Growing up in a situation different than your own seems like such a far away concept, right? What about surfing with sharks in the water, having to own an electric fence, and being worried about being robbed whilst in your car? Welcome to South Africa! Caspar Lee is a South African YouTuber who makes comedy videos, vlogs, and sometimes interviews. Growing up in South Africa since the age of one, he had an interesting childhood filled with many experiences that wouldn't phase a large portion of the world as ‘normal’. Like many YouTubers, Caspar has a book, but unlike other books his is an autobiography/biography written by him and his mom, Emily Riordan Lee, depicting his riveting irregular life. Emily, who wrote the majority of the book, discusses the big decisions in their lives that they made, and how different outside forces put pressure on the situations. These ideas work together in the text, showing how pressure from different people affect their decisions, a well as how decisions caused previously nonexistent pressure.
Caspar and his family’s life had always been impulsive with decisions, such as moving to South Africa from England when Caspar was one year old. Though many of these decisions had been impulsive, they had to make the right choice in many situations. Emily believed that “No one in their right mind had dreamt of emigrating to [there] at that time”, (Caspar Lee 26) because it was a time of “change and there was both tension and excitement in South Africa”(Caspar Lee 26). Yet for financial reasons they still decided it was the best choice for them. I thought that this was very interesting because I would never think of impulsively dropping everything and fleeing to a foreign country, much less continent. It shows a lot about how they had an important decision to make that would guarantee a completely different lifestyle for their children one way or another.
Another big factor in their life was Caspar’s grandpa, who insisted on Caspar and his older sister, Theo, were well versed in computers. He insisted that they knew about computers and as Emily puts it, “I really do believe that Caspar wouldn't be where he is today without Rick’s obsession with the importance of computers”, (Caspar Lee 49). This shows how Caspar’s grandfather’s obsession led Caspar to the future and career he has today. Caspar’s mother had thought computers were a large waste of time, but in time learned their importance in today’s society because of the pressure brought on by pressure to make the kids (meaning Caspar and Theo) well versed in the subject. I found it interesting that someone who was older and grew up more 'old fashioned' would look at new technology so positively, and Emily, who was willing to live a spontaneous adventurous life in South Africa would be so against computers and this 'new' way of life.
These two ideas of decisions and pressure work closely together in the book. It shows how pressure may make certain decisions to be made, such as Caspar being introduced to computers. Though it also shows how decisions can create pressure, such as when Caspar received a scholarship to an elite school, but had to work hard to keep up his grades and his scholarship. His teachers and parents were very persistent with the constant pressure to succeed in school. This pressure wouldn't have been given to Casper if the decision had been made to put him in such a good school. The balance between decisions and pressure in Casper Lee Showed how his parents did a good job doing what they thought was best while still being able to give their children and unforgettable childhood that they would love and remember forever.
Caspar Lee by Emily Riordan Lee and Caspar Lee was a very interesting book that opened my eyes to other ways of life that I hadn't been exposed to or thought about before. It was very interesting to read about a life on a different continent, and I would rate it a 10 out of 10. Overall, the book does a good job of bringing up ideas of decisions and pressure in life and how they both affect each other. I would recommend reading this book for anyone interested in a fun tale of life that may not be similar to the one you grew up with. This is the link to Caspar' YouTube Channel, in which he posts weekly videos covering a wide variety of topics, that I find interesting and hope you do too. If you have read Caspar Lee, do think it shows a lot about decisions and pressure? If not, what do you think it emphasized? If you haven't read it, does it sound interesting to you? If it doesn't, I would still suggest it anyways, as it's filled with a mix of culture, sports, comedy, entertaining stories, and much more!