I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
To be perfectly frank, I saw the title for this book, got very excited, and clicked the approve me button before I did any research on this book. My bad, but it looked like something I really wanted. I consider myself a bit of a fangirl, and I was looking forward to maybe finding out more about some of my obsessions. Maybe some in depth articles about Doctor Who, or fangirl culture, maybe about what women bring to the table, or female roles in different media. This, alas, was not what a got. I saw handbook for girl geeks, and didn't realize it was going to be an introduction for girls who want to be girl geeks.
As an introduction it was adequate, but it was really only a shallow introduction. When the author talks about the characteristics of different fandoms it was very superficial, trite, and a bit stereotypical. Not all fans own the key chain, the wallet, the plushies, and gamers are a very diverse group. Also what about people who don't fit in just one group, or people like me who think fandom nicknames are silly, and divisive, and often times lead to fandom snobbery, and elitism. None of which are positive things in my book. It also lends credence to the idea that all fangirls are young, which is ageism, and not okay.
Another small sticking point was the author's instance that everyone lived near something nerdy and cool. Sorry, but if you want to be that I live near a cool old school arcade/bar, board game café, or other such thing, that's a bet I'm going to win. Not everyone has a college in their town, and even if they don't not everyone's local community college has fun nerdy groups, especially ones open to the public at large. There are still those of us living it pretty rural isolation, and to assume everyone lives in or near a more metropolitan area is a little presumptuous.
One of the other problems I had was a bit too much sisterhood is awesome kind of stuff. I understand that it's a handbook for girl geeks, but not all trolls, and people who harass you online are going to be men, and not everyone who stands up for you is going to be female. Things are more than a simple binary, and I don't want to lose that to a girls good boys bad mentality. It wasn't a huge part of the book, but there were parts that seemed to fall into this simplistic view, and it irked me. Another small sticking point was the part where the author extolls girls to be the Doctor not the companion, and it made me wonder if the author had even watched Doctor Who. The Doctor's companions are an amazing, strong, talented, and diverse group. I'd be proud to be a companion.
I think the interviews were a nice touch. It was nice hearing from a diverse group of women working it a variety of different industries, and genres. It was nice to see their unique viewpoints, and messages. It added a lot to the book, and would be nice, especially for younger readers. I appreciated the emphasis on fandom etiquette, and respect for those that don't agree with you. I've seen a bit too much fan shaming, nasty personal attacks, and general nastiness to think it isn't needed. It makes me sad that such a focus needs to be played on how to treat people who like different things than you do, but it's nice to see it addressed. There were also some great resources, links, and new games, comics, and media to explore.
Overall, this would have worked are a handbook for younger readers, if it had been tightened up a bit, been better focused, and given a bit more depth. Maybe the author tried to tackle too many things in this book, and narrowing it might have made it feel a bit more cohesive.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Thursday, March 5, 2015
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
At first I rated this book 2.5 stars, but, now that I have let the story settle in, it has dropped down to two. It just left me feeling a bit uneasy; that the relationship between the two main characters was unequal.
Billy, one of the main characters, is severely depressed, and by severely I mean can’t get up and move, locked in his head, a hair close to suicide depressed. The only thing that gets him moving is dancing with his Morris troupe. So him having a meet cute with a quick HEA, with no medical help, and without serious therapy, was too unbelievable for me.
Well I can’t say that he has no help, Martin makes him seek help at the end of the book just before he moves in. Martin, at this point, has just lost his job, has little to no income, has just come out of the closet, and has been looking for work to no avail.
I mean I want to look this as a cute story of two flawed men finding love, but all I can see are red flags of codependency.
The second star is for the back story of Morris dancing, which I found fascinating, and I spent quite a while searching for images, and videos on the internet.
I wish I could find a better gif to do it justice.