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Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy Hardcover – July 11, 2017
All Books, All the Time
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"A diverse array of high-profile authors are showcased . . . and the inclusion of the BookTubers is an interesting idea that allows for a range of perspectives. The concept alone is enough to draw readers, so stock up--it’s never been so fun to be bad." - Booklist
"An explosively entertaining joy ride of villainous goodness." - Kirkus Reviews
"A pretty wicked collection of wicked deeds." - BCCB
About the Author
Ameriie is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, producer, and lifestyle bon vivant. The daughter of a Korean artist and an American military officer, she was born in Massachusetts, raised all over the world, and graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor's in English. She began writing at the age of seven, stories of fairies and pirates and witches and phantoms. She lives mostly in her imagination, but also on Earth with her husband, her parents and sister, and about seven billion other people. When she isn't writing or creating music, she talks books, beauty, and more on her YouTube channel Books Beauty Ameriie.
Top customer reviews
Because You Love to Hate Me, edited by Ameriie
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley
Summary (from Goodreads):
In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains' points of view.
These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like "Medusa," Sherlock Holmes, and "Jack and the Beanstalk" provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains' acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage--and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!
Featuring writing from . . .
Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon
BookTubers: Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA blog and TheLushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel).
What I Liked:
I'm not usually one to read anthologies - short stories make me want more, but there is no more, because that's the point of a short story. Why bother getting worked up about it, when you can just not read short stories (or an anthology). Because when I saw this anthology, with so many of my favorite authors contributing, I threw out my usual logic regarding anthologies and jumped at the chance to take a peek in advance.
These tales of villainy are masterful and incredible. In thirty or so pages, each author has created an intriguing and captivating story that (you guessed it) left me wanting more. But at the same time, when I got to the end of each story, most of the time I was like "no waaaaaay" or "holy guacamole" or simply "OMG!". Each story tended to have a sneakily surprising ending, and the ending was always satisfying (in a twisted way). These are tales of villainy, centered around the villain, and none of the tales end in a cute happily-ever-after. Which made the stories all the more incredible!
In general, every story was a fantastic short story, well-written and captivating. Some started a little slowly, but it only took a page or two for me to become hooked. These stories are twisted and strange, and I enjoyed them all. I'm going to talk about some of my favorite ones. No disrespect to the other authors/stories that I don't mention! The following ones were simply too good not to talk about.
The Blood of Imuriv by Renée Ahdieh: honestly, half the reason why I decided to read this anthology was to read Renée Ahdieh's story. This story is on the shorter side, but it is dense and the ending is shocking (sort of). It is classic Ahdieh, with rich storytelling and immersive writing.
Jack by Ameriie: woah, I did not see that ending coming! Though I probably should have. This story is sort of based on Jack and the Beanstalk, but it is darker than what we know of that story (the mainstream version, anyway). I was so caught up in the story unfolding that the ending really took me by surprise! In a good way.
Gwen and Art and Lance by Soman Chainani: on paper, I hated this story. I never really liked the story of King Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot - I mean, I hate love triangles. But this short story was fascinating. It is told entirely in texting format (which was so cool!), and it gets dramatic very quickly. Gwen wants to go to prom with Art, but Lance wants to go with her, but Gwen doesn't want to go with him, nor does she want Art (Lance's best friend) to know that she and Lance have been sleeping together... yeah, it's a mess. And I really don't like Gwen. But I was so amused by the story, and definitely by how it was written. It's an interesting retelling.
Shirley & Jim by Susan Dennard: this one is one of my favorite favorites! At first I was like, ewww, a young man named "Jim"?! I love how Shirley calls him James though. That was adorable. Anyway, this story is told in letter format (Shirley is writing a letter to her friend Jean), and it is so cool. I love how the story is told and how it progresses. By the time you get to the ending, you know what's coming, and yet it still surprises you a little. I loved falling in love with Shirley and James (James! Not Jim!), and I loved seeing how it ended.
The Sea Witch by Marissa Meyer: this story is a sort-of retelling of The Little Mermaid. Wow it was trippy. I loved it so much. Nerit wants to make a love spell to make the prince fall in love with her, but things go awry. I liked how long this story felt, despite it being only twenty-two pages in length. Meyer does an amazing job of passing time and making it feel like a full story.
Beautiful Venom by Cindy Pon: this story made me happy and then sad and then mad. I love how Pon made me go through a roller coaster of emotions. This story has everything dark and curious - seduction, betrayal, curses, death. This story is based a little on the story of Medusa.
Death Knell by Victoria Schwab: of course I loved this story. I love how Schwab tells stories. Pieces are revealed bit by bit, so you are wondering what is going on but at the same time you are caught up in the story, so you're not totally anxious to know everything. Death and a girl named Grace - an unlikely pair. I liked the ending of this one!
Indigo and Shade by April Genevieve Tucholke: I loved this story, because it comes very close to having a happily-ever-after. The love story within this one is beautiful, and the author does it justice. I liked the arrogant, god-like hero who knows how good-looking and good-at-everything he is. He has a good heart, for a villain.
I didn't talk about every story, but I still recommend them. The Blessing of Little Wants by Sarah Enni, Marigold by Samantha Shannon, You, You, It's All About You by Adam Silvera, Julian Breaks Every Rule by Andrew Smith, and Sera by Nicola Yoon are the remaining stories and believe me, they are worth the read in addition to the ones I already discussed. No story in this anthology was boring or bad!
