Carrie Hope Fletcher is an actress, singer, songwriter, author and a well-known youtuber with her YouTube channel ‘ItsWayPastMyBedtime’. She has over 600,000 subscribers and makes videos on advice for her audience, her love of Disney and covering her favourite songs and original work. She is also the sister of McFly member Tom Fletcher, but has talent of her own, as she has played Eponine in the West End production of Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre until February 13th 2016. She is the first actress to have played both young Eponine and older Eponine. Fletcher’s other roles include Beth in War of the Worlds, Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and in 2017 Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family musical. Her first fiction novel On The Other Side was published in July 2016.
In this month’s review I’m going to discuss her debut 2015 young adult novel All I Know Now: Wonderings and Reflections on Growing Up Gracefully. The book itself is part memoir, part advice guide. It includes 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 her warmth, wit and a sprinkling of hard-won wisdom, Carrie gives an insight into the difficulties of growing up – the good, the bad and all things in between.
What I like about the book is the layout, which is unique in its own way, set up as if the reader is experiencing the script or scenes of a play. The writing style is captivating because she writes in a way in which, as the reader, you feel as if she’s sitting with you and discussing all the topics in her book in person. Perhaps another way of explaining it is that her writing style mirrors how she talks to her audience in her YouTube videos, which I think is refreshing and makes you think you know her as a person, not just a well-known public figure. Another aspect of the book I enjoyed was Fletcher’s own personal touches, such as drawings of some situations, boxes with useful information for readers on specific topics and a quiz with friends and families. Also when discussing some of the topics in her book like new experiences, making friends, bullying, internet safety, or being an adult she refers to her own personal experiences and provides snippets of what her life is like, what we as the reader or viewer on the internet don’t get to see once the book finishes or a video ends. This is a book full of life lessons for mainly teenagers, but I think anyone would like this advice book with a twist.