Binge – book review

Binge by Tyler Oakley

Binge is an honest and hilarious memoir written by the YouTube sensation, Tyler Oakley.

Pop culture phenomenon, social rights advocate, and one of the most prominent LGBTQ+ voices on YouTube, Tyler Oakley brings you his first collection of witty and hilarious personal essays written in the same voice thats earned him more than 10 million followers across social media.

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I’ll admit, when I heard that Tyler Oakley was releasing a book, I was a little skeptical. I’m sorry, I know it’s turned into a cliché, but I’ve just got to say it. Every. YouTuber. Is. Writing. A. Book. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s something that’s happening. I must admit, I’m a little sick of clicking on videos titled ‘I’m ready to tell the truth’ or ‘My huge announcement’ because chances are, we can all guess what these people are going to say before they say it. We get it! You wrote a book! You’re famous! But it’s time for me to stop ‘dragging’ these people, as Tyler would say. I will admit, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of the books I’ve read by YouTubers, and Binge was no exception.

For those of you who don’t know Tyler Oakley, he’s a YouTuber. And in case you’ve been living under a rock and have no idea what a ‘YouTuber’ is, he basically talks about various topics in front of a camera and uploads them to the internet where he has almost 8 million subscribers and over 520 million views. He also runs a weekly podcast called ‘Psychobabble’ with his friend Korey Kuhl, has a documentary coming out this December titled ‘Snervous’ and is an ambassador for many important issues, particularly raising awareness and funds for The Trevor Project, a non-profit organisation focused on suicide prevention among LGBTQ+ youth. He’s best known for his loud and passionate personality, his ability to rally together his followers to contribute towards a better society, and his unashamed self-promotion.

Check out his YouTube channel here, his podcast Psychobabble here and his Wikipedia here.

Anyway, let’s talk about Binge, shall we? Binge is Tyler’s first book he’s written and takes the form of a memoir of the first 26 years of his life. And boy, has he achieved a lot in just 26 years. You don’t need to have any prior knowledge about Tyler to enjoy this book, but to make the most of it, I recommend watching a few of his videos beforehand to fully understand his sense of humour and what to expect. This book is written exactly how Tyler himself speaks and I could read it all in his voice, which was very enjoyable. For an older audience, his use of slang and how he openly and unashamedly discusses his sexuality may lose some readers, so I’d recommend knowing what you’re getting into before going out and buying this book. Lucky for you, I’m about to tell you everything you need to know!

Let’s just get this part out of the way. If you’re homophobic or you don’t like people sometimes swearing in books or talking about some mildly ‘inappropriate’ things, I wouldn’t recommend reading this book. If you’re under the age of 12, I’d also definitely recommend reconsidering whether you want to read this or not. I absolutely loved this book, but that doesn’t change the fact that some parts might offend some readers or might not be conservative enough, so please know what you’re getting yourself into before you read this book. If you’re already a fan of Tyler however, this book is definitely for you.

I was honestly so surprised to find that Tyler still had so many interesting stories to tell in Binge! When he started his podcast, saying it contained ‘stories [he’s] never told in videos’, I was excited to hear more about his life. But when he said that his book contained things that he’s never discussed in videos or in the podcast, I was thinking, gee, how many secrets does Tyler have?! Luckily, I wasn’t disappointed. I definitely learnt a lot more about Tyler from reading this and I now have more of an insight into Tyler’s humble beginnings and how he made it to where he is today. I loved getting some ‘behind the scenes’ knowledge of his life, such as his experience with One Direction and that time he met Michelle Obama. Everything was incredibly interesting to read about – I can’t believe there are no boring aspects to Tyler’s life! I honestly don’t know how I’d write a memoir without running out of things to write about after the first chapter! Congratulations, Tyler, on having such an fascinating life. I’m just slightly jealous.

Another thing I was pleased to find was that Tyler didn’t hold back with anything. He discussed things such as his eating disorder, suicidal thoughts, abusive relationships, coming out as gay and his slow rise to fame. I admire his honesty in these topics and I understand that a lot of them would be very hard for a lot of people to write about openly. I can’t imagine sharing these things with the entire world would be anything less than frightening, so I want to congratulate Tyler for his courage and candour. I know that a lot of people who are famous don’t deserve to be and that some people don’t use their position in society to benefit others and shouldn’t be looked up to, but I honestly believe Tyler Oakely is such an inspirational person who deserves all the love and support he has. He deserves every bit of it and I’m so thankful for the positivity he adds to not only the online community, but the world.

