years now, I feel like the city was beautifully painted, mostly via a vividly ramshackle Camden Town. The reoccurring lists in this book were a real highlight for me. Dolly writes a literal list of what she knows about love at different ages and, my god, if they weren't exactly the lists I would have written at the same times. If they haven't aged and mellowed just like I have. If they haven't sharpened and become less likely to take your bullshit just like I have. They were perfect, truly. And one last thing I wanted to mention: Dolly writes a beautiful meditation on the difference between intensity and intimacy that left me reeling. A crazy, all-consuming relationship she has almost entirely over text which ends in a flurry of drama felt almost rude, the way it was pointing a big finger straight at me. I saw myself there and it made me put my Kindle down, as I was laying in bed next to the love of my life, and think about just that. I have been there, Dolly, I have lived that existence, confusing intimacy and intensity, trying to stretch the fizz of excitement into something more sustainable. But champagne goes flat and what you're left with after the bubbles have gone isn't entirely palatable. I loved it at the time and I'm so glad it's over. Thank you for writing about it so wonderfully, Dolly. Thanks for the wild ride.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lex

    I saw this book everywhere. It sat on my shelf for months because I wasn't quite sure what it was, and then I skimmed the first few pages and ended up reading the whole thing within 24 hours. It's funny and sad, and hopeful and realistic. It has a bit of Louise Rennison about it in the best way. Sobbed big chunky tears and laughed out loud many times. V good!!!! I saw this book everywhere. It sat on my shelf for months because I wasn't quite sure what it was, and then I skimmed the first few pages and ended up reading the whole thing within 24 hours. It's funny and sad, and hopeful and realistic. It has a bit of Louise Rennison about it in the best way. Sobbed big chunky tears and laughed out loud many times. V good!!!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I enjoyed it at the start for nostalgia reasons (yes, I remember the modern sound! I remember chatting on MSN!). But after a while, I found it quite repetitive, both of itself (here's another drunk story that I'm officially telling in a disapproving tone but really I'm quite impressed with how mad and fun I am) and just of loads of other writing (let's make fun of excessive hen dos/weddings etc like a million other people, let's talk about being true to yourself and liking yourself first before I enjoyed it at the start for nostalgia reasons (yes, I remember the modern sound! I remember chatting on MSN!). But after a while, I found it quite repetitive, both of itself (here's another drunk story that I'm officially telling in a disapproving tone but really I'm quite impressed with how mad and fun I am) and just of loads of other writing (let's make fun of excessive hen dos/weddings etc like a million other people, let's talk about being true to yourself and liking yourself first before a relationship etc etc). I quite liked the writing about female friendship at the end, and that started to make me try and rethink my impressions, as I think a focus on the love of female friendships is important and interesting. But I think my problem is that this isn't what it actually was - rather it was a focus on her, and she happened to have female friends as her most lasting connection, which felt very different (and it was all a bit 'look at me, I'm such a great friend') . I guess my main problem was that I found her very narcissistic and unlikeable. The tone and writing reminded me a lot of Caitlin Moran who I also find irritating and someone who states the obvious but thinks she's being really incisive.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I received an ARC of the book for free from the publisher (Harper Books) in exchange for an honest review. Since I received an ARC, my quotes from the book are tentative. I found this to be a very relatable memoir. There were some passages that really spoke to me. For example, a paragraph from the chapter, Tottenham Court Road, perfectly describes me right now. She writes: “When you begin to wonder if life is really just waiting for buses. . . and ordering books you’ll never read off Amazon. . . I received an ARC of the book for free from the publisher (Harper Books) in exchange for an honest review. Since I received an ARC, my quotes from the book are tentative. I found this to be a very relatable memoir. There were some passages that really spoke to me. For example, a paragraph from the chapter, Tottenham Court Road, perfectly describes me right now. She writes: “When you begin to wonder if life is really just waiting for buses. . . and ordering books you’ll never read off Amazon. . . You are realizing the mundanity of life, You are finally understanding how little point there is to anything. You are moving out of the realm of fantasy ‘when I grow up’ and adjusting to the reality that you’re there; it’s happening. And it wasn’t what you thought it might be. You are not who you thought you would be” (pg 167-168). That passage really hit home. I am definitely still coming to terms with the face that I am “grown up.” At another point she states, “Online dating is for the brave” (pg. 324). All I can say is amen to that! This book is not just relatable, it is also very humorous. There are some funny moments. I particularly liked the satirical emails she interspersed throughout the book. On the flip side, there are some more heartbreaking moments that added contrast. I liked the balance between the two because it really showcases the ups and downs of life. Lastly, I really liked the author’s writing style. It was very accessible and conversational, as if you were two friends catching up. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it. It isn’t just a book about love. It’s also about female friendship and growing older which will resonate with a lot of women.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Valeria Lipovetsky

