The best way to start a blog is by doing a book review, right?
When I was sixteen, having just finished my GCSE’s, I stumbled across Carrie’s YouTube channel ‘It’s Way Past My BedTime’, where as of July 2016, she has over 600,000 subscribers, whom Carrie refers to as ‘Hopefuls’. As you may know, Carrie played young Eponine in Les Mis on the West End, and returned in 2013 to play Eponine once again, following her dreams. Whilst balancing time through rehearsals, shows, vlogging amongst many other things, her debut text was released, outlining her own ‘wonderings and reflections on growing up gracefully’.
I read ‘All I Know Now’ by the aforementioned awesome cool human bean shortly after its original UK release in Spring 2015, and since then, have continued to read the odd chapter now and then. There are so many fabulous reasons why I admire this book, and cannot stress just how important the text is to me, and how I truly believe it could help so many people.
The first thing to mention is the structure of the book; it is cleverly designed and very easy to understand (theatre lovers will undoubtedly appreciate this part). Upon opening the ‘Programme’ , each chapter is clearly titled under eight different ‘Acts’
– this simple yet effective organisation of topics and themes allows the reader to dip into sections as and when they wish. From ‘Internetiquette’ to ‘Let Yourself Feel Pretty’, Carrie covers a range of different topics that affect teens and young adults across the world, giving her insights, opinions and advice regarding how to survive ‘the Teen Age’.
Often ignored or even absent from many non-fiction books, the illustrations used throughout the text aid understanding and also provide light humour, especially during heavier topics that are covered. ‘All I Know Now’ is one of a kind really, as I have not yet come across any other non-fiction book, specifically addressed to teenagers and young adults that used illustration in such an effective way – all sketched by the author herself.
Referred to throughout, and possibly the most important thing to note during the text, is the ‘Props’ section. Located towards the end of the book, Carrie has listed helplines, support websites and specialist help outlets where readers can reach out for help if facing such issues.
Fletcher reiterates to her ‘Hopefuls’ that we are all human beings who make mistakes in life, whilst trying to make sense of our weird and wonderful world. The advice and insights given through her book are of great use, not only to those facing these issues, but also to those who are possibly less educated about a certain topic and are willing to learn.
Carrie is the epitome of Equality, Acceptance and Happiness – ‘a kind, caring and witty big sister…who always has a wise and hopeful word to share.’