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You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir Hardcover – August 11, 2015
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“[An] inspirational comic memoir . . . to set alongside Tina Fey's Bossypants, Amy Poehler's Yes Please, Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl and Sarah Silverman's The Bedwetter. Young people of both sexes and every gender should find much to empower them. (Older people, too, for that matter.)” (Los Angeles Times)
“Written in her engaging and often hilarious voice, it's just downright fun to read.” (USA Today (3.5 out of 4 stars))
“At last, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) reveals the secret origin story of everyone’s favorite geek super heroine! Felicia Day’s memoir is honest, hopeful, and hysterical. It’s the story of a girl who grew up lost and lonely—then became a self-made internet rock star. Reading it will make you feel like you can take on the whole Empire yourself.” (Ernest Cline, author of Ready Player One)
“Relentlessly funny and surprisingly inspirational to anyone who grew up a geek and continually doubts themselves to this day. That’s a pretty wide audience, if I had to guess. . . . Day’s fans will obviously like the memoir, but it has more than niche appeal. It’s not meant to be a self-help book, but I found that’s the effect it had on me all the same.” (Forbes.com)
“Quirky, uplifting and full of stories about embracing your inner nerd. Day has proven herself to be as talented in front of the camera as she is behind it. It's evident that she's a brilliant businesswoman whose avatar has secured a residence in digital media past, present and future.” (Associated Press)
"Charming and funny." (Marie Claire)
“Day writes charmingly. . . . [She] is delightfully good company and has an interesting story to tell.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“A super (and superquirky) memoir.” (Booklist)
“Day’s writing is warm and charming. Fans of her work will gobble this up, but anyone who has ever despaired of finding their passions would benefit from a read as well.” (Library Journal)
About the Author
Felicia Day is a professional actress who has appeared in numerous mainstream television shows and films, including a two-season arc on the SyFy series Eureka. She is currently recurring on The CW show Supernatural. However, Day is best known for her work in the web video world, behind and in front of the camera. She co-starred in Joss Whedon’s Emmy Award-winning Internet musical, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. She also created and starred in the hit web series The Guild, which ran for six seasons and is currently available for viewing on every major digital outlet, including Netflix.
In 2012, she launched a YouTube channel called Geek & Sundry. The network has garnered more than 1.3 million subscribers to date and more than 200 million views. In 2014, the company was purchased by Legendary Entertainment. Day continues to act as CCO and develop web content and television projects with Legendary as a producer, writer, and performer. She is also extremely active on social media, has over 2.3 million Twitter followers, and is the eighth most followed person on Goodreads, where she is also the founder of Vaginal Fantasy, a romance and fantasy book club with more than 13,000 members.
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I laughed out loud in the first couple of pages! I knew this was going to be a joy to read.
What is carob? I had to look up this word. It means.... Okay, I looked it up in my dictionary app. I still don't know what it is! Some sort of seed from a legume tree? Okay then, time to google this tree for a picture. Oh. I think we have this tree in Hawaii (I was born and raised there...no, not exotic when you're poor and living in government housing on the poorest and most unwelcoming side of the island). I mean, I never knew what it was called. I just remember it being a huge and stinky tree that provided a lot of shade. And there were always those poop-like things (carobs) on the ground that used to get stuck under my shoes as a kid. Wow...your mom fed you these poopie seeds instead of chocolate!? That just plain sucks.
I can relate to wanting to be the perfect student. Since kindergarten I realized that if I were complacent and obedient toward my teachers, I would be their "teacher's pet." I reveled in their high praises for me. I was smug toward my peers when my teachers asked me to help them with their work since I was already finished with my 100% A+ assignment! It was as if the constant appraisal was a high for me, a drug I was addicted to all the way through my elementary years. I guess it was a positive and negative thing for me. Positive in the sense that seeking appraisal and approval from others drove me. I was (still am) a highly determined person. Negative in the sense that I probably looked like a douchebag during this time of "I am smarter than you, so just move." I also feel as if I wasn't true to myself. I became someone based on how others treated me and what they expected out of me. And like what you said, if I worried less about being such "praise monkey" I probably would have had more meaningful friendships and fun as a kid. You said this more eloquently; I just don't feel like searching for the quote.
