REVIEW: Still Just a Geek

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About the Book

Still Just a GeekTitle: Still Just a Geek: An Annotated Memoir

Author: Wil Wheaton

Series: none

Genre: Autobiography, Memoir

Pages: 436

Edition Read: Hardcover

Dates Read: July 8-17, 2022

Blurb: Celebrated actor, personality, and all-around nerd, Wil Wheaton updates his memoir of collected blog posts with all new material and annotations as he reexamines one of the most interesting lives in Hollywood and fandom.

From starring in Stand by Me to playing Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation to playing himself, in his second (third?) iconic role of Evil Wil Wheaton in The Big Bang Theory, to becoming a social media supernova, Wil Wheaton has charted a career course unlike anyone else, and has emerged as one of the most popular and well respected names in science fiction, fantasy and pop culture.

Back in 2001, Wil began blogging on wilwheaton.net. Believing himself to have fallen victim to the curse of the child actor, Wil felt relegated to the convention circuit, and didn’t expect many would want to read about his random experiences and personal philosophies.

Yet, much to his surprise, people were reading. He still blogs, and now has an enormous following on social media with well over 3 million followers.

In Still Just a Geek, Wil revisits his 2004 collection of blog posts, Just a Geek, filled with insightful and often laugh-out-loud annotated comments, additional later writings, and all new material written for this publication. The result is an incredibly raw and honest memoir, in which Wil opens up about his life, about falling in love, about coming to grips with his past work, choices, and family, and finding fulfillment in the new phases of his career. From his times on the Enterprise to his struggles with depression to his starting a family and finding his passion–writing–Wil Wheaton is someone whose life is both a cautionary tale and a story of finding one’s true purpose that should resonate with fans and aspiring artists alike.

Review

I knew I was going to appreciate this book, just because I genuinely appreciate Wil Wheaton. I was a big fan of his when I was a kid and had a massive crush on Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation. I rediscovered him years later through Felicia Day’s webseries, The Guild, and then through Wil’s own webseries TableTop (literally, this series changed my family’s lives). I also knew that Wil was a very good writer through several of his blog entries I had read.

This book was a very raw look at a childhood spent in Hollywood, exploited by the people who should have been caregivers, embracing your found family, and using your experiences (and a lot of therapy) to find the life that you were meant to lead.

Wil speaks very openly about the years of abuse he suffered from both his parents and Hollywood executives from the time he was very young, leading to a battle with anxiety and depression that he is still dealing with today. It is, sadly, a common theme with a lot of child actors. Thankfully, Wil has been able to survive it and use his writing to share his experiences, both through his blog and now through this book. He has constantly reinvented himself, from actor to writer to audiobook narrator (he’s really amazing) to mental health advocate.

Another thing that I loved about this was the importance of your found family. He is very close now to his TNG costars (I love that he refers to Gates McFadden as “Space Mom” since she played his mom on the show). His wife, Anne, is an absolute delight (she has been on a few episodes of TableTop and is a writer herself) and you should definitely follow her on social media. The other thing that is fun about this book is the annotations. The original Just a Geek was published in 2004. This new version is updated this year and shows just how much he has changed and grown, both from calling out his past self for sexist jokes and “arguments” with his editor about his over use of the word “cool” and not being able to use song lyrics due to copywrite.

I don’t think you need to be a fan of Wil’s to enjoy this book, although I do think this is a must read for anyone who has enjoyed Wil’s entertainment throughout the years. He has such a wonderful voice in his writing and I love the brutal honesty he shares with his fans.

GoodReads rating: 5 stars



Categories: Books I've Read

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