Chaotic Good

Chaotic Good

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 comple...

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Title:Chaotic Good
Author:Whitney Gardner
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Chaotic Good Reviews

  • Cody Roecker

    I've decided that Whitney Gardner's novels are perfectly my style.

    This book is wholesomely nerdy. Dungeons & Dragons and Cosplay. It's the most beautifully nerdy thing I've read in a long time.

    the art reminded me of Noelle Stevenson's NIMONA, and the story inside matched the heart of it all. I absolutely loved Cam, her grit, her love for costume making.

    Cam is one of those girls that is determined and committed to anything she does. and I loved that about her.

    I loved loved loved her twin

    I've decided that Whitney Gardner's novels are perfectly my style.

    This book is wholesomely nerdy. Dungeons & Dragons and Cosplay. It's the most beautifully nerdy thing I've read in a long time.

    the art reminded me of Noelle Stevenson's NIMONA, and the story inside matched the heart of it all. I absolutely loved Cam, her grit, her love for costume making.

    Cam is one of those girls that is determined and committed to anything she does. and I loved that about her.

    I loved loved loved her twin Cooper and really felt for him. My favorite little gay boy. <3

    and I loved Why even more.

    Lincoln was the purest boy who I also loved to death.

    I loved everything about this book.

    If I had to officially blurb it it would say this:

    "A nerdy feminist tale perfect for fans of NIMONA. With queer side characters, CHAOTIC GOOD shines in more ways than one. Filled with heart, humor, and nerdy goodness- CHAOTIC GOOD will carefully open your heart and sew it back together with the characters inside. Unforgettable, lovable, and just so fun. You need this in your life."

  • Yvonne Olson

    Oh, I definitely needed this book in my life.

    I remember being at work about a month ago, looking over the Kirkus reviews and seeing Chaotic Good. The first reaction I had was "Oh, that's so cool!" because I had never seen a DnD inspired contemporary. My second reaction is "I want to read this so bad." I immediately crossed my fingers and hoped it would be on Netgalley. To my delight, it was - and I got a galley!

    I think I read this book in 3 hours, I enjoyed it that much. I think everyone has bee

    Oh, I definitely needed this book in my life.

    I remember being at work about a month ago, looking over the Kirkus reviews and seeing Chaotic Good. The first reaction I had was "Oh, that's so cool!" because I had never seen a DnD inspired contemporary. My second reaction is "I want to read this so bad." I immediately crossed my fingers and hoped it would be on Netgalley. To my delight, it was - and I got a galley!

    I think I read this book in 3 hours, I enjoyed it that much. I think everyone has been able to relate to this before: moving to a new town, losing all your friends, and struggling to make new ones. Another layer to Cameron's stress is that she's getting a lot of hate online as people bash her passion and call her a fake geek because of her gender, and the first person she meets has the same outlook. She struggles with her identity and relationships strain because of this.

    As a girl, she never would have been invited to join a local DnD group, but when she shops dressed as a boy, she's treated with respect and gains friendships (one with the very boy who talked down to her.) The longer she waits to tell them she's a girl, the harder it is.

    I seriously cannot wait to own this book, you guys. It's going to be one I tell everyone to read (especially my DnD group... get ready, guys!)

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)

    I have really loved both of Whitney Gardner's contemporaries so far. Both are quite

    from the usual cute fluffy romances / issue books that I seem to pick up all the time. She's got a

    , fantastic

    , and a great commitment to

    . Her debut was a romance-free book about a Deaf street artist and the friendship she forms with a girl at her school. Her second novel is about a nerd girl who dresses as a boy to avoid harassment.

    I have to say, I don't t

    I have really loved both of Whitney Gardner's contemporaries so far. Both are quite

    from the usual cute fluffy romances / issue books that I seem to pick up all the time. She's got a

    , fantastic

    , and a great commitment to

    . Her debut was a romance-free book about a Deaf street artist and the friendship she forms with a girl at her school. Her second novel is about a nerd girl who dresses as a boy to avoid harassment.

    I have to say, I don't think I loved this quite as much as her debut. While our heroine, Cameron, is feisty and real, she doesn't have the snarky whit of Julia from

    . Given that the humor was maybe my favorite part of that book,

    .

