everything I know about love by dolly alderton book review

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton: Book Review

Pub DateFebruary 1, 2018
Page Count368 pages
GenreEssays, Non-Fiction, Adult
Goodreads Star Rating4.01
My Star Rating 2.5
everything I know about love by dolly alderton

Everything I Know About Love Summary

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton is an essay collection about love in all its forms. It’s about growing up, navigating friendships, hardships, mental health, and more. 

Everything I Know About Love Review

This is the essay collection that helped me realize I’m not really an essay collection kind of person. While it’s at times fun, and even insightful, Everything I Know About Love gets bogged down by endless recounts of drunken nights where the author makes some really poor decisions. 

And look, we’ve all been there — that’s not a problem. The problem is that it feels like the author expects you to laugh at or even enjoy these stories, when they are, in fact, not enjoyable. I had a friend who loved to do stupid and borderline dangerous things on nights out just so she’d have a story to tell the next day. But as one of those friends who had to listen to them endlessly and suffer those same dangerous situations, I can tell you right now that it isn’t fun. 

Perhaps that’s what affected my experience with this book. 

Everything I Know About Love is at its most enjoyable when it veers away from trying to be entertaining and just talks about normal, real life. When it discusses friendships and how difficult it is to maintain them as you grow up. When it talks about mental health and death, childhood spent online, etc. 

All in all, I liked a few essays, but not the whole package. Either way, Dolly Alderton’s style is very easy to read and I didn’t struggle to finish this book, despite my feelings about it.


  • Readable and well-written
  • Some memorable quotes
  • Sometimes relatable
  • A few really good essays, particularly when it’s not about partying
  • Great and realistic friendships

Read Everything I Know About Love If You Like

  • Essay collections about life in early twenties
  • Reflections on friendships and life
  • Honest representation of mental health 
  • Found family 

Avoid Everything I Know About Love If You Don’t Like

  • Non-fiction or essay collections
  • Detailed accounts of party lifestyle
  • Messy relationships
  • Unlikeable heroines

Here are a few more things you should know before you read Everything I Know About Love:

  • Everything I Know About Love is written in first person POV
  • The essays are interconnected and follow similar themes, but are not told linearly and there are time skips
  • Trigger warnings for death, drug and alcohol consumption, mental health issues, depression, and eating disorders

Books Like Everything I Know About Love

1. Happy Hour by Marlowe Granados 

Happy Hour captures youth, going out, and all the fun times you can have in the pursuit of pleasure. It follows two best friends and their summer in New York as they work by day and party at night. It’s full of adventure, reflections on friendship, and more. 

2. Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors

If you want a fiction book that captures all of the messiness and uncertainty of life, Cleopatra and Frankenstein is a great read. Coco Mellors has a fantastic writing style, sharp and witty while managing to capture the emotional weight of difficult situations. This book follows Cleo and Frank as they enter a whirlwind, explosive romance. 

3. Other Dolly Alderton Books

If you really loved Everything I Know About Love, you should look into Dolly Alderton’s backlog. She has two fiction books with similar themes and another non-fiction book where she replies to questions readers sent her in her column. 

4. Slow Days, Fast Company by Eve Babitz

This is a great essay collection from the queen of essay collections. It follows similar themes to Everything I Know About Love and it’s a quick, short read about Eve’s adventures with new friends, old friends, boyfriends, and herself. 


Is there a TV adaptation of Everything I Know About Love?

Yes, there is a TV show based on Everything I Know About Love. The names have been changed, but the show follows the events of the book. Dolly Alderton herself worked on the script. The show came out in 2022, with seven 44-minute episodes. So far, there haven’t been any formal announcements about season 2. 

What is the main point of Everything I Know About Love? 

While Everything I Know About Love is a memoir and reflects real life — so there is no single main point — you could say that the main theme is the importance of friendships and how deep love between friends can be. 

Are the events from Everything I Know About Love true?

Yes, the events from Everything I Know About Love are true, as the author herself has stated several times. 

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