All in all, I can’t praise Binge enough. If you’re a fan of Tyler Oakley, I definitely recommend picking up a copy of this book if you haven’t already. Or, alternatively, you can listen to the audiobook where Tyler himself narrates Binge, and I’m told he also adds in some special details just for the listeners. So let’s talk! Have you read Binge yet? Are you a fan of Tyler Oakley? Do you read many memoirs? Have you read any other books written by YouTubers? Let’s discuss these things down in the comments! 🙂

4 thoughts on “Binge – book review

  1. Oh my God I completely agree, it seems like every single Youtuber is making a book nowadays. To be honest, I’m finding a little annoying. I understand people like Tyler having a book, because he actually has stuff to talk about (LGBT, etc) – and that’s the only reason you should write a book – because you have something you need to write about, and put down on paper. However, I feel that people like Zoe Sugg (AKA beauty blogger Zoella, although you probably already know that) have nothing to write about. They lead pretty normal, basic lives apart from gaining worldwide fame through posting videos of themselves putting on makeup and talking into a camera. Since they have nothing to write about, they write random fiction stories – and apparently, GOD FORBID, ZOELLA ACTUALLY GOT A GHOST WRITER TO WRITE HER FIRST GIRL ONLINE BOOK. THAT BASICALLY MEANS THAT SHE WAS JUST WRITING A BOOK FOR THE SAKE OF MAKING MONEY. WHY ZOELLA? You USED to have my respect. But I believe that every writer should credit for what they write no matter if they’re a ghost writer, or whatever. GRRRR. IT MAKES ME SO ANGRY. Apparently, she told fans that she wrote the second one all by herself. SHE BETTER HAD. I guess we’ll find out by comparing the writing style similarities/differences.

    I mean, Jamie Curry (I’m sorry but her last name cracks me up every time) wrote a book and titled it “They Let Me Write A Book!” This says everything you need to know about her book. She didn’t write it because she felt she had something to write. SHE WROTE IT BECAUSE SHE WAS ALLOWED TO WRITE A BOOK AND DID IT FOR THE MONEY GRRRRR AND PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY BUYING IT I would like to know what it’s all about. Her life story? I’m sure I have a more interesting life story than her (sorry!)

    Anyway, thanks for listening to/reading my rant. I think I need to do a “Let’s Talk” post on Youtubers releasing books so I can rant without having to worry about you thinking I’m mad :\

    • I’m so happy you share the same opinion as I do on this issue! I like Zoella not for her beauty videos, but for her videos regarding anxiety because they’re useful for a lot of people and with her platform, she can help people understand that if they’re suffering from anxiety or any other mental illness, that they’re not alone. I understood that she wanted to ‘write’ a work of fiction because ‘she always wanted to be a writer’ or something, so that didn’t bother me. However, I was disappointed to hear that it was ghost written. I really enjoyed that book and even though I’m sad it wasn’t entirely written by her, I still bought the second book because I do like the plot. I don’t condone her actions, but the thirst to find out what happens wins out and I hope it’s just as good as the first one, seeing as she actually ‘wrote’ it.

      YES, I saw Jamie’s book! Wow. Great title. I met her at Amplify festival months ago, but I’ve never really watched her videos. But writing a book just ‘because you can’ and because you’re known by an amount of people? That’s not right. The sad truth is, not all of us can be famous, and those of us that are should use that status to educate the world, not bombard people with whatever they think will earn them a few more dollars. I can’t really judge Jamie’s book because I haven’t read it, but I don’t think I will ever read it.

      On the bright side, I’m really enjoying The Amazing Book is Not on Fire by Dan and Phil at the moment – review to come! And I also read A Work in Progress by Connor Franta, which I adored. Have you read any other books by YouTubers?

      Good chat 🙂

      • I’m glad that you agree and, you know, didn’t just totally fangirl on me and go OMG STOP HATING ON ZOELLA SHE’S AMAZING SHE CAN WRITE A BOOK IF SHE WANTS TO UGH I LOOOOOOOVE ZOELLA because then I would have been a bit stuck as to how to reply. Anyway, I’ve read A Work In Progress. I read it quite a while ago, and actually, it’s the only book that I’ve ever read (since starting this blog) that I read without reviewing (*gasp*). I think I quite liked it, but I can’t really remember, so I dunno. I sometimes wonder what Youtubers fill their autobiographies with. I mean. “I started my Youtube channel in 2009. I got famous. The End.” Others, like Connor and Tyler will have LGBT content to fill, but honestly how much can you talk about struggling with sexuality/identity in a book before it becomes boring and little repetitive? I honestly cannot remember anything about Connor’s book apart from the little photo of him sitting on a pumpkin in one of the glossy photo pages 😅 What do you remember from his book?

      • Hahaha! Yeah, I really liked A Work in Progress. I loved all of the photos he included (his Instagram is #GOALS 👌) and I also loved reading about his childhood and his “coming out”. I guess everyone thinks their life is special and wants to share their experiences with the world and everyone has something to say, I just feel as though some people have experienced more and therefore their lives are portrayed as more “interesting”. And while I believe everyone’s lives are important, there’s no way that we can know about everyone and read everyone’s biographies or memoirs. That’s the thing about being famous – only a select few can be known by many. Our brains simply aren’t capable of recognising and remembering names of a massive amount of people. I just hope that the people who ARE famous and known in society can do something good with their status and power. I’m proud that Tyler Oakley elected to use his status for spreading good, not just making money for himself like a lot of selfish people out there. Wow, I kind of went off on a tangent there, but there you go 🙂

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