BOOK REVIEW: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost)

Actor, writer, producer, gamer, geek. Just some of the tags that can be applied to Felicia Day – a personality who has (probably against her will) become one of the poster girls for geekdom. This summer, her autobiographical work (I don’t want to say autobiography as I expect there will be more to tell in the future), You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) hits the bookshelves. I picked up a copy and this is what I got out of it.

AUTHOR: Felicia Day
PUBLISHER:
Sphere
RRP: 
£16.99 (Paperback)

The Internet isn’t all cat videos. There’s also Felicia Day – violinist, filmmaker, Internet entrepreneur, compulsive gamer and former lonely homeschooled girl who overcame her isolated childhood to become the ruler of a new world . . . or at least semi-influential in the world of Internet geeks and Goodreads book clubs.

After growing up in the south where she was ‘homeschooled for hippie reasons’, Felicia moved to Hollywood to pursue her dream of becoming an actress and was immediately typecast as a crazy cat-lady secretary. But Felicia’s misadventures in Hollywood led her to produce her own web series, own her own production company and become an Internet star.

Felicia’s short-ish life and her rags-to-riches rise to Internet fame launched her career as one of the most influential creators in new media. Now, Felicia’s strange world is filled with thoughts on creativity, video games, and a dash of mild feminist activism – just like her memoir.

Hilarious and inspirational, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is proof that everyone should embrace what makes them different and be brave enough to share it with the world, because anything is possible now – even for a digital misfit.

There are a handful of people for whom I hold the highest level of admiration and respect for their achievements and their attitudes. Felicia Day is probably the queen of that list. From what little I knew of her before reading this book, she seemed very much the “have an idea – try an idea – idea works!” kind of geek. Not only that but one who is humble, self-aware and … well just down-right fun. Of course, there is far more to the creator of The Guild and Geek and Sundry than this. More than I realised.

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) – okay, I’ll shorten the title to Never Weird from now on – is a very open and honest account of how Felicia made her way through life. On the back cover of the book is a rather long quote from Game of Thrones author, George R. R. Martin. In it, he likens Never Weird to being the equivalent of sitting down to dinner with Felicia and hearing her talk about her life. He’s not wrong. The book is written in a conversational style that makes the reader feel that they are having a private discussion with its author. One in which said author is not afraid to drag the skeletons from the closet of life.

Never Weird doesn’t shy away from Felicia’s inner demons (of which there are many) that have both helped and hindered her on the path she has taken thus far in her life. The friendly chat tone and the candour with which events – and their effects on her mental and emotional state – are discussed helped make this a real page turner. I read through this in a weekend which is something I haven’t done in a long time now. I couldn’t put it down.

you're never weird on the internet (almost)Felicia makes the point at several times that this book is probably not for everyone as it is steeped very much in the “geek” world. I would disagree though. I would recommend this book to anyone. It’s a brilliant insight into more than just the world of an “internet celebrity”, it’s an honest self-reflective look at emotion, life and more. I would recommend it to “non-geeks” – not that I believe there is such a thing as everyone must have a passion for something – as it explains the passion for gaming in particular much more eloquently than I ever could.

I’m going to wind up this review now so you can get hold of a copy and read You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost). It’s much better written and – In this reviewer’s opinion – deserves to be read.

As a final, personal addendum, I would like to thank Felicia for putting these words down on paper. The final four chapters in particular resonated with me on just about every level. Keep doing what you do, lady!.

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) is out now, retailing at £16.99 in the UK and is published by Sphere.

GS Rating: 5 / 5
GS Reviewer: WedgeDoc

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