Binge

Book review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Binge Book Poster Image
YouTuber's funny, frank memoir recalls casual sex, drinking.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Humorous memoir meant to entertain.

Positive Messages

No one has the right to dictate who you are or what you should be. Look back on and learn from all the moments of your past so you'll be ready for whatever comes next. There's no success without a lot of failures along the way, so you have to keep trying to succeed. Being honest with yourself and others gives you a much better chance at happiness. Binge on the positive things that make you happy; take the time and make the space in your life for the things that bring you joy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Tyler fully recognizes that he's been very lucky and wants to be a positive influence. He wants to show others that they have a voice and provide a space where they'll feel less alone. He talks about struggles he's had and how he worked through or overcame them, and he supports causes and advocates for those experiencing the same difficulties.

Violence

Brief, non-graphic description of being beaten.

Sex

Frank, matter-of-fact talk about a wide range of topics from Tyler seeing his first "nudie" magazine as a kid to indulging another's foot fetish as an adult. Same-sex kissing and making out are mentioned or described briefly. Sexual intercourse is mentioned but glossed over. A chapter of lessons learned about sex mentions BDSM and a woman voluntarily getting her "downstairs" whipped. 

Language

"S--t" and variations (including a chapter called "Fecal Matters"), "boobs," "badass," "a--hole" and "d--k" as insult and body part, "f--k" and made-up variations such as "Count F--kula," "bulls--t," "butthole," "bitch," "faggot" (referring to himself and in graffiti), "ten cummandments" as a chapter title.

Consumerism

Frequent mention of Tyler's YouTube channel and other YouTube creators. Gives his Twitter address and asks readers to tweet him funny names and elsewhere to tweet him a picture of themselves with the book. Lots of tech, pop culture, food, and entertainment products mentioned, usually to establish place, time, or character. Explains the dating/social app Grindr.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of funny or important episodes include drinking to excess with hangover consequences mentioned. How he was able to find a better way to cope with a panic attack than by downing shots to relax. Recounts his first years after college spent frequenting bars and nightclubs. Mentions cocaine as something not to binge on. Occasionally smokes marijuana and mentions he's had some good and some bad experiences with it and recounts one bad experience in particular. Once unknowingly ate a pot brownie. Advises never to get drunk and high at the same time.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Binge is a memoir by popular YouTuber and LGBTQ advocate Tyler Oakley, whose subscribers and viewers number in the millions. From a mature perspective (but with lots of strong language) he looks back on formative events and times in his life and frankly but non-graphically talks about sex, drinking, bodily functions, and more from childhood through his post-college years looking for a job and eventually making a successful living as a YouTube personality. Teens who are fans of Oakley will enjoy the added insights and previously unknown events in Oakley's life, but it's best for those mature enough to handle the matter-of-fact attitudes toward drinking and casual dating. His messages are very positive, and he has a strong work ethic, so teens will also get to see that it takes a lot of hard work to be a successful YouTube creator.

User Reviews

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There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 13 years old Written byMiaVassLaRosa June 3, 2017

WOW!

I really enjoyed this book because it gives you insight into a life that is different in many aspects to your own. I have been inspired by this book to give eve... Continue reading

What's the story?

Tyler Oakley is a YouTube phenomenon with millions of viewers. This memoir takes a warts-and-all look back at formative episodes and eras of his life that not even his biggest fans would have heard before. The series of essays chronicle the failures, lessons, triumphs, fears, hard work, and downright hilarity that have made him an internet star, LGBTQ advocate, and young man who knows what's really worth a BINGE.

Is it any good?

Still in his early 20s, Tyler Oakley displays a remarkable maturity as he looks back at the events, people, and phases of his life that have led his phenomenal success as a YouTube personality. The lively writing ably conveys Oakley's charm and wit with an honesty and warmth that make him instantly likable. Older teens mature enough to handle the strong language and frank talk about life from an adult perspective will easily relate to Oakley's struggles and successes. Whether gay or straight, and whether you've seen one of his videos or not, readers will connect with the universality of the emotions at the heart of every story Oakley tells about himself.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what Oakley means by "binge" -- binge on what, and why? What are some things you could "binge" on the way he's talking about?

  • What do you think about Oakley's attitudes toward drinking and sex? Does he make them seem glamorous? Does he talk about any negative consequences, dangers, or how to stay safe?

  • Have you seen any of Oakley's YouTube videos? Do you subscribe to his channel? His life is pretty much all out in the open online, so why do you think he wrote this book?

Book details

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