Apr 25, 2016

A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers & Other Badass Girls edited by Jessica Spotswood

Title: A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers & Other Badass Girls
Editor: Jessica Spotswood
Authors: J. Anderson Coats, Andrea Cremer, Y. S. Lee, Katherine Longshore, Marie Lu, Kekla Magoon, Marissa Meyer, Saundra Mitchell, Beth Revis, Caroline Tung Richmond, Lindsay Smith, Jessica Spotswood, Robin Talley, Leslye Walton, Elizabeth Wein
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: March 8, 2016
From an impressive sisterhood of YA writers comes an edge-of-your-seat anthology of historical fiction and fantasy featuring a diverse array of daring heroines.

Criss-cross America — on dogsleds and ships, stagecoaches and trains — from pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago. Join fifteen of today’s most talented writers of young adult literature on a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own course. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They're making their own way in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenals, facing down murderers and marriage proposals. And they all have a story to tell.
I like stories about girls. I like stories with lots of diversity. It was pretty obvious that I was going to like this book.

I mean, I didn't love each and every story in it. With different authors there obviously were different writing styles and storylines that I favored, but I can't think of any story that I didn't enjoy reading. There were some that I would read a whole novel about and some where I didn't mind when they ended, but there were none that I wouldn't read again.

I dog-eared the pages where my favorite stories started, and it got to the point that I had to stop myself if I didn't want to mark every story. I ended up with four pages folded down; the first pages of "El Destinos" by Leslye Walton, "The Red Raven Ball" by Caroline Tung Richmond, "The Legendary Garrett Girls" by Y. S. Lee, and of "Hard Times" by Katherine Longshore.

As written in Spotswood's introduction, "women—especially queer women, women of color, and women with disabilities—have too often been erased from history." This book does a good job providing stories of what might have happened for girls who want see themselves represented. While it's not a solution, and the problem can never be solved, it was a valuable find for someone who likes history (and seeing herself represented in it) as much as I do.

Over the past few weeks I've been pretty busy and being able to read this book in multiple sittings (a story at a time) was the only thing that made it possible for me to read it at all. No story was too long, and I always looked forward to reading the next one. On that note, I'd definitely recommend this book for something like finals week. While I didn't save it until then, being able to reward myself with a story after each study session would have definitely been helpful.

Overall each story was very engaging and it was nice to see stories that were all about women. If that's your cup of tea, then this is a good book for you.

My rating: 4.5/5 badly drawn books

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