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Everything I Know About Love — Book Review

4 min read
Everything I Know About Love — Book Review

Table of contents


4.5/5. I’m so conflicted on this rating because I think it could be a 5/5 but I’m trying to be stricter with my ratings.

This book isn’t really about romantic love. It’s more like Alderton going through her life with events that are related to romantic love?

Her writing isn’t stupendous but I liked it. She’s funny, has interesting stories to tell, and writes memoirs in a unique way (i.e. there are random emails and recipes sprinkled throughout). I recommend!

Favorite Quotes

  • “I tried to imagine what it would feel like to find a sense of security in the person you went to bed with—a notion that was so foreign to me. I looked at the small gaps in between all their bodies and imagined the places that lay between them; the stories they had written together; the memories and the language and the habits and the trust and the future dreams they would have discussed while drinking wine late at night on the sofa. I wondered if I would ever have that with someone or if I was even built to float in a sea of love.”
  • “A week into my big New York adventure, I realized that places are kingdoms of memories and relationships; that the landscape is only ever a reflection of how you feel inside.”
  • “Oh, it’s fine, we’ll be together wherever we go next. We’ll just have to meet each other there.”
  • “It was at this time that I was reminded of the chain of support that keeps a sufferer afloat—the person at the core of a crisis needs the support of their family and best friends, while those people need support from their friends, partners, and family. Then even those people twice removed might need to talk to someone about it too. It takes a village to mend a broken heart.”
  • “You’re saying you think youth is wasted on the young. I think you’re the first person ever to realize that, Dolly.”

Book Ramblings


Ooooookay so I was expecting this book to be Alderton combing over her past relationships and giving advice or lessons learned, but it really wasn’t. It’s more like an autobiography of a partying teenager that realized she was compensating for having a fractured identity. Do I like it? Yes. Do I think it’s amazing? No.

Bad Parts :(

Why are there random emails sprinkled throughout? No idea. They seem less relevant than the recipes. The emails are funny and… that’s kind of it. The recipes at least are related to what happened in the previous chapter. E.g. one of her final chapters talk about her crisis of turning 30 and the following recipe is a “meltdown birthday cake.” That’s funny! Will I try these recipes? Probably not. But do I chuckle at the title? Yes.

I have to complain a bit about the misleading title. Maybe I’m the only one that thought this would be purely romance focused? But come on. “Everything I Know About Love?” I was expecting the tragedies of her past relationships and the triumph of her marriage! To find out she hasn’t found “the one.” It’s a bit disappointing, but I like the ending lesson anyway. (I’m not making a normative implication that the final destination of love for women or anyone is marriage, just that it was my expectation, knowing absolutely nothing about Alderton’s life.)

Sometimes I didn’t really care about her telling this random thing that happened to her friend. I wanted to read more about Alderton’s love life. But the weird irrelevant stories were rare.

Good Parts!!

How the hell is Alderton real? She’s experienced so many things I’d only expect to happen in a movie. How did she end up on a coach with a hen party (I didn’t know this term and “hen do” existed before reading this)? She met a person who dated her mom a few decades ago? Being invited to have sex only if it can be group sex…????

All of those stories are so entertaining. As she ages, though, her stories are less wild and more… normal*? With an asterisk because nothing she goes through is really normal. But even with stories that are less fantastical, her storytelling is still really good. She inserts humor at the right spots and her humor is similar to mine, so I found it, well, funny. No notes.

The “Everything I Know About Love at [Whatever Age]” chapters are nice. It’s interesting to see the progression—Alderton maturing. But throughout, again, the humor! Top tier. (”When you date at twenty-five, everyone walks into the bar with a very neat, light carry-on. Inside you might find a couple of ex-girlfriends, a mild Oedipal complex, or maybe even a slight fear of commitment.)

I’m a bit conflicted about the final chapter. Actually, the entire chapter is pretty good, but the final paragraph is a bit worrying. Essentially, it’s like, even if you haven’t experienced true love or found “the one,” look toward platonic or familial love. I like that message because I used to have the narrow notion that love is only romantic, but it’s kind of sad because I don’t want to imagine a life without finding “the one.” That’s literally my only problem with it: It makes me sad.

I’m so tempted to add this to my favorites on Goodreads (friend me!), but I’ll leave it off for now. I might revise this review. We’ll see!

(Also the book being dedicated to Florence. Floss’s death. My god. I’m sad. Why. She’s so cool. Florence and Farly are amazing.)

What I’m Reading Next

“A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara. I’ve had enough of reading 5-star reviews of this and not being in the know. Time to be depressed? Hopefully not.

Michel Liao

Michel Liao

Boise, Idaho, United States
Hello! I'm a sophomore studying computer science at Princeton. I like reading, rock climbing, and running.