Thursday, May 14, 2015

Book Review: The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy

Book: The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs

Source: Borrowed from Publisher/NetGalley for an honest review

Publication: Available Now

Publisher: Quirk Books


Fanfic, cosplay, cons, books, memes, podcasts, vlogs, OTPs and RPGs and MMOs and more—it’s never been a better time to be a girl geek. The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is the ultimate handbook for ladies living the nerdy life, a fun and feminist take on the often male-dominated world of geekdom. With delightful illustrations and an unabashed love for all the in(ternet)s and outs of geek culture, this book is packed with tips, playthroughs, and cheat codes, including:

• How to make nerdy friends
• How to rock awesome cosplay
• How to write fanfic with feels
• How to defeat Internet trolls
• How to attend your first con

And more! Plus, insightful interviews with fangirl faves, like Jane Espenson, Erin Morgenstern, Kate Beaton, Ashley Eckstein, Laura Vandervoort, Beth Revis, Kate Leth, and many others.

Rating: 2 stars


When I saw this on NetGalley (love the cover) I was so excited and I immediately requested to read it. I was even more excited once I was approved to read it. Why was I so excited to read this? Well it's because I thought someone had finally wrote a book for girls and women who love geek culture. However, my feelings of excitement ended once I read it.

I would say this book is more geared towards middle grade/teens or 20-somethings (but frankly, I'm not sure who this book is for, it didn't seem to know who it was speaking to). I also thought it was for those who are just getting into geek culture and would like a quick point of reference. However, for someone who has been a "fan" for a while, there's nothing really new here.

With the way this book was written, the author's voice came across as appearing fake and trying too hard to be cool and "geeky". She was also trying too hard to prove that she was knowledgeable about comic books and stuff. The author stated a few times that she had negative experiences with having to prove that she was a "real geek" which seems to have stuck with her because throughout the book she constantly tries to assert her geekiness. She shouldn't feel the need to have to prove herself to anyone let alone those few jerks, all that this book should have been about was her love of geek stuff and how others can learn to love it too.

Another thing about the way this book is written, it will appear dated really fast instead of being written in a more universal way because it's filled with a lot of trendy words, slang and jargon that may lose it's meaning in a few years.

I also found many of the things written throughout the book to be a little insulting and condescending, such as I'm not a fan of Star Wars because as the author put it due to "a mega crush on Han Solo", I'm a fan of Star Wars because it's an amazing series with amazing characters.

This book seems to play into some of the fangirl stereotypes with some of the superficial reasons for being a fan of certain fandoms or the expressions of said fandoms. What stopped me from giving this one star was it had a great introduction and I enjoyed reading the interviews that were throughout the book. I also thought there was some good information that was also sprinkled throughout. Overall, this could have been much better especially if the book knew who it was targeting, it was trying to be too many things to too many people and missed the opportunity of just being a great guide for fandom and geek culture.

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