    Don't worry, though; the nerdy bent of this novel made up for it.

    is a book about being a girl and trying to interact with nerd guys, and oh man, is it unfortunately relatable.

    I do have to say, in a book all about dressing up as a boy, I kinda wish there had been a mention of

    . You know, even a single mention. It's fairly easy to mention that kind of thing;

    by Riley Redgate did this very well just last year. But that's a fairly minor complaint.

    This book was most enjoyable to me during the geeky D&D sections as all the characters hung out together. I liked seeing all the characters play off each other, and I also LOVED the D&D stories. The

    is really special. In fact, the comic pages brought this story from “fairly okay” to “really fun”.

    That's pretty much all I have to say about this. It's clever and entertaining and short. Pick it up if you have the opportunity!!

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  • Laura (bbliophile)

    I really enjoyed how cute, feminist and nerdy this was, but I'm very disappointed that in a book about cross-dressing, there's not one mention of non-binary people. Nothing. Full review to come.

  • Samantha (WLABB)

    Fandoms and the Internet can get a girl down, but it might be ok, when she has a great group of people to support her. #pinzhasaposse.

    Loved so many things about this one. Loved the art, the story, the characters, the D&D, and so much more.

    ===========================================================================

    The title of this book is a nod to a common character trope. Gardner explains:

    Fandoms and the Internet can get a girl down, but it might be ok, when she has a great group of people to support her. #pinzhasaposse.

    Loved so many things about this one. Loved the art, the story, the characters, the D&D, and so much more.

    ===========================================================================

    The title of this book is a nod to a common character trope. Gardner explains:

    When Cameron finds herself the target of Internet ire and crosses paths with condescending mansplainer, Brody, she decides to assume the role of a chaotic good character, by masquerading as a boy, in order to prove a point to Brody. However, problems arise when she lets the rouse go on for too long, and she may have woven a web of lies too big to escape.

    I really enjoyed this nerdy and rather feminist story.

    Cameron was an engaging protagonist, who embodied many chaotic good qualities. She was big hearted and often had good intentions, but didn't always make the best decisions. She was riddled with guilt over hiding her identity, and started to lose herself a little. What I will say, is that she learned from her mistakes and grew a lot over the course of the story.

    I felt so bad for Cameron when the Internet attacked. I have never been big on fandoms, and one of the reasons is the negative experiences I have had with members of some fandoms. It's good to be passionate, but some people take it too far, and that is exactly what happened to Cameron in this story. My heart went out to Cam as she tried to battle back against the attacks, but the whole time, I wished she had asked for help or even just support, because she had some fantastic people in her corner.

    Gardner assembled such a wonderful supporting cast, and I adored getting to know each and every one of them. I loved Why and all his nerdtasticness, Lincoln and his smooth storytelling skills, and Nana Dotty, who was just so fabulous and a true champion for Cam. Well, that and I have a soft spot for incredible grandmas.

    I was really impressed with some of the choices Gardner made for her characters. For instance, Cam's parents were "later in life" parents. I wouldn't say you rarely see almost 60 year old parents in most YA and it was an welcome change. I also loved that the romantic interest was geeky and DID NOT have washboard abs. In fact, Cameron describes him as "soft". I love this, because in reality, not everyone has washboard abs, and it's nice to see some "average" people featured in stories.

    Speaking of the love interest, I was all over this romance. The two were very sweet together, and the way Gardner wrote about Cam's attraction was so adorable and believable. She also incorporated the concept of consent into one of their make-out sessions, which I think we need to see more in books, as it's relevant and important in today's society.

    As far as the story goes, I enjoyed being a part of Cam's creative process. My daughter's undergraduate degree is in costume design, so it's a world I am familiar with, and always in awe of. But I had the most fun during the D&D campaigns. I would not say I was a big D&D player, but it was huge when I was teen, and therefore, I dabbled a little. This was a fun walk down memory lane, and I totally found myself engrossed in those segments of the story. Lincoln's storytelling was fabulous, but then Gardner added these amazing illustrations that just elevated it even more.

    This book was stuffed with nerdy fun, a strong family focus, and great characters, which amused and entertained me, but also gave me many things to think about with respect to some of the issues exclusive to women.

    *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

  • Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)

    *I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

    My two impressions of this book:

    1. Wow! So cute and feminist and fun!

    2. Holy prolonged drama, Batman! I can say that without knowing anything about Batman, because this book is about being allowed to enjoy comics however you choose to, dammit.

