Author: Tyler Oakley
The first thing I’d like to point out is the name, ‘Binge’, is beyond apt for this book. Why? Because I stayed up until 6am to finish the book. That never happens unless it’s a book I highly enjoy. So, spoiler alert, I liked the book and this indeed is a positive review!
After my meeting with Tyler on Monday, I headed straight home from the signing, changed into my pyjamas (because it’s important to be feeling comfortable when reading. It’s an unwritten rule. Or for me, at least) and headed up into my room in which I settled down to indulge in the story of Tyler Oakley (or is he? You’ll learn his birth name in the beginning and I wasn’t even expecting it.)
Binge is a numerous amount of essays compiled by its author about many highlighted moments in his life in which he felt was something necessary to share with his fans (or as he calls them, his people) and each chapter was definitely something I could either relate to personally or knew someone else who would be able to. From being a member of the LGBTQ+ community to first loves and experiences in his life in education, everything Tyler discusses is something that someone, somewhere will be able to connect with. Instead of your typical life story from beginning to now, Tyler talks about issues and experiences that it is greatly known that young people are dealing with right at this very moment. To me, that was the importance of this book – knowing that whatever it is you have or are experiencing, you are not alone. Even those you idolise have had a walk of life which you may be able to find similarities in and if not, it can make you more aware for those who can. For example, being a heterosexual, though hearing stories on the news and through social media, I am never able to say I have experienced homophobia or coming out. Thanks to this book, written by someone I admire, it momentarily put me in the author’s shoes and I could feel just a slight bit of emotion that he may have felt himself and it gave me a better understanding (though, of course, I will never fully understand as previously stated, it’s not something I will experience) for those I care about that have lived through a similar situation.
The book isn’t solely based on deep issues and experiences, though, and has a lot of light hearted chapters such as “Beyonce for a Day” and “What Michelle Obama Smells Like” which were fun to read as Oakley’s personality definitely shone through.
Would I recommend this book to a person who is not a fan of Tyler? Maybe. If you’re interested in getting to know the YouTube personality, then by all means, read it. But if you’re just looking for something to read, you may not be able to appreciate the book as a whole written by someone you’re not fully aware about. Which, personally, is my view with a lot of autobiographies.
I laughed, I cried and, most importantly, I learned. The book was full of great lessons and shared experiences by Tyler and is ideal for any of his fans. I’d definitely say it’s inspiring and is an advocate for young people growing up to say “hey, I’ve been there. And it will get better,” regardless of the situation.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed the book and really hope Tyler will release another book sometime in the future.
Have you read Binge? Got any books to recommend? Leave a comment below!