It Gets Worse, Shane Dawson, Keywords Press, 2016.
Wouldn’t you know it, there’s more self-deprecating humour where that came from! I rarely, if ever pre-order books, but I pre-ordered It Gets Worse by Shane Dawson on the basis of how much I enjoyed his first book.
Shane was one of the first YouTubers l truly paid attention to. He has become synonymous with the very word “YouTuber”. I found Dawson to be very relatable and engaging in his New York Times best seller I Hate Myselfie and by the end of the book I found myself wanting more. Well, more has arrived in the form of Shane’s new volume, It Gets Worse.
Despite its rather depressing title, it is not a negative book and it offers a glimmer of light for all struggling teenagers. While I can’t relate on a personal basis to every (or even most) events described by Shane, he has the ability to be personable and connect with his audience. As proven with his first volume, his ability to reach his audience begins, but doesn’t end behind a computer screen. Dawson is witty, charming and displays surprising dept. He’s watchable but also happens to be highly readable as well. Whether it’s stories of his family pretending to win the lottery or a difficult heartbreak, the book is hard to put down.
I must say I like Shane’s second book more than the first. While I Hate Myselfie was a funny collection of first experiences and essays of embarrassing stories, It Gets Worse picks deep at the metaphorical scabs on the YouTuber’s skin.
We find here a more mature Shane Dawson —that’s not to say he gets all philosophical on us plans to stop making Galaxy videos— he’s just more comfortable with himself and aware. There are some darker moments and references to suicide and Dawson wanting to die as a teenager, but those are not including for comedic purposes. They are honest thoughts he had as he went through adolescence.
The beloved YouTuber has won his battle with depression and perhaps his tale can inspire his following. When Shane tackles his confused feelings about his own sexuality, unrequited loves and life lessons learned he allows himself to be completely exposed.
Most adults would likely gain very little from reading It Gets Worse as they may not completely grasp Shane’s brand of humour. I believe reading about these experiences can be truly beneficial for a teenager going through the hardships that come with adolescence. It gives them a sense of understand and tells them that they are understood. Besides, it’s not all gloom and doom, there are some laugh-out-loud moments in these pages!
For the record, I’ll still watch every Galaxy video you make, Shane. 4/5 stars.