I was given a copy of this book to read and review. The review below contains my honest opinions and I was not monetarily compensated in any way.

Kathleen Smith is a licensed therapist that blogs over at Fangirl Therapy and is also really, ridiculously smart. She writes a lot about fangirls and what about our brains draws us to fandoms and how we can use that to our advantage. I had the really awesome opportunity through Geek Girl Brunch to review her book, The Fangirl Life: A Guide to All the Feels and Learning How to Deal. The Fangirl Life was published by TarcherPerigee on July 5th, 2016, and it is 240 pages long.

First Impression

I thought this book was going to be about how to be chill in real life by sort of suppressing your fangirl side, and I was wrong. Smith has written an ode to the fangirl and how if she wants to she can rule the world all while staying on top of her shows and writing the steamiest of slashfic.

What It’s All About

Society tells those of us that allow ourselves to really enjoy the media we consume that we’re lesser for it, that we are immature and can’t possibly be productive members of society. Smith reminds us that that’s total nonsense. You can be a fangirl and a BAMF and in fact being a fangirl make you an even badder BAMF. There is a lot of great science behind Smith’s words of wisdom and it is neither too dry nor too simplified. Smith is able to present concepts in a way that allows even a lay person to grasp them without using crayons and glitter glue to do it1and helps to highlight the pros and cons of fangirls. And yes, there are cons. This book isn’t just about placing fangirls on a pedestal. From helping to recognize problem behaviors, and even deduce their source, to learning to grow and mature without feeling like you have to leave yourself behind, The Fangirl Life is there to help you be the best fangirl and person you can be. Also you don’t need to take no crap from people who tell you you’re too passionate or you care too much or it’s not ladylike or mature or whatever boring words boring people use to try to keep you down.

Why I Liked It

I’ve often wrestled with my geeky side and how it fits into my grown up life. How do my Funko Pop!s fit into my greige living room? Am I talking about Supernatural too much at this dinner party? Should I be honest when coworkers ask why I’m so glum and it’s because I just finished a book and now I don’t know how to live my life? Reading The Fangirl Life legit helped me learn to appreciate who I am as a fangirl, reocognize and overcome some of my *cough*obsessive*cough* issues, and get started on balancing the many facets of myself and my life. It’s obvious from reading this book Smith is not only an awesome fangirl she’s a very good therapist and she’s at a great place in her life and career with balancing those two aspects of her personality and so much more. And she’s kind enough to let us in on the secret of how we can move to that point, too.

Who Should Read It

Smith definitely recognized that fangirls come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life with varying degrees of interest and investment. I never felt like this book wasn’t for me because I don’t write fanfic (anymore) or I don’t live tweet shows (regularly) or I’m not obsessive about actors (maybe a total lie). I would recommend this book to any fangirl, or heck, even any fanboy, that is looking for a bit of guidance and a reminder that you’re awesome.


  1. Though I would totes not be against some glitter glue and crayons. 

Recommended Posts
  • Mariah Kaercher

    This is on my good reads list! I need to get ahold of this book ASAP.

  • Kay

    I’ve had this book on my TBR list for awhile, and it’s one I definitely want to read soon!

    • DOooooOOOOOoo it!

  • I still have this book on my read list. It’s been staring at me and I still haven’t gotten around to reading it.

    • Once you pick it up it’s a fun and easy read and you’ll be done before you know it.