Everything I Know About Love – A Review

I’ve had this book sat on my shelf for a good few months; it came onto my radar when I overheard some female colleagues discussing it. I was intrigued to see what all the fuss was about. Dolly Alderton talks us through her teenage years and her first realisation of boys/men. Instantly I found the content relatable when she discussed MSN Messenger and the way you’d sign out and then back in again to get your crushes attention. I was guilty of this, I was also guilty of having the courage of being hidden behind a computer screen to say to a guy “You’re so cute, I really fancy you!” and then having the instant panic a second after hitting send of being rejected or laughed at so covering my back with a “Omg sorry, my cousin wrote that!” which when I think about it, was the worst excuse ever.

As the book goes on we learn about Dolly’s adult life, her early 20’s, nights out where she drank until the early hours of the morning (and still went to work) and the whirlwind relationships with men. There are moments of the book that are laugh out loud funny and some that really struck a chord with me. Especially when talking about her anxiety and relationship with drink. She looks at the power of female friendship and dissects how, as women; a lot of us tend to put what we think a man wants ahead of what we actually want. It’s these moments that I found myself nodding my head in agreement and feeling so happy to see someone being so open and candid about these things.

Dolly Alderton Book.jpg

It’s not a book that men should avoid either, Dolly hasn’t written this as some feminist manifesto or celebration of sisterhood, but actually takes ownership that there are no bad men or bad women, just some bad timings, decisions and ways of dealing with things. As she says later on in the book, and I’m paraphrasing here, no break up happens because you did nothing wrong, on some level you were responsible for the relationship breaking down, no matter how small. So don’t lay the blame on the man. You have to take responsibility and courage to look at what you did wrong too.  She also talks about dating in your 30’s (something I had some experience with) and once again I found her words to be incredibly true. Everyone has a history, especially if they’re single in their 30’s! One line particularly jumped out at me.

“If you lose respect for someone, you won’t be able to fall back in love with them.”

This made me think of my ex and our marriage breaking down, but it also made me think of myself. For many years I had no respect for myself and consequently found it hard to love myself and see anything worthy in me. It’s taken time for me to get where I am, and I still have days where I long to be that 17 year old girl with no worries or loss or heartbreak and that unshakable confidence I had at such a young age, but I’m getting there. I’m learning to know who I am, faults and all, and respect who I am, even love who I am. This book is more about friendship and the power of the “mundane” aspects of love that often get overlooked for not being particularly awe inspiring. But they’re actually the moments that mean the most (and the ones you should cherish) they’re the moments I know I long to share with my mum since her passing. The moments that seemed insignificant at the time but actually they were perfect moments between me and her. Dolly puts it more beautifully than I ever could.

“…it also happens when you’re lying on blow-up air beds in a childhood bedroom, sitting in A&E or in the queue for a passport or in a traffic jam. Love is a quiet, reassuring, relaxing, pottering, pedantic, harmonious hum of a thing; something you can easily forget is there, even though its palms are outstretched beneath you in case you fall.”

It’s hard not to read and finish this book without taking stock of your life, thanking the world silently for all the good it gives you and enjoying the sun on your skin. It’s more than a book; it’s a hug and an awakening.

Star Rating out of 5: 5

Have you read it? What were your thoughts? Comment below, happy reading beauts.

G.
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Incensed – Why Return of Kings has made my blood boil

It’s very rare that I digress from my usual blog posts, which are always about books, but I recently saw an article, which not only enraged me but also made me once again question if any form of intelligible evolution exists amongst certain people in the world.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, there is an absolute troll of a website called Return of Kings – which is all about ‘the return of masculinity’ That’s right ladies and gentlemen, on this one website you can read, what I can only describe as ignorant, sickening, misinformed drivel, about how disgusting women are! According to this website any woman with any kind of body modification whether it be a tattoo or a piercing is basically the following things;

  1. Sluts
  2. Lacking in foresight
  3. Selfish
  4. Boring
  5. Mentally ill

But it wasn’t the article itself that made me literally shake with anger, but the comments that followed the post too. It really shames and sickens me to say this, but it appears that there are a group of people who agree with the nonsense being spouted by the writer (and the website in general) Reading the article, although incredibly difficult, gave me the impression that the author had one bad experience with a girl with piercings, so he seems to have categorized an entire sex. Perhaps he had trouble with numerous ex girlfriends, which doesn’t surprise me as he strikes me as the kind of person who expects women to stay quiet and know their place – a misogynistic bully.

The whole website is crass, sickening and worrying, with articles that say things like this;

‘Women are tiny. Almost any woman could be raped and killed by almost any man regardless of all the self-defence classes and jazzercise she does. ‘

And this;

‘By far the most terrible thing about being a woman is having a woman’s mind. Sure, they have better time-management skills, but that just means they’re wired for service. Women suck complete shit at objective reasoning. Why did you hate high school English? Because a woman taught it, and she told you that a poem can mean whatever you want it to. They couldn’t expect you to do something they could never figure out themselves.’

I think in this day and age women shouldn’t have to tolerate these kinds of things from chauvinistic morons. The same website that calls us callous words like ‘cunts’ and ‘sluts with mental issues’ – also gives these heterosexual, masculine men, tips on how to ‘get laid’ at Anime and Comic Book Conventions, who then make jokes and laugh about women who argue that they should give consent to be touched or groped by a man, as though our bodies are theirs to treat as they wish. I think the website is summed up by this ‘Community Belief’ and if this doesn’t make you angry, as a man or as a woman, then I don’t know what will;

‘A woman’s value significantly depends on her fertility and beauty. A man’s value significantly depends on his resources, intellect, and character.’

So please if you’re reading this and feel angry, please do me a favour – speak out on behalf of your mothers, sisters, aunts, grandma’s, cousins, girlfriends, wives and friends and let them know that they’re not lowlife beings whose only worth in life is their ability to have babies and their looks. Let them know that there ARE men out there who won’t use them for their bodies or call them by derogatory terms, men who WILL value their thoughts and opinions and intellect and treat them as equals.

And in closing, I must say that I pity the parents of these men, how ashamed you must be to have brought someone up with so much misplaced anger and uninformed, uneducated views of women, and if you’re not ashamed, you really should be. Please do me a favour, share this, hit like – just please get the message out there about this disgusting website with it’s callous views.

Thanks.

Georgina

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