Monday, August 24, 2015

Book Review: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir

Cover of Day's book
Some celebrities just come to epitomize our geek experience in the public eye.  In the past decade, especially for Geek Girls, no one is perhaps more relevant in this department than Internet sensation and actress/writer/producer Felicia Day.  From her beginnings in The Guild, her self-produced web series, to her recent appearances on Supernatural, a nerd-favorite television program, Day seems to have lived out the geek girl fantasy of branding her geekdom into a marketable commodity.  Additionally, however, her quirky personality and charming sense of humor make her seem approachable, as though she were still just like us.  By reading (and having had the privilege to hear speak about in person) her new memoir, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) (Touchstone, 2015), Day proves that all to be true.  Her book paints a relatable picture of her experiences as a geek girl, while also chronicling not only her rise to fame but also her personal struggles along the way.

The book is a kind of “tell-all” (without the nastier components often associated with that term) of Day’s childhood, adolescence, and eventual rise to fame.  She does not hold back—she tells anecdotes of the most embarrassing variety, in ways that make them seem familiar and relatable, as though she is a close friend wanting to paint us as a clear a picture of her life as possible.  She includes amazing photos throughout and provides a kind of running commentary on her own experiences, as though she, too, were trying to evaluate them as an outsider.  She takes us on a journey, but also makes the leap to accompany us on that journey, a rare treat when reading someone’s autobiography.  Day never gets caught up in bragging about her own talents or achievements; rather, she is as willing to laugh at herself as anyone else.

Day & Her Book!
The best chapters of the book come at the end, when Day reflects both on her battles with depression as well as on #GamerGate, which affected her directly as someone known to have made her mark as a “gamer girl.”  The chapters are honest and insightful and reassuring to the readers at home.  As geek girls, no matter how alone we might feel, we never are.  There are girls dealing with the same issues—internet trolls, insecurities, fears of failure—even at the levels of prestige that someone like Felicia Day has reached.

All in all, for all of my geek readers out there, this one is a must-read. If you have read, are reading, or do read this book, let me know your thoughts in the comments.  Get out there, geeky gals and guys, and read some books!  Until then, Dr. Kelly is wishing you a Glorious Geek Day!

Article by Kelly I. Aliano, PhD

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