Every Fangirl’s Must Have Guide!
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.
Rating: 4 stars
First of all I would like to mention that I picked up this book not knowing much about it. I had it on my To-be-read list, but I hadn’t looked into it much. The title and cover were enough for me to decide that it would be something I would enjoy. The manifesto (shown in the picture above) had been floating around the internet for a while and I simply fell in love with it. To be honest the first time I saw it I didn’t even know that it was associated with a book. Later, I received an e-mail from NetGAlley informing me that they had ARCs available. So I decided to request this “novel”. If you thought of this book as a guide from the very beginning, then you are in luck. I just assumed that it was a novel in which the main character was a fangirl that encountered many obstacles and that somehow she managed to overcome those obstacles and learn a few valuable lessons along the way. Turns out both are sort of true, the only thing is the main character is you. This book provides lots of advice, general information, and detailed information about different fandoms out there and it helps readers embrace their geekiness.
This is a great guide for young fangirls that are just trying to find a way to fit in, for older fangirls that have had some experience but want to get more involved, and even for the family members or friends that perhaps need some guidance to understand us.
My absolute favorite thing about this book has been her support and understanding of the hardships fangirls have to face, from online trolls to having to prove your worth to others. The term ‘fangirl’ has been used as a derogatory term for girls/women for a very long time. But it is time to put that to rest. Maggs encourages through her book to let your inner fangirl flag fly high. Don’t let others be the judge of what you like. Embrace your geekiness and remember you are not alone. My biggest complaint in the nerd community has always been, what I like to call, judgy nerds. The ones that expect you to know everything about every topic in order to “prove” your worth. This book provides great advice on how to overcome that and how not to let it affect or change you. We all have things that we are passionate about. Find what makes you happy and just go with it.
Another section I enjoyed was the internet etiquette, what is appropriate and what is not, how to avoid becoming a troll, and most importantly how to handle trolls. Maggs provides great advice on how to deal with trolls and how to best handle it when it gets out of control. Don’t be shy to involve local authorities if you believe things are spiraling out of control or if you feel threatened. However, one thing that no one ever talks about is what makes a troll and how to avoid turning into an internet troll. I was very impressed with Maggs for addressing how to avoid becoming a troll. It is very easy being faceless on the internet to start bashing things that you don’t like and making fun of certain fandoms. Not everyone likes the same things, and I believe there is a right and wrong way of expressing your opinion. Stating on all social media outlets “the stupidest novel I ever read…”, for example, can very easily insult all those who enjoyed the book. It is perfectly acceptable for you to dislike something, but the delivery of your opinion can be the difference between an honest view and just being insulting towards others. I found that the nerd community has usually been subjected to the most ridicule, we have been bullied, and made to fell worthless at times. Why then do the same to others in the nerd community that share different opinions? Again, I loved that Maggs was very outspoken on this subject and offered advice on how to avoid being mean or turning into an internet troll.
The book is divided into categories that make it very useful for future reference. The book includes a tv show, movie, video game, comic book, books, cons, and many more sections that provide a great information as well as starting points. One of the things I usually find hard to pick up is comic books. Don’t get me wrong, I love comic books; but deciding where to start can be a bit overwhelming considering that the universes and characters have been around for decades. Sam Maggs provides helpful links that can help you in your research and decide where to start. She includes a lot of websites for all the categories she talks about. She has lots of ideas on how to connect with other fangirls out there and how to organize get-togethers to get others involved.
All in all, I found this book not only extremely helpful but quite funny. I laughed out loud a lot while reading this book (“figure out how you are going to pee in it” –advice for first time cosplaying at a con). Needless to say, I preordered my copy so that I can tab and make notes on all sections that I am interested in. This guide will come in very handy in the future and it will make great gifts for all my fangirl friends!
If you are pre-ordering this book, make sure to go to http://www.quirkbooks.com/post/fangirls-guide-galaxy-sam-maggs-pre-order-campaign to participate in the preorder campaign for free stuff. Enjoy!