Recommended for ages 12+
Jenn McAllister is a star on YouTube. Starting in middle school, she began making and uploading videos with pranks, sketches, and vlogs about her life. She’s got over 2 million YouTube subscribers, has worked with Old Navy and Mattel, and gets mobbed at DigiCon like a rock star. She’s a Really Professional Internet Person.
Really Professional Internet Person is one of those books where I really feel out of my league reading and reviewing. I’m not the audience for this book, and that’s apparent just from reading the language of the book, which is made up mostly of “like”, “literally”, and “basically”.
I also couldn’t wrap my head around how McAllister’s mom and school were okay with her missing huge chunks of school at 15 years old so she could work digital conferences. I know this is actual work, but at 15, where was the school board? The state? And her mom letting her make the move on her own, with her YouTube friends to California, completely blew me away. McAllister does finish high school via online school when she relocates from Pennsylvania to California, but her not seeing the value in education over YouTube is really stressful to me. We’re a pretty disposable society these days – I hate it, but I recognize it, so where is YouTube celebrity going to leave 19 year-old Jenn in a few years? McAllister even talks about knowing she is a role model to her under-18 fans, so this worries me even more.
There are some solid highlights to this book. Jenn speaks frankly about her struggles with anxiety, which is great for anyone that may be dealing with the same issues. It happens to everyone, even famous people. She writes in a manner relatable to her audience, and loads the pages with Top 10 lists, which breaks information down into small, interest-heavy bits. She includes tons of screen shots, photos, social media posts, and anecdotes about her life with fellow YouTubers, which provides an inclusive feeling. Jenn, who writes about never feeling like she fit in at school, knows how to make her audience, even on paper, feel like they’re part of her crowd. And she is earnest and sincere in her love for her subscribers and viewers.
Overall, this is just not my book. I’d like to talk to the tweens and teens in my library and see what they think, though – this book is written for them.