Just how hard does Jake Paul’s book suck? An investigation

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Just how hard does Jake Paul’s book suck? An investigation

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"Everyone has a book inside them," the saying goes, "but in most cases that’s where it should stay." After reading Jake Paul's autobiography, You Gotta Want It, I can tell you that his book should never have left his insides, and if there was any justice in the world, it would be stuffed back down his throat, page by page, as he is forced to refund the $13 I spent on it.

Even though Jake Paul, the famous YouTube guy whose neighbors hate him, is extremely famous online, I was surprised to learn he had written a book. I hadn't heard of it before – maybe because it came out in late 2016, before he became a household name, people had forgotten about it. So it made me wonder why someone like Jake Paul (money) would write a book (money) when he was only 19 and nobody was asking for him to write a book that was as turd as it sounds (it’s because it probably made him a lot of money).

So I paid for the book ($13!) and spent this afternoon reading it, and now I've finished it, I can tell you conclusively that Jake Paul's book is a piece of shit that sucks. It's full of tedious observations ("There’s a place around the corner from where I live that has killer smoothies. My favorite is peanut butter and jelly.") and him saying the sort of things that you can get for free by watching his YouTube channel ("I’m all about a strong work ethic and striving to achieve my goals—all while having fun, of course.")

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It's pretty clear from the beginning what really motivates Jake Paul, and that is jamming a hosepipe into the bank accounts of the parents of his young and impressionable fans, and sucking on the end of it until he grows fat and dies.

"I’ve read maybe three books in my entire life," Jake says proudly in the opening chapters. "When I was in high school I used to dread opening a book. I hated turning to page one. All I thought about was how many more pages I had to read to get to the end and how much time that was going to take. The books were big and the print was small. There weren’t many pictures, either. And they weren’t funny."

Who would be so cynical as to write in the opening chapters of your own book that you hate books? Why would you treat reading books with such contempt and then crank out of one your own? Unless you wanted your fans, who have already dropped hundreds of dollars on your merch (hoodies, shorts, t-shirts, phone cases, backpacks, mugs, underpants stamped with 'IT'S EVERYDAY BRO"), to spend yet more money on your stupid book?

It gets worse. An introductory story is how Jake and his dunce brother Logan drove to Las Vegas at 2 AM on a whim ("You’ll never see me at the club. You’ll never see me at the late-night house party," claims Jake, pages earlier, somewhat improbably), and he writes:

"We had the music blasting, the warm air was rushing in, and we were on a completely deserted road. I turned to Logan and said, 'Let’s see how fast we can go.' 'Do it,' he said. I stepped on the gas pedal. The Challenger’s massive engine growled.

"Instantly, Logan and I were pushed back into our seats as the car blasted forward. The speedometer soared past 170. I glanced around. There was no traffic anywhere near us and no cops in sight. I said, 'I’m going to gun it like this the whole way.' My brother nodded. I stared straight ahead. In front of me, for as far as I could see, there was nothing but open road, and I was going for it. Which is my approach to everything. It should be yours, too. Anything you can dream of is possible. I know what I’m talking about—because it happened to me…"

Hell fucken yeah dude! Driving! Anything you dream of is possible, even if that means recklessly speeding through roads at night!

A lot of pages are pictures of Jake, and dumb quotes and lists like these:

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On the subject of black bikinis, point two on Jake's 10 THOUGHTS I'M HAVING RIGHT NOW, every woman in his book other than his mom is described as "hot." There are a good two dozen mentions of girls being "hot" – girls he meets, girls he sees in videos and girls ogles at school. One of them is Megan Fox, who he watches in Transformers ("the movie was the best thing I'd ever seen") – and he walks out with presumably his first boner, recalling: "Megan Fox was the hottest girl in this universe. At that age, I knew the word sexy, but not its meaning…for reasons I didn’t understand yet, I couldn’t get Megan out of my mind."

Later, when he sees Kendall Jenner at a club in Hollywood (He promised he would never be seen in the club! What happened?), his eyes explode out of his head like a vintage cartoon character, whacking his head with a giant mallet.

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I'm not kidding! This is page 196 of the Kindle version!

"Kendall was breathtakingly beautiful, and tall and sleek, and wearing an outrageously sexy black top and pants. I had to force myself to not stare. But after a few minutes, I said, 'Screw it,' and gave in to what Mother Nature insisted upon. It was another one of those moments when I was reminded I was no longer in Ohio."

Other girls get a similar treatment. He remembers a girl called Julie ("She was a brunette and had an athletic body—exactly my type. She also had boobs!") and making out with girls in the bathroom of a mall in his hometown in Ohio.

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Alissa Violet, Jake's then girlfriend, whose photo is included in this book

There follows a brief interlude where Jake becomes something of a school bully, joining a gang of iPhone thieves and helping them take expensive stuff from credulous kids (what's changed?).

"I wasn’t about to steal anything, but under pressure of being kicked out of their crew, as they phrased it, I met up with them a couple days later and helped distract a younger student while they took his phone. We met up afterward. 'That was so easy,' Phil said, laughing and looking at me as if expecting a similar reaction. I said nothing. I felt awful. I wanted to get away from these guys. Two days later, Eddie and Phil stole another kid’s iPhone, and Phil forgot to turn it off. The phone was traced, and the cops were called."

"It’s total cringe material," Jake writes. "I wish I could expunge it from my memory. The only reason I’m sharing this particular incident is the hope that it can serve as a cautionary tale to those out there who, like me at that age, have an inner jerk that needs a good slap-down."

He gets a 10-day suspension, a dressing-down from a judge, and 40 hours of community service. Going back to school was tough, he says, because his reputation was damaged. "Everybody knew what had happened, and many people now regarded me as a bully. I’d relished a reputation as a star athlete, a class clown, and even a player with the ladies. I didn’t want to be known as a bully. That wasn’t me. I was a good guy."

Another painful moment is when the locals at his high school, before he makes his move to LA, tell him his Vines suck, and that his brother Logan is cooler than him (a recurring theme).

Life looks up when the both of them move to California and leverage their growing social media audiences into careers. Oh, and when Jake notices that one of his neighbors is a Playboy star (beguilingly described as "super gorgeous and hot").

Presumably if You Gotta Want It was ghostwritten, it wouldn't be quite as fucking boring. So I guess Jake Paul wins a point for effort in that he wrote this book himself. 1/10.

Bonus extract

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