Review: The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire


Howell, D. & Lester, P. (2015). The amazing book is not on fire: The world of Dan and Phil. New York: Random House. ISBN: 978-1101939840. Hardcover: $18.99. Also available in audiobook and e-book format.

You could probably call this book an autobiography, but it’s so much more than that. The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire (TABINOF for short) follows the journeys of YouTube stars Dan Howell (danisnotonfire) and Phil Lester (AmazingPhil) as they share stories about their lives from childhood to now. In between glimpses of their cringe-worthy first websites and descriptions of their current apartment, you’ll find the story of how they met One Direction, examples of their texting conversations, deep discussions about robots, life advice from Phil’s lion, and more. You never quite know what you’ll find on the next page, but it’s sure to be entertaining.

TABINOF is not just an entertaining look at the random brains of two “youtubers”; it’s also an encouraging shout of “Be yourself!” for young adults of all ages. Both authors tell the stories of their awkward growing-up years – including Phil’s prom date (spoiler: it’s a balloon) and Dan’s decision to drop out of college. They also tell the story of how they got into YouTube and how you can too. In fact, they show that you can do anything if you have enough passion. The pages are filled with the good, the bad, and the embarrassing, showing that it’s okay to be whoever you want to be and tell the world. Chances are, there’s someone else out there who loves anime and pizza just as much as you, and you can have a great time drawing cat whiskers on each other’s faces. Tons of pictures and interesting visual style make this an easy read and a great teen resource.

Watch Dan and Phil explain why they wrote the book:

If you have more time (and love listening to their accents as much as I do) you can also watch their mini-documentary on the making of the book:

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