    I really had to push myself to get through this one and at about 50% into it- I just couldn’t. Some people mentioned how It’s written in a very British way (humor wise) and that maybe the reason I didn’t get it but beside the jokes I might have missed, I just felt throughout how the storyline is just dragging for too long... I hope she found resolutions and life lessons by the end of it, unfortunately I couldn’t stick around to find out 😅

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica | JustReadingJess

    Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton is an interesting memoir focused on dating, relationships, and love. Alderton tells stories of different dating experiences and relationships. She discusses friendships and how friends’ relationships affected her friendships. Alderton discusses her journey to finding love and discovering how to be content while single. She discusses how she went from always dating to always being single. One of the most interesting parts to me was her best friend’s Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton is an interesting memoir focused on dating, relationships, and love. Alderton tells stories of different dating experiences and relationships. She discusses friendships and how friends’ relationships affected her friendships. Alderton discusses her journey to finding love and discovering how to be content while single. She discusses how she went from always dating to always being single. One of the most interesting parts to me was her best friend’s relationship and how she felt throughout it. Everything I Know About Love is very entertaining and relatable. I wasn’t sure how much I would like this book, but I really enjoyed it. Alderton discusses many struggles for young adults. This memoir is very personal and Alderton talks about her accomplishments as well as mistakes. I recommend Everything I Know About Love to anyone that thinks an honest memoir about love, relationships, and growing up sounds interesting. Thank you Harper Perennial for a finished copy of Everything I Know About Love. Full Review: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Curie

    Hey world, it's the girl who has spent the last two days glued to the pages of this book. It's not like I didn't know who Dolly Alderton was before, I didn't even know she was somebody you could know. When I received an advanced reader's copy of this from NetGalley, a quick google search put me right. Turns out she's a journalist and former Sunday Times dating columnist who also has her own podcast The High Low and now also memoir. In Everything I Know About Love she shares the trials and triumph Hey world, it's the girl who has spent the last two days glued to the pages of this book. It's not like I didn't know who Dolly Alderton was before, I didn't even know she was somebody you could know. When I received an advanced reader's copy of this from NetGalley, a quick google search put me right. Turns out she's a journalist and former Sunday Times dating columnist who also has her own podcast The High Low and now also memoir. In Everything I Know About Love she shares the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown up with all the falling in love, getting drunk, going on bad dates and getting dumped. Does this ​sound familiar? You might say yes, because it sounds like everyone else's life or you might say because it also sounds like everyone else's memoirs. I've read books like this one before, but not many have managed to grip me from beginning to end like this one has. So what is it that makes Dolly Alderton's stories different? First of all, she can write. Her vignettes are humorous without being obtrusively funny, they're heartbreaking without being manipulatively whiney. At the same time she reflects and observes in a witty and intricate ways and never comes across as preachy - something that I consider my personal memoir pet peeve. But then it's also what she's writing that made this an entertaining read. Part of me was amused about how it brought back my own memories - I had forgotten how MSN used to be the place were the cool kids used to hang out after coming home from school. Though a few years older than me, her student years sounds a lot like the lives' of people I know personally - from being obsessed with male attention to relying on drugs to extend an average night out. What all those (sometimes relatable, sometimes crazy) anecdotes have in common is that they're full of love. Dolly has felt a lot of it, sometimes platonic, sometimes obsessive, not always healthy. What this has taught me though, is that there will never be a point where you'll know everything about love. And how joyful that is.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    I really wanted to like this book but I’ve been left disappointed. Lured in by the hype around it and also by the title, which should have probably been ‘everything I know about being single and having friends’. I thought it was a slight cop out to write a book supposedly all about what you know about love, then finish by saying “I’ve never really experienced it other than with my girl friends”. The value of your friendships is a fair point but should that really be the conclusion of this book? I really wanted to like this book but I’ve been left disappointed. Lured in by the hype around it and also by the title, which should have probably been ‘everything I know about being single and having friends’. I thought it was a slight cop out to write a book supposedly all about what you know about love, then finish by saying “I’ve never really experienced it other than with my girl friends”. The value of your friendships is a fair point but should that really be the conclusion of this book? The random emails and recipes are boring and could have been left out. It became tiresomely long and I was rushing to get to the end. Which is a shame because I thought I was enjoying the book in the first few chapters. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it really reads like an over-privileged, white middle-class woman, who doesn’t have much self awareness about her own privileges. I think she might think a lot of what she’s writing - about excessive drinking, drug taking, tinder dates, paying extortionate taxi fares for the lols - is relatable, and maybe it is for other people in her social bracket, but it’s not to me. There’s a level of self-deprecation and self-obsession that’s funny, but there’s too much of it in this book. Wouldn’t waste your time.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Antonia

