FELICIA DAY'S WRITING reads like a chat log. She wanders through stories, using all caps and italics. She drops tangentially relevant memes onto the page. The name of her autobiography, You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), is as cumbersome as that of an emo band. But those things work on the internet and—as she will explain at length—Felicia Day is mostly about the internet.
Like other autobiographies, YNWI(A) focuses heavily on Day's childhood. Day thinks that she "was raised incredibly weird," and a huge portion of her book focuses on her mother's inconsistent attempts at homeschooling (and an over-reliance on community college art classes for educational structure). As Day puts it, "[M]y mom basically trained me to become a geisha."
Day loses her reliable narrator credit early on, when, despite her complaints, she reveals she enrolled in college at the precocious age of 16, double-majoring in math and music before going on to write, direct, produce and star in a popular web series, The Guild. That's the thing you probably know her from—if not Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, or Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. At times, it's hard to read all of these humblebrags. And it's difficult not to cringe when Day attempts to sum up her fairly privileged childhood with the socially tone-deaf "Boy, do I have some excuses!"
I like a lot of Day's videos and humor, but her online persona has never struck me as valuable for its weirdness. She's at her best not when she's trying to show how weird she is, but when she's straightforward, and—interestingly enough—appealing to a group that often thinks of itself as different: gamer women. Day's essay about her perspective on 2014's Gamergate, her hesitation to speak out about it, and the subsequent privacy violations she experienced when she did is especially potent.
Here, Felicia Day shows she can tell a good yarn that has nothing to do with her wacky youthful gamerhood. She's real people, with insight on a culture recently exploding into fireballs of misogyny and misinformation. These pieces of her autobiography are fascinating. If only there could've been more of them.