Sunday, April 26, 2015

Review: I Hate Myselfie by Shane Dawson

Title: I Hate Myselfie: A Collection of Essays
Author: Shane Dawson
Publisher: Atria/Keywords Press
Age Group: Adult
Category: Nonfiction
Release date: March 10th, 2015
Pages: 228 (Paperback)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

From his first vlog back in 2008 to his full-length film directorial debut Not Cool, Shane Dawson has been an open book when it comes to documenting his life. But behind the music video spoofs, TMI love life details, and outrageous commentary on everything the celebrity and Internet world has the nerve to dish out is a guy who grew up in a financially challenged but loving home in Long Beach, California, and who suffered all the teasing and social limitations that arise when you’re a morbidly obese kid with a pretty face, your mom is your best friend, and you can't get a date to save your life. 

In I Hate Myselfie, Shane steps away from his larger-than-life Internet persona and takes us deep into the experiences of an eccentric and introverted kid, who by observing the strange world around him developed a talent that would inspire millions of fans. Intelligent, hilarious, heartbreaking, and raw, I Hate Myselfie is a collection of eighteen personal essays about how messy life can get when you’re growing up and how rewarding it can feel when the clean-up is (pretty much) done.

The premise and hype surrounding I Hate Myselfie made it seem that by reading this book, you were getting a peek into the secret life of the controversial YouTube star, Shane Dawson.  I was interested from the moment I heard that he was writing a book.  Many other YouTubers are doing the same, but Shane has a special place in my heart.  He's the first YouTuber I've ever subscribed to, and he's the only one I've watched constantly over the past 6 years.

Shane's humor definitely isn't for everyone.  He almost always manages to offend someone, but what great comedian hasn't?  If you've ever watched his videos and laughed, this would be a great book to dive into.  I actually listened to the audiobook version, narrated by the author, and it made the experience better.  I felt that I was listening to one of his podcasts.

Also, because I've been watching him for so long, many of the essays were familiar to me.  I could recall stories that he's told about being overweight as a teenager, when his grandmother passed away, and even being fired from the job that lead to his life-changing YouTube career.  There were plenty of other stories I've never heard as well, such as the time his addiction to Splenda nearly killed him.

While the book is full of off-color humor, it's also inspiring and heartbreaking at times.  I remember getting a little choked up listening to him speak about his family and the difficult childhood he had, but Shane's way of telling those stories always left you smiling.  Overall, I Hate Myselfie is a fast-paced and surprisingly emotional read.  It only shows what a versatile person he is, and although the Shane that everyone has known for years is more of a front that he puts on, it's very clear that the real Shane Dawson is an intelligent person and he will go even farther than he's already come.  I think it's the perfect book for fans, new and old.

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