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 for everything from starting an online fan community to planning a convention visit to supporting fellow female geeks in the wild.
I wanted to own this book as soon as I learned of its existence. Proud fangirl right here! The amazing folks at Quirk Books were kind enough to send me a copy for review and it came with me on a trip I took this past weekend. I immediately fell in (back) cover love:
Unfortunately, that was where the love ended. I didn't dislike this book -- not at all. I just don't understand the audience. The reason I wanted to read it is because I am a fangirl; and I think that other women who identify themselves as fangirls will want to read it for the same reason. But that means that I already knew a large majority of the information in the first half of the book. The first bit reads a bit like, "How to be a fangirl"...but I'm not sure who needs that? I guess I just don't see a wannabe fangirl happening. If you want to be a fangirl, you are a fangirl. You're not like, "Oh, I like a bunch of stuff but I don't really know how to fangirl...I need a guide." There is a great quote and unfortunately I can't think of who said it first, but basically it goes: "You're a writer, if you write." The idea is that just because you're not famous or you're not published, doesn't mean you're not a writer. If you want to be a writer, and you write, then you're a writer. I feel like the concept of a fangirl is similar.
Then the second half of the book turned from "How to be a fangirl" into "How to be a feminist." There's certainly nothing wrong with that...it just wasn't what I was expecting. Reading the "Book Summary" up top, I didn't think I would be delving into a feminism 101 book. Again, please let me reiterate -- there's nothing wrong with that at all. I support feminism. The book has some good information and tips on how to be a feminist. I just didn't think that was what I'd be reading.
Finally, there are short interviews with famous fangirls. The same questions were asked, and regrettably this resulted in what seemed like the same answers being given. But I will admit that I was unfamiliar with the majority of the famous fangirls interviewed. Had I known who they were, I probably would have found this part cooler.
I finished reading this book on the plane and put it in the seat pocket in front of me. When I got home, I discovered that I didn't have it, and it is probably still there. I like to think that I was subconsciously taking part in Rock the Drop, albeit a few days late.
The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy will definitely be a good piece of literature for cultural historians in the future. It has some good tips for conventions, along with some good websites and ideas for the reader to feed her inner fangirl.