Graceffa, Joey. “In Real Life: My Journey to a Pixelated World”, Atria/Keywords Press, 2015).
A You Tube Personality Speaks OUT
Joey Graceffa is one of the fastest-growing personalities on YouTube and here he gives us his confessional, uplifting memoir. Graceffa is a popular brand ambassador, he has partnered with Topshop, Audible, eBay, and H&R Block. In 2013, between his daily vlogs and gameplay videos, he produced and starred in his own Kickstarter–funded supernatural series, “Storytellers,” for which he won a Streamy Award. He also starred in The Amazing Race on CBS and returned in 2014 for the all-star edition. He grew up with his family in Boston before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment. As he says, “It’s not where you begin that matters, it’s where you end up.
At only 23 years old, Joey Graceffa has captured the hearts of millions of teens and young adults through his playful, sweet, and inspirational YouTube presence but we learn here that he was not always so at home with himself and he tells us about it. He is candid and honest as he looks back on his past and his journey to go to where he is today. We read how he went from “pain to pride, self-doubt to self-acceptance.”
Those who follow Joey see him as a friend who always look on the bright side but who is also not afraid of reality. We learn here about his familial struggles and his troubles at school (in Boston). He was rejected and bullied often, He shares his first loves and his losses with us and he tells of the wonderful discoveries he has made through life and the importance of the decisions he has made.
Joey has 44 million subscribers so, of course, some of his fans are going to be surprised at what he has to say here. His mother was an alcoholic and there was violence in the home He says he has never spoken openly about her before. He grew up with an autistic brother with whom he is very close and protective. He says that of the biggest questions his fans have is about his sexuality and he comes out as gay in the book and he tells us that doing so will allow him to be more honest and open with others.
His story is well written and emotional but then so is life—not well-written but emotional. As said earlier here, Graceffa’s story is a welcome reminder that it’s not where one begins that matters, but where he/she ends up. In that sense this is an inspirational book when we consider Joey’s past.
Joey has lived an interesting life so far and if that was all he wrote, it would have been fine. But he does more and gives advice to his readers. Read the other reviews and see how much influence Joey has.