You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is the comedic autobiography of Felicia Day, a female gamer prominent in the blogging/vlogging community. Day gained acclaim for her web series The Guild and, in 2012, she launched the Geek and Sundry YouTube channel.
Day begins by introducing herself to those who “have no idea who the hell I am.” She recalls an incident during which she stopped at Build-A-Bear and was recognized by a few girls from the Hot Topic next door. As they clamor for pictures, a mother who is also shopping there asks, “Are you an actress?” Day explains she is a producer and writer and then, realizing she is rambling, says “Yes, I’m an actress.”
What follows is a surreal moment in which neither the mother, her daughter, nor the sales clerk recognizes her, raising the defensive ire of the “Hot Topics,” as Day dubs them. Extracting herself from the situation as gracefully as possible, Day tours the Virgin Galactic hangar as part of a social media invite. Such is her life.
Based on these two stories, Day assumes the reader is either extremely excited (“OMG! FELICIA DAY WROTE A BOOK!”) or extremely confused (“Who the hell is this chick?”). For the former, she thanks you. For the latter, she hopes you will stick around.
The first chapter, “Why I’m Weird,” details Day’s eccentric childhood. After attending regular schools for kindergarten and first grade, she is sent to a conservative Lutheran school for second grade. Her parents were not religious, but the school was the best in their Alabama community. Day enjoyed the school except for having to attend chapel every day.
Due to a sermon about burning money, Day is pulled out of the Lutheran school and placed in “unschooling.” She doesn’t remember much about the place except it was closed for embezzling the parents’ money.
Day’s father is transferred from Huntsville to Biloxi, at which point she and her brother are homeschooled. This goes well for about a week until any semblance of structure in their lives is gone. Art becomes doodling in the margins of a geometry book; history becomes visiting Civil War sites. The one constant in their education is they are expected to read constantly.
Day’s father becomes concerned and signs the kids up for an extensive array of lessons—ballet, jazz, martial arts, watercoloring—anything that was available and fit into their schedules. Day eventually earned two college degrees, but no high school diploma.
She returns to Los Angeles after college to pursue an acting career. Two months after moving, she wraps up her first acting stint and is cut a check for $90, which bounces. The production company had shut down and disappeared, so she never got paid, however, she frames the check as a funny story to tell on Actors Studio after she is successful.
In 2005, at the peak of a career “auditioning for burger commercials,” Day’s brother invites her to play World of Warcraft. Through the game, she is able to connect with him and make new friends, but she becomes addicted, forgoing auditions, relationships, and most outside activities. Day later drew on this experience in creating The Guild, which was the work that finally launched her career.
You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is a fun and honest look into the early life and struggles of someone who managed to make a career out of being socially awkward. The Guild has won several awards for online series and, in 2009, was labeled “one of the Net’s best serial shows” by Rolling Stone. Geek and Sundry was launched in 2012 as part of YouTube’s $100 million original channel initiative.
The tone of her writing belies that Day is, in fact, an intellectual who started college at the age of 16 and graduated in the top four percent with degrees in mathematics and violin performance. While her insecurities may be off-putting to some readers, she manages to remain relatable with her comic self-deprecation.
Readers who enjoyed Just A Geek by Wil Wheaton, or Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson should enjoy You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). All three are written by celebrities who exude an Everyman persona and who are known for being approachable and interacting with fans. They share intimate details of their struggles with anxiety and depression, and how these issues have impacted their creative efforts. All three authors are personal friends, too, which creates overlap among their books and their professional endeavors.
You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is a fun and quirky read, even for those who have never heard of Felicia Day.
★ ★ ★ ½
Kris Milstead is a nerd insomniac. When she is not surfing the Internet or watching Doctor Who, she can probably be found reading and working on her next book review. You can follow her on Twitter at medelle71 or email her at email@example.com.