Oh Felicia, I used to apologize to myself for not writing in my diary as often as I should have too.
Altavista, geocities (my first website creation)....how about Netscape? And the sound of the modem just made me plain happy. I used all of these things in the mid to late 90s as well on high school. In fact, I was the only sophomore in the advanced Mass Media class full of seniors. It was mainly because I worked in the summer at the school and received credit for it. I went around the island filming, editing, etc. different people, places, and events. I was a nerd too! I LOVED spending time in our editing room. Oh, I owned that editing bay system! Or should I say PWNED it!
Felicia, we need to be best friends. The fact that you also knew every private single-stall bathroom (it was for pee AND poop for me) in college, demonstrates how neurotically weird we both are. I still avoid public restrooms when I can. I always feel like vomiting every time I walk into a stall, especially if the stall was just used! Ewwww! Seriously, can we bond over poop? I'm not a creepster, I swear!
I am sitting on my bed next to my 6 week old daughter, who is napping in her bassinet. I almost woke her up from laughing out loud (something about you that you like being physically assaulted....) You would have been the culprit Felicia and then you'd have to make it up to me (by buying me frozen yogurt with strawberries on the top...are you going to stop reading now cause you're freaked out? Sorry, I'll stop).
I have to comment about The New Mickey Mouse Club. I was obsessed with the show since 1989. All I wanted in life was to be a Mouseketeer (I ended up becoming a high school English teacher…close enough). I recorded (on VHS obviously) every single episode (hmmm... I think I still have a box full of them) and learned practically all of the dance routines. I used to come home from school, close the curtains, move some furniture, pop in a tape, and turn our 30 inch television (with the hump in the back) on the loudest setting possible! Okay, I thought about including "put on a snazzy outfit" for my performance, but decided it was way too embarrassing. Wait, I just included it didn't I? I also used to order my mom to go upstairs because I didn’t want her seeing me perform. Here’s how obsessed I was: I entered a talent show, dancing to the routine they did for the song "Everybody Dance Now." I recorded the show's performance from the TV onto a cassette tape! So during my performance, you would hear the occasional cheers from the show's audience! Not nerdy I know!
Anywhoo! In all seriousness, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this memoir. I laughed out loud and I surprisingly cried. I had no idea Felicia went through some dark times in her life. I would have never guessed. Felicia (I just realized I have been writing as if you're going to be reading this, using pronouns like "you" and "your." How presumptuous of me! Seriously....I am on Steam and Xbox. Look me up!) quite surprisingly shared intimate and personal accounts of her upbringing which enables the reader to glimpse into her eclectic life and conjure some understanding (and sympathy...empathy from some) of who she essentially is. The main theme that stands out in the memoir is to be legitimately happy and content of your true self. It's sort of like Felicia's account of debating whether or not she should go in the Build-A-Bear store. If you want to create a cross-dressing Santa, then frakking-A, go do it!
Personally, as a high school teenager, even as a college student who went to school out of state my freshman year, I wish I had this sense of ownership of self-identity. I wish I had the confidence to be the geeky girl I was. I mean, I guess most knew me as a smarty pants (I wasn't a genius, but I was quite precocious and a goody-two-shoes), but I still feel as if I had cheated myself. If I only did not give a rat's furry behind about what others thought of me (BTW I begged my mom to home school me because I just couldn't deal with my immature peers) I probably would have been a lot happier and that positive vibe would have reverberated to other happy people and I would have had more fun and friendships (like Felicia said). This is the kind of message I would like to pass on to my two daughters, especially my soon to be 10 year old. My daughter earns straight As, is highly introverted, has anxiety when there are too many people around, is the most kind-hearted good spirit, plays the violin, and absolutely loves her My Little Pony and Minecraft. Her teachers once mentioned in her grade report that she needed to participate more often in class and be more extroverted. Long story short, I took offense to these comments. I'm sorry my daughter does not constantly raise her hand like that one obnoxious and aggressive kid or is not ecstatic to work in groups of four! (Facetiousness at its best.) Is my daughter polite and friendly in class? Does she treat others with respect? Well then she is fine. There is nothing wrong with her introversion. Some of the greatest ideas and products derive from a little bit of isolation and solitude.
