I’ve been a big fan of Carrie’s YouTube channel (ItsWayPastMyBedtime if any of you are curious) for as long as I can remember so when I heard she was releasing a book I was very excited. I read very little non-fiction but this is something that I would like to change by picking up some autobiographies from my favourite people as well as some books on historical periods I’m particularly passionate about. But this was the first non-fiction book that I’ve read for an awfully long time and while I knew I’d get Carrie’s happy, jovial tone I wasn’t sure just how much I was going to enjoy the content. And while I liked some chapters more than others, I was considerably surprised at how much I liked this. I managed to fly through this book, and I think the various pictures and drawings helped to speed up my reading. The writing was so light-hearted and engaging and at no point did I feel like the writing was being patronizing or preaching to me. It was just really lovely to read, and I thoroughly enjoyed every second.
We all know that growing up is hard to do, and sometimes the only thing that makes it better are the reassuring words of someone who has walked that bumpy road just a few steps ahead of you and somehow ended up as a fully-functioning adult. Carrie Hope Fletcher is that person. Thanks to her phenomenally popular YouTube videos, Carrie has become an ‘honorary big sister’ to hundreds of thousands of young people who turn to her for advice, friendship and, most of all, the knowledge that things will get better. Part memoir, part advice guide, it will include Carrie’s thoughts on some of the topics she’s asked about most regularly: bullying, body image, relationships and perhaps the scariest question of all: what does the future hold for me? With warmth, wit and a sprinkling of hard-won wisdom, Carrie will provide the essential tools for growing up gracefully most of the time
While I know that people of all ages could enjoy this book, I do think it caters more to the teenage spectrum. A lot of the issues apply specifically to those going through education but there was an awful lot of just general life advice in here too – how to let go of the past, apologising to people and not judging people by their first appearance. Even if you are not currently a teen going through the rollercoaster of a time that school can be, there is still so much that you can take away from this book that I almost thing it is wrong just to sell this book to teenagers. Yes, if you are a teenager then I’d say the first third of the book could be specifically helpful. But, the other two thirds of the book can apply to any and all types of people who are just looking for someone’s advice of subtle things that can reflect on or change or do in their lives to make a slight improvement.
I know that in books like this you are never going to agree with every single point that the author makes, but that is just natural. There is no person writing an advice or memoir or help book – celebrity or otherwise – whose outlook and experience with life is completely identical to yours so you are bound to have different opinions on some topics. But I personally felt as though I could relate to Carrie on certain levels, especially on her mantra of being ‘nice for no reason’ and always trying to look on the bright side of things. I also really appreciated the several pages of contact details at the back of this book with helpful phone numbers, e-mail addresses and websites for various places that you can turn to if you ever find life getting a bit too much for you, or you need some advice. The whole atmosphere of this book was overwhelming positive – and I loved that – but I think that it was really important that Carrie noted that life can be dark sometimes too.
I really don’t know how to rate this book, because I can’t judge it on the character development, world building or dialogue. I can rate it on the writing and clarity of language though, and I think I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars. I had a smile on my face for large portions of this book and I know that there are several chapters worth of advice that I am going to take particular note of.