Wednesday, March 2, 2016

10. I Hate Myselfie

It took a couple days longer than I thought it would to get this blog post out in the world. So many days that it's a whole new month from when I thought this would get posted. But I've always thought of you, my dear readers, as the forgiving sort. And if you're not, well...I'll try to do better next time.

I've been working hard trying to get my reading done. I'm stuck on a few books from 1001 Books to Read Before You Die that are just...hard to get through. I actually really like two of them, so it's not as if I'm suffering through bad books, there's just something about the writing style and the narrative that can feel like slogging.

I'm going to get there, though. And, dammit, I'm going to blog about it.

So without further ado, Book 10 of Project 84 is...

I Hate Myselfie
I Hate Myselfie
By Shane Dawson

This is yet another book that comes with a story.

I am a 28-year-old woman. That isn't really part of the story, but it puts it in context. I remember when YouTube became a thing. It was my senior year of high school. (I also remember when you could only join Facebook with a college e-mail, and not all colleges were accepted, but that's neither here nor there). I'm not someone who does the "I'm so old" thing about technology or things from the past...but going through basically my entire childhood without YouTube meant that I missed the rise of the "YouTube celebrity".

I liked Bo Burnham videos, got a kick out of Grace Helbig when I saw her in more mainstream stuff, and groaned along to "Friday" and "Chocolate Rain" just like the rest of you, but I always sort of envisioned YouTube as somewhat of a niche market. I knew that there were YouTube stars, I knew that they existed, but I always assumed they had a few hundred thousand, maybe a million, followers and made side money.

Boy, I was wrong.

A few months ago, I came across Shane Dawson. I don't 100% remember why I decided to Google Shane... I know I heard him on Grace Helbig's podcast, but I'm not sure if that was before or after my fascination began. Either way, I decided to look him up one day...and discovered he has 6 million YouTube subscribers and nearly 3 million Twitter followers.


So, naturally, I became curious as to why this would be the case. And after watching a handful of his videos...well...I became one of those subscribers, listened to every episode of his Podcast, and made my way to the library to pick up I Hate Myselfie.

The book is a collection of essays written by Shane about his life. (Actually written. No ghostwriter here!) The stories run the gamut from an embarrassing tale of childhood waterpark shenanigans to waxing poetic on how he got the reputation as a "Shocktuber" (his word, not mine). It's nonlinear, so each essay stands on its own as a self-contained piece, and...I don't know, I really liked this book.

It's more of a complicated book than I thought it would be. Shane is shockingly candid, and very open about both his struggles and his triumphs. He's not afraid to embarrass himself or criticize others, but manages to do it with an undercurrent of empathy and love for both his subjects and himself.

And he's funny. In a self-deprecating and relatable way that I always respond to. An example:
"I've always been a hardworking guy. It's actually one of my downfalls. Well, that and dipping sauces. I can really fuck up the condiments bar at a Fuddruckers. Waitresses always think I'm joking when I ask for a serving tray of different dipping-sauce options with my meal. They laugh and tell me how hilarious I am. I don't laugh and tell them to GET ME A TRAY OF SAUCES." - Page 157
Literally, me tho...

On a more literary note...I also happen to love non-linear memoirs like this one. I find when most people try to tell their story from beginning to end, unless they have a particularly emotional tale, it can get bogged down in uninteresting details. With the essay format, you can contain the stories you most want to tell, and you're not forced to follow chronology. It's one of my favorite formats.

To sum it all up...I would recommend this book. But I also think you should know what you're getting. It's a memoir by a YouTuber about his path to stardom...but it's also relatable, and so well written. In other words...Dad, I don't know if this one's for you. But if what I just said sounds appealing to you at all, I would give it a shot.

So book 10 is complete! I have three more ready to be written about, one that's almost done...and then three more I'm slogging through, like I said. But I have nothing but faith that I will get to where I want to go.

If you're someone who found this blog because I tagged Shane in the Tweet, welcome! Come check out my post that tells you what this blog is all about. And feel free to follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Goodreads to get the latest status updates about my progress.

Happy Reading :D

Next Review: If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins (Estimated Posting Date: Friday, March 4th)

**All page numbers and annotations refer to this version of I Hate Myselfie, published by Keywords Press in 2015**

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