A Charming & Fiercely Feminist Story: Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner

Thursday, April 26, 2018


by Whitney Gardner
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: March 13th 2018
Source: Bought
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷1/2
Amazon - The Book Depository

OK, I'm going to need Whitney Gardner to write YA contemporaries forever and ever! I loved her debut book and Chaotic Good was equally amazing for me. It's a story of family, identity, love and fandom and what a glorious combination.

Cameron was a delightful human being who I wanted to protect at all costs. She's ridiculously talented at sewing and creating these amaze-balls costumes based off of comics. There was so much to adore about her. I particularly loved just how passionate she was about everything she got into. She is ambitious and devoted and has so many goals. You can't help but want to cheer her for her sheer determination. She's also a girl who repeatedly makes mistakes and that made her even more lovable in my book. Before her family moved her, she and her friends win a costume event at a con - only at the con, Cameron reveals to the audience that she's not a hardcore fan of the character the costume is based on. This garners the attention of horrible online fuckboys who probably live in their mom's basements. She is relentlessly bullied and the poor girl takes it all in on her own. It was hard to watch her stomach all the callous uncalled-for insults that the internet kept throwing her way, but throughout the book, Cameron finds a way to channel them in a positive way.

With all fanboys that were after her, it was easy to understand why she decides to cross-dress with the help of her twin brother in order to go to the comic shop in town. She winds up getting invited to play Dungeons & Dragons and finds herself befriending two very adorable boys. It was fun watching her friendship with one boy and romance with the other evolve. As a reader you know it's going to end up chaotically when the truth comes out, but the journey and ending are so worth it. There were so many great themes wrapped in this book. I loved all the conversations about sexism, fandoms (reminiscent to GamerGate), and the feminist vs. feminine debate. Whitney Gardner certainly doesn't hold back and I was impressed! I also really fell in love with all the secondary cast in Chaotic Good. I had a huge soft spot for Lincoln, Cameron's love interest. He was just the sort of love interests I love in YA books, soft, genuine and kind. And his reaction to discovering Cameron's reality? UGH SO CUTE! Cameron's twin brother, Cooper, also made for a fantastic addition. In fact, her whole family was a big part of the story and it made my heart very happy to see loving parents involved in the kids' lives!

I love how well Whitney Gardner is constantly able to blend together fluff and important conversations. She truly is a remarkable author. If you're looking for a charming and fiercely feminist story, Chaotic Good is just the read for you.

Have you read Chaotic Good? What are some YA books you've read that handle geekdom?
Let me know in the comments below!

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