Edited by: Jessica Spotswood
Hardcover: 368 pages
Published by: Candlewick Press (March 8, 2016)
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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.
With stories by:
J. Anderson Coats
Y. S. Lee
Caroline Tung Richmond
Typically for me, anthologies can go one of three ways...
1. I have to force myself to finish it. (I'm still working my way through My True Love Gave To Me, because so many people love it so much.)
2. I DNF it because it just didn't catch my attention enough.
3. I speed through it. (Which, luckily, was the case with Tyranny.)
Going into A Tyranny of Petticoats, I was expecting a lot of historical fiction. I was stoked to read about belles, bank robbers, and other badass girls as advertised on the front cover, and I got a whole bunch of that, but what I wasn't expecting were some of the stories that ended up having paranormal aspects to it. It's not that I didn't enjoy those stories. I did, for the most part, but the ones I found myself enjoying the most were the ones focused on purely historical events that happened and the girls who just happened to find themselves in the middle of them.
There were a few out of the fifteen individual stories that I just didn't care for, or didn't really understand what exactly was going on until I read the Author's Note at the end. I'm so thankful that I didn't form an opinion on the rest of the novel based on a couple of those stories and just quit reading, because I'm getting to the point in my reading 'career' that I hardly hesitate about DNF-ing a book. Something told me not to give up just yet on Tyranny because of a few bad eggs, and I'm so glad I listened to that inner voice of mine. (Plus my mom read it before I got the chance to and she also swore that I would really end up enjoying it. Like always, she was right, but don't tell her I said that. It'll go straight to her head.)
My favorite short stories from Tyranny were as follows..
Madeleine's Choice by Jessica Spotswood (set in May 1826: New Orleans) - This one hit me right in the feels.
Pearls by Beth Revis (set in 1876: Chicago & Cheyenne, Wyoming) - The girl in this story is such a badass! Plus, I really liked seeing an appearance from Annie Oakley.
Girl in the Roots of the Grass by Marissa Meyer (set in 1877: Deadwood, Dakota Territory) - This short story was one that I never wanted to end. I want this to be an ENTIRE BOOK because I loved the characters so much, even if it featured a little bit of paranormal-ness. AH! Seriously. More. Gimme. Gimme.
The Legendary Garrett Girls by Y.S. Lee (set in Jan. 1898: Skaguay, Alaska) - This one was probably my second favorite of the bunch, because not only does it feature two amazingly badass sisters, but it also gave me a case of the giggles by the end. I won't give anything away, but they have the word 'legendary' describing them in the title of their story, and if that isn't a hint at what's to come from them, I don't know what is.
The Color of the Sky by Elizabeth Wein (set in 1926: Jacksonville, Florida, and Dallas) - I think Elizabeth Wein's short story was the one I was looking forward to most, and like always, she didn't disappoint. I was on the edge of my seat for the entirety of Antonia's story of self-discovery and dreams. Tyranny is worth picking up just to read Wein's contribution.
My last two favesies worth mentioning were Bonnie and Clyde by Saundra Mitchell and Hard Times by Katherine Longshore. There were a ton of authors in Tyranny that I have never read anything by, and I ended up loving their storytelling so much that I now want to pick up some of their full size novels. If an author can wow me within 20-30 pages, I think that's more than enough to prove that a full length book by them would absolutely blow me away. If I took anything at all from Tyranny (besides a lot of eye-opening historical events), it would be that, and I think it's 100% worth reading if you're curious about any of the authors that contributed to give you a taste test before you buy one of their other books. It's easier to commit to a short story before a 300+ page book that you might end up DNF-ing because you couldn't click with the writing.
Without a doubt in my mind, I will be picking up the next installment of short stories that Jessica Spotswood puts out, because this anthology is one of the first to fully hld my attention throughout, regardless of the slower parts, and I'm excited to see which parts of history the new contributing authors choose to write about. I give 4 pieces to A Tyranny of Petticoats.