Friday Reads is a new series on Write, Edit, Repeat. I’ll only be blogging about my favorites (no room for negativity here), and I’ll end with a writing prompt. Be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already, and then you won’t miss out. Adult fiction, YA fiction, MG, graphic novels, picture books—I’ll cycle through them all, sometimes posting monthly, sometimes weekly.
For the archive of Friday Reads posts, visit bit.ly/LaraReads.
I also allow guest reviews! Today I’ve got Caitlin Vanasse reviewing The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs.
Read her review, then enter for a chance to win a copy of 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.
First, thank you so much to Lara for letting me borrow on her blog today to review The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Geek Girls by Sam Maggs.
When I heard that Sam Maggs, editor of The Mary Sue, was writing a guide to girl-geekdom, I was quite intrigued. As a girl who grew up watching Captain Janeway on Star Trek Voyager, borrowing my brother’s Nintendo Power, and reading every essential comic collection my library had, I’ve considered myself a geek girl (or a nerd) for quite sometime. When I had the opportunity to request a copy for review from Quirk Books, I was more than a little excited. (Disclaimer: I requested and received this book from the publisher, Quirk Books, for review.)
The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is a reference book in four sections: An introduction to different fandoms, an introduction to girl geek spaces on the internet, a guide to conventions, and a section on geek girl feminism. Interspersed between each section are super short (3-question) interviews with prominent women in geekdom.
I found this to be a good reference; there were definitely things I already knew, which I think will be true of most readers, but there was plenty of new information and things well said in a way that I found really helpful for figuring out how to express them myself. My personal favorite section was the one with advice for conventions (probably because I’m at a point where I’m just starting to think about going to conventions, and so it was the most helpful personally), but I think depending on where the reader is, different sections might be more useful.
Right before picking this up I saw a review mention that the feminism section seemed a bit tacked on. I think the meat of that section was actually really great. It contained an extensive list of recommendations of great female characters in various forms of media (books, movies, television, anime, comics, and manga) and a short section on being critical consumers of the media we love, both of which I think any geek girl would be interested in. But I think the transition to that section was really poor. Rather than suggesting that Fandom can, in some ways, be what we want it to be, it felt pushy rather than convincing. It was really a disservice to the chapter and ill-fitting considered with the tone of the rest of the book.
I also felt that the interviews, although a nice element to break up the chapters, were too short to really provide much substance. They weren’t really personalized, were fairly superficial questions, and were less than a page each. They function more as a list of interesting women in geekdom to follow than interesting content on their own.
All in all, I really enjoyed the book and could see myself referencing it or lending or gifting it to friends.
But, because I received this finished copy from the publisher I’d like to give you an opportunity to have it. I’m giving away the finished copy I was given. I did read it, so it’s gently used, and I’ll be shipping from the US, so this giveaway is only open to US shipping addresses. But if you’re interested and eligible please do enter below!
Caitlin Vanasse was raised on StarTrek Voyager and Bill Nye as well as princesses and puppies. Never afraid to call herself a nerd, you can find her on the internet talking about books on Youtube at BookChats and retweeting all manner of things on Twitter @CaitlinVanasse.
Follow Caitlin’s YouTube channel, BookChats, for plenty of book recommendations from this geeky girl reviewer, or read The Fangirl’s Guide for recommendations. Also read the comments here for favorite female
Two options today:
A. Write a short creative nonfiction story or poem about a geeky experience you’ve had.
B. Choose two fictional females and write a short story or scene in which they meet.
If you live in the US and would like the chance to win a copy of The Fangirl’s Guide, please click here to go to the Rafflecopter page. There are many ways to enter!