Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner – Review

Title: Chaotic Good

Author: Whitney Gardner

Year of Publication: 2018 img_4221

Genre: YA Contemporary

Number of Pages: 245

Summary: From the book: “Soon-to-be senior Cameron hopes to complete her costume portfolio away from the online abuse she has endured since winning a cosplay contest dressed as a character from a game she’s never played. Unfortunately, the only comic shop in her new town—her main destination for character reference—is staffed by a dudebro who challenges every girl who comes into the shop.

At her twin brother’s suggestion, Cameron borrows a set of his clothes and uses her costuming experience to waltz into the shop as Boy Cameron, where she’s shocked at how easily she’s accepted into the nerd inner sanctum. Before she can say “Demogorgon,” Cameron finds herself drafted into a D&D campaign alongside the dudebro, a friendly (almost flirtatiously so) clerk, a handsome Dungeon Master, and her brother 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 her DM threaten to make a complicated situation even more precarious. Cosplay, comic shops, and college applications collide in this geek-girl anthem from You’re Welcome Universe author Whitney Gardner, complete with fully illustrated comic pages by Gardner herself.”

Review: Last year I read Geekerella by Ashley Poston and I ended up liking it so I much that when I saw I could get a signed copy in Indigo’s Once Upon a Summer Book Box, I jumped at the opportunity. Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner was included in this box, and I’m glad that it was because I ended up loving Chaotic Good.

My favourite thing about Chaotic Good was the characters; they felt like real, relatable people. There’s Cameron, the main character, who is dealing with thousands of cyberbullies who are trying to tell her to abandon her dreams. There’s Cooper, Cameron’s brother, who is also dealing with problems, including an ex that won’t leave him alone and wants to bring him down. There’s also Wyatt, Brody, and Lincoln who all have their moments and unique characteristics that made the book enjoyable to read. Finally, there’s Dotty, the lovely old lady who has a past of her own, who runs the craft store in town.

One of the other things that I liked about this book is that it did a good job dealing with relevant topics. It deals with things like cyberbully, sexual harassment, and consent. I found that the book was a good reminder that you’re not alone and that there are people who will do anything to help you, even if the problem seems impossible. It’s also a good reminder that people on the Internet are real, they have feelings, and we should be kind to everybody. There was a scene in this book where “Guy” Cameron is walking through the park, and she realizes how different it is for men, and I found this scene relatable, potentially eye-opening, and important. There was also an amazing scene dealing with consent that I ended up reading twice because it was that good.

The other reason why I loved this book is that it’s full of fun and geeky stuff. I’m one of those people who is afraid to step into the world of comic cons and comic book stores because I worry that I don’t belong. This book gave me the confidence to go to the local comic book store, and it ended up introducing me to Fables by Bill Willingham which is an amazing series that I recommend.

Overall, I recommend this book to everybody. The geeky references were a lot of fun, the characters were relatable, and in my opinion, it does a really good job dealing with some important topics that we need to start talking more about.

Favourite Quote: I wish people didn’t call them that. Trolls… They aren’t mythical creatures. You can’t look up how to defeat them in the Monster Manual. There are no critical hits, no saving rolls. They aren’t make-believe. They’re real. And they’re assholes.””

Rating: 4/5 Stars!




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