On the surface, I am not the target audience for Felicia Day’s memoir You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). I am a) not a gamer, not even a little, b) have never watched anything on her Geek & Sundry YouTube channel, or really very much on YouTube at all, c) have never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, d) I have only ever watched the first half of the first season of Supernatural, e) while aware of the Vaginal Fantasy book club on Goodreads I am not a member and don’t often read books which would be suggested there, and f) I have never watched The Guild. You may be wondering why in the heck I decided to read this book, and your confusion would be warranted. The only work of Ms. Day’s that I am really familiar with is her two season arc on Eureka, her situational internet fame (you can’t really spend too much time on the interwebs and not be at least vaguely aware of her), and her essay in response to GamerGate last year. I mean, I wasn’t even following her on Twitter yet. (I know!)
Even I was surprised at just how excited I was to read her book when it was announced, and managed (before some errors at my wonderful library) to get myself spot one on the wait-list. And my anticipation was warranted. If you’ve read Malin’s lovely review of You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) earlier this week you already know that there is a lot to love in this book. The memoirs that I truly enjoy capture the voice of their author, and Day’s is clear as a bell throughout. Whether she’s talking about her situational fame and how it affects her trip to a Build-A-Bear store, or explaining how she ended up with a double major in violin performance and mathematics in college you as the reader are easily and completely absorbed into her tale. She also includes graphics and memes to help set the mood, which are universally fantastic.
But what I think really worked for me about this book is that while my experience is vastly different from Day’s on the surface, there is much about our lives that is the same. Day is just a handful of years older than me and a lot of the social influences she experienced I did as well. We are also both perfectionists, and that need to be perfect has been a thorn in the side of our mental well-being. Her chapters about growing up, attending college, and her addiction to video games all rang very true to my life experiences (even though the details are different) and gave me greater insight into myself. This is not a funny memoir by a comedian, although at times it is very funny, but instead is a brutally honest look at how one quirky lady found her own path to success, and skillfully pulled back from the edge when things got out of control. I highly recommend this book.
This book was read and reviewed as part of the charitable Cannonball Read.