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The Fangirl Life: A Guide to All the Feels and Learning How to Deal

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  331 ratings  ·  60 reviews
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 conce ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 5th 2016 by TarcherPerigee
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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Jamie (Books and Ladders)
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

This is a non-fiction, self-help book about how to channel your inner BAMF Fangirl into a BAMF Fanwoman that can rock the world. I so so so wish I had read this while I was in university because it would have been so helpful. Instead, I had to do some trial and error to figure out how to use my skillz to advance myself in the Real World. I would recommend this for any teenage fangirl who is FREAKING OUT about college
Dani (Dani Reviews Things & Love in a time of Feminism)
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. This does not change my rating or the content of the review.

The Fangirl Life is a self-help book, but it's not your usual self-help book. (I have enough of those – thank you, A&D.) No, The Fangirl Life is super sparkly special. It's written for fangirls (and fanboys) by a fangirl. (She's also a licensed therapist, so she knows what she's talking about.)

I'll admit, I went into the book thinking it would be more lighthearted, but Smith
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Maybe it's because I'm a fangirl myself, but I could not wait to read The Fangirl Life: A Guide To All the Feels and Learning How To Deal by Kathleen Smith. So when I had the chance to read an ARC, I excitedly started reading.

Let me state that I wish this book existed ten years ago. When I was first discovering fandom and my fangirl tendencies.

20-year-old Jess could have used this book as her guide through college and dealing with her anxiety and fears of rejection. 30-year-old Jess has taken
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with being unusual because it’s the currency that keeps the world turning and worth writing about.”

It amazes me how fiction is, after all these centuries, still looked down upon. Even though I understand why someone would label it as an escape, I believe many are those who mistakenly paint it as a switch-off button to all that is real, some going as far as calling it cowardice. I mean, why would anyone want to shut down a reality that keeps slapping us with tru
Jess at
I received this book 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 i
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Witty and delightful, this author has written a quintessential and modern self-help book to optimizing mental health through the lens of 21st century social, media and pop culture. Quite clever actually! This book stresses good self-care by drawing from tenants of psychology and science and extrapolating them to real-life situations. Smith walks us through various scenarios including how to deal with trolls to finding an appropriate mentor to working through (fictional) deaths. Most importantly, ...more
Mar 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
I'm sure this book will help someone, but that person is not me. I find the book to be pandering by throwing in every single reference to any potential nerdy thing. I could not get into the chattery nature of her writing style, which is filled with "disorders" that can be experienced exclusively by fan girls. These disorders are made up by the author, and I find that kind of disrespectful to actual mental health issues. If you enjoy reading self-help books, maybe it's for you. I most certainly a ...more
Emily Farquharson-Hall
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of this book and The Fangirl Life has helped me in ways I didn't even know I needed. The lessons Kathleen teaches in her pop culture peppered pages can be applied across all aspects of your life not just those fangirl tendencies. The friendly and approachable writing style make this a fun and invaluable life tool. ...more
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All fangirls out there
Are you a fan of something? Yes? Then you HAVE to read this. It provides a lot of advice on how fangirl should behave, how to deal with fandom's drama, internal conflicts, what others feel about their passion or even how to take your skills in fandom into your job applications. It's a guide to be a fanwoman; a more matured, calm and elegant form of a fangirl. Because a fangirl never stops fangirl-ing.
I love, love, love this book! I just wish I read this when I was in my twenties. Any fangirl kn
Katey Lovell
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Part self-help book, part pop culture observation, The Fangirl Life is a humorous and empowering read for any fangirl. By examining the skills/personality traits required to be a hard-core fan and giving examples of how these can be applied to other areas of life, Smith recognises what so many overlook - that being a fangirl takes loyalty, passion, commitment. She also encourages the reader to examine what they admire in their favourite fictional characters (especially females). The scientific a ...more
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: I edited it. BUT, I would have wanted to read it anyway! This isn't a book about "how to be" a fangirl - if you're a fangirl, you already know that part! This is the book for every fangirl who has dealt with the highs and lows of the fandom life, who worries about "real life" friends and family finding out about her online fan life; who wants to interact with fiction and with other fans in healthy, positive ways; who knows the agony and ecstasy of shipping; and who needs a remin ...more
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. It spoke to me on so many levels. I’m a fangirl. I’m 26 and still love to read and write fanfictions. Some people have told me once: “You’ll grow out of it “ or “You are a geek in denial”…I haven’t grown out of it and I was in denial. I was in denial before I read this book. Will I try every technique the author suggested? Probably not but reading this allowed me to accept myself out of my family. Because up till now they were the only ones who new I was a fangirl a ...more
Aug 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Not quite what I'd expected. It looks like it would be a silly, funny book about being a fangirl, but it's actually more serious. The author has some really good ideas about using your fangirl-ishness to cope with the real world - things like dealing with addictions and writing résumés.

