Chaotic Good

Chaotic Good

Book - 2018
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Cameron wants only to complete her costume portfolio in peace, but when a trip to the local comic shop results in a hostile reception from a male employee, she returns disguised as a boy at her twin brother's suggestion and finds herself drafted into a D & D campaign.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, [2018]
Edition: First Edition.
ISBN: 9781524720803
Characteristics: 249 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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This book was a super quick read, and enjoyable the whole way through! It was easy to connect to the main character and her struggles, especially as a woman.

Gr33nbird Feb 16, 2019

This is a great book! It's about the real stuff lady geeks deal with for being female in geek-centric realms like gaming, comic book stores, and conventions. Gardner gets bonus points for drawing the characters' D&D sessions as a comic embedded in the text!

Oct 15, 2018

Full disclosure: I am a D&D fan and a role-playing game fanatic. I live and breathe RPGs, so of course I was going to read a book about a girl who loves cosplay and geek culture.

Chaotic Good looks at Cameron, a cosplayer who gets into a bit of a nerd-fight when she cosplays Cloud from Final Fantasy VII and tells everyone she has never played the game, but loved his design. This starts flame wars and troll battles on her cosplay blog, and Cameron has to deal with the fallout. On top of all that, she is applying to a costuming department and has to create five original pieces of her own, and Cameron feels like this is impossible because she only knows how to craft characters she is familiar with.

What a mouthful! But seriously, this was a fun and easy read. It was a book I found myself relating to, especially in situations when Cameron would go to the comic book store and get told she was a "fake geek girl" (which honestly, whoever coined that needs to be slapped -- hard). Whitney Gardner does an amazing job of showing and telling her readers about how toxic comic book and geek culture can be, or how it's male dominance has always tried to keep women out. She also shows constructs for how we can change this perspective, which I thought was admirable.

Plus, it's about Dungeons & Dragons! I love D&D, and I have so much fun playing it. I loved the artwork that was present, showing off how the campaign would be imagined. I also loved the characters, both in-game and in real life. I found them all to be flawed, but fun none-the-less. I really adored Cooper, as he made me laugh, and his storyline with Cameron's is one I think many people may be able to relate to.

Anywho, Chaotic Good is a cheeky, sassy, fun read. It was a book I gobbled up because I am a sucker for books that look at gaming culture in any way, and this hit the sweet spot for me.

Sep 06, 2018

3.75 - 4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy quirky YA contemporary novels, or the female perspective within "nerd culture".

This story follows Cam a cosplay genius. She makes her own costumes, blogs, takes them to cons, etc. But when she moves from Portland to Eugene, she finds herself unable to go into the comic shop without the owner's nephew mansplaining during her entire visit. Naturally, to visit the shop and avoid the awkwardness, she cosplays as a boy. When the guys at the shop ask the guy version of her to play D&D with them, she thinks this is just what she needs to finish her portfolio for costume design school... however, it might jeopardize brand new friendships along the way.

This book was a lot of fun to read. It reminded me a little bit of Fan Girl. It definitely had that nerdy, coming of age feel to it. However, the D&D bits were woven in a bit more directly, and a bit more subtle than the fan fic in Fan Girl. I loved that this was also a critique of what it is like to be a female who is interested in things withing nerd culture, it can be hard. While I haven't dealt with a lot of these issues first hand, I have lots of friends who have. I appreciated it being addressed here. I loved Cam's character. It was so fun to read about her nerdy and creative pursuits, it makes me wish that I could sew! hehe I loved Dot, I loved Cam's family, I honestly could have done with a little more of the family dynamics within the novel as well. Dot and Lincoln were the cutest, and I'd have loved to know more about them! Overall I think this book is a little bit niche, but is definitely accessible if you are interested in it. My knowledge of D&D and Cosplay are fairly low, and I didn't have any issues with it. I really liked the illustrations thrown in here and there. I think it would have been neat to see sketches of her costumes as well!


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