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You're Never Weird On the Internet (Almost)
By Felicia Day
Touchstone / Simon & Schuster
Reviewed by Jason Pettus
Putting a critical judgement on actor and screenwriter Felicia Day's new memoir, You're Never Weird On the Internet (Almost), is a complicated endeavor at best; for while big chunks of it feel as if some judge has sentenced you to Death by Adorableness, reading almost as if you were sneaking a peek at your anime-obsessed 14-year-old niece's diary, there are also giant chunks that are smart, dark and incredibly insightful, especially when this "web celebrity" talks about sexism in the gaming industry and relates the kinds of horrific true stories she's had to live through merely as an attractive woman on the internet who's not afraid to share her opinions. And this in turn inspired me to watch again the entire six-season run of her online series The Guild this weekend (the third time now that I've watched the entire thing from start to finish), where once again I found myself nearly peeing my pants in laugh-out-loud funniness, one of the few five-minute web series that has stood the test of time, due to the incredibly solid and surprisingly non-gimmicky writing skills of Day who penned the entire thing herself.
And this is what's such a shame about her memoir; for while The Guild is razor-sharp, never afraid to get very subversive very fast (I'm still amazed at how comically negligent Day got away with treating the babies in this series), and its later seasons filled with the kind of rapid-fire joke-per-minute rate you would typically find on something like Arrested Development, her book is mostly the equivalent of painting a giant rainbow on a kitten who's riding a unicorn across the fields of Gondor, just so bubblingly sweet and full of lightweight nothingness that you expect the book to float out of your hands while you're sitting there reading it. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's definitely worth a read, and I'm recommending it today if for nothing else than the illuminating light she sheds on what it's like to be an online celebrity in a GamerGate world; but it's just a shame that there's not more heft to it, given what an amazing writer Day has proven herself to be in the past, a missed opportunity that I hope she will rectify with the next book she undoubtedly has in her.
Out of 10: 8.7