It Gets Worse (Review)

If you spend any time watching YouTube videos, you might have come across some thumbnail links to material by Shane Dawson.  He’s a rather funny YouTuber albeit with a very dark disposition.  The name Dawson is his pen/stage name. Shane Lee Yaw was born on July 19, 1988 in Long Beach, California. He grew up in a poor family and was often bullied because of being poor and overweight.  He uses this background in some of his autobiographical videos.

Dawson is prolific with appearances on multiple YouTube channels with a total of over 16,400,000 subscribers and over 3,000,000,000 views.  He has branched into popular music and music video parodies.  He’s also penned two books of essays:  I Hate Myselfie and It Gets Worse. The second book is the one I just finished reading.

Before I get into the book review, itself, I must mention Dawson’s video “It Gets Worse”–Short Film on YouTube. If I had seen the video first, I wouldn’t have bothered to pick up the book. It was way over the top with violence and terrible acting.  Dawson tried too hard to be funny but the B-grade slasher movie format was a poor place for his antics. Early in the video, he also comes off as conceited. I could only watch half of the video before bailing out of it. It’s a video that only die-hard fans will love.

That said, the book It Gets Worse: A Collection of Essays is actually a pretty good read.  I found myself actually laughing out loud at some of Dawson’s exaggerated scenarios. There are several instances where his stories are obviously embellished, but I didn’t mind, because he wasn’t being serious.   Dawson writes passages where his self-deprecating humor becomes overly dark, but not so much that I wanted to put the book aside.

The book consists of 14 essays, one of which was written by Dawson’s mother.  At the beginning of each story is an example of visual art created by one of Dawson’s fans.  The inclusion of the illustrations is a nice touch that exposes some up and coming illustrators to the public eye. The inclusion of artwork is a big plus.

ShaneDawson-02Taken as a whole, the book covers his personal journey from being an outcast schoolboy to popular public acclaim. This bittersweet theme runs parallel to his acceptance of his bisexuality.  Dawson’s tales are written with a backdrop of addictive behavior, especially eating disorders.

It Gets Worse caters to millennials, but boomers can appreciate much of the material.  LGBT readers will appreciate a good share of Dawson’s writing. The heartfelt, twisted humor found in his videos carries over into this book. Even though there are instances of too much information, this book is worth reading.

{ It Gets Worse: A Collection of Essays by Shane Dawson; 256 pages; published July 19, 2016 by Atria/Keywords Press; ISBN:  978-1-5011-3284-1 }

J 7-1-01The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes Shane Dawson. “…if you want to be successful and you want to be happy in life, you got to stay true to you.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Books, cultural highlights, Entertainment, Youth and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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