    Let's go in order.

    Cute and feminist and fun? So good. I love that Cameron's a cosplayer and that costume design is an important part of the book. It's really fun to read about.

    *I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

    My two impressions of this book:

    1. Wow! So cute and feminist and fun!

    2. Holy prolonged drama, Batman! I can say that without knowing anything about Batman, because this book is about being allowed to enjoy comics however you choose to, dammit.

    Let's go in order.

    Cute and feminist and fun? So good. I love that Cameron's a cosplayer and that costume design is an important part of the book. It's really fun to read about. The love interest is really sweet and so is the romance by extension. Looking back I think the whole part of the book where Cam is becoming part of this group of guys while pretending to be one went a little fast, and making that part more developed could have raised the stakes on her eventually having to explain she's a girl. But there are other things going on in the book, so I can let it slide.

    Cam is also struggling with internet hate as her cosplay blog attracts tons of douchebros angry that she's a "fake geek", which intersects with this guy in real life who is condescending to every girl who walks into the comics shop. Everything coming down on her for daring to be a girl at once is what makes her feel safer pretending to be a boy, and is the driving force behind the real point of the book: Cam regaining her confidence even as jerks across the internet do their best to make her feel worthless.

    In my opinion, the book does best when it's leaning on the cute romance, the sibling relationship (which is also great), or Cam reconciling her feminist ire with the fact that she doesn't feel safe anymore and then finding her confidence again.

    When the book doesn't do well? That's when it's forcing the drama to outlast when it should have ended. And look, I get it: the book needs a plot. That's a thing books need. But the solution to your plot running out too soon are not thin excuses that get the job of expanding the plot done — at that point you need to go back to the drawing board and reconfigure the pacing of the book so the plot lasts as long as it has to. For me, I reached a point of frustration at 70% of the book where I stopped buying the characters's reasoning for why misunderstandings hadn't been clear up.

    That doesn't mean everything after 70% was bad. There were still plenty of things I enjoyed, and a lot of the emotional scenes after that point still hit me hard, although frustration sometimes hit me harder. I still really enjoyed this. I'm so here for Squirrel Girl cosplay and scrabble with made up words and D&D romance.

  • Brooke — brooklynnnnereads

    I really enjoyed this book and it was a pleasant surprise because admittedly, I didn't think I was going to enjoy this book as much as I did.

    When I first started this novel, it seemed very different to the content that I would typically read about. Although I would consider myself a fairly "nerdy" female, I don't know very much about comics, cosplay, or Dungeons and Dragons. So when all of these things were introduced, I was pretty hesitant and apprehensive about how much I would like this nove

    I really enjoyed this book and it was a pleasant surprise because admittedly, I didn't think I was going to enjoy this book as much as I did.

    When I first started this novel, it seemed very different to the content that I would typically read about. Although I would consider myself a fairly "nerdy" female, I don't know very much about comics, cosplay, or Dungeons and Dragons. So when all of these things were introduced, I was pretty hesitant and apprehensive about how much I would like this novel.

    Plot twist, I thought this book was so good! Even though I didn't know the specifics of any of those hobbies or interests, the main point of the novel wasn't about any of that (although I did find myself becoming very interested). It was such an important novel and I related to it at such a familiar level as a female.

    Along with having an important message, this story unfolded in an entertaining way. The writing style flowed and I became invested in each of the characters (even a character who I didn't necessarily enjoy in the beginning). As well, I really enjoyed the portions that were told in a comic book format.

    It was an important novel about the power of being female but it was also a fun novel to read. I definitely will be looking forward to reading more from Whitney Gardner in the future.

    ***Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review***

  • Fafa's Book Corner

    Beware spoilers ahead!

    Trigger warning: Cyber bullying

    I heard about Chaotic Good through GR. It hasn't really been that well advertised or talked about. The synopsis reminded me off Moxie which I read and thoroughly enjoyed. I am happy to say that I enjoyed it!

    Cameron (Cam for short) and her family has just recently moved to Eugene. Cameron is a cosplayer and really wants to get into the university of her dreams. Chaotic Good begins with Cameron shopping in a

    Beware spoilers ahead!

