Before I get too far into this review, I just want to state, for the record, Felicia Day has said that she does not really like being dubbed ‘The Queen of the Internet’ or ‘The Queen of the Geeks’ or whatever crown we the people want to bestow upon her, but the fact that she comes unwillingly to power only makes her more worthy, honestly. I do feel a bit bad about potentially making her feel more anxious over this responsibility we’ve all thrust on her, but she’s so awesome, I can’t even help myself.
The most awesome thing about Felicia Day, though, isn’t how smart or funny or creative or unapologetically weird or whatever other thing she is that also happens to be very true. The most awesome thing about Felicia Day is how when you’re watching her video content or reading her book reviews or watching her hang out with her friends and talk about dirty books on her internet book club, or reading this very book, all that “I am BFF with Joss Whedon and I have awesome hair and I created The Guild with my brain” stuff just goes out the window, and she instantly just becomes a human person you can relate to.
Bottom line: this isn’t a celebrity memoir all about how awesome it was to create The Guild and meet and befriend other famous people and how it is to be famous and me me me me. This is a memoir that happens to have been written by a celebrity.
I feel like that’s an important difference to highlight, mostly because the way she does it (besides just being herself on paper, I guess) is by allowing herself to be vulnerable. I loved all the stuff about her childhood and growing up homeschooled and weird, and her stories about college, but where this book really shines is when she arrives in Hollywood. She talks about her addiction to World of Warcraft, the process of creating The Guild, and living and working in L.A., but the stories she tells about that time are ones we as the audience didn’t get to see if all we’ve done is know her through her content. These parts aren’t just the story of how she overcame Hollywood typecasting to create her own niche and pioneer the creation of online video, although that is part of it. Mostly, it’s the story of how she dealt with all of that stuff through her own insecurities, production difficulties, anxiety and health issues . . . all the stuff you can’t see just by looking at the results. Talking about everything that happened to her in this way brings everything she’s accomplished down to the human level, and the book is all the better for it.
And oh, man. The chapter where she talks about writing that very first Guild script . . . I was genuinely having a crisis while reading it, because the parts where she’s all depressed and in a rut and filling the void in her life with World of Warcraft, never bringing herself to actually do the things she wants to do . . . it was like she was IN MY HEAD. I don’t want to go into it here because this review is not a therapy space, but reading what she did, and accomplished after pushing herself past that point . . . honest to God, you guys, I know this is going to sound cheesy as hell, but it was INSPIRATIONAL. It was a kick in the pants.
This isn’t a comedy memoir, but in parts it is very funny. Not every joke lands, but even when they don’t, it’s more like when you have a friend who tells a joke and you just sort of roll your eyes lovingly at them and move on with your life. And this isn’t one of those memoirs written just because a publishing company wanted to give a famous person a book deal, either. Felicia has actually accomplished some really awesome things. She is a pioneer, and it’s awesome that her story is on the official record now.
I read this in hard copy (actually bought my own instead of borrowing it from the library, which is a decision I don’t regret in the slightest), but I’ve heard so many good things about the audio version, I know I’ll be checking it out in the near future, also.
I feel like this review is all over the place, and it took me forever to write because I knew it was going to be one of the top reviews over on GR, just because I posted a silly GIF of Felicia throwing money into the air when the book was first announced and everybody gave me likes. So hopefully everybody who gave me likes for that is okay with their life decisions after reading this.
Anyway, who cares. Go read Felicia’s book if you are even marginally familiar with her or her work*. Heck, maybe even if you aren’t. But definitely check out The Guild if you haven’t yet. That there’s a good time.
*Just in case you have no knowledge of Ms. Day, here’s a quick overview of the big stuff: A season long arc on Buffy the Vampire Slayer; guest spots on House, Dollhouse, Monk, Undeclared; extended arcs on Supernatural and Eureka; web series The Guild (of course), Dragon Age: Redemption, Legend of Neil, Husbands; she was one of the leads in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog; and all of her stuff on her Geek & Sundry YouTube channel: Co-Optitude (she plays video games with her brother, and I love it), Tabletop (this is Wil Wheaton’s show, but she’s on it a bunch), and her vlog The Flog; and of course, she’s going to be in Alan Tudyk’s upcoming comedy series, Con Man, which I backed! She’s also written several comic books for Dark Horse, and now, this book!