Title: Ryan Higa’s How to Write Good
Author: Ryan Higa (No way! Much surprise!)
Age Group: Middle or High schoolers and above
Rating: 3/4 Stars
Synopsis: “I know you’re used to seeing me on the Internet, but here I am, coming at you in book form. You might be asking yourself, A Book? You? Why?
Great question! Why did I write a book?
Listen, I’m as surprised about it as you are. But I have a story to tell that I believe will help inspire people who are going through tough times to not only persevere through those tough times but to excel in them. And I couldn’t be the only YouTuber without a book, could I?
So, welcome to Ryan Higa’s How to Write Good, by me, Ryan Higa.
This is the story of how I went from being a relatively happy kid to being depressed and angry and filled with dark thoughts. This is the story of how I thought I had only one way out of this cruel world. This is the story of how I found a better way.
But wait, there’s more! You’re not only getting my story but you’ll also learn how to write good–I mean well–from a college dropout who struggled in basic-level English classes and still became a legit, published Best Sailing Author. (That wasn’t a typo. I plan to buy a boat one day…but probably not anytime soon. This book might not cell good.)” (Amazon.com)
I was certainly surprised to find out that this YouTuber, in particular, had a book published and in stores. As a pun-lover and humor enthusiast who greatly enjoys his creative videos, I really wanted to read his book and find out what he had to say. I had first expected some sort of humorous story, as the title certainly alluded too, but after seeing a video where he slightly mentioned his childhood time and how it was rough, I began to wonder if perhaps it would be a bit more of a serious book. Turns out, both of my guesses were correct.
This book is made up of several chapters that are partially written out as a normal book and partially told through a comic book style. I think this definitely created a cool effect that showed Ryan’s voice well and allowed there to be two different stories happening at the same time. It also made the book a fairly quick read; I read it all on Christmas day much to the annoyance of my family who wanted to actually be festive–ha! Anyway, we get to see young Ryan going through troubles in his life, finding out what he is good at, and generally overcoming things, which creates the book’s message. We also get to see older Ryan talking with his editor friend, Sarah, about how to write a good story, which, of course, is a theme mentioned often. Basically, Ryan starts each chapter by briefly explaining the next step in writing a book correctly and then the rest of that chapter gives an example of this using his own life story (I actually do think he integrated these two ideas very well together).
So, that’s the basic structure of this book, but what I want to talk about is what I thought of the true buried content. I really like the way the story is structured (I guess that’s like saying hey I like your life, haha) and I think he shows his personality perfectly through the writing. However, I am not sure about whom to recommend this book. If you are interested in learning how to legitimately write a book, sure read it, but it’s not a manual. It’s truly a story and more of an example. If you like his YouTube channel and his humorous nature, I would still say that it might be interesting to you. Though for me personally, it wasn’t quite as humorous as I had expected of him. This didn’t make me dislike the book, I was just surprised and if you want to read it only for the humor of it, then you might be disappointed.
I’ve now established that this is actually a surprisingly serious book that tells the true story of young Ryan’s life and the struggles he had to work very hard to overcome. He mentions near the beginning that he wrote this book to help those who are going through things like bullying and that he hopes to encourage them and help them overcome these challenges, as he did. Naturally, I would say that if you are going through hard times you could certainly enjoy this book. I have to mention, though, that I think it is only for middle schoolers and above because he does truly go through some struggles in his life that are very hard and could be triggering.
Overall, I was fairly surprised by this book, including the way it was written and what Ryan was brave enough to share with his readers. I encourage you to check it out!
How have your January’s been so far?
Happy Reading 2018–Let’s fly together!