Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner
Top 3 Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Coming of age
My rating: Set it on fire/ If you have nothing else to read/you need to read it/Run and buy it.
Source: Provided by Chapters Indigo in exchange for an honest review.
To buy the book on Chapters: here
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Hey guys! These days I was feeling like reading some contemporary (for once!) and I remembered about Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner. I ended up really falling into the story and reading it in a day!
Cameron’s cosplay–dressing like a fictional character–is finally starting to earn her attention–attention she hopes to use to get into the CalTech costume department for college. But when she wins a major competition, she inadvertently sets off a firestorm of angry comments from male fans.
When Cameron’s family moves the summer before her senior year, she hopes to complete her costume portfolio in peace and quiet away from the abuse. Unfortunately, the only comic shop in town–her main destination for character reference–is staffed by a dudebro owner who challenges every woman who comes into the shop.
At her twin brother’s suggestion, Cameron borrows a set of his clothes and uses her costuming expertise to waltz into the shop as Boy Cameron, where she’s shocked at how easily she’s accepted into the nerd inner sanctum. Soon, Cameron finds herself drafted into a D&D campaign alongside the jerky shop-owner Brody, friendly (almost flirtatiously so) clerk Wyatt, handsome Lincoln, and her bro Cooper, dragged along for good measure.
But as her « secret identity » gets more and more entrenched, Cameron’s portfolio falls by the wayside–and her feelings for Lincoln threaten to make a complicated situation even more precarious.
A geeky heart
This story spoke to me because it’s rooted in the « Geek » world. Fandoms, comics, cosplay, Dungeons and Dragons (I learned a lot about this game and kind of want to play it now!!)… and all the downsides too! Because just as the comics world can include all type of people and misfits, sometimes, the fans are very elitist. If you don’t do that, you are not a real fan. If you don’t know this character, you’re lame (not to say another world). This kind of hate is what Cameron, our main character, is confronted to. First of, because she is a girl and so, judged before even opening her mouth. As if she couldn’t like one universe for itself, it’s necessary to get some attention of course. This rang true because yes, girls are still judged when they have « non-classical » tastes, like it’s not possible and they are pretending. Just let us be ok? That’s what Cameron fights for, in her ways.
Second thing, what Cameron loves the most are the outfits of the comics or game characters. And she is ashamed for it, for not knowing the real story and just looking for costumes. But why can’t she just do what she likes?
I found that this book was really good in its objective: remembering us that we can love « Geeky » things but not all of them, that we can be girls and like dark comics, and that girls are just as capable as guys when it comes to gaming or being part of their favorite fandoms.
A beautiful passion
I do not know how to sew, I have no specific style, and fabrics are vague to me at best. But reading about Cameron creating all these beautiful outfits, arranging things in a unique way, it was fantastic! She really took me into her world. I also really liked her fighter side, because she is taken down so many times, and bullied online, but she keeps in mind what is important to her and what she likes to do!
And a good-hearted story
At the beginning of this book, Cameron is discriminated because she is a girl. Her plan: to dress as a boy, play and integrate a boy group, before revealing her real identity and showing all of them that she was brilliant AND a girl. Of course, not everything goes as planned, she gets herself involved in D&D games and with some pretty cute boys! And from there, the story gets complicated! In a teen way, but still keeping it’s deeper message: that girls are just as legit as boys, no matter what they decide to do. And that, unfortunately, still today, everything is a bit harder when you are a girl. But this book is also full of hope that one person at the time, things can change, and that us girls, have to keep fighting and doing what we like, no matter what!
In a few words
A quick and cute reads, perfect for a snowing day!
See you for a cup,