    “Nearly everything I know about love, I've learnt from my long-term friendships with women.” As I've stated in my past reviews: I'm not a big fan of biographies. I found myself to never really like the author (or the protagonist, however you want to say it). This one I got for my birthday and I gave it a fair shot. And I actually enjoyed it! Multiple times I found myself thinking "god I HATE her" and like 2 pages afterwards I'd realize I hated her so much 'cause she reminded me of myself. Dolly m “Nearly everything I know about love, I've learnt from my long-term friendships with women.” As I've stated in my past reviews: I'm not a big fan of biographies. I found myself to never really like the author (or the protagonist, however you want to say it). This one I got for my birthday and I gave it a fair shot. And I actually enjoyed it! Multiple times I found myself thinking "god I HATE her" and like 2 pages afterwards I'd realize I hated her so much 'cause she reminded me of myself. Dolly might be more extreme than me with alcohol escapades and sex and drugs but in general her bad sides are a lot like my bad sides. While I sometimes found this trying to be funny and she and her friends trying to be different too hard, other aspects I really liked. But what I loved and didn't expect at all from this book was that it's actually about her female friendships. I could relate to her friendship to Farly soo much. It made me realize how I, despite being single, am so lucky and so incredibly loved. I'm glad I gave it a chance!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    Another book that I was disappointed by. This I have decided is because I'm obviously not the right age and by that, I mean that I'm too old and cannot relate with - the casual drug taking, the one-night stands or the desperation to have to be at a party. And what was with the random lists and recipes that were peppered through the book? Was there a point to this? Personally, I felt that this kind of memoir has been done a million times before and much better. I have given this book 1 star on Go Another book that I was disappointed by. This I have decided is because I'm obviously not the right age and by that, I mean that I'm too old and cannot relate with - the casual drug taking, the one-night stands or the desperation to have to be at a party. And what was with the random lists and recipes that were peppered through the book? Was there a point to this? Personally, I felt that this kind of memoir has been done a million times before and much better. I have given this book 1 star on Goodreads. Many thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Dewilde

    This book just didn’t work for me. I didn’t really understand the point it was trying to make? The last third was the most relatable but I’m not sure I would recommend to anyone.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    You'd think as a librarian I'd have realised that this was a biography/memoir as I was reading it, or I would have looked up the author or something, but no! It made a lot more sense when I realised that's what it was, because as a novel it wasn't hanging together very well at all! I felt it was sort of okay...I know that sounds a bit wishy-washy, but basically there were some parts that I really enjoyed reading, and I felt were written very well, but then there were other parts that were either You'd think as a librarian I'd have realised that this was a biography/memoir as I was reading it, or I would have looked up the author or something, but no! It made a lot more sense when I realised that's what it was, because as a novel it wasn't hanging together very well at all! I felt it was sort of okay...I know that sounds a bit wishy-washy, but basically there were some parts that I really enjoyed reading, and I felt were written very well, but then there were other parts that were either so self-indulgent they were dreadful, or they were sickeningly 'knowing' and/or sentimental to the point of being annoying. I couldn't relate to Dolly's life...all the drugs, all the one night stands, all the chaos and wild parties and lack of control. I didn't like her much, or want to know any more about her, and I very nearly abandoned the book only part of the way in. But her best friend, Farly, intrigued me. I felt that I much preferred Farly, and I wanted to know more about her rather than about the writer. Whilst I was reading I didn't understand the weird additions to the books - of strange (satirical) invites to hen parties of baby showers, and lists of things - they interrupted the text somehow. I felt that the book became easier to read as Dolly got older, and began to understand herself better. Yet whilst there were moments of real insight that felt good, at other times I felt like I was being bossed about by someone younger than me claiming to share everything she knows about love, and everything else in life. So. Conflicted. It had good bits, and terrible bits. Maybe if I was 10+ years younger I'd identify more. With thanks to Net Galley for the ARC.

