Oh, Tyler. You done did it.
This little memoir is a delight. If you’re any fan at all of Tyler Oakley, past or present, you will adore reading Binge. It’s a fun, light read, with just enough seriousness to remind you that he’s a real person with real emotions.
It opens with the loveliest introduction to a book I’ve ever read:
Binge on the things that bring fulfillment and happiness and satisfaction and make you feel alive. Binge on people who fascinate you and love that wakes you up from monotony. Binge on exploring, both your hometown and the farthest continent. Binge on the time you spend bettering yourself and petting dogs.
I was a little wary when I picked it up, but that bit reminded me of my old friend. His YouTube videos were my friends during my first, awkward, loner year of college. (I walked to Walmart one cold autumn day to buy a longer ethernet cable (yup) just so I could cozy up in bed, instead of sitting at my uncomfortable desk to watch them.) I was one of those people who freaked out and screenshotted any time he replied to a tweet or Instagram. He once commented “Yum!” on a picture of a caramel latte. It was awesome.
Most of the book is reminiscent of those days. His young goofiness, his inspiring words on relationships and how all will end until one doesn’t. Some tales are ones he’s shared on his channel over the years, and it’s nice to feel like an old friend for already knowing about that time a hookup stole all of his hair products from his bathroom.
Then would come a short, serious chapter, about his father’s homophobia. The centerfold chapter is the winding story of his first tumultuous relationship.
No person, no matter how important society deems their relationship to you, has the right to denounce you for who you are.
His stories are sprinkled with tidbits of the advice he clearly follows in his life. Be yourself, be goofy, haters gonna hate, etc. He talks about his moments of darkness, and how he came into the light. For his young fans and readers, these are the most important parts of the book.
I started reading with a critical eye, feeling as if his transitions from paragraph to paragraph were printed jump-cuts. I scoffed at the weight of the glossy pages the book is printed on as I turned them.
But when I closed the back cover, it all made sense. It felt right. This book is exactly what you would expect Tyler Oakley to publish. Expensive paper. Pictures from his life photoshopped on with masking tape. Little candy wrappers on each chapter title page. It is so him — or at least the him he puts out in the world.
Oh, and I totally smiled when he favorited my tweet about reading it a few nights ago. Some things never change. And then this tweet happened and I melted. Such a cutie pie.
A must-read if:
- You swoon for Internet celebrities and pretend they are your friends.
- You want a quirky memoir with tidbits of “let your freak flag fly” advice.
- You notice (and adore) Tyler’s lisp.