You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day
Rating: 5 / 5 stars
Published: August 11th 2015
The Internet isn’t all cat videos. There’s also Felicia Day – violinist, filmmaker, Internet entrepreneur, compulsive gamer 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.
Feeling excited and in for a super geeky treat, I had high hopes, and I wasn’t disappointed. Felicia Day’s adorable, intelligent and quirky personality shone through the pages, creating a fun and really engaging read. How she addresses the reader comes across so friendly, you could mistake a lot of the book for a chat with your best friend, sat on the sofa with cups of tea and hobnobs.
Such a deep insight into her life leaves you feeling like you know so much more about her. I congratulated her on her achievements and I cried with her struggles. After reading of the mental and physical sacrifices she made to achieve her dreams, I feel so much more proud of everything she has managed to achieve so far in her short life. We travel together through her hilarious, hippie childhood, her impressive education, her progress through Hollywood and the exhausting efforts of starting her web-series “The Guild.”
Surprisingly, she does not leave out all of the gritty, unpleasant negatives that naturally followed the positives of her life. I was honestly expecting a super fun, super happy, super easy read with epic amounts of geekiness that would made any giant nerd enviable. Don’t get me wrong, all of the above are still included in the masses, but between the cracks you begin to see how mental illness hugely altered her life and her health. You also view snippets of the horribly sexist behaviour she receives simply because she is a minority in a ‘male-dominated’ profession, and the terrifying chunk of her life that was smashed apart by the #GamerGate movement.
Felicia has had her personal details and home address posted all over the Internet in a ‘revenge’ attack of the movement. Cars would park outside her house throughout the night, watching her. She has received empty phone calls in the middle of the night. Believe it or not, after one address leak in 2013, a ‘fan’ actually got INTO her house.
One of the comments she received hit me really hard, right in the heart: the man claimed, horribly, that where Felicia is now in her professional career was absolutely nothing to do with the hard work she put in throughout her life (I’ll leave what he suggested the reason was for you to imagine yourself, the vulgar moose). After everything Felicia achieved – her astonishing education, filming a full web-series with practically no money in her garage and it becoming such a world-wide success, standing her ground when Hollywood wanted to buy off her creations, the singular effort put into her business like personally stamping, labelling, writing, creating the merchandise, the websites and the DVDs – it broke my heart to read the doubts that people had simply because as an attractive lady, that has to be the reason why she was so successful. I can’t even imagine how those comments made her feel.
The above chapter was the final chapter of the book, not including the conclusion. When I closed it I felt deflated. Not only because nobody deserves that, but I was also sad that she ended such a bright and uplifting book on that tone. I couldn’t concentrate on anything else for the rest of the night. Like her, I work myself way too hard into the ground before letting myself back up for air, but I think it resonated with me so much because this is where my life could be heading, on a much smaller scale of course. Currently, my professional is hugely dominated by males and it’s not an enjoyable place to be when the negativity strikes – everything spirals back towards gender. Although I wish she had sandwiched the painful section between the inspiring, enviable elements of her life, I understand that leaving her book on this note does make it far more memorable. Very smart.
Let’s finish this by bringing the mood back up a bit: it is definitely the funniest book I’ve ever read in my adult life. It’s laugh-out-loud funny in many, many places and I regularly had to go back and reread a page because I’d skim-read it due to giggling too much at her recent joke. You can completely imagine Felicia finding herself in so many of the hilarious situations, especially if you can relate. For example, me and Felicia share a lot of the hobbies we both had when we were younger (online boyfriends and friends, awkward online meet-ups, online gaming) which makes all of the awkward teenage online experiences much funnier to read. She even mentioned Puzzle Pirates, which was my absolute life as a tween, and I fangirled hugely!
If you’re a fan of Felicia Day, gaming, awkward childhood stories, awkward adult stories and laughs galore then you should definitely read this book. Her words are a pleasure and you will come away afterwards feeling different – whether that is because you gained a new hilarious friend, or because her tragic stories hit you hard in the heart.