  17. 5 out of 5

    fatma

    I was expecting to love this ever since hearing about Dolly Alderton and listening to her talk on various podcasts, but it was so very mediocre. Fundamentally, my problem with this book is that it was not at all—and I'm about to use a Cursed word here—relatable to me. My adolescence could not have been more different from Alderton's. Obviously I don't need an author to have had the same experiences as me to enjoy a book, but I feel like with this book especially you need to have some personal con I was expecting to love this ever since hearing about Dolly Alderton and listening to her talk on various podcasts, but it was so very mediocre. Fundamentally, my problem with this book is that it was not at all—and I'm about to use a Cursed word here—relatable to me. My adolescence could not have been more different from Alderton's. Obviously I don't need an author to have had the same experiences as me to enjoy a book, but I feel like with this book especially you need to have some personal connection with the content for it to resonate with you—I didn't. And so what I thought was going to be an emotionally impactful read in theory ended up being a forgettable, meh book in actuality. Also, I didn't think that this book necessarily needed to exist...? Alderton writes about her early 20s, romantic relationships, female friendships, therapy sessions all in a pretty conversational way, with the takeaway from all those things being: accept yourself, you're great just as you are, you're good enough, etc. etc. I don't know, I didn't feel like I needed to read 368 pages of a book to get that message. The destination did not make up for the journey, here, and so I ended up enjoying neither. (This would've worked better as a limited series podcast, maybe.) The beginning and end of it is: I just didn't care. It's never a good sign when you miss parts of an audiobook and can't be bothered to rewind it and pay proper attention.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rahel

