Everything I Need I Get from You: How Fangirls Created the Internet as We Know It

Kaitlyn Tiffany. MCD x FSG Originals, $18 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-374-53918-4

Doling out droll insights alongside expertly dissected tweets, Atlantic staff writer Tiffany takes readers down the rabbit hole of the internet, One Direction, and rabid fandom in this immensely entertaining debut. Tiffany maps the rise of “stans”—“the portmanteau of ‘stalker’ and ‘fan’”—shedding light on what she argues is the women-led demographic’s bottomless power in the digital age. As she traces the history of stans from Beatlemania in the ’60s to the 2010s frenzy around “the first internet boy band” One Direction, Tiffany cleverly reframes the screaming fangirl, typically seen as a hormonal “teeny-bopper,” as a figure with unimpeachable agency who controls the influencer economy, engages deliberately in activism (crashing police apps via fancams during 2020’s BLM protests), and can sway Billboard top 100 charts with ease, as when Harry Styles fans manipulated streaming services in 2017 to “juice the numbers” for his first solo single. Well-versed in this subsect of internet culture thanks to her own passion for One Direction—she fondly quips that the group’s arrival in her life was “like being yanked out of the crosswalk a second before the bus plows through”—Tiffany remains archly self-aware throughout, assuming an alternately waggish and reverential tone that perfectly captures the absurd genius of this influential army of women. Stans will want an encore. (June)
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