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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Book Review: The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs

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.

About the author:
Named "Awesome Geek Feminist of 2013," she is also an Associate Editor for The Mary Sue; she talks pop culture on TV and Cineplex movie screens; and her writing has appeared everywhere from the Internet, to books, to national newspapers. she mostly loves YA lit, Pacific Rim, BioWare games, Carol Danvers, and Jeff Goldblum.

My Review:
This book humors me, loves me, hugs me, befriends me and empowers me.

THis book reveres the devotion of fangirls. True to its title, it is an essential handbook fot fangirls the world over. It celebrates geek personas of all types, and serves as a sort of induction into the fangirl community. We obsess over things, in mortifying magnitude. It could be a sitcom, a book, a video game, etc etc

The book is divided into five parts. And the best way to talk about it is by reviewing each part.

1. One of us
Think if it as the ultimate fandom welcome. With all her nerdness and geekiness and all the coolness of this nerdness, Maggs throws a biggg welcome. I'm already excited.

2. It's good to be geek.
Let the celebrations begin. To be a geek is awesome. All of us who have been there know the feeling. After the initial hiccups of our journey, the feeling od being a nerd is so empowering, exhilarating and liberating. I don't have words for it. Sam does, so you'd do a better job reading this book. 
Still, I'll go ahead with a customary review: one part of this section covers the kinds of fandoms we have. Potterheads, GOT fans obviously, it is an inclusive and not exhaustive list which mentions YA book nerds, Star Warriors, Batgirls and so on. 
Then, the icing on the cake is the fangirl lingo. You have no idea how handy that is. When in your transition phase, you are left dumbfounded by the fandom jargons. Consider this. They are my OTP. *squeeeees* Too many feels. I ship them. 
The struggle to finally figure these and much more is real, and this section just solves it for you. Isn't that comforting? 
Another amusing section guides you on the process of converting friends into fangirls. I have some experience in this field too and I can say the writer has nailed it.

3. Fandom intensifies: Geek girls online
Don't you just love that you can read my blog. Or scroll through my instafeed. Or like my facebook page and have a surge of feels whenever I post quotes and fanart from our favourite novels/TV shows/series? 
Don't you just love that you can read stories on fanfic communities and be beta readers to a future bestselling author? 
Or the way we can connect to authors, tag them, tweet to them, maybe even have a retweet. 
The only downside is the grumpy trolls. Maggs got your back there too, buddy.

4. How to survive fandom conventions
Now I don't have much to say here. I'm in India and back here the only convention is ComicCon.  I'll survive it anyway. 
With fandom merchandise. Posters. Mugs. Tees. Stationery. Bookmarks. Bookclubs.

5. Aim to misbehave: Geek Girl Feminism

This be my favourite part. It was such a welcome surprise and so refreshing to read. 
The best of both worlds. Fun and some serious thoughts. Looooved it. 

Another thing to watch out for: Interviews. The author has interviewed fandom-my personalities. And asked them three questions about the meaning of fangirl and their own experiences in this domain.

This book serves its purpose best for the uninitiated and for those pros who love to read about themselves.


ARC Provided by NetGalley

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Kritika's bookshelf: read

Angels & Demons
The Story of My Life
The Hunger Games
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
A Tale of Two Cities
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
Sense and Sensibility
A Christmas Carol
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Time Machine
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The Da Vinci Code

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