What I Did Not Like:
I really hope this doesn't come across as too offensive buuuuuuut... I didn't really care for the booktubers' contributions to this anthology. I know, I know, that's part of the appeal of this anthology. Hear me out. There are thirteen short stories, written by thirteen authors. After each short story, there is a one- to two-page commentary written by a booktuber. Thirteen stories, thirteen "commentaries". Each commentary is in a different style, and some aren't specifically commentaries. Some are lists, some are in the form of Instagram posts, a forum. All good stuff. I thought this was going to be an anthology of stories written by authors AND booktubers - like, an author writes one story, a booktuber writes one story, and so on. Twenty-six stories, if you will. Or maybe one author and one booktuber co-wrote a story. That is not the case - the booktubers do not write stories.
If I'm being honest, after the first booktuber contribution (Christine Riccio's signs that you're a villain - really fun list, by the way), I skipped the rest of them. I didn't read any of the other contributions. I liked Christine's just fine, and I'm sure the other ones were interesting, but I wanted to read stories, and so I moved on to each author's story when I came to the booktuber's part. The booktubers' contributions didn't seem essential to the anthology; therefore, I didn't bother.
Does that make sense? I didn't feel the need to read these one- to two-page contributions, and so I didn't. The idea is neat and maybe if I reread this book, I'll read the booktubers' contributions, but I was more interested in reading the stories, and that's what I did.
Would I Recommend It:
In terms of the short stories, this anthology was phenomenal. I don't even like anthologies and yet I highly recommend this one. These stories were so highly creative, diverse, engrossing, and occasionally bizarre. All of the authors really hit the mark with the theme of this anthology. I wouldn't read this anthology if you're looking for happily-ever-afters and cute romances. Most stories don't have romances and none of them have traditional HEAs. But that's part of the appeal!
4 stars. I enjoyed this anthology and I'm glad I broke out of my "no anthologies!" mindset for this one. The contributing authors are so talented and their work is quality. Don't miss out!
This anthology got off to a rocky start, but overall it was a good read. I will say I skimmed a lot of the Booktubers essays, there were a few that were interesting, but overall I feel like they didn’t add a lot to the story. Of course, my favorite story was from Victoria Schwab, but there were quite a few that stood out.
1. The Blood of Imuriv by Renee Ahdieh & Christine Riccio
4 stars. What a great start to this anthology, but is anyone surprised? It’s Renee Ahdieh after all. Honestly, this would make an amazing full-length novel.
2. Jack by Ameriie & Tina Burke
2 stars. There was nothing inherently wrong with this, it’s just soooo boring. I don’t know, I’ve never found the Jack and Beanstalk story interesting at all.
3. Gwen and Art and Lance by Soman Chainani & Samantha Lane
2 stars. I didn’t like how this was told though text messages. I think this could have been so much better if it wasn’t. I mean, it takes the King Arthur legend and combines it with the Persephone and Hades myth. This should have been more interesting.
4. Shirley & Jim by Susan Dennard & Sasha Alsberg
2 stars. This one was disappointing because I love Sherlock Holmes. This definitely missed its full potential.
5. The Blessing of Little Wants by Sarah Enni & Sophia Lee
3 stars. This one was really weird, it’s about a sorcerer who’s looking for immortality. I’m positive I still don’t fully understand what happened. But after the last 3 stories this was pretty good.
6. The Sea Witch by Marissa Meyer & Zoe Herdt
4.5 stars. Ayyyyyy! This. Was. So. Good. Finally! This was about Nerit, a mermaid, and she is truly villainous. *evil laughter* This was basically the Sea Witch’s origin story from The Little Mermaid, and it worked perfectly as a short story.
7. Beautiful Venom by Cindy Pon & Benjamin Alderson
4.5 stars. This made me want to read a book by Cindy Pon so bad. This was a retelling about Medusa’s origin story, and it was so good. It discussed beauty standards, rape culture, and this hands down had the best villain.
8. Death Knell by Victoria Schwab & Jesse George
5 stars. *sobs* THIS WAS AMAZING. I’ll be honest, this was the main reason I wanted to read this anthology. I can admit this, I have no shame. And it did not disappoint! This story follows Death and it’s beautiful ok. It was beautiful and filled with Schwab’s lyrical writing. One of my favorites.
9. Marigold by Samantha Shannon & Regan Perusse
4 stars. This was good. It was filled with twists, which was the best part of the story. This is an interesting read, it combines 19th century retelling and female empowerment.
10. You, You, It’s All About You by Adam Silvera & Catriona Feeney
4.5 stars This was so creative and also a little messed up. This follows a teenage drug lord, and she is twisted. Seriously. Also, she wears a mask made of skin ???/?!? This girl is frightening.
11. Julian Breaks Every Rule by Andrew Smith & Raeleen Lemay
4 stars. This was a pretty funny story. The prompt is “a psychopath in a futuristic setting.” It follows Julian Powell, he has the power to wish anyone to death, well anyone except Steven Kemple, the boy he hates more than anything.
12. Indigo and Shade by April Genevieve Tucholke & Whitney Atkinson
2.5 stars. This was so… average. I just don’t think I’m a fan of Tucholