Contributed by Jessica Novak
A Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is a fun introduction to geeky fandom. While this book is geared towards young women and fandom newbies, both new and seasoned fans can enjoy this book. I’ve been a fangirl for 15 years and reading a book that makes a wide variety of references to Harry Potter, DC and Marvel comics, Orphan Black, Sailor Moon, and Pacific Rim definitely keeps my attention.The first half of the book is more introductory; terms you’ll come across (especially on tumblr), different fandoms, social media outlets for fans, major conventions, ect. The later half of the book is about letting your geek flag fly. There’s even a chapter about attending your first convention, what to expect, convention etiquette, how to make cosplay, how to appropriately fangirl when you meet one of your idols, and other great information I wish I knew when I went to my first convention. Additionally, there are some short interviews included from very cool women who work on the franchises we admire. These are like bonuses sprinkled throughout the book that I probably wouldn’t have found outside of this guide.
Another thing I really like about this book is it’s positivity and validation. One of my favorite chapters is “Aim to Misbehave: Geek Girl Feminism.” It outlines differences between empowering and objectification And we’re still in a time where women are asked to “prove” that they’re “real” fans when they wear an Avengers t-shirt. You don’t need to justify your interests to anyone, and you can wear what you please. As long as you are being respectful to others, there is no wrong way to be a fan. A great message to give to, especially to younger girls and those new to fandom culture.
Overall, A Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is something that can be enjoyed by all, and is definitely something I wish I had when I was a young fangirl growing up. And Sam Maggs is a super fun author, I love her voice in this book it feels like we’re having a fun conversion about our favorite fandoms. Reading this just makes me want to build a pillow fort, and hang out with her, while we binge watch our favorite shows.
Some favorite quotes include:
“If (your friend) is totally in love with Sherlock and Kill Bill, get her the first season of Elementary on dvd and bask together in the glory that is Lucy Lui’s Joan Watson.”
“If someone doesn’t think Steve Rogers is *clearly* bisexual, you can still bond over your shared love of Captain America.”
“There are no fake geeks, only real jerks.”
When she’s not reading the latest and greatest graphic novels, Jessica Novak blogs about books she loves for the San Jose Public Library.