Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Chaotic Good” as Want to Read:
Chaotic Good
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Chaotic Good

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,893 ratings  ·  473 reviews
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
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 13th 2018 by Knopf
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Chaotic Good, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Rachael Bookfairs No. Cameron cross dresses in the story as a way to gain entry into the dude-bro heavy comic shop gaming world. She is not genderqueer. Her twin brothe…moreNo. Cameron cross dresses in the story as a way to gain entry into the dude-bro heavy comic shop gaming world. She is not genderqueer. Her twin brother however is a gay male.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,893 ratings  ·  473 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Chaotic Good
Elle (ellexamines)
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Whitney Gardner
I have really loved both of Whitney Gardner's contemporaries so far. Both are quite different from the usual cute fluffy romances / issue books that I seem to pick up all the time. She's got a strong writing voice, fantastic concepts, and a great commitment to casual diversity. 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
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-2
Cute and full of fandom-y moments. Cameron, who loves cosplay, is sick of being treated differently in fandom by guys because she happens to be a girl. When she goes into a comic book store, and is made fun of by the shop’s owner, she’s annoyed enough that with the help of her brother Cooper, she disguises herself as a boy the next time. All sorts of crazy nerdy fandom stuff ensues, including lots of Dungeons and Dragons and costume making. I liked the romance in this one, and the cool side char ...more
Fafa's Book Corner
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Review posted on 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
Dear audience for whom this is intended (cosplayers, D&D players, comic book readers, nerdy young adults and people who adore YA fiction, LGBTQA+ allies, geek feminists, people who are just now becoming concerned with gender norms and violence against women, and people who do not conform to white American Christian values): Go get this book immediately. I think you will love it.

I do not love it.

I had it in my mind, from looking at the cover and doing a quick skim of the dustjacket flap, that thi
Kelli O'Malley
Oct 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Gabrielle  (Has stopped making reading a chore)
I wrote a discussion review of this fantastic book with Mishma last year, and because I've gotten so bad at this blogging this, never got around to writing a proper review for this book, myself. I need to rectify this, soon.

I will say this for now: Chaotic Good is funny, wholesome and filled with heart. Whitney Gardner writes in an honest, passionate voice that leaps off the page and demands you to feel right along with Cameron. It was, somehow, even better the second time around.



Laura (bbliophile)
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-releases
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. ...more
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
“Chaotic good ones place a high value on free will: they always intend to do the right thing, even if their methods are haphazard and generally out of sync with the rest of society.”
Such a fun book!!!! I didn’t love You’re Welcome Universe when I read it last year, but Choatic Good is one of the best fandomy contemporaries I’ve read recently! We follow Cameron, an aspiring costume designer, who loves cosplaying comic characters. Cameron decides to dress up as her brother and join a l
Samantha (WLABB)
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
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:
Chaotic good ones place a high value on free will: they always intend to do the right thing, even if their
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
Holy guacamole.





This book (view spoiler) is the shit. It reminded me a lot of Eliza and Her Monsters and Fangirl.

I totally felt Cameron and her struggles as a girl-nerd living in a nerdom ruled by boys, most of whom resemble something that lives underneath a slimy bridge...or deep in a parent's basement. This book explores the differing levels of fandom—from cosplay to playing to delving into
Yvonne Olson
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Meg Eden
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner takes a unique and raw angle at both the joys and problems of being in the nerd community, particularly as a female. It follows Cameron, a cosplay seamstress and rising D&D player as she moves to a new town and tries to find her bearings in both in-person and online conflicts. The integration of comics is amazing, and really helps clarify what is D&D storyline and what is Cameron’s everyday storyline. I enjoyed the references to comic, gaming and
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: z-read-in2018
4.5 rounded up. It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty darn close.
Cody Roecker
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 Coop
Jamie (Books and Ladders)
See this review and more on Books and Ladders!

Actual Rating: 4.5*

I loved this so so much. The opening pages are things that have actually stopped me from participating in certain geek things. It was so nice to have my story told. I thought the ending was a little too easy but I loved every second of this entire book. Definitely a must read if you are sick of being called a fake geek girl.
Emmy Ruijven
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Geeky girls unite!
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was ridiculously cute and full of so much comic books and nerdy homage!! I loved it from start to finish. Even towards the end when the shit hit the fan. I was so invested emotionally. I needed her to succeed and overcome. I loved Cameron so much. But what really stole the show for me was the emotional connection with all the characters. I loved the relationship between the twins and their parents. The connection to each other. There’s this part at the end where Cameron and Cooper take a na ...more
nick (the infinite limits of love)

I loved this! It's a charming and fiercely feminist story that made my heart so full!
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I got a copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. This was a fun and cute read. It is mostly about coming of age and a girl trying to be comfortable with who she is in the geek culture world. There is also a lot about internet trolls harassing her and how poorly some men treat women that they think are invading their geek culture turf.

