Geek Girls Unite, by Leslie Simon

Hokay. So. I mentioned in my last post that I had picked this book up for no real reason but that it looked interesting and name-dropped some people that generally intrigue me. It is possible I did not even crack it open to look inside, just said, ooh, pretty purple cover and went for it.

Because prooooobably if I had looked inside I would not have brought this home. See, what I thought I was getting was a look at “geek girl” culture and, per the cover, how these girls are “taking over the world.” Well, I did get that, I guess, but I also got a lot of stuff I was not expecting.

The book is set up so that each chapter covers a specific style of geek girl, starting with a quiz on your knowledge of the style (spoiler: all the answers are C and the A and B answers are often ridiculous), providing a stereotypical description of such a geek girl, giving a history of awesome girls who fall into the category, naming some current “geek goddesses,” describing people these geek girls shouldn’t be friends with and boys whom they should date, and offering up required reading/listening/clicking/watching/etc.

The parts with the historical context and the current “goddesses” are interesting, because they give me cool people and things to look into and are, like, factual and stuff. But all the other parts were either just okay or kind of lame, and I think it’s at least partially because Simon and/or her publishers don’t seem to know what audience this book is for.

Is it 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 also go back in time to undo all that Cliffs-Notes-ing I did of really terrible books, and I’m just not willing to do that. Is it actually for boys, considering the “geek love” sections seem directed at the boys (very specifically boys, too) who want to win over a geek girl’s heart?

I don’t know. I wish the book had been less segmented and more about the generally geeky girl, and I wish there had been more factual stuff and less Seventeen filler, but I suppose that wasn’t meant to happen here. And so I am disappointed by my own high expectations. But I give Simon props for using actual geek girls as primary sources for the book and giving me scads of new books and albums and websites and movies to procure and devour, and really any book that’s going to get people interested in new things is good by me.

Recommendation: For the girl who has always wanted to be a [insert geek style here] Geek Girl but never knew where to start.

Rating: 7/10

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