The only problem I had is that I couldn't decide if the tone was supposed to be funny or serious. Maybe it's both. Otherwise, it's a good book with some sound advice written in fangirl-ese.
Nov 05, 2016 added it
Shelves: nonfiction
cute, very self-helpy
kiiiiind of pathologizes fangirls? and like let's be clear, i'm a disaster, but i for sure know a lot of fangirls who are paragons of emotional health
this book probably would've been more useful to me when i was twenty-two and could still change my ways haha (yeah i know i missed the whole point of this book)
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! A very motivating take on how to use all the good of your fangirl personality. Would recommend to any fangirl, of any age.
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A book for fangirls by a true fangirl! I wish Kathleen was my professional fangirl therapist, because SHE GETS IT.
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was so much fun and incredibly useful and helpful. I really wish teenaged me had had access to a copy!
May 17, 2016 marked it as to-read
'A particularly inspired tactic is reframing mistakes and missteps as “plot development.”' -Publisher's Weekly ...more
Lary Ordano
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, owned

WOW. This was sooooo good! A warm hug to the soul. I can't even.
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quite a fun and informative read for a middle-aged lady like myself. Though did feel a bit out of place, especially when the author says something like this to the reader: you weren't even born before 1977, when I was born decades before that particular year.

A foreign language is decoded and some good advice given, like creating a "not to do" list, e.g.:

"*Stopping a book if it sucks

*Quitting a tv show when its jumped a shark [which adorably means the writers are desperately trying to keep atten
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The Fangirl Life is an inspirational guide with real takeaways for fangirls to make their quirks work for them and not against them. Inspired by the blog, where therapist Kathleen Smith helps fangirls with their problems.

"The Fangirl Life: A Guide to All the Feels and Learning How to Deal" by Kathleen Smith is a completely awesome self-help book for every BAMF Fangirl and Fanwoman in the world, written by a licensed therapist who is a wonderfully, open Fanwoman herself. F
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I found this book by search query "your otp is dead" and really didn't hope for much, and I was wrong. This book gave me so much more than I could ask for from a self-care book for fangirls. First of all, i know how we can be a little (and more) crazy sometimes, and i was really expecting a recommendation to give up my passions (and just to be adult already!), and i was relieved because it's not that kind of book!
This book assists with basic self-care stuff and building self-confidence on regul
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I should have made this a bathroom book rather than one I carried in my work tote bag. I would have likely finished it sooner than I did.

I realize I'm an amateur Fan Girl since I didn't recognize many of the "ships" and characters author Kathleen Smith sprinkles throughout the book to make her point. And sorry, you could have done a better job of mentioning the end of BSG without giving away a major plot point.

She is honest about her different fandoms, prolific in fangirl lingo and adept at sho
The Girl With The Book Reviews
Being a intense fangirl, this book holds a great place in my heart and I can't help but praise it. Through great structure, fluency, cohesivness and great references to popular culture (Netflix and non-Netflix shows, fanfiction, fandom elements ect..) Kathleen Smith delivers a comprehensive guide showing how basic innate fangirl attributes and qualities can be slightly altered so that these fans may transform into the BAMFs they have to potential to be. Truly, this book is a must- read for both ...more
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
I think I would have liked this better if it were a memoir, or simply an ode to fangirling. Smith's goal is to marry her two interests, namely fangirling and being a therapist, and the result is pretty uneven. The book assumes that most fangirls have a hard time coping with real life, and uses online fangirl culture as a way to introduce and discuss therapeutic and self-help concepts. The author's heart is in the right place, and there are a few useful insights here, but she seems to underestima ...more
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Not a fan of the book, I finally finished it though. While I related to some of it and could do with some of the advice I found that a lot of the references and the kind of person she talked about cringe-y. Yes there are people who are over the top but to me it seems more like a caricature of a fangirl. Plus for a lot of it felt unnecessarily gendered, like yes women and girls should have resources that don’t also target boys and men but we don’t just have to look up to only women there are male ...more
Hope Hill
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017-books
I'm not a fan. The idea of a nonfiction book about fangirl life seemed intriguing but the actual book was a letdown. Stereotypes abound and assumptions run rampant. The Fangirl Life reads more like a cheesy self-help book for the internet's idea of a fangirl than a book about fangirl life. Probably the worst offence for me is how condescending the author is towards a group she claims to be part of. ...more
T. Finley
I didn't relate to this book quite as much as I thought I would. Apparently I'm not as hardcore of a fangirl as I thought. However the book did get me thinking. It challenged me, and I think that's what the author intended.
Did I like it? Yes.
Would I reread it? Maybe.
Would I recommend it? I'd consider it.
Dec 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
DNF @ page 21

This is just not what I wanted it to be. The author is a therapist but I was expecting a more lighthearted easy read. What I got was an incredibly dull and dry book that reads how I imagine a therapy session would go.

I put this down for 2 months, finally forced myself to pick it back up and then couldn't even skim without getting super bored. This is not the book for me.
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book could have been 3x as long and even better. I liked it, but it seemed a bit too "on the surface" sometimes. I do want to own this book though, and highlight the tips and reread it! Very good overall :) ...more
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DR. KATHLEEN SMITH is a licensed therapist and mental health writer who lives in Washington, DC. She has written for popular publications such as Slate, Salon, New York Magazine, Lifehacker, Bustle, and Counseling Today, among many others. She is an associate faculty member at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family and hosts the show Family Matters, a production of the University of the Dist ...more

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