November 21, 2016

Review: A Tyranny of Petticoats

A Tyranny of Petticoats by various authors (edited by Jessica Spotswood)
Grade: B
Summary: 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.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Short story anthologies, ever since My True Love Gave to Me, are rising to the spotlight in YA lately. I, for one, like this trend as long as it produces anthologies like A Tyranny of Petticoats. There's an abundance of anthologies coming in 2017 and some of the sound pretty good, so I might have to do a general discussion post about them. 
I liked that there were author notes after each story to give additional historical background or tell why the story was what the author felt compelled to tell. I would've liked a story or two during the colonial and Revolutionary War periods. As always, many of the short stories could've used a little more development. But, per usual, I'm going to do this review story by story.

"Mother Carey's Table" by J. Anderson Coats
Interesting. I didn't really start to love it until the end. 3/5 stars
"The Journey" by Marie Lu
Fascinating, and I was engaged throughout. It lacked that extra connection for me, though. 4/5 stars.
"Madeleine's Choice" by Jessica Spotswood
I loved the atmosphere of this one and the imperfection of life that it depicted. 4.5/5 stars.
"El Destinos" by Leslye Walton
I liked this one less on my reread. It is rich in details and background, but it was missing something that I can't name. 3.5 stars.
"High Stakes" by Andrea Cremer
I don't really like paranormal fiction of any type, and the protagonist had no personality. 2 stars.
"The Red Raven Ball" by Caroline Tung Richmond
Good, but I didn't love it. Like many short stories, it lacked that personal connection, that depth, that a good story needs. 3/5 stars.
"Pearls" by Beth Revis
I loved Helen and got a good feel for the other characters, too. I would've loved for this to be a longer piece. 4.5/5 stars.
"Gold in the Roots of the Grass" by Marissa Meyer
Not my favorite of Marissa's work. The main character felt like a caricature, and the plot was shaky. 3 stars.
"The Legendary Garrett Girls" by Y.S. Lee
Loved that the story was led by sisters. I really enjoyed the spirit in this one, and it fit the short story genre well. 4.5 stars.
"The Color of the Sky" by Elizabeth Wein
Bessie Coleman, YAS. I did like this story, but I think I'm tired of Elizabeth Wein writing about pilots. 4/5 stars.
"Bonnie and Clyde" by Saundra Mitchell
This story was fun and realistic and had a strong voice. 4.5 stars.
"Hard Times" by Katherine Longshore
I loved the hint of romance, and Rosie reminded me of Kit Kittredge in a few ways. Kit was always one of my favorite American Girls. 4 stars.
City of Angels by Lindsay Smith
I've never been able to get into Lindsay's writing. The prose in this story was too sparse for me, and the protagonist felt one-dimensional. 2/5 stars.
Pulse of the Panthers by Kekla Magoon
Good, interesting, but it was missing just a little something. 4.5 stars.
The Whole World Is Watching by Robin Talley
I had just learned about this protest in my history class when I read this anthology for the first time, which I think made this story a bit more exciting than it actually is. The protagonist isn't bad, but the secondary characters needed more depth. 3.5 stars.

The Verdict: Anthologies can be very hit-or-miss, but AToP generally impressed. (Also, can I just say I'm so glad Mackenzi Lee is going to be part of the second anthology? It's about time, after her weekly Bygone Badass Broads tweets.)

Will I be adding this book to my library?: Already did, courtesy of one of my Secret Sisters.

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