    This book has taught me a shocking amount about empathy. Most people who read this I‘m sure will find themselves in every other page and will marvel at how familiar Dolly‘s stories and feelings feel. For me, I kept thinking every couple of pages how much unlike Dolly I am as a person, and how different my problems and mishaps and self-doubts are to hers. And yet with every new page, I found myself feeling more and more close to her, I started genuinely loving her, which seems like such a weird thin This book has taught me a shocking amount about empathy. Most people who read this I‘m sure will find themselves in every other page and will marvel at how familiar Dolly‘s stories and feelings feel. For me, I kept thinking every couple of pages how much unlike Dolly I am as a person, and how different my problems and mishaps and self-doubts are to hers. And yet with every new page, I found myself feeling more and more close to her, I started genuinely loving her, which seems like such a weird thing to say about a real person who I haven‘t even googled and looked at!? In the end, the conclusion she reaches is the thing we fundamentally agree on: my best friends are the most wonderful, awe-inspiring people on this planet and the love they bring is the greatest thing of my life.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    I listened to it Audible, are you happy now? I got this audiobook because it consistently showed up in my recommended listening pile and one evening last week I was leaving work with nothing to listen to on my commute, so I made the ill-advised choice of wasting a credit on this pile of trash. Look, I'm sure Dolly Alderton is the kind of well-meaning, scatterbrained person who is funny and charming to run into at a party and probably does a pretty good job in her chosen profession of a newspaper I listened to it Audible, are you happy now? I got this audiobook because it consistently showed up in my recommended listening pile and one evening last week I was leaving work with nothing to listen to on my commute, so I made the ill-advised choice of wasting a credit on this pile of trash. Look, I'm sure Dolly Alderton is the kind of well-meaning, scatterbrained person who is funny and charming to run into at a party and probably does a pretty good job in her chosen profession of a newspaper columnist. I'm sure tons of people told her she was so hilarious she should write a book about her life... these people were wrong. The fact of the matter is, Alderton, a woman in her early thirties, hasn't yet achieved anything so remarkable thus far as to warrant a lengthy (at least it felt lengthy) memoir at this stage of her life and equally doesn't possess the wit to make up for the deficit of compelling content (although she would have you believe otherwise). The book (if you can call it that) is mostly a collection of meandering anecdotes of drunken debauchery - the kind of "you had to be there" stories that were "so hilarious" at the time that seem painfully dull and misguided to anyone who wasn't. We get it. You got drunk and stayed up late a lot in your 20s. Big swingin' Mickey. What's even more annoying is that Alderton plays this smug self-aware card, trying to make out that she knows she was an immature dope for most of her life but it doesn't work because the growth she exhibits from the beginning of the memoir to the end is minimal and the overriding tone of "my life might be a mess but I'm more witty and cool than you'll ever be" throughout the entire journey is sick-making. This feeling is particularly accelerated by the addition of word count-padding fake satirical emails and inexplicable recipes that feel lifted straight from an online blog. Reading through Alderton's musings on "love" as she puts them, it seems as though her emotional development came to an abrupt halt at around 15 or 16 - not only in relation to romantic love but also platonic love. She consistently posits that she is "obsessed" with men, yet her ability to navigate romantic partnerships with any sort of emotional maturity seems to dwindle in direct proportion to her growing and naive possessiveness over the long-held platonic female relationships in her life. Dressing it up as a message of female empowerment and solidarity, Alderton attempts to stress to her audience the importance of female friendships that shouldn't be dropped in favour of the latest man on the scene. I mean, that's all well and good but is that really what's going on here? Throughout the entire book, again and again, Alderton talks about men and her female friends' boyfriends as if they were mere playthings and distractions whom she sees as obstacles getting in the way of her friendships. She doesn't shy away from the fact that she is quite selfishly vehemently resentful when her best friend Farly gets engaged. Her relationship with Farly is the most highlighted of the book by far, and at times feels so insidiously and unnecessarily possessive that you are left wondering whether indeed Alderton is just severely closeted. To conclude, this is the kind of narcissistic, navel-gazing type of writing that perpetuates the negative stereotype of the entitled millennial with no real problems and it makes me sad all day.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

    There were parts in there that I really enjoyed and appreciated. I felt like, at times, I really connected with Dolly. The writing style was nice and made for an easy read. However, as the book progressed, I felt - at times - quite annoyed with her character. I find it quite brave to open up about your life in the way she did. It was believable and real and although I didn’t always agree with her, it was interesting to read about someone’s life who went through similar struggles and sometimes de There were parts in there that I really enjoyed and appreciated. I felt like, at times, I really connected with Dolly. The writing style was nice and made for an easy read. However, as the book progressed, I felt - at times - quite annoyed with her character. I find it quite brave to open up about your life in the way she did. It was believable and real and although I didn’t always agree with her, it was interesting to read about someone’s life who went through similar struggles and sometimes dealt with them very differently. If you’re in your 20’s and you’re into your popular non-fiction, this is probably a good one for you!

  21. 4 out of 5

    hanna

    inhaled it in less than 24 hours, loved every single part of it. i feel like i'm not alone, and like everything's going to be fine and like i have to buy at least 10 more memoirs because this genre is so much my thing apparently. dolly alderton describes one of my most private and scary thoughts in this book, i haven't often felt so seen and understood. i also miss my friends terribly because this book celebrates friendship and i'm not able to see them right now. still, this book made me forget a inhaled it in less than 24 hours, loved every single part of it. i feel like i'm not alone, and like everything's going to be fine and like i have to buy at least 10 more memoirs because this genre is so much my thing apparently. dolly alderton describes one of my most private and scary thoughts in this book, i haven't often felt so seen and understood. i also miss my friends terribly because this book celebrates friendship and i'm not able to see them right now. still, this book made me forget about covid-19 for a while and for that alone, it deserves 5 stars.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    I love Dolly Alderton. This was so relatable for me, personally! Full review to come.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    I just could not mentally force myself to finish it. It was honest and made me laugh occasionally but for me, it lacked a bit of depth. It was full of anecdotes but I don't think it really scratched below the surface, which made me question what the point was to half the stories apart from acknowledging that she had done them. I'm afraid I won't be turning to this book when in need of love advice but maybe I will if I need a recipe. I just could not mentally force myself to finish it. It was honest and made me laugh occasionally but for me, it lacked a bit of depth. It was full of anecdotes but I don't think it really scratched below the surface, which made me question what the point was to half the stories apart from acknowledging that she had done them. I'm afraid I won't be turning to this book when in need of love advice but maybe I will if I need a recipe.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    Well I finished it. Apart from a couple of moments of reprieve, I can confirm that this was a hate-read of a memoir by someone incredibly privileged and self-absorbed. Glad to see she eventually did a bit of growing up but MY GOD.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kristīne

