Author: Felicia Day
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Rating: 5 Stars
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 “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.
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
I don’t usually read or review non-fiction, especially not memoirs, but I’ll admit it: I’m a huge Felicia Day fan. I’ve been following her work since she was on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, all the way through The Guild, and the very beginnings of the Geek & Sundry Channel. She is my geeky, gamer girl hero. I regularly participate in her Romance/Fantasy book club, Vaginal Fantasy… so when I heard that she was writing a book nearly a year ago, I was already planning ahead to add it onto my early Birthday list. I repeatedly reminded my family for several weeks that August, and my birthday were fast approaching, with not-so-veiled hints that the book’s release date was soon approaching just two weeks before my B-day. Needless to say, I not only received the book as a birthday present, I was allowed to access this present early, and devoured it the same day it was bought.
For someone who hardly ever reads non-fiction let me say: this memoir was everything I hoped for. Felicia’s writing was hilarious, filled with awkward stories of childhood, adolescence, and her many geeky endeavors. The book was easy to read and from a technical standpoint, pretty flawlessly executed. I didn’t notice any grammatical errors or awkward sentences, and the candid photos and photoshopped meme-like additions were an amusing touch.
I found Felicia’s story both relatable and inspiring. As an awkward girl growing up in the first vestiges of the internet myself, I found something nostalgic and endearingly familiar about her stories of naïve attempts to find a niche in early games and forums. I too lived through those times, and did some of the same questionable things that I still can’t believe my parents let me get away with (anyone else live through one of those awkward early-internet meet ups fueled by parents desperate to see us gain relationships outside our family? Yup. Been there.) Her adventures in being homeschooled and being the awkward almost-too-old-for-her-age type of kid reminded me a lot of my own homeschooled daughter, and I immediately decided that at some point, my daughter too would have to read this book, if for no other reason than to show her that: Hey, it’s okay to be yourself. It’s okay to be weird.
In a lot of ways, Felicia and her stories of being an anxious, awkward, geeky girl reminded me a lot of myself, and when I read about her determination to follow her dreams and the struggles with shutting down her inner critic—well, it struck a chord. I think a lot of us struggle with our inner anxiety… I certainly know I have. Reading about her procrastination, the endless excuses, and self-doubt, I wanted to close the book and get to work on all the stuff I’ve been putting off for ages. I’m there, in that place right now. I didn’t put the book down in the end—because I wanted to finish the book—but I promise you, the procrastination and second-guessing is going to come to an end. Thanks, Felicia. If you ever read this review: Sincerely, from my heart, thanks.
I loved this book, and I am so glad to have read it. If you’ve ever been that awkward geeky kid with off-kilter interests and a lack of social skills, you should pick this up. There are a lot of us out there—especially on the internet. *fist bump* I’m one of them…and that’s okay. Be weird. All the best people are.