It’s May, which means it’s middlegrade May! We haven’t posted a lot about that yet, but today I’m here to tell you about what I thought of Secrets of a Fangirl. I am a fangirl for many things, so it’s always fun when a character in a book loves something so much it’s relatable. Thanks to the publisher and The Fantastic Flying Book Club for providing an ARC to read and review!
Secrets of a Fangirl
by Erin Dionne
Release Date: May 28th 2019
Can she keep her geek identity a secret, win the contest, and manage to keep her friends even though she’s been living a lie? Sarah Anne is going to have to make some choices about what’s truly important to her and which rules she’s going to break to stay true to herself.
Secrets of a Fangirl is a middle grade book that I read in one sitting. This author knows how to suck you in from the start. I guess it helps being a fangirl myself, that I love when characters are also in a fandom and love everything about it. On top of that, this book addresses some really serious subjects, that this age group may deal with: bullying, accepting yourself, friendships, finding where you belong and accepting the things you love.
Sarah Anne is a big fan of the MK Nightshade series, but is afraid of showing this to her friends. Since they’ve gotten a bit older, things are cool or they aren’t. Just like any person, Sarah Anne wants to fit in and have friends. Things get complicated when she enters a fan competition and wins. This brings along another competition and juggling everything so no one finds out is hard to do.
Secrets of a Fangirl really shows how tough it can be when transitioning to middle school/high school. Wanting to fit in is really normal, but everyone also starts changing. Things you may have once loved with friends can change. Sarah Anne started having a hard time with this. Her love for a fandom was so big, but wanting to fit in beat this many times. It may have taken awhile, but she starts realizing that all these rules to fit in are very tiring.
I really love Sarah Anne’s journey and her standing up for herself and owning her fandom. Being happy with something you love is worth so much more than pretending to be someone you’re not for “friends”. In the end, she realized who her true friends really were.
I loved that the author did approach bullying, etc. in this story. This happens way too much in this day and age and I really wonder how many kids realize what the consequences are from their actions. In my opinion I think near the end it could’ve been addressed just a little bit more. I don’t expect all the friendships to be instantly fixed, but I felt like for learning purposes, the subject could’ve been dealt with just a bit more.
Fandoms are an amazing things and the friendships you gain from them can be the ones you never expect on developing. As an adult I still love my fandoms and the communities surrounding them. I loved that the author had our main character be in love with a fandom and know all the little details. The competition made it even greater. All in all, this book left a smile on my face. I definitely recommend this middle grade story!