Felicia Day is a study in geek-chic. After a homeschooled upbringing in the south, Day has gone on to become an actress, blogger, and internet star, all while remaining true to her many passions. She’s a geek pop culture idol, and she’s also kind of hilarious. In this memoir, Day discusses her unusual childhood, her lofty aspirations of becoming an actress, and her experiences navigating the nerd world.
Day’s memoir presents itself as a mostly breezy, charming little memoir of a woman’s experience growing up and finding a culture of like-minded introverts on the internet. Because of her unique upbringing and personality quirks, Day found herself alone for much of her childhood, and it was through genre fiction, video games, and the like that she finally found her calling and her people. Lucky enough to find a career that would allow her to pursue her passions, Day has carved out a niche in the entertainment world, and she ruminates on that in this book. She also tackles some darker material, including some thoughts on how she got caught up–and doxxed–in the “gamergate” incident.
Although Day’s memoir is very accessible and should hold appeal to readers who are fans of her work as well as a broader audience, there are some things that the book seems to lack. For one thing, Day’s anger over the “gamergate” brouhaha is dealt with here, but she shies away from truly expounding on the benefits and drawbacks of being immersed in virtual life, and this feels like a missed opportunity. Too often, Day seems to skim the surface of what could be much deeper, more thought-provoking topics, and readers will be left with a feeling of not-quite satisfaction.
Day writes with an almost manic tone, and this might be off-putting to some readers. It’s the most noticeable at the beginning of the book, when there are moments where it seems as though Day is trying too hard to be quirky and witty and breezy (one can almost feel the strings being pulled to hit all these marks), but as Day settles into her narrative, her tone loosens up and becomes much more authentic and much more charming. She’s at her best telling cute anecdotes about an unusual childhood and expressing genuine passion for her geeky pursuits. She definitely has a lot to offer readers, and maybe she’ll fully deliver with her next offering, whatever it is.
On the whole an enjoyable read, but Day’s hesitance to really dig deep makes for a somewhat surface-level read. There’s some missed opportunity here, but Day is still a delight and a promising author.
You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. Touchstone: 2015. Library copy.