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Geek Girls Unite: How Fangirls, Bookworms, Indie Chicks, and Other Misfits Are Taking Over the World
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Geek Girls Unite: How Fangirls, Bookworms, Indie Chicks, and Other Misfits Are Taking Over the World

2.91  ·  Rating details ·  833 ratings  ·  203 reviews
For every girl who marches to the beat of her own drum, Leslie Simon has your manifesto: a smart, expansive, and winningly entertaining celebration of comedy queens, film geeks, bookworms, craft mavens, indie chicks, and other all-star women. Following the breakaway hit book Everybody Hurts, Simon’s energizing look at today’s pop-culture and counterculture heroines—like Am ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by It Books
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Average rating 2.91  · 
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 ·  833 ratings  ·  203 reviews

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Start your review of Geek Girls Unite: How Fangirls, Bookworms, Indie Chicks, and Other Misfits Are Taking Over the World
Apr 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
This did not go well. It certainly could have gone much worse, but it gets worse the more I think about it. Mildly offensive at best.

I'm sure Ms. Simon meant no harm. I'm sure she wasn't trying to insult me. But someone along the writing path needed to remind her of the sensitivity of her subject. How saying my jeans are "probably second hand or from Target" might be seen as an insult or how her humorous quips might be read more as jabs. How not all girls are the same and one geek is not like t
Jan 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
What I learned from this book:
Geek girls are white
Geek girls are straight
Geek girls listen to indie/alternative rock
Geek girls may not be hotties but they sure are funny
Geek girls are around 35 years old, considering the overwhelming references to 90s culture (Parker Posey, Sassy magazine, Sonic Youth)

Well shit, I just described myself. So I might have also inadvertently described the author, Leslie Simon. However, I would never write a book about stuff I like in the guise of a manual/manifest
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
Being a "Geek Girl" myself I was so excited to discover this book. Sadly, it was majorly disappointing. It was stereotypical and didn't even really go into depth about "Geek Girls". I think the most annoying aspect was the "perfect match" checklist after each chapter of what type of guy "she" is compatible with.....that pretty much ruined the book for me right there. The only redeemable qualities(why it is two stars instead of one) is the links(still not that great) and illustrations. ...more
i didn't expect to love this book, but i did expect it to be kind of a cute, fast read that would amuse me for an hour or two. instead i got a poorly-designed pile of girl hate packed to the gills with pop culture references that were out of date before the book was even published!

each chapter represents a different kind of geek girl, from sci fi/gaming nerds to bookworms to film geeks to "domestic geeks". this was the first time i ever heard that taking a page from martha stewart made one a kin
Feb 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
It's not like I had high expectations of this book or anything. It's for middle schoolers. I think. So it being simplistic and stereotyped was expected. "I'm 13! What do I like? Who am I? Is there a quiz? OMG a quiz yay. what about BOYS. BOYS YES" sort of thing. And it lists things you might like. How bad can it be, really?

But this should be kept far far away from those middle schoolers because it will FUCK THEM UP. I'm serious. How this book was written, it's just snobby bitch affirmations. Ful
Apr 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
First things first: This is NOT a feminist book. This is a disgusting little novella that traipses around pretending to be feminist. This book is pro-perpetuation of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl myth. This book thinks it's really cool to objectify females from various 'domineering' females and discuss their physical traits like they're major aspects of their value as individuals. This book is all in favour of diets that aren't drudgery. Simon generates 'stereotypes' for each of the genres of 'geek ...more
Contrary to popular belief, very little ends up irritating me to the point of straight up anger when I'm reading. However, one of my biggest pet peeves in books -- or in life, really -- is when something labels itself as outwardly feminist and empowering to certain subsections of women, but then turns right around and shits all over other women. Case in point: this very book.

Simon dedicates each chapter to a different group of geek girldom, advising of some of their more telling features, point
Rachel Craig
May 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
At first when I saw "Geek Girls" on the shelf, I got super excited because, hey, I'm a geek (nerd)! It looked interesting and appealed to me!

After reading "Geek Girls", I was disappointed. It's a cute little book that basically defines the major geeks in life: fangirls, book nerds, film geeks, and music geeks. Examples of famous women past and present are given in each of these categories to show how they fit the geek label.

What wasn't necessary was the "Geek Love" parts for each section, which
Mar 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Ehhh, not great, but not awful. This was written in 2011 and it's surprising how dated a few of the references already seem, but it was interesting reading how music, literature, athletic, and other geeks are defined. I think music might be my biggest geekdom (although I have no idea how you skip Lilith Fair when talking about women in music, and the write-up about Liz Phair was horrible).

