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Review: The Fangirl Life by Kathleen Smith

Review: The Fangirl Life by Kathleen SmithThe Fangirl Life by Kathleen Smith
Published by TarcherPerigee on July 5th 2016
Genres: Psychology
Pages: 240
Format: eARC, eBook
Source: Author
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You'd probably know a "fangirl" when you see one, but the majority stay relatively closeted due to the stigma of being obsessed with fictional characters. However, these obsessions are sometimes the fangirl's solutions for managing stress, anxiety, and even low self-esteem. Fangirling is often branded as behavior young women should outgrow and replace with more adult concerns. Written by a proud fangirl, The Fangirl Life is a witty testament to the belief that honoring your imagination can be congruous with good mental health, and it's a guide to teach fangirls how to put their passion to use in their own lives.

The Fangirl Life encourages you to use an obsession not as a distraction from the anxieties of life, but rather as a test lab for your own life story:

How can a character girl crush be useful instead of a waste of time?
How can writing fan fiction be a launching point for greater endeavors?
How do you avoid the myths that fictional romance perpetuates?

By showing you how to translate obsession into personal accomplishment while affirming the quirky, endearing qualities of your fangirl nature, The Fangirl Life will help you become your own ultimate fangirl.

I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.


I often feel fangirls are misunderstood and misrepresented. We’re bandied up into this collective image of psychotic teenage girls so obsessed with their respective stars/fandoms that we become reduced to nothing more than shrill screeching, incoherent babbling and bedrooms lined with pictures of Justin Bieber’s face. This is not the reality of 90% of fandom life, this is the minority. What is so refreshing about ‘The Fangirl Life’ is that it’s not written by someone outside the bubble of fandom, but someone from within. SHE GETS US!


Kathleen Smith examines the fangirl life from all angles, talking us through where we could land on the scale of obsession: mild, moderate or full on squeeflailing, and how we can address it and perhaps change our thought process when it comes to fandom. There is even one super glorious chapter dedicated to the girl crush, hairporn and the psychology of the BAMF. Kathleen taught me that my anxiety is the driving force behind the intensity of my addiction and no sentence has ever been realer than when I read that one.


I would highly recommend this to all my fellow Lady BAMFs that are struggling to get through the day because they’ve got fanfiction to write, 8 TV shows to keep up with and a brand new season of House of Cards to binge watch whilst drooling over Claire Underwood’s wardrobe and Julianna Margulies’ eyebrows. Don’t fear kids, Kathleen has got your back.

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