Book Reviews

Review — The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs

Book title: The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks
Author: Sam Maggs
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release date: May 12th, 2015
Format: egalley, 206 pages
Source: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for review consideration. This in no way affects my review; all opinions are my own. Thank you, Quirk Books!

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About the book:

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.


The review:

The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is an awesome crash course in immersing yourself in geek culture. It’s informative and funny, and author and fellow fangirl Sam Maggs does a brilliant job of introducing you to the major fandoms (Potterheads, SuperWhoLockians, Tolkienites, Trekkies, YA Book Nerds, Disnerds, etc.), geek vocabulary (Feels! OTP! Shipping! Squee!), meetups and cons and how to organize or maneuver them (so many people in one place who all share the same interests!), cosplaying (wear what you want to wear because you love it), feminism, and how to squash trolls like a boss. And this book isn’t just limited to fangirls — it could be equally useful to fanboys, too (but only fanboys who aren’t jerks and don’t think fangirls aren’t as cool as them). If you’re not too sure how to navigate all things nerd, this book is a terrific leaping ground to help you out with the, initially daunting but immensely rewarding, world of geek culture.

I am fan of many different things (book blogging! Sherlock! Game of Thrones! AAAAAHHH!). And any person who is in tune with pop culture and spends a lot of time on the internet probably already knows a bit about fandoms (Doctor Who, Buffy, Marvel, etc.), conventions (Comic Con, YALLFest, VidCon, etc.), and internet slang. The only things that were really new to me was the extensive information about cosplaying, and faires and conventions, as well as some of the comics, tv, and anime recommendations. I really enjoyed the detailed sections on feminism in the world of geeks (the Bechdel test! “Fridging”! Thoughts on boob windows!) and how to shut down and respond to those dang internet trolls. The book even talks about how to write fanfiction, and the biggest social media sites (“kingdoms”) where fans go to unload their feels and how they work for our needs. Additionally, there are interviews with accomplished fangirls in the fields of technology, writing, acting, film production, and more (I was particularly squeeing over the interviews with Beth Revis, Victoria Schwab, and Erin Morgenstern, because reasons), where they talk about what the word “fangirl” means to them and how being a geek has positively influenced their lives.

Parts I particularly loved: All mentions of fandoms I am part of in spirit (I don’t actually participate in them; the Tumblr fandoms actually still scare me, but they’re so much fun to peruse after new episodes of, say, GoT and Sherlock). Particularly the shoutouts to and recommendations for Spirited Away (agh, everyone needs to watch every single Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli film ASAP!) and wuxia films starring Zhang Ziyi like Hero (even though I haven’t seen Hero; I have seen House of Flying Daggers and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, both of which are amazing but the latter of which is effing phenomenal). Also, that reference to “Still Alive” just killed me and I had to run to YouTube and listen to the closing songs of Portal and Portal 2 for a while. As well as the “Turret Opera”. Sigh. (I haven’t played Portal, but I’ve marathoned Let’s Plays of it on YouTube and want my very own plush companion cube so bad.)

I loved and fangirled over The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy. It was a very nice crash course about all things geeky. I learned a lot about cons and cosplay that I hadn’t known before. I just wish there’d been more time to go in depth about even more fandoms that are only mentioned in passing (Nerdfighters! Smashers! Squints! Janeites! Etc.). However, thanks to Sam Maggs, I’ll be exploring more fanbases (I seriously need to jump on the Marvel bandwagon) and will be even more unapologetic about the nerdy things I love. I highly recommend this book regardless of it you’re a fangirl or a fanboy. ♦


So tell me…

Are you a fangirl? Are you a geek/nerd? What are you super passionate about/devoted to? Do you think The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is something you’d like to read? Comment below letting me know! And, as always, happy reading!

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4 thoughts on “Review — The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs

  1. Aw yeah I’m so sure I’d love this book I really really have to read it 😄 I”M SUCH A NERD/GEEK! I LOVE anime, Sherlock, Once Upon a Time (Captin Hook and Neal are so AWESOME), I LOVE Frozen, The Throne of Glass, The Maze Runner, video games, Big Hero Six…pretty much everything and anything…really I have to read this book 😄

    Liked by 1 person

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