A pretty fun read to skim through. I found myself happily nodding along to some of the descriptions, but al
Jan 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am a geek. I've embraced that fact from the first day I went to visit my grandfather and he told me stories about WWII and his early life in PA. While other kids were reading Amelia Bedelia (and, I read her too!), I was reading about fighter jets and pilots and Tuskegee Airmen...collecting WWII stories was my first foray into geekdom.

Fast forward to a few years later, I begin an adventure in SF. I've collected books, movies and actors (yes, if you keep stats on actors on paper like IMBD, in 19
Jan 05, 2013 rated it liked it
I've always considered myself a geek. A nerd. An uncool person. I wasn't popular in high school or college. I've never had what I would consider "a ton" of friends. When I saw this book in the library, I was instantly drawn to it, thinking I'd found my bible of sorts. Well, I was wrong.

According to Simon's definitions (because you must first define what a geek is, especially as there are concerns that a geek and a nerd are really the same thing), a geek is "a person who is wildly passionate abou
May 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: trash-can
Giving this book a single star because I can't give it something lower.

I was excited to read this book. I thought I would find a collection of stories and examples of how being a Geek Girl is an amazing thing and how despite our differences how really the same all of us are. My excitement quickly went from disappointment to anger.

One of the biggest mistakes author Leslie Simon makes is taking on the tone of all-knowing. As if she is Head Girl of each of the fandoms she writes about, even when sh
Jan 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book should probably have been named "A Field Guide to the Modern Geek Female". It's a bit lacking in detail on that front but it seems a more fitting title than "Geek Girls Unite".

I am also disturbed that there is quite a bit of tearing down of other 'non- geek' females through out the course of the book. Admittedly most of the females mocked I don't admire and have said cutting and cruel things about them myself - but I've not taken the time to publish them and I generally try to work ou
Alisha Marie
Feb 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Okay, so here's the gist of it: I'm a geek. Happily. And I've been looking for books that embrace geekiness in every shape, way, or form. While Geek Girls Unite did this to an extent, I felt that this book was kind of stereotypic as well as surface-level. It wasn't nearly as clever as a book on geekiness should be.

One of the major things that bothered me about Geek Girls Unite was that it seems to cater to those who are just one-dimensional geeks (and I say that in the most loving way), but most
Oct 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, ppya11
Simon talks about geek girls, you can be geeky about just about anything really, and then goes further into detail about Fangirl Geeks, Literary Geeks, Film Geeks, Music Geeks, Funny-Girl Geeks, Domestic Goddess Geeks, and a catch-all chapter at the end. Inside these chapters on individual geeks she has a little geek knowledge quiz, some background knowledge on the types of people interested in this area and how it got started, some famous pioneers in this area, some "frenemies" to watch out for ...more
Feb 07, 2014 rated it did not like it
It was at this quote, I quit reading this book:

"Patti Smith, on the other hand, was not one of the lookers, but her overwhelming stage presence and protagonist musical style made her utterly captivating, endlessly powerful, and oddly attractive". (pg 96)


There is nothing "unifying" in the author's tone about geek women and fandom. Which is a shame, because she's nabbed a fantastic title and written a shit book. I feel like this would only be a title worth reading for someone who wanted
Nov 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Fun to be had as you read this! I'll be quite honest; I missed a great many of the social and cultural references because I've grown a bit "older," but that's actually fitting. Teens and young adults are the target audience, so they'll recognize the numerous celebrities, foods, and fads within the pages. Not fitting in? Smarter than stylish? Well, when true to oneself, these don't matter. This book is a playful, always affirming, declaration that smart young women come in many forms. They have t ...more
Dec 28, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
Liked: author's obvious enthusiasm, disdain for Dane Cook
Disliked: abundant and often unnecessary footnotes, lack of substance in material

I felt like this should have been geared towards 13 year old females but I don't think that was the intention. This book was just one giant listicle- I hope it didn't take her more than a week to write.

Also, I'm not sure I learned in any way how "geek girls are taking over the world". Additionally, I imagine this book wasn't great when it came out, but it defi
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book pretty much ruled. I look at it for me, as a male geek, sort of like delving into the mind of female geeks and learning what is important to them in geek culture, as well as some do's and don'ts for guys. I really enjoyed all the resources within it, good for either sex. Highly recommended! ...more
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
I wanted to love this very much. A few bits were super interesting and informative. However, the geek girl snobbery (in that geeks are better than those who aren't) and defining the parameters of a certain type of geekiness in order to be considered a True Geek were really off-putting. ...more
Ingrid Tiffe
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book was published in 2011 so it is a little dated. A lot of things have changed in the world but it was a quick fun read. It was interesting to read who Leslie Simon considered to be geek goddesses, also to consider how drastically different some of them are perceived a decade later.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gelezen-2019
Extremely dated, but also totally not about geek girls uniting. It sounded so good but it was so bad.
Malda Smadi
Dec 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Remember the time when everything dull, negative, and lame was associated with being a geek? You know, back in high school when you would kill yourself rather than be seen talking to or befriending a geek? Or how you were too jealous to admit you wanted good grades so you mocked the geek instead? Or how geeks were too weird for you? How you just couldn’t understand why they weren’t interested in boy bands or school dances when that was all you were obsessed with?

