Review Blog

Jan 10 2019

The amazingly disorganised help dictionary by Georgia Productions

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Penguin Books, 2018. ISBN 9780143793250
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Themes: Internet. Persistence. Creativity. Author and YouTube star, 19 yr old Georgia, has amassed half a million followers from her bedroom in New South Wales. Although we have seen vlogs and blogs become books before, this book captures the essence of Georgia's YouTube persona. It is not merely a coffee table book such as Doug the Pug or the delightful travelogue of Penguin Bloom, the magpie. The popularity of the cute animal doesn't apply to this human. Georgia is as entertaining on her channel as in her writing. Both media give us real insights into the teenage mind. As a bonus, Georgia is an accomplished comedienne and cinematographer.
The title is a misnomer - this book is not a dictionary. This teenager struggles with ADHD (a pneumonic for her book's title) plus: anxiety, body image, peers, teachers, grooming and other teenage rites of passage. Georgia doesn't utilise all the letters of the alphabet - random letters decorate the odd pages to signal each eclectic chapter. Georgia's thoughts are, on balance, fairly mundane and naive; but to her credit they are also insightful, funny and honest. You will be mesmerised by Georgia who definitely has an attractive visage and personality.
However, a YouTuber is above all things, a marketer, an entrepreneur. That is the refreshing thing about this book - it is what it seems. Georgia, in marketing herself, needs to grab hold of every truism, philosophy or common sense tip that she's ever recycled in her short life, in order to populate her 'dictionary'. She is very aware of the cycles of promotion and the certainty that the book loops attention back to her YouTube channel. She even stars in her own book trailer. Forget the adage about self-promotion being no recommendation.
Vlogs are viewed and responded to both visually and verbally, making for a connection and immediacy hitherto unknown. Georgia knows this instinctively as a Millennial and gives credit to the vloggers who inspired her. After nearly 5 years, Georgia has bragging rights as far as vlogging skills go. One chapter forewarns prospective copycats by explaining the difference between constructive criticism and hateful comments. Promotion is the end game in the symbiotic environment of YouTube. By sheer volume of hits, Georgia's films resonate with teenagers seeking connection. Honing her craft as both a producer and consumer of visual texts, her social commentary sheds light on daily teenage chaos in a way which will uplift both young and old.
Deborah Robins

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