Available in bookstores nationwide.
Before Zoella and Alfie, and the multitude of other vloggers, there was Felicia Day, one of the first to make her mark on YouTube. I’m not generally a biography/memoir reader, but Felicia’s had me hooked from the start: it had me wishing I knew her personally and by the end, I felt like I did. Candid and forthcoming, this autobiography made me laugh, (almost) cry, and experience practically every other emotion in between.
Day recounts her life from her early childhood in Alabama and Mississippi, a liberal, hippyish family living in America’s bible belt. With her unconventional upbringing, her mother’s fairly erratic attitude to home-schooling and her utter determination to be the best at what she does, Felicia rises in her teens to double major in violin and math. From there, she makes the move to Los Angeles, following her dream to become an actress. Through it all, she remains self-effacing, a socially awkward young lady who tenaciously strives for her goals – be they maintaining her 4.0 GPA or impressing her various tutors – sometimes to the detriment of her own social life and health.
Like many of us socially-awkward folks, Felicia finds her comfort zone within the internet. And she becomes addicted to the World of Warcraft. This sows the seeds to what becomes her most ambitious project yet – her YouTube series The Guild. Once you have read the amount of effort, the emotional investment, the energy, that was poured into that show, it makes you appreciate it in a whole new light.
But amongst the humour and the determination, there is a darker side to success, for the more popular that Felicia got, the more anxious she became. She writes candidly of her struggles with depression and anxiety, as her determination to not disappoint anybody almost breaks her. It all makes her very easy to identify with – and at times during reading it I wanted to reach out to her, give her a hug and say “it’s gonna be OK”. There is also a section on #GamerGate, and doxxing, that makes one aware of how terrifying the internet can really be.
Overall, through this book, Felicia has taught me that even if you feel awkward and weird, a misfit in society, there is a place for you. That if you have a goal, no matter how over-the-top, ridiculous and impossible it may seem, with determination, a few tears and a hearty dose of encouragement, you can make your mark in the world. Thank you Felicia, now I’m off to make mine.
Reviewed by Angela Oliver
You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)
by Felicia Day
Published by Sphere