The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy
Author: Sam Maggs
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: May 12, 2015 (TOMORROW!)
Basic Summary Without Spoilers:
There isn't a whole lot to spoil in this book since it's non-fiction. This book is for all of us girls who love all things geek. Superwholockians, Potter-Heads, Tributes, Tolkienites, Trekkies, Star Warriors, Gammer Girls, etc.
Wait? All of those words are gibberish to you? Or they sound familiar and you think you fall into some of those categories but aren't sure what to do? This book is for you.
The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy (TFGttG) is a book which highlights all of the big points of being a fangirl from the vocabulary, going to your first "con," finding your way around the geek corner of the Internet, creating a cosplay, and feminism in geek land.
What I Liked:
I really enjoyed Maggg's style of writing and how quick and easy it was for me to get through this book. All of the little inside jokes for each fandom were fun and she did a great job of giving a general overview of all of the fandoms and the basic things you need to know if you want to dive into fandom life.
This book is definitely for beginners in this world though. It makes me think of someone who just binge watched or read a new TV show or book series and became a huge fan, then joined Tumblr or FanFiction.com for the first time to find out more, and then had no idea what they were getting into. Or possibly for friends of fangirls who are wondering what has taken over their friends life and they want to learn to speak the same language.
I kind of wish a book like this existed when I was in high school or college, or even when I first joined Tumblr so I could learn too instead of just feeling silly asking questions everyone already knows. I also wish I had read it before I went to C2E2 a few weeks ago so I could prepare for my first con. But, it did make me ridiculously excited for NerdCon in October.
This book also did a great job of not playing favoritism to certain fandoms. Granted, she probably wrote more about the ones she was familiar with, but she definitely gave credit to several different types and pointed out how each person experiences being a fangirl differently. It's not a one size fits all type of idea.
I also liked the section on feminism and defining what it is and how to be a critical reader and consumer without being rude or personally attacking people. I feel like we tend to get these things confused.
She also included short interviews with famous fangirls (my favorite was Erin Morgenstern who wrote The Night Circus!) which was cool because they gave advice to other fangirls.
What I Didn't Like:
This was for beginners. Most of what she talked about in the book I already knew. It was nice to have everyone all in one place, but for someone who has already explored Tumblr, YouTube, *sometimes* fanficiton (but I don't often... if ever), gone to cons, etc., there isn't a whole lot to offer. While it was enjoyable and I liked reading the book, I also went away being like "well... that was a nice review." It took me awhile to get into the "pretend I'm just starting out in fandom life" mindset to really appreciate everything the book had to offer.
This book also wasn't done very professionally. While it was a fast and fun read, she could have gone more in depth with several topics. There were only four chapters, so there was definitely room to expand.
TFGttG was fun and cute. I like how this is the ideal time to be a geek fangirl because there is so much support, a great community, and more and more people are recognizing this is a huge part of culture. For people who don't know anything about the geek world and being a fangirl, this book is a great start to get an overview. But if you aren't a beginner, you might enjoy it, but you won't learn much that you don't already know. I gave this book four stars on Goodreads.