    Started reading with no idea who Dolly Alderton is, after some brief googling I still don't, but it doesnt matter. She is someone my age, different backgrounds, but same pain, same joys. I liked the funny bits. It was interesting to read how different life had been in another country, and how different 2 girls - any girls! can be at same age. Not being a grown up can vary across cultures, you know. Sad bits made me remember my "formative years", all the awkward moments, desires, failures of a twe Started reading with no idea who Dolly Alderton is, after some brief googling I still don't, but it doesnt matter. She is someone my age, different backgrounds, but same pain, same joys. I liked the funny bits. It was interesting to read how different life had been in another country, and how different 2 girls - any girls! can be at same age. Not being a grown up can vary across cultures, you know. Sad bits made me remember my "formative years", all the awkward moments, desires, failures of a twentysomething. Gosh, I'm glad I'm over it. Fun, fast read. Recommend to anyone who feels a bit lost in life. Makes you remember you are not the only one. Ps Somehow after seeing Dollys picture, i started reading the book with the voice of Becks from Netflix "You" in my mind. Weird.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Beth Bonini

    My 24 year old daughter bought this book and then she passed it around to all of her flat mates. At the time they were all going through relationship angst and break-ups and I can well imagine how Dolly’s voice was a beacon of light shining through the darkness and confusion. I don’t know if all women my age (51) can remember what it is like to be in their 20s, but I certainly can - and in a weird way, I feel like I am back at that stage again (single again after 25 years of marriage). There isn My 24 year old daughter bought this book and then she passed it around to all of her flat mates. At the time they were all going through relationship angst and break-ups and I can well imagine how Dolly’s voice was a beacon of light shining through the darkness and confusion. I don’t know if all women my age (51) can remember what it is like to be in their 20s, but I certainly can - and in a weird way, I feel like I am back at that stage again (single again after 25 years of marriage). There isn’t the same urgency to find the one that my daughter and her friends seem to feel, but even just the idea of dating again is territory littered with emotional landmines. (On the subject of online dating, Dolly says: “Online dating is for the brave. It’s increasingly hard to meet people in real life and those who take matters into their own hands - who pay a monthly fee for the chance to edge closer to love, who fill out an embarrassing profile saying they’re looking for a special someone to hold hands with in the supermarket - are towering romantic heroes.”) Is a 30 year old journalist really qualified to give life/love advice? I would say yes. Dolly is the first to acknowledge that she has never had a properly long-term relationship with a man, but her long and loving relationship with her best friend Farly (and a large group of other girl friends) is testament to her ability to have sustained intimate relationships. Although ostensibly about the author’s relationships with men, in truth this book is about her relationship with her female friends - and finally, most importantly, herself. I know women twice Dolly’s age who would say that the most profound and intimate relationships of their lives have been with their friends (usually female), and I include myself in that group. One of the most interesting (and mature) chapters in the book details the therapeutic process, and I would say it was just as relevant for someone 50ish as someone who is only 20ish. As for the book itself, it is compulsively readable. It’s funny and poignant, honest and sometimes too raw (truly cringeworthy). As a mother, I couldn’t help but feel glad that Dolly got through her hard-partying years without lasting disaster. She has several ways of organising her maturation process, and one of them is a list (which alters quite a lot) detailing “Everything I Know About Love” at different stages of her growing-up years. There is definitely a ‘millennial’ vibe to certain aspects of the book - for instance, the satirical invitations to various life events - and her experiences are very much London-centric; but having said that, I think there is enough ‘universal’ material to appeal to a wide variety of readers. Note: I read this book as a sort of ‘preparation’ for seeing Dolly interview Nigella Lawson (mostly on the subject of food and cookery, but I do wish that they had also talked about relationships!). Dolly Alderton also writes a column for the Style section of The Sunday Times, and my daughter is a big fan of her podcast The High Low.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Léa

