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Ratings and Reviews (1 3 star ratings
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3.7 out of 5
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    2.5 stars

    I was SO looking forward to this short story collection, and I was SO disappointed. Unfortunately, this seems to be the general consensus from people who have read this book. The last time I read a collection of short stories, I absolutely loved it, and I found countless new authors that I was dying to read. As I picked up A Tyranny of Petticoats, I was expecting the same thing to happen, but I was sadly mistaken. This book is advertised as "15 stories of belles, bank robbers, and other badass girls," and the stories are arranged chronologically through American history, ranging from the Caribbean in the early 1700s to Chicago in the 1960s. I expected empowering stories of amazing, kick-ass American women throughout history. Yes, the stories all focused around female characters, but honestly I only found a few of them to be really inspiring or empowering. Most of them were just mediocre. I really disliked the first three stories of this collection. It felt like not enough happened in Mother Carey's Table and The Journey. They felt like they were chapters from a larger novel and I was missing the big picture. My least favorite story in the entire collection was Madeleine's Choice by Jessica Spotswood. I really enjoyed the writing style, so initially I rated this story a little higher, but the more I reflected on it, the more I realized that the main character of Madeleine was whiny and spoiled and the farthest thing from a strong, self-sufficient woman. She really drove me nuts. Despite my disappointment with the beginning of this book, I kept reading and I found a couple stories that I really loved. I have a soft spot in my heart for Civil Rights Era history, so The Whole World is Watching by Robin Talley really struck a chord with me. It was a beautiful and powerful story. My absolute favorite story of the bunch was High Stakes by Andrea Cremer. However, this was also one of the biggest disappointments for me. What made me so angry was that this absolutely amazing and unique plot line was wasted on a 20 page short story. I think a lot of my disappointment in these stories is that they were way too short. Most of them were around 20 pages long, and it just didn't give the authors enough time to tell a story with real value. Most of them felt like they could be a decent chapter in a full-length novel, but they just didn't cut it on their own.
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