Published by Dey Street Books on October 18, 2016
Genres: Nonfiction, Memoir
The wildly popular YouTube personality and author of the New York Times bestseller My Drunk Kitchen is back!
This time, she’s stirring up memories and tales from her past. By combing through the journals that Hannah has kept for much of her life, this collection of narrative essays deliver a fuller picture of her life, her experiences, and the things she’s figured out about family, faith, love, sexuality, self-worth, friendship and fame. Revealing what makes Hannah tick, this sometimes cringe-worthy, poignant collection of stories is sure to deliver plenty of Hannah’s wit and wisdom, and hopefully encourage you to try your hand at practicing reckless optimism.
I’ve been a subscriber of YouTuber Hannah Hart for a few years now, and I decided to pick up her second book, Buffering, after hearing so many good things about it. Buffering is a memoir that features a set of personal essays chronicling Hannah’s life. I highly recommend reading this book if you watch Hannah’s videos regularly, or even just every once in a while. I never could have guessed Hannah’s story, and I’m so glad I got this peek into her life.
I really appreciated Hannah sharing her story in Buffering. I found this book extremely inspirational, as Hannah has gone through some truly horrific things in her life, but she has continued to move forward and persevere. Because Buffering is quite short in length, I will not go into much detail about the essays themselves. However, they cover topics such as family, mental health, sexuality, and more. I can tell Hannah was holding back a lot of detail from the reader, and I hope she will open up even further in the future.
Buffering is the fourth “YouTuber book” that I’ve read, and unfortunately it does contain some of the same writing flaws that I’ve discovered in those other YouTuber books. First, there are many instances of repetition in Buffering. People and places are introduced to the reader multiple times as if they had not yet been mentioned in the book. In addition, there are a few times when the memoir takes a turn and becomes a “how to” advice book instead. I think this is due to online creators being used to speaking directly to their audiences in video form, but it feels out of place in a memoir. I’ve also read several celebrity memoirs in the past, and neither of these scenarios seem to arise in them.
Moreover, I found that Hannah’s writing style was much stronger in the included journal entries than in the actual book. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Hannah is writing the book to her fans, and speaking to them as she would in a YouTube video. I wish we got more of the beautiful and poetic writing of Hannah’s journal entries. Hannah is a very intelligent person, and at times I felt like she wasn’t writing to her full potential.
Nonetheless, I’m glad I read Buffering, as it helped me learn more about Hannah. Not only do I respect and admire her even more than I already did, but this book provided me with more confidence in my own life. I know that it will help many other readers, too. Buffering is an emotional and hopeful read, and I think all of Hannah’s viewers should read it.
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