Review Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

Whether I want to spark my creativity, dive deep into a topic of interest, or simply relax and unwind, reading is my go-to activity. With a book in my bag, on my nightstand, or in the sun, life’s just a little bit more mellow. Years of reading have helped me establish several book-related habits. The most important one is that I always try to read a story-based book after a theoretical one. I’ve noticed this helps me zoom out and integrate the new insights I gained on a deeper level. Last week, Everything I Know About Love helped me do this and this book might also give you some joy! 

Everything I Know About Love is an autobiography of the first 30 years of Dolly Alderton’s life. It’s an engaging and funny coming-of-age story that reads like a fiction novel. The pages are filled with anecdotes about parties, dates, friendships, and jobs. However, the overarching theme is love. It’s silly, nostalgic (for millennials), and very easy to read. At the same time, it’s real and honest, which makes it more interesting and relatable.

Sex and the City

A line from one of the reviews on the back cover reads: “Don’t hate me when I tell you that Everything I Know About Love is Sex and the City for millennials, because I mean it as high praise”. The fact that this connection was made is obvious. Both Dolly and Carrie are writers who focus primarily on love. At some point in her life, Dolly even has a weekly column in a newspaper about dating, just like New York’s Manolo Blahnik lover. The similarities do not stop there though. One of my favorite elements of this autobiography is the author’s loving, sister-like friendships. Dolly’s friendships aren’t limited to a group of 4 women, but they warmed my heart just as much as the bond between Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte does.  

Something else I enjoyed, was Alderton’s attention to detail. In Everything I Know About Love she describes some of those subtleties of life that often go unmentioned. I really appreciate it when authors write about experiences or feelings that I haven’t found the right words for yet. For me, Dolly hit the nail right on the head multiple times throughout this book. 

Goodreads Reviews

With over 60.000 reviews on Goodreads, this autobiography has an average of 4.17 stars. Even though the majority is enthusiastic, some reviewers consider Dolly to be self-absorbed and flawed. Ironically, Sarah Jessica Parker’s character received very similar criticism. I, for one, like that both Carrie and Dolly aren’t perfect and do not always learn from their mistakes the first time around. It reminds me of life’s messiness, non-linearity, and second, third or fourth chances. 

If you’d like to be transported back to your MSN Messenger days and the butterflies that accompanied them, give Everything I Know About Love a try. This book is good entertainment. But also, don’t be surprised if Alderton’s writing stimulates you to reflect on your own, at times messy, coming-of-age story. Lastly, I think it’s important to mention that knowing the writer before starting her autobiography isn’t necessary. By the end of the book, you will know more about her than you might know about some of your good friends.