This is a heartfelt, touching and completely relatable memoir that you will be forcing into the hands of everyone you know as soon as you’re finished. What you’d expect from the title is another tale on the perils of dating, but what you actually get is a beautifully raw collection of memories that sum up the value of friendship, and how the love from a friend can be the thread that connects each experience with the next.
An award-winning journalist and writer, Dolly Alderton is also co-host of the popular podcast, The High Low, as well as hosting her own podcast, Love Stories. She was a dating columnist for the Sunday Times, story producer for Made in Chelsea, and now writes features for The Sunday Times Style. Most people would probably stop there and put their feet up. Nope. Her first book, Everything I Know About Love, was released in February 2018 and became a best-seller in its first week of publication.
The book begins with Alderton’s experiences during adolescence, including some very enjoyable nostalgic references for all the ’80s babies out there. Dialup internet, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and MSN chat room etiquette; what a time to be alive! From here Alderton takes us on a journey through her booze-filled university days and those shaky newborn adult years, also known as the early twenties.
She covers all of her bad dates, bad diets and bad decisions with absolutely no fear of judgement. Alderton bares all when it comes to her insecurities: The jealousy and abandonment she felt when her best friend started dating and had less time for her; the alcohol she used as a crutch during times of insecurity; and the soul-crushing break up that left her feeling empty and worthless. But through these times, the love from her friends was the constant beacon of light shining against the rough tides.
Alderton has delivered an eloquent, funny and heartbreaking memoir. She covers the hard topics of drugs, promiscuity and eating disorders without becoming a grandiose cautionary tale. There is no knight in shining armour, no pivotal turning point. It is a story of becoming comfortable in your own skin, being okay with being alone and, most importantly, it is a cheers to those constant friends in our lives. The ones we laugh with, cry with, grow up with and grow old with. The ones we love and who love us.
Rating: I give this book a 4.5 out of 5. You will laugh, you will cry. You will get a great hangover-fighting mac and cheese recipe.