Review: ‘You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)’ by Felicia Day

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

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.

If you’re a fan of Joss Whedon’s work, you may remember Felicia from his hit internet web series, Doctor Horrible’s Sing-along Blog. She played Penny. *sniff* She’s also been on Buffy, Supernatural, and lots of other shows … but before she was on Doctor Horrible, she created her own web series, The Guild.

The Guild is inspired by Felicia’s own experiences in online computer games, especially  her addiction to World of Warcraft. I had a WoW addiction myself there for a couple of years (though I still managed to go to work), so the show and its characters really resonated for me. In fact, I quit WoW when I got pregnant because I “didn’t want to be a Clara” (the sweet but very neglectful mother in The Guild).

So I guess I owe Felicia a big thank you for saving my son’s childhood! Yay!

All of this is by way of explanation for why I picked up this book, and why I loved it — and Felicia — so, so much.

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is a relatively quick read (or listen — I bought the audiobook, which is narrated by the charming Felicia herself). And it’s one I thoroughly recommend for geeks. If you didn’t understand my paragraph about WoW, then some of the stuff in the book may go over your head. Although Felicia does a really good job of making the geek jargon accessible, I am not qualified to say how good a job she did, because I already knew what she was talking about.

Felicia is very honest about herself, her upbringing and her failings: she describes herself variously as anxious, driven and a control freak, and provides many, many examples of each. The book reveals things about her that I didn’t know, including how awful things got for her after she got doxxed by GamerGate. (I wanted to give her a hug, and then set fire to certain parts of the internet.)

What she doesn’t talk about is her adult personal life. She mentions several times that she has a boyfriend, but if you’re expecting salacious details, don’t hold your breath — she never even says what his name is. On the other hand, given the doxxing, who can blame her? Likewise, she mentions that she’s no stranger to restraining orders and talks about a disturbed fan turning up at her house, but doesn’t go into details about any of it. Again, fair enough.

Still, if you want to hear funny anecdotes about her homeschool experience, singing lessons, university violin performance, acting experience and so much more, this book is wonderful. I especially recommend it for the embarrassing stories of Felicia geeking out over other celebrities at fan conventions. That made me feel so much better about my incoherent behaviour whenever I’ve ever met anyone even slightly famous.

Thanks, Felicia!

Five stars

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