    ➶ 2021 books: 36/60 life is a wonderful, mesmerising, magical, fun, silly thing. We all know we're going to die, and yet we still live. We shout and curse and care when the full bin bag breaks, yet with every minute that passes we edge closer to the end. We marvel at a nectarine sunset over the M25 or the smell of a baby's head or the efficiency of flat pack furniture, even though we know that everyone we love will cease to exist one day. I don't know how we do it. I absolutely adored this book ➶ 2021 books: 36/60 life is a wonderful, mesmerising, magical, fun, silly thing. We all know we're going to die, and yet we still live. We shout and curse and care when the full bin bag breaks, yet with every minute that passes we edge closer to the end. We marvel at a nectarine sunset over the M25 or the smell of a baby's head or the efficiency of flat pack furniture, even though we know that everyone we love will cease to exist one day. I don't know how we do it. I absolutely adored this book! There were so many incredible discussions in this book surrounding feminism, growing as a woman, romantic relationships, friendships and heartbreak. I think this book came to me at the perfect time. My birthday fast approaching and being very optimistic yet frightened about what my future entails - this book really did put a lot of things into perspective. It kind of felt like I was speaking to the older sister that I never had. The topic of platonic love and remembering that even if you're not experiencing romantic love, love takes many different forms, was incredibly heartwarming. I also loved the discussion of just growing up as a woman, learning to accept and love yourself and not putting your worth into a man's words or actions. This book is one that I will be contemplating for quite some time and one that I want to take with me as I continue to grow, both in myself and into my relationships and friendships. I really do recommend this book to every single woman out there, I think we all have something we can learn and benefit from when reading this book!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    I tried to read this book three times and I’m not going to give it yet another chance. I stopped reading around page 180, but I just can’t finish it. I struggle empathising with someone who just messes her life up. I don’t mean to be judgemental or anything, I happen to like Dolly Alderton, or I like her insight on things, more exactly. I think this is because of where I come from, but I cannot read about drugs and heavy-drinking and think that’s alright. It’s not. In fiction, I’m okay with it b I tried to read this book three times and I’m not going to give it yet another chance. I stopped reading around page 180, but I just can’t finish it. I struggle empathising with someone who just messes her life up. I don’t mean to be judgemental or anything, I happen to like Dolly Alderton, or I like her insight on things, more exactly. I think this is because of where I come from, but I cannot read about drugs and heavy-drinking and think that’s alright. It’s not. In fiction, I’m okay with it because there is a lesson to be learnt in general. But I can’t read about somebody’s life and just accept the mess it is. This is obviously a very personal opinion.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    I definitely took some time to warm to this book. For most of the first half, I was thinking, "If I wanted to hear about posh public schoolgirls getting coked out their tits and spending time with nasty men I'd hang about any one of the pubs in St Andrews on a weekday." Luckily, the book finds its feet after Dolly graduates university and gets out of the 'fun but horrifying anecdote' part of her life and into the bit where she has to contend with being a proper adult. I feel like if I were older I definitely took some time to warm to this book. For most of the first half, I was thinking, "If I wanted to hear about posh public schoolgirls getting coked out their tits and spending time with nasty men I'd hang about any one of the pubs in St Andrews on a weekday." Luckily, the book finds its feet after Dolly graduates university and gets out of the 'fun but horrifying anecdote' part of her life and into the bit where she has to contend with being a proper adult. I feel like if I were older I'd be saying 'I wish I had this book when I was in my early twenties' but I actually AM in my early twenties and it, fortunately, gets to be helpful to me now.

  30. 4 out of 5

    A Need to Read

    I cried at one point, I laughed a lot too! This is a really important book, especially important to read from a woman’s perspective as a bloke.

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