June 7

5 Best YA Books for Fangirls

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It’s the end of school!

Definitely time for a little fangirling over the summer months. If your favorite TV show aired its season finale recently and won’t be back until the fall, you might feel like you need a fanfiction fix. And if your favorite YA book series won’t release its latest installment until after Labor Day, it’s time to indulge in fan Tumblrs and remember #TheFeels. Fortunately, YA has its fair share of novels about fangirls and fandom. Read on for a list of which YA books about fangirling to add to your To Be Read list.

"Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell
“Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is a classic in fangirl-fiction. A beloved novel since its publication in 2013, Fangirl follows Cath’s first full year at college. Cath and her twin sister, Wren, were best friends growing up. They loved the Simon Snow fantasy series of books and movies (a thinly disguised rip-off of the Harry Potter series), and Cath was a star in the fan fiction world because of her Simon Snow slash stories. The novel is about fandom, but it’s also a coming-of-age novel for every geeky, nerdy, social-anxiety-plagued young woman who feels like she has to justify her nerdy fangirl ways. Rowell’s novel was so successful that it reached near cult classic status. And in 2015, Rowell published a book-length work of fiction presented as part of the Simon Snow canon: Carry On, Simon.

"Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here" by Anna Breslaw
“Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here” by Anna Breslaw

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw is about a sassy fangirl named, of course, Scarlett Epstein. Scarlett is a kind of slacker at school and lives on the fringes of the popularity scale. She spends more time writing fan fiction—and rising to the top of the online fandom hierarchy—for a teenage paranormal romance TV show, Lycanthrope High. When it comes to writing fan fiction, Scarlett is an ace with words. She’s witty, she’s hilarious, and she’s easily able to write believable romance. In real life, Scarlett is a bit clueless. This novel is extremely funny—don’t read it in a place where laughter is not acceptable because you will bust a gut. It’s also somewhat flying under the YA radar at the moment but steadily amassing a legion of fans. This is a fun and feminist read for the summer. Pick it up and bask in the unabashed fangirl and nerd references. You might start the book thinking, “Oh, no! Am I really like this?” and close the final pages feeling confident and strong.

"In Real Life" by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang
“In Real Life” by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

Fangirls often live a good part of their life online. And so it’s natural that some novels explore the difference between our online and offline personas. Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang’s In Real Life is a graphic novel about a shy young woman, Anda, who finds her community and purpose online. Anda explores the limits of how long she will go before her online world starts to overtake her offline reality. With colorful graphics that pop and feature body positive and diverse characters, Doctorow and Wang’s In Real Life is a quick yet meaningful read for fangirls.

"In Real Life" by Jessica Love
“In Real Life” by Jessica Love

Coincidentally enough, a novel that has the same title is In Real Life by Jessica Love. This novel is not directly fangirl related because fandom is not a big concern, but many of the themes cross over. A young woman, Hannah, decides to take her online friendship with a boy she’s in love with offline. Will this unstoppable online relationship with undeniable chemistry survive offline? Or are things never what they seem when reality starts to blur? This novel is on the essential reading list for all fangirls who interact—and fall in love—with nerdy love interests and fellow fans online.

"Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy" by Sam Maggs
“Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Sam Maggs

Finally, The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs is a must-read (and the only nonfiction book listed here) for budding fangirls. This short guide gives you the lowdown on differences between different fandoms, slang and lingo all fangirls should know, how to find a community online and off, and how to navigate the sometimes dude-heavy nerd universe!

What are you a “fangirl” of?


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