    Trigger warning: Cyber bullying

    I heard about Chaotic Good through GR. It hasn't really been that well advertised or talked about. The synopsis reminded me off Moxie which I read and thoroughly enjoyed. I am happy to say that I enjoyed it!

    Cameron (Cam for short) and her family has just recently moved to Eugene. Cameron is a cosplayer and really wants to get into the university of her dreams. Chaotic Good begins with Cameron shopping in a comic shop where she is harassed by Brody. At some point Cameron gets a paid cosplay request. In order to make the costume properly Cameron has to make another trip to the comic shop. Although this time Cameron will go in as a boy.

    I had fun reading Chaotic Good! It's written in first person in Cameron's point of view. There are chapter titles and a drawing of a dice with the chapter number. Comic strips of D and D are scattered around the book. Also there are text messages and blog posts.

    I really liked all the comic references! There were so many throughout the book and it really did give the book a geeky feel. Cam's cosplay costumes were so much fun to read about! Gardner clearly did her research. From the sewing, the fabric shopping. sewing machine terminology, Cam's thimble collection, and to the costumes themselves. It was fantastic!

    The D and D role playing was tons of fun! While I have heard of the game I didn't know anything about it. The characters were so vivid as was the setting. The d-dice was also fun. For some reason I really like that dice. 

    There was diversity! Wyatt was black and gay. And Cam's twin brother Cooper was gay as well. Lincoln was fat. I liked how Gardner did a good job intergrating these characters into the plot without making their character arc's only about their diversity.

    I really liked Cam's character! I totally understood and empathized with her plights. I liked how well done the idea and the act of courage was done for her story arc. Cam was nice and strong willed. But also had glaring flaws that were realistic. Her character arc definitely gave Moxie vibes and I was here for that.

    I liked the relationship Cam had with her family! They were all supportive off each other. And some of their lines to each other were so funny. The twin aspect was done well. Cam and Cooper had nicknames for one another. I thought they were adorable!

    The couples were cute! It was nice that Cam was actually attracted to a fat guy. Cooper and Wyatt also worked well together. The author also did a splendid job exploring unhealthy relationships. Cooper's ex Farrin (real name is Brian) plays a huge role in his story arc. I felt that it was necessary and not just useless drama.

    Cyber bullying is a main theme throughout Chaotic Good. Cam get death threats and essentially bullied simply because she's a female cosplayer. Brody's character plays a major role in this arc. As he believes that all females are fake and only into geeky things to get attention. I liked how as a boy Cam continuously gave it to him. It is implied that Brody does improve but it's not really shown.

    I do some have dislikes. For starters I think that Cam kept up the boy disguise far too long. To a point where Wyatt's feelings were hurt. I do understand why she donned the disguise but it went on for an unnecessarily long time. Cooper was selfish and annoying. It felt that he turned the boy disguise situation about himself. He was definitely right and he didn't know everything that Cam went through, but could've said it better. 

    While the couples were cute it felt rushed. Chaotic Good is a small book that took place over the whole summer. I fell that maybe had it been longer that would've made a difference. Chaotic Good is supposed to be empowering for women. But I didn't get that vibe. When it comes out that Cam is a girl and that Lincoln and Cooper knew, the only person truly blamed was Cam. Wyatt was upset for a short time at Lincoln but that's it. This really grated on my nerves because I felt that it defeated the whole purpose of Chaotic Good.  

    I really didn't like how Wyatt and Cooper got together. Cooper glues himself to Wyatt after it comes out that Cam is a girl. He did this to cheer up Wyatt by lending him his shoulder and to also start a relationship with him. This put a bitter taste in my mouth. I'm not saying that they shouldn't have gotten together. But I would've preferred another way for that to happen.

    While I enjoyed Cam's character I kind of wished we got a story arc with Brina (Brody's crush). Brina was so brave! When she came to the comic store she didn't freeze Brody, nor did she really care what he said to her and about her. Brina would've been an interesting main character.

    Also it is stated that Cam and Cooper are going to be in their last year of high school after summer. Now what I don't get it why is Cam applying for university this early? I know there are early admissions but I'm pretty sure those start later on. Could someone please clarify that in the comments? Thanks! 

    Overall I enjoyed this book. I definitely recommend it to everyone. Especially if you liked Moxie.      

  • Rachel Strolle

    Pure geek cuteness

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