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! 🙂

A Work in Progress – book review

A Work in Progress

A Work in Progress is a inspiring and colour-filled memoir by Connor Franta.

In this intimate memoir of life beyond the camera, Connor Franta shares the lessons he has learned on his journey from a small-town boy to a YouTube sensation. Connor shares insight into his Midwestern upbringing as one of four children at home and one of five in the classroom; his struggles with identity, body image and sexuality in his teen years; and his decision to pursue his creative passions in his early twenties and setting up his thrilling career as a YouTube personality, philanthropist and entrepreneur.

Exploring his past with insight and humour, Connor reveals his private struggles while providing words of wisdom. His words are a timeless message for people of all ages: don’t be afraid to be yourself and pursue your dreams.

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Although I’ve never read a memoir before, I absolutely loved reading A Work in Progress. So Connor Franta is a YouTuber and while I haven’t been watching his videos for very long, he’s a really entertaining and inspirational person. This being the first memoir that I’ve ever read, I had no idea what to expect. This book definitely surpassed my expectations though, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

I didn’t really know that much about Connor before reading his book. I’d watched a few of his videos, but that was the extent of my knowledge on him. I actually met Connor at Amplify Live a few weeks ago. Amplify was a YouTuber ‘festival’ and I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to meet Connor Franta, Troye Sivan, Ricky Dillon, Tyde Levi and so many other amazing people. If you’re interested in seeing that, you can watch my YouTube video here. Oh yeah, and I’ve started making YouTube videos a couple of months ago, so if you haven’t checked out my stuff yet, I’d absolutely love it if you could. Click here to go to my channel, Sarah Dreams.

I found this book really helpful. It contained advice about pretty much everything. The thing that I liked the most about this book was what he said about pursuing your dreams and doing what makes you happy in life. I feel as though that is a really important message and Connor’s words were just so inspiring and eloquent. In that way, this book is aimed at younger people, but I strongly believe everyone would benefit from reading Connor’s uplifting and sincere book.

A Work in Progress is filled with Connor’s personal experiences and it was very interesting to see him reflect on specific moments of his life. Connor really understand what it’s like to be a kid and then a teenager. He understands and clearly conveys the reality of high school and the struggles of independence. He’s completely open and that makes this book exceptionally easy to relate to. This book isn’t perfectly worded, but I liked that about this book because it’s 100% Connor and his relaxed style of writing that is both raw and powerful really appealed to me.

I’ve really taken out a lot from this book and I’m sure a lot of other people will too. This book is touching. I’ll definitely not be forgetting this book and what it’s helped me realise about life, happiness and the road to independence. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone, especially if you’re already a fan of Connor. You don’t have to know who Connor is; everything is explained in the beginning and this book flows beautifully. You won’t be disappointed.