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.
Binge was my first ever autobiography, and it was pretty solid. Tyler’s life was definitely not ordinary and getting to know his upbringing was a very interesting experience. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to know Tyler Oakley as a person. However, if you are not interested in him specifically as a person, you may not enjoy it as much as his audience did. I enjoyed knowing more about Tyler Oakley as a person, as I do watch his video and I’m a psychology student. It’s not easy to reveal your whole life to the public so I praise Tyler for doing so.
There is some solid life advice
I like the chapters where he talked about serious issues such as eating disorder, break-up experiences and his experience with an abusive boyfriend. They are good insight of what it’s like to struggle through those difficulties with some genuinely good advice for young teenage boys and girls. Now they would know not to repeat some of his mistakes. More importantly, they would be familiar the red flags and signs which would hopefully flash in their brains whenever they need to get out of certain situations.
Starting to feel dissatisfied with your body to the point where you are obsessed? It may be an eating disorder, seek help. Starting to feel that your boyfriend/girlfriend may be manipulative or violent? This may be an abusive relationship, get out when you can. A lot of these situations are not apparent until they are too late, and you can really learn from Tyler’s perspective so you won’t notice your problem too late either. Remember, when you can learn from history, don’t learn from experience.
Format that is not boring
One thing he does that’s different from what other YouTubers do in their autobiography is that he sorted the chapters by themes instead of chronologically. The chronological format is quite confusing as it feels like listening to a person ramble. They jump from ideas to ideas, having random flashbacks, and the book just ended up chaotic.
I thought the unique format was going to bother me but it actually makes the book much more concise and interesting. The ones that start with their birth and ends with their current life are a bit boring to read as they drag on quite a lot. Binge was a lot easier to follow as Tyler planned only one theme for each chapter so you can focus on what his message is.
What I didn’t like about this book is the lists (e.g. What I would do if I was Beyoncé for a day) he put in that are not really related to his life at all. They are very similar to the videos he is doing now, which got me wondering why didn’t he just made those chapters into YouTube videos. If I was reading the book I may have rushed through those parts or even skipped them to get back to the more autobiography-ish part of the book.
He writes like he talks
I listened to the audiobook so his writing style didn’t bother me as much as how it may have bothered other people. He does write like he speaks, which is good considering it IS an autobiography, not a novel. He is not a narrator or a character, and a very profound style of writing would feel odd and even pretentious. You can see his personality and usual sense of humour from his writing. But if it bothers you then audiobook may be a better option, it would just be listening to another of his videos or podcasts. The bottom-line is, if you enjoyed his video, you would enjoy is writing; if you didn’t enjoy his videos, you probably won’t enjoy his writing.