Published by Gallery Books on October 20, 2015
Genres: Nonfiction, Memoir, Comedy
Pop culture phenomenon, social rights advocate, and the most prominent LGBTQ+ voice on YouTube, Tyler Oakley brings you his first collection of witty, personal, and hilarious essays written in the voice that’s earned him more than 10 million followers across social media.
Despite being a regular watcher of Tyler Oakley’s YouTube Channel, I wasn’t in a rush to pick up his memoir Binge. I was a bit disappointed with the other YouTuber book I read, and I recently read another celebrity memoir, so this wasn’t at the top of my list. Well, Michael Buckley changed my mind with THIS review. If Buck enjoyed the book, I knew I had to make reading Binge more of a priority.
I immediately loved Binge. I was laughing out loud just a few pages in, and I really enjoyed Tyler’s writing style. Tyler writes in a way that stays true to him, but it doesn’t cross the line into that cheesy celebrity memoir tone that I’ve experienced way too often. I’m really impressed with how well-written Binge is overall. Tyler’s comedy is amazing. He truly made me laugh several times, but his jokes are often a ‘read between the lines’ style, and I do think they will go over the heads of many of his younger viewers. In particular, I greatly enjoyed the chapters on poop and Disney princes. Both are beyond fantastic.
Moreover, I really liked getting to know more about Tyler’s personal life, which we don’t get to delve much into in his videos. Tyler and I are very different people, but we grew up in the same America at the same time, and, therefore, have a shared experience that other generations perhaps don’t. Because of that bond, I found the chapters about his family life and love life really touching, especially the chapter on his first boyfriend, Adam.
That being said, there are some things I didn’t like as well. There are a few points in the book where Tyler feels a bit too preachy. The perfect example of that is his two-page chapter on his abusive relationship. While I recognize that is a difficult subject to write about, I felt like it was included in the book simply to give advice, rather than share a life experience. There were a few other moments in Binge that similarly felt as if Tyler were struggling with giving advice to his younger viewers, while also staying true to telling his story. I would have enjoyed more of the storytelling, and less of the advice-giving.
In the same way, I also found some editing issues throughout the book, mainly with the organization of the chapters. There were many repetitive moments where certain people were introduced more than once, or certain situations were explained again, that took away from the overall reading experience. I would have liked the chapters to flow better from one to another. I found some copyediting mistakes in the book as well.
One thing I do really love about the book itself is the cover and overall book design. The cover and pages are really high quality, and I was especially impressed with the glossy pages and color photographs throughout the book. The cover design and photography is perfect as well – I really love the candy pattern.
All in all, I found Binge to be a well-rounded book with both happy and challenging times in Tyler’s life presented. There are truly some hilarious parts along the way that are not to be missed. I also went back to several of Tyler’s videos that I had previously seen to watch them with behind-the-scenes knowledge. It made the reading experience a lot more fun than other celebrity memoirs for sure. If you’re a fan of Tyler’s, I highly recommend Binge. If you’re not, but you enjoy comedic memoirs, definitely give this one a try.
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