I'm not entirely sure why I picked this book up. I know of Felicia Day, the nerdy actor/web-creator, and I think I even met her, during her Buffy convention days, but I'm not particularly a fan of hers. But I've been binging on one of her web entertainment company Geek and Sundry's Twitch series, Critical Role (more on that another day soon!), and when her memoir was mentioned on the show, I found it at my library and thought, "Why not?"
I definitely didn't expect to be reviewing it here. But it turned out, I really needed to read this book.
You're Never Weird on the Internet is written in that super-chatty style you might expect from "books by internet stars," which I sometimes find grating. But it also made the book incredibly accessible, and I devoured the entire thing in less than a day.
Felicia Day is an entirely self-made business woman and creative who used online video and social media to carve her own space in the entertainment industry. For all that people idolize or dismiss her as "queen of the geeks," she's smart, driven, imaginative and very successful, and she has a lot to teach others about succeeding in the industry. But as I read her book, I also felt a huge emotional connection with her. I saw myself in Felicia, in almost every way, and she put a lot of my own fears and feelings into words. The need to pursue a 4.0 at all costs, considering yourself a failure if you don't see immediate success, being too terrified of being bad to start creating, struggling with the general pressures of intense anxiety, worrying simultaneously that you've missed your window to succeed and also that you'll never live up to your past successes... her neuroses are my neuroses, which probably meant the book was a different reading experience than it would be for people who haven't had existential crises over the idea of receiving a B+ on an assignment.
But beyond that, her memoir is a story about realizing that you and your work don't fit in, and so carving the perfect space for yourself instead. It's about learning how to succeed (and how to fail) while wrangling with anxiety and depression, about overcoming crippling perfectionism and learning to accept limits. It's about existing and creating in a space often filled with misogyny and hate, and of facing down Gamergate as a celebrity and gaming fan. It's the story of being a double major in math and music, a highly talented prodigy violinist, then moving to LA, becoming an actress, writing your own web series, starting your own entertainment company and generally taking over the web.
And it's just so nerdy and readable too.
I didn't always like or agree with everything she said, so I recommend this with the caveat that you may occasionally cringe too. But that aside, I think this is a great book for anyone who wants to work in a creative field, anyone who is a painful overachiever, or even just anyone who isn't sure how or where they belong.