Jul 26, 2017

[Books] You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) - Audible Review

So it was my partner Tobie who introduced me to The Guild, the quirky comedy web series about a group of MMORPG players. And for many folks, including me, this was how the internet first encountered the dazzling bright-eyed personality that is Felicia Day.

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is Felicia's contribution to the growing library of celebrity memoirs out there. And it's certainly a unique little contribution if I may say so myself.

After going through the audio books of a few other geeky celebrities, I'm starting to get a particular feel for how many of these go. There are some obvious parallels such as how a lot of them felt like they were the odd ones out while growing up or how the celebrity life sort of just just fell in their laps before they were fully ready for it.

Synopsis: You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is a memoir written by Felicia Day about her life. This review focuses on the Audible audio book.

Felicia Day has been know for many things at this point and is often called the "queen of the geeks" given how her internet fame has grown to something more. And so it's interesting to join her on this little exploration of her past starting from her home schooled life in the Deep South and how a lot of her life was largely defined by what an intellectual nerd she is.

But we also see her grow beyond this shell and explore the world beyond. It's interesting to follow her life and see how this math nerd decided that she wanted to explore a career in acting and ended up being at the forefront of the wave of content creators empowered by the internet. Of course it wasn't an easy journey but it's one that she has certainly invested a lot of time and effort into with some pretty respectable results.

What I Liked: The audio book as narrated by Felicia Day is like following along one of her YouTube vlogs or something of that nature. I'm certainly at a point in my geeky life when I'm more than familiar with the tone of her voice as she excitedly talks about something and she put her voice to full use in creating this reading experience. And the book actually involves some rather animated dialog, so to speak.

If you've watched any of Felicia Day's content that she has written herself, you'll be familiar with her sometimes awkward, self-depreciating humor and that's consistent with how this book is written. It's clearly the "voice" of perspective that shes comfortable with and it adds a nice layer of sincerity to this narrative. And this is important given she explores some serious topics about the challenges of being a woman celebrated in a traditionally male industry like gaming and of course the ever dreaded Gamer Gate. I totally respect that she decided to take this on.

What Could Have Been Better: As is the case with many memoirs, structure is not the greatest aspect of the book. The stories are told in a manner that is largely organic manner. And thus it can feel a little muddy at times or again some chapters my go on a little longer than one would like while others feel like she's totally just glossing over it. It's not a major hindrance to reading the book, but it may delay you a bit in getting to the end.

As silly as this sounds, but if you consider reading this book because you are a little open to changing your mind about Felicia Day, this may not be the best way to do that. This is totally about her embracing herself for who she is an being fully and apologetically Felicia Day. So if you love her you're probably going to enjoy this experience but if you hate her then you're bound to find reasons to hate her some more, so don't bother hate-reading this book. You have better things to do.

TL;DR: You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is a distinctly Felicia Day creation that hopes to be a bit of an inspiration to other socially awkward geeks out there just trying to figure out their place in the world. It's a little zany but that can be a lot of fun, and perhaps that will help deliver her message to geeks everywhere. Thus the book gets a good 4 funny little stories of her childhood out of a possible 5.

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