Saturday, December 12, 2015

Reviewing: Binge by Tyler Oakley

Okay, I know it came out October 20th. Clearly I'm a bit late to the game. But things have been super busy and I've honestly been reading it since like the beginning of November. I wanted to post the review today, even though it's not a normal blogging day for me, because I just finished the book and it's still fresh in my mind.

I don't want to brand myself as a "fangirl," even though I am a girl who is a fan, but I do enjoy Tyler's videos and now book. Also, I plan to watch Snervous (which I pre-ordered on iTunes and downloaded when it came out Friday) and review that as well. I haven't decided if this will be a one-off (okay, two) or if I'll review other things as well. So for now, enjoy my review of Binge by Tyler Oakley.

Binge. Man, I was confused as hell when I learned the title of his book. At first I thought he had taken a page out of the Suggs’ books (pun intended) and written a fiction. Nope, it’s just a good, old-fashioned memoir. Or is it?

I would never consider myself to be an uber fan of Tyler Oakley, or anyone else for that matter. I don’t watch his videos as soon as he posts them; I don’t stalk his social media. I have his and others' twitter notifications on, but with so many popping up constantly I rarely see his tweets and have to “catch up” on his accounts.
I know his mom is (Queen) Jackie, and from the little I’ve seen of her she seems pretty cool. I know he has either a sister or brother, because he talks about a nephew sometimes. I don’t even know all of the information he freely shares online. Hell, I don’t even remember the exact date of his birthday, or how old he is. I know he was born toward the end of March and he’s a year or so older than I am. I didn’t even know his real name until I read this book.

I refuse to give away spoilers. One of my biggest pet peeves is people giving away spoilers. But I will gloss over a bit of what is in his book. Reading this book has made me look at what I thought about Tyler and throw most of it away. Getting this inside look at his life helps to see him in a new light and almost all pre-conceived notions will be forgotten entirely by the end of the book.

He talks about his childhood, growing up with his parents divorced and remarried. He talks about being a chubby kid in school, something I can relate to myself. He talks about overcoming a lot of issues he has had and he tells a little about how he did it. He also talks about hook ups and relationships, detailing things I never knew about him and that made me see him differently. (Not in a bad way!) He shares photos from his childhood, stories about his life that maybe some of the people involved wouldn’t want him to share, but I’m glad he did.

He does a little name-dropping, talking about his interviews with the boys of One Direction, and subsequent drama with Liam Payne. And he talks about red carpet experiences and interviewing Michelle Obama, which is a highly entertaining story.

 Without spoilers it’s hard to discuss a book. I do want to say that reading his book has cemented an idea that I’ve had for a while: I would rather be his friend, than his fan. It takes him from being an untouchable celebrity to a real human being. You learn so much about his life and his experiences. Some of the fan experiences he talks about make me sad for him. So few people see him, and other celebrities, as real people. This book does an excellent job of placing him firmly in the “human being” category. You see his flaws, and things he’s self-conscious about and it makes him more real.

I hope after reading this book people will understand him a little better and maybe we can stop hearing about fans going above and beyond and breaching boundaries that should be left untouched.

Have you read the book? Do you even know who this adorable twink* is? I’d love to chat, so let’s start a conversation in the comments below!

Buy Binge on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, Walmart, or Target.

*Note, he calls himself this and I mean it affectionately, not offensively.

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