One of The New York Times Book Review's 100 Notable Books of 2022. Named one of the best books of 2022 by The New Yorker, Pitchfork, Vanity Fair and TIME. A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice.
"On the internet, fandom can be a route toward cyberbullying a baby, or it can be a way of figuring some things out about yourself. Sometimes, it can even forge a writer as funny and perceptive as Kaitlyn Tiffany.” —Amanda Hess, The New York Times
"Wistful, winning, and unexpectedly funny." —Katy Waldman, The New Yorker
A thrilling dive into the world of superfandom and the fangirls who shaped the social internet.
In 2014, on the side of a Los Angeles freeway, a One Direction fan erected a shrine in the spot where, a few hours earlier, Harry Styles had vomited. “It’s interesting for sure,” Styles said later, adding, “a little niche, maybe.” But what seemed niche to Styles was actually a signpost for an unfathomably large, hyper-connected alternate universe: stan culture.
In Everything I Need I Get from You, Kaitlyn Tiffany, a staff writer at The Atlantic and a superfan herself, guides us through the online world of fans, stans, and boybands. Along the way we meet girls who damage their lungs from screaming too loud, fans rallying together to manipulate chart numbers using complex digital subversion, and an underworld of inside jokes and shared memories surrounding band members' allergies, internet typos, and hairstyles. In the process, Tiffany makes a convincing, and often moving, argument that fangirls, in their ingenuity and collaboration, created the social internet we know today. “Before most people were using the internet for anything,” Tiffany writes, “fans were using it for everything.”
With humor, empathy, and an insider’s eye, Everything I Need I Get from You reclaims internet history for young women, establishing fandom not as the territory of hysterical girls but as an incubator for digital innovation, art, and community. From alarming, fandom-splitting conspiracy theories about secret love and fake children, to the interplays between high and low culture and capitalism, Tiffany’s book is a riotous chronicle of the movement that changed the internet forever.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The Atlantic journalist Kaitlyn Tiffany starts off by telling us this book-length essay is not about the defunct British boy band One Direction. It is, though. But it’s also a fascinating personal memoir and a radical rethinking of what academics call “subcultural theory,” which examines the broader sociological implications of pop-culture phenomena. By diving deep into her love for One Direction—as well as the mindsets of her fellow fangirls—Tiffany makes a compelling argument for internet-era pop-culture fandoms as a creative space for often-marginalized communities. Her affectionate and slightly self-deprecating stories are endearing, but Tiffany brings impressive critical insight and historical perspective to the table. Even if you don’t really know who One Direction are, this is a smart, eye-opening, and fun read.
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.