As a person, Felicia Day has a kind of lovable oddness that translates perfectly onto the page, as exemplified in her memoir, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). Known best for her appearances in Joss Whedon productions as well as her web series The Guild, Day has written a memoir that is humorous, self-deprecating and strikingly inspirational. The book describes her wayward childhood as a homeschooled oddball who educated herself mostly through reading whatever she could find. With the advent of the internet in her teenage years, Day connected with an online community and felt for the first time that she belonged somewhere. It’s the only memoir I’ve read in which the internet plays a significant role in the author’s formative years, and as a 26 year old, that hits home with me.
Day’s story is one of perfectionism, as she nearly wipes herself out to maintain her 4.0 in college, double majoring in mathematics and music and graduating by the age of 20. It’s also a story of whimsy and misdirection — she spends years in L.A. trying to survive as an actress and ultimately finds the lifestyle unsatisfying. Through the internet, Day finally finds meaning and success in her life, pursuing a web series built on her passion for video gaming.
Her message repeats endlessly: Be who you are. If no one in real life likes what you’re doing, there’s a community for you somewhere on the internet.
Even if you know nothing about the online world, Day’s story is a quick read, and her mantra of self-acceptance resonates on a very human level.
You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. Touchstone, $16.95.