Really Professional Internet Person is the memoir-so-far of Jenn McAllister, YouTube star better known as Jennxpenn. The book discusses her childhood and moments in her life that led her to become a prominent YouTuber. I would not describe myself as the target audience for this book. I am not in to vlogs and have never watched Jennxpenn’s channel on YouTube, for people younger than me, both of those might be the opposite case. That also explains the book’s tone which is written casually and almost as an older sibling talking to a younger sibling.
The book has a motivational angle with an optimistic underlying message. It recalls how the author was bullied in high school when she was just starting her YouTube channel and people would make fun of her in person and online. Meanwhile, her subscriber count kept increasing and she eventually became a YouTube partner, allowing her to make a career out of her presence on YouTube. Supported by ads and sponsored content, she was on her way to YouTube stardom and moved to L.A. before even finishing high school.
I read Really Professional Internet Person because I was interested to learn about the life of YouTubers and how they find themselves in front of the camera for millions of subscribers. I was surprised to find that this was only one of many books by YouTube personalities published in the last year:
- This Book Love You by PewDiePie
- I, Justine: An Analog Memoir by Justine Ezarik
- I Hate Myselfie: A Collection of Essays by Shane Dawson
- Binge by Tyler Oakley
- A Work in Progress: A Memoir by Connor Franta
- Selp-Helf by Miranda Sings
- The Amazing Book Is Not on Fire: The World of Dan and Phil by Dan Howell and Phil Lester
- You Deserve a Drink: Boozy Misadventures and Tales of Debauchery by Mamrie Hart
- Hello Life! by Marcus Butler
- Girl Online: The First Novel by Zoella by Zoe Sugg
- Girl Online: On Tour by Zoe Sugg
While Really Professional Internet Person was not for me, I still appreciated reading the experiences of Jenn McAllister. It explained the video creation process without getting too technical or bogged down in details. I was only able to infer a little bit about the business side of things as a YouTuber. She even apologized for the sections where she does get into the technical details, which is a shame because that is where I was most intrigued. There was a very interesting chapter recalling the experience of being doxxed, or having her identity stolen and posted online. It sounds like a really scary experience and helps convey the message of taking your privacy seriously, almost a contradiction to living in front of a camera.
Interspersed through the book are little asides related to the chapter topic such as Top 10 ways to waste time on the Internet or Top 10 craziest things that have happened to me (besides getting doxxed). I thought they helped keep the mood light but I also thought they interrupted the narrative and would have been better organized as the ending of each chapter.
If you know Jennxpenn from YouTube or are interested in the life of a girl’s rise from the average life in Pennsylvania to YouTube star in Los Angeles, check out Really Professional Internet Person. It won’t give you the secrets to becoming a YouTube star yourself but it might give you some insight into what you might be getting yourself into. With the motivational angle, I would recommend the book to teens as the message stays clean and positive.