Kathleen Smith is a fangirl on a mission. Her goal? To help her fellow fangirls wear the label with pride, embrace the unicorn inside of them, and harness their own personal awesomeness to transform themselves into kickass fanwomen who are ready to take on the world. In her new book The Fangirl Life: A Guide to All the Feels and Learning How to Deal, she offers tips ad tricks to help young woman step into the role of heroine in their own stories.
Don’t be fooled into thinking Smith, who runs the website Fangirl Therapy she shares her thoughts and answers questions from fellow fangirls, is your typical self-help guru with lofty ideas that no mere mundane or muggle could ever achieve. No, Smith’s advice is more like the kind you’d get from your best friend. A therapist by day and a fangirl by night, she expertly weaves science and psychology with pop culture references and humor punctuated with adorable illustrations. She keeps her tone light and fun with an empowering edge that will leave you feeling like you can go out and take on the world like Annalise Keating each time you finish a section. She doesn’t talk down to readers. Instead, she openly admits she’s just like them. She’s a successful, kickass chick who also loves Netflix binges, cries over her OTPs, and gets serious girl crushes on fictional characters and actresses.
Each chapter in The Fangirl Life explores a different aspect of the fangirl lifestyle and how each facet can be used to readers discover ways to become the stars of their own lives. All of a sudden, things that may seem like silly hobbies are valuable life tools. Your girl crush on an awesome lady like J-Law or Tami Taylor becomes an inspiration for how to be more assertive in the classroom or the office. All that Lea Michele hairporn empowers you to try out a new look with confidence. Writing Friday Night Lights fanfics becomes a way to expand your creative thought process. Smith includes fun yet thought-provoking exercises that guide fangirls on a journey of self-discovery to find out how their fandom can be be the greatest weapon in their arsenal to get to where she wants to go.
While she acknowledges all the amazing things that come with the fandom territory, Smith also addresses the pitfalls that can derail a fangirl’s path to success. She implores readers to spread a little more harmony in both their daily lives and fangirl lives. After all, no one likes haters and troll. Why would you want to become one? It’s about learning to control your feels and not let them control you. She not to get sucked into a world where you don’t feel like you can ever measure up. She’s quick to remind us our favorite actresses wouldn’t be able to look seemingly perfect without their glam squads, and, while the drama-filled up-and-down conflict may be fun to watch, your own romantic relationships should not be so chaotic. Above all else, she tells readers not to loose themselves in the crazy world of fandom. She wants her fellow fangirls to use what they love about their favorite badasses to become a more amazing version of themselves, not a carbon copy of someone else. (Yes, we would all love to be Tami Taylor, but, unfortunately, there can only be one.)
Most of all, Smith’s The Fangirl Life takes the shame out of the label and turns it into something empowering. You are some crazy chick who goes on Twitter rants when your favorite character dies or writers chose to wreck your beloved ship. No, you are a creative, strong, amazing fanwoman who can accomplish anything she sets her mind to. So any time you need a dose of encouragement to remind yourself that you are one BAMF, pick up a copy of The Fangirl Life, and let that fangirl flag fly, baby!