Well… The times. They are a-chang
Sleepless Dreamer
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
I feel a bit guilty rating this book, to be honest. I stumbled upon it, realized I dislike it, but finished it solely because I am so behind my 2016 reading challenge and I need all the help I can get.

So yeah, this wasn't my cup of tea (which is kinda funny cause tea isn't my cup of tea either). It's not my thing because I don't see who the audience is supposed to be. I love the underlining message, that the people that feel like they don't belong can and should unite. That said, this book felt
Dec 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Kind of disappointing. This book uses stereotypes to try and un-stereotype geek women.

My biggest pet-peeve with this book was the sole focus on women who identify as straight. Why have a "Perfect Boyfriend" section? There are geeky females out there who have the perfect match with a person of the same gender!

In the introduction there is a little note encouraging women to respect one another despite differences in interests, yet each chapter includes a frenemies list.

I was pleased to see the in
Nov 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, non-fiction
Is this book for girls who want to find their geek clique? Well, they won’t be able to tell from the quizzes, since the right answer is generally very obvious even if you haven’t figured out that it’s always C. Is it for girls who want to read about themselves and their chosen clique? Maybe, but when I turned to what I thought would be mine, the “Literary Geek Girl,” I found out through the “character sketch” that I’m going to have to become completely immune to fashion and popular music and als ...more
Jen • Just One More Page

It pains me to rate this so low. I wanted to love this so badly. Really, the history aspects were interesting and informational an overall fascinating. But there was WAY too much name-dropping-referencing and half the content in the entire book I didn't understand just because I had NO IDEA who was being talked about.

And plus I just can't forgive how half of the Fangirl Lexicon is just plain inaccurate. As someone writing a book about geeks for geeks and describing geeky lingo, that's kind of in
Jun 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
I got 5 pages in and had to stop. She praises Lena Dunham and Woody Allen, and at the end of each chapter there is a checklist for the perfect "geek guy" (no thanks). She judges other "geek girls" based on their likability, sense of humor, how girly they are, and their overall appearance. In addition she included a frenemy section about women you shouldn't like. In a book that claims to be all about girl power and solidarity this all seems seems a little counterproductive, no? She writes with a ...more
Danika at The Lesbrary
I guess I was expecting this to be a little more academic (or at least feminist) than it is. It's a quick, fairly shallow look at different kinds of "geek girls". (Though I'm surprised that fashion/"domestic"/sports falls under that category.) Mostly I just got irritated by the heteronormativity of this book. Every segment ends with "your ideal guy!" Plus it plays into that traditional idea of pitting girls against each other: that we can unite as geeks, but we're still going to bash celebrities ...more
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Kazuo Ishiguro insists he’s an optimist about technology.  “I'm not one of these people who thinks it's going to come and destroy us,” he...
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“Ever since the 1960s, upon the urging of Dr. T. Berry Brazelton and the all-knowing Dr. Spock,* mothers have been encouraged to read to their children at a very early age. For toddlers and preschoolers who relish this early diet of literacy, libraries become a second home, story hour is never long enough, and parents can’t finish a book without hearing a little voice beg, “Again… again.” For most literary geek girls, it’s at this age that they discover their passion for reading. Whether it’s Harold and the Purple Crayon or Strega Nona, books provide the budding literary she-geek with a glimpse into an all-new world of magic and make-believe—and once she visits, she immediately wants to apply for full-time citizenship. “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” —author Joan Didion, in The White Album While some children spend their summers sweating on community sports teams or learning Indigo Girls songs at sleep-away camp, our beloved bookworms are more interested in joining their local library’s summer reading program, completing twenty-five books during vacation, and earning a certificate of recognition signed by their city’s mayor. (Plus, that Sony Bloggie Touch the library is giving away to the person who logs the most hours reading isn’t the worst incentive, either. It’ll come in handy for that book review YouTube channel she’s been thinking about starting!) When school starts back up again, her friends will inevitably show off their tan lines and pony bead friendship bracelets, and our geek girl will politely oblige by oohing and aahing accordingly. But secretly she’s bursting with pride over her summer’s battle scars—the numerous paper cuts she got while feverishly turning the pages of all seven Harry Potter books.” 1 likes
“Tolkienist (n.) Someone who studies the works of J. R. R. Tolkien.” 0 likes
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