You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), Felicia Day: Book Review

youre never weird on the internet almost felicia day book reviewTouchstone/ Tumblr (@thisfeliciaday)
You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) Book Cover You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)
Felicia Day
Memoir
Touchstone
August 11, 2015
Hardcover
260

From online entertainment mogul, actress, and “queen of the geeks” Felicia Day, a funny, quirky, and inspiring memoir about her unusual upbringing, her rise to Internet-stardom, and embracing her individuality to find success in Hollywood.

The Internet isn’t all cat videos. There’s also Felicia Day—violinist, filmmaker, Internet entrepreneur, compulsive gamer, hoagie specialist, 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 "home-schooled 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.

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is a book that I had sitting around for a very long time, but never had the chance to read. Interestingly enough, the reason behind putting it off for so long falls within a set of topics that Felicia Day covers in the book—anxiety, insecurity and over-achieving.

You are probably wondering how this relates to putting off a book for a year and a half. In short, the answer is college; or, trying too hard to achieve something that, in the end, doesn’t matter as much as your perfectionist mindset thinks it does.

Honestly, I should have read this book a lot sooner. Not only was it inspirational, but it was such a fast read.

If you know anything about me, you know that I love Day; she’s someone I have looked up to from her beginnings with The Guild, an award-winning comedy web series about a collaborative of online gamers and their gaming community. I followed her on social media and was excited to participate in the launch of her popular YouTube channel, Geek & Sundry. I especially loved watching her do her own thing on The Flog, a web show that appears under Geek & Sundry, in which Day tries new, interesting and quirky things.

Watching her inspired me, and I realized that I had a lot more in common with her than I thought. I remember watching her videos and thinking, “Hey, that is totally something I would do.” Long story short, I admired her.

It wasn’t until I finally read through You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) that I realized just how much I can relate to her. For anyone who doesn’t know of Day, it might seem a little weird to read her memoir.

So why read something about someone you don’t know? Because awesome things can happen, that’s why. Or at least that was the case with my experience reading Day’s first and only memoir to date.

This review contains spoilers

You’re Never Weird on the Internet is a wonderfully written memoir that is incredibly relatable, even if you aren’t into video games, nerd/geek culture or the world of internet entertainment. Not only does Day have a way with words that grabs your attention and keeps it, the memoir is well written and humorous.

However, Day’s memoir is not all jokes and funny stories about internet stardom; it’s just as much about dealing with mental health issues as well. If you have ever dealt with depression or anxiety, this is a memoir that you will want to pick up. It’s truly an inspirational read about finding yourself, even when life has you down.

Day’s memoir is written in her own voice and is full of stories about her life and work that are amusing, interesting, whimsical and awkward at times. I don’t mean that in a bad way, either. Her stories are so relatable to someone with extreme anxiety. There were so many instances that were funny because they were so true. A person without anxiety might read a few of them and think, “Wow, that’s awkward,” but someone with anxiety would think, “Hey, I’ve been there and I understand you.” There were so many instances when I found myself laughing and crying while reading this memoir; it’s just that real.

Another great concept of Day’s book is letting her readers know that it’s okay to be different. By learning about Day’s early life—which was at times dysfunctional and very different from a normal childhood—it becomes clear that everyone is different. As obvious a notion as that is, it’s not something that we think about every day. With how many prejudices projected on things that don’t even matter, regardless of how small they are, sometimes it’s hard to think that everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

In a world where people are looked down upon for how they look, or what they choose to do with their day, among numerous other things, it might be hard to think that everything is going to be okay. Especially when there are a number of factors in our lives that can’t be controlled—mental illness being one of them.

There were so many instances while reading this book where I thought, “This is exactly how I feel.” Some of the passages in Day’s memoir honestly made me feel a lot better about myself. In fact, there were a number of quotes I needed to break out my pen and pad for (because I refuse to write in my books, it just bothers me for some reason). In one personal passage, Day recounts a very tender moment of her life that really makes her readers feel they are not alone:

I wept for this guy, who was so vulnerable in front of me, and who, for some reason, felt the need to put himself down when he presented something he’d made from scratch. I don’t let people get away with putting themselves down anymore. There are enough negative forces in this world – don’t let the pessimistic voice that lives inside you get away with that stuff, too. That voice is NOT a good roommate.

Furthermore, Day provides a number of very good descriptions of what living with anxiety and depression is like. Sure, people know about mental illnesses, but when you don’t experience them every day it’s hard to actually understand how a person is feeling. Some people sympathize, but there are others who believe that mental illnesses do not exist. Which is really sad.

Even for those who aren’t familiarized with Day or her work, I’d highly recommend her memoir to anyone who has ever dealt with mental illness. It is also a good step for those who are trying to understand mental illness.

After a while, I was too paralyzed to decide anything at all. I woke up every single morning filled with dread, knowing I was going to have to sit down at my laptop and fail again.

Anxiety bled into every aspect of my life (it wouldn’t be the last time; hello last Thursday!), and I had to be coaxed through the process by gentle and understanding friends.

I grew up with constant anxiety, and when my fears proved a tiny bit possible, even just a hint, I panicked and lashed out at myself and everyone around me.

Beside my decision to focus on the darker aspects of the book (which are still very enjoyable to read in their own right), there are just as many light-hearted and heartwarming moments in this book, too. You don’t have to know who this woman is in order to enjoy the little trinkets she’s hidden in her memoir. You will laugh and cry, and maybe learn a little bit about yourself in the process.

Overall, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is truly an inspiration. Through Day’s stories, you will find yourself motivated and inspired to get out there and do whatever it is you truly love. And given the tense social climate we’re in at the moment, it’s definitely a great, uplifting read that I would recommend to everyone.


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Melissa Ratcliff
Reader, Writer & Translator. Cats, books and video games are my life.