Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner
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.
Nikki recommended this book to me and somehow that turned out well for her because she joined out DnD gorup! (I am definitely chaotic good, I used to think I was lawful good but I struggle with the lawful part, woops).
Also kudos to only having dice that camouflage in the picture when you’re trying to use them as props.
The book was fun and made me want to go play another session with our group (best part is that it includes some “comic” pages about their campaigns), but it also shows some of the elitism and preconceptions from nerds to outsiders.
For starters, it tackles the whole “if you wear dresses and take care of your image and worry about makeup, you’re not a legit nerd” thought. But it also shows how trying to keep a persona can be costly and it is hard keeping up with what you said and didn’t say and to whom you said it.
There is, obviously, a lot of DnD fun, a lot of talk about cosplay and making of the items (dresses, props, etc), and about blogging and just general interactions online with communities that are fans of something.
I enjoyed reading it but it isn’t really the style of book for me and I just didn’t feel it deeply to say to everyone to go read it. But if you like Geekerella and/or like DnD, you should give this a go and enjoy the fun and shenanigans!