Felicia Day, Queen of Geekdom

“You have a finite number of toothpaste tubes you will ever consume while on this planet. Make the most of that clean tooth time. For yourself.”

Oh my goodness. Where to begin?

Perhaps I should begin at the beginning, when I was languishing over which book to talk about this week.

Although I have a number of books I want to talk about, I spent quite a while debating over which book to start with. While Machiavelli and Sun Tzu might be the most ancient in both my personal history of reading books (and then re-reading them multiple times), they can be stuffy. I nixed them early on. Almost all the history books I like are fraught with political peril, so ixnay on them, too. I’m not in the mood to write on any of the books I’ll be teaching from, and I definitely did not want my First Official Book Review™ to be of a book I ended up hating. I even went as far as to kidnap my mother and make her go get coffee with me while I prattled on and on about which book to choose.

And then…I realized. This was the perfect chance to write about Felicia Day, one of the three women who I assume rule the secret but powerful Trifecta of Kickass Hollywood Ladies.

Felicia Day is all goodness and sunshine and fluffy yet heartfelt insecurities. I first met her in Buffy, where she was one of the potential Slayers and technically didn’t say much (she did have a cool hat, though!), but I remembered her enough so that when she showed up in Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog I could go “Hey! Hey! That girl! I know her!” and furiously google to figure out where I knew her from. Then there was Dollhouse, which was great (and also another Whedon venture). Then there was a long period of time where she did not cross my path at all, until someone forced me to watch a Supernatural episode with them and there she was.

And there I was, back at the Google machine, because clearly Ms. Day had been doing a lot between when I last saw her in Dollhouse and when she turned up in Supernatural. I discovered The Guild, rewatched Dr Horrible, and in a freak coincidence, ended up at the bookstore, where her book handcuffed itself to me until I bought it. Ok, ok, fine, I bought it of my own free will, but only because a) Felicia Day, b) the title was great, and c) well, Felicia Day. Suffice to say, I had high expectations when I started reading (which is always dangerous), and she did not disappoint.

The title is simply “You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir“, and it is by Felicia Day, just in case you didn’t pick up on that yet. In it, she covers everything from growing up as an early homeschoolee and finding a social outlet through roleplaying on the internet to being a musical prodigy and how she got into acting. She also talks about more serious stuff, like learning to deal with failure–and the scrapes and bumps she had along the way to figuring that out (something a lot of people just magically gloss over and ignore). Essentially, she gave us a raw-but-curated look at how she became herself and got to where she is today.

I connected with You’re Never Weird on the Internet on several levels. First off, I was homeschooled (under the same sort of “we were expected to read” rule as Ms. Day mentions), secondly, I had no real social life in my growing-up town, and thirdly, I solved that problem by getting involved in roleplaying, albeit a vastly different type. That’s also where my identifying with Ms. Day ends, although I’ve given a couple stabs at failing at adulting, too (my comeback is nowhere near as grand). There was, too, the fact that the book reveals that she is an actual real person who suffers from things like self-doubt, depression, impostor’s syndrome, and etc. I always forget that other people feel like that too. It essentially, while being totally not about me, was the perfect encouragement book.

Also, her meme usage gets an A+. And her cultural analysis of #GamerGate. And I need GIFs of her reading the book dramatically so I can throw them at my friends regularly.  Basically, this was a book that, when I finished it, I wanted to be able to trundle down to a coffee shop, sit down across from her, and continue the conversation. I wanted to make my own Pancake Ladies Group, even if it did weirdly remind me of The Breakfast Club. Felicia Day writes the way she talks, which I suppose could annoy some people, but I like it. It adds to the purely quirky flavor.

Final thoughts: 5 stars, 10/10, would read again, have bought for friends, have made friends buy.

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