I loved some of the relationship twists and turns and loved the DnD references even more. The sections of DnD story are done in graphic novel st
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was lovely. Despite how most of us are aware of sexism in our modern society, this was the first time I ever truly witnessed from a male point of view how much power men truly command over women, even when not being openly sexist. Chaotic Good was like She's the Man... only so much better. I don't play D&D, sew, or cosplay, but that didn't stop me from falling in love with Cameron's story & the band of friends she finds herself falling into. ...more
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Delightful and awesome! These characters are so touching, their stories so sweet and real, my heart skipped a beat when I finished and then fell when I realized it was over. More to come closer to release date, but put this one on your TBR stat, you won't regret it. ...more
Rachel Kamery / Never Enough Novels
3.5 Stars - I'd love to see more young adult / fiction novels that feature geek culture, Dungeons & Dragons, and cosplay! However, this was a bit heavy handed on the "men are sexist pigs" narrative. Thankfully, my experience in this nerdy realm has been extremely positive and I'm hoping most other women haven't had to deal with anything close to the level of hatred showcased here. Besides that point, this was a fun ride and an adorable love story. I'd love to find more books like it! ...more
Jaye Berry
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebooks, 2019, contemporary, ya
What is this, the month of me reading books that I already knew I wouldn't like? I need to be stopped.

Chaotic Good is about a girl named Cameron who is into cosplay and making costumes. One day after getting gatekeeped by some dudebro at her local comic store, she decides to dress as a boy and then ends up joining their D&D group and things get carried away.

I'm not just a clown, I'm the whole circus. I do not like books about fandom/nerd culture and constant pop culture references. This one didn
Jamie Winter
In the aftermath of Gamergate and the havoc wrecked on geek girls on the internet comes a young adult contemporary about a female cosplayer finding herself the target of online hate. Cameron is an aspiring costume designer who wants nothing more than to make the fantastical costumes for all things nerdy. When a slip of the tongue throws her into a debate on ‘fake geek girls’ and judgment from the local comic shop manager Cameron and her twin brother come up with classic Twelfth Night scheme of d ...more
Kate Olson
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
@knopfteen #partner • When I heard this March 13th title is about a teen who designs and sews, I was instantly interested! And then I started reading and realized it’s about SO MUCH MORE than that. There are comics and cosplay and Dungeons and Dragons and bloggers and internet haters.....oh yeah, and some fabulous sewing scenes as well!

Given my lack of background knowledge about any of the cosplay and D & D stuff, I won’t attempt to “review” those. I loved the sewing and design aspects and the
Jamie-leigh Haughn
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
If you love all thing geeky/nerdy then you are going to LOVE this book! This book gave me so many She's The Man vibes, I can't even express how happy that made me!

This story follows Cam, a young fashionista who designs costumes for cosplay, in her attempt to create a new look and a new life for herself in a new town. She feels that she isn't taken seriously in the comic book world as a woman and decides to dress up as a boy to get better insight into a world she so wants to be a part of. The st
Noa Seidmann
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Absolutely loved this book. It made me cry, it made me laugh, it made me really want to improve my sewing skills.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you @kidlitexchange for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Another young adult book that took me completely by surprise. It was entertaining, full of great characters and contained an unique storyline that touched on some really important topics. Cameron is into cosplay and has a wonderful talent for making costumes. Her work and blog had recently received quite a bit of attention and not in a positive way. Everyone seems to have an opinion and they definitely don’t hol
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison Mega-Mara...: #68 - Chaotic Good 1 2 Apr 10, 2018 07:00AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Mosaic
  • Prince of Pot
  • Munro vs. the Coyote
  • Catching the Light
  • Recipe for Hate (The X Gang, #1)
  • The Agony of Bun O'Keefe
  • Black Chuck
  • I'll Be the One
  • The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly
  • Follow Your Arrow
  • Verona Comics
  • 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You
  • Ship It
  • Bookish and the Beast (Once Upon a Con, #3)
  • The Midwinter Witch (The Witch Boy, #3)
  • Don't Cosplay with My Heart
  • A Taste for Love
  • My Eyes Are Up Here
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Whitney Gardner is an author, illustrator, and coffee addict. Originally from New York, she studied design and worked as an art teacher and school librarian before moving to Victoria, BC, where she lives by the Salish Sea with her husband and two pugs. In the rare moment Whitney isn’t writing or drawing, she’s likely to be reading comics, knitting, or roasting her own coffee beans.

Related Articles

It's June, which means it's time to celebrate Pride month in honor of the LGBTQ+ community! This year, we wanted to highlight the...
258 likes · 47 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“I can curl my hair and paint my nails and wear my hand-sewn summer dresses. I can roll dice and design costumes for heroes and flip through comic books. All as myself. Finally.” 4 likes
“Chaotic good ones place a high value on free will: they always intend to do the right thing, even if their methods are haphazard and generally out of sync with the rest of society.” 2 likes
More quotes…