Not to name drop, but I will anyway because it's my review and I can. Susan Cain wrote a book called Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop Talking. Cain speaks about how the world needs introverts and how our culture and society today have been built and influenced by introverts (e.g., Jobs, Hawking, Lucas, & Gates). I like to include Felicia Day to the list, at least to the gamer world list. In reference to the Gamergate chapter, I just want to say that trolls and those who have evil hatred toward female gamers can threaten all they want to intimidate gamers with vaginas. Why is this even an issue? I've played video games since the original Nintendo came out in the 80s. My first game was Tetris on the IBM computer. You know, the ones with the floppy disk drives? Our generation is the one creating video games today! So there wouldn’t be awesome games right now if it weren’t for us!
It's not as if gamer girls never existed. Why so much hate? I have come across these chauvinistic pigs online myself. You know what the best part was for me during my Call of Duty days? (I've been playing COD since the first game suckas! I don't play it anymore because multiplayer has become just ridiculous and the brand is so monetized). It's when I PWNED everyone as I ranked number one with most kills 90% of the time. No kidding. I was THAT good. Friends used to tell me I should compete in tournaments. Man, that got them so pissed! Many used to leave the lobby, but only after saying some other sexist and inappropriate comment. I can just picture them at home in their mom's basement, sulking and eating greasy pizza. Wow, I went off on a tangent. I’ll probably get hit by these trolls too….
Back on track...where was I? Aaahh yes the theme: basically be true to yourself, be proud, hold your head high, and do! You would think that this is a no brainer. But it's easy to offer the advice, and hard to actually personally implement yourself. This kind of message is congruous for both the young and the old. I think that’s what makes Felicia's book so compelling. Her story obviously impacted me because I wrote my review very similar to her style of story-telling. I felt inspired by her words and wisdom, which I think is the whole point of her message. Nevertheless, I want to say bravo to Felicia for choosing to share such an intriguing tale of your human life. I hope you decide to write another book someday! I will definitely be one of the first people to read it! Call me! ;)
Day’s writing style is easy to follow and makes the book a fairly quick read. If you’re in your 30’s, like me, this book is certainly a MUST read, as it takes individuals through familiar transitions of the internet, seeing a screen shot of Prodigy’s original login screen made me get all tingly inside. Even if you’re not in that age range, the way in which Day describes her emotion and experiences with her initial exploration of the internet is sweet and relatable as she finds her peer group and begins engaging in the online experience. Day also engages in a discussion of some of the initial friendships that emerged as a result of her time on the internet Discussion Boards, something very different and much simpler in an earlier time.
If I had I had to think of two adjectives to describe the writing, I would say sincere and sweet; it’s in this voice that the humor is to be found, as Day reflects on her own experiences. Although Day’s narrative talks about her own moments of lacking self-confidence, and who she is in perception to the internet community, it is sincere and not overly pushy or re-affirming in that she needs to just justify her qualifications to the reader, the initial introduction does a good job to serve this purpose. The other element, Day has done some pretty spectacular things, especially her college time as a double major and at such a young age, majoring in male-dominated majors.
Day discusses her own efforts at becoming successful in her field, working on various projects in Hollywood, and then her growing popularity within the online world and fandom worlds. In this process Day discusses her insecurities, as well as a bout with depression and suicidal thoughts that she had during one period of her life. Day’s discussion through depression is really impactful; she identifies that it is a long process, it is not something that magically turned around and it required work from herself and help from others.
The final part to mention is Day talking about the human and personal attacks that occurred in her life as a female gamer, especially around Gamergate. The physical reactions and response, trembling hands, and real fear that people might come to her house, after her home address was posted online, is a real lesson for people to learn and understand; some attacks and the severity associated with it, go beyond frustrating or annoying people, but instills real fear. Day also does a good job of explaining to the non-familiar what some of the issues are with gamer girls and what they face, especially the high level of disrespect and personal attacks. Day is realistic and optimistic about the environment she enjoys, but highlights some of the drawbacks.
It’s a good book; one that I would recommend for persons who are unfamiliar with her and the online genre. It’s writing is clear and she does a good job of explaining context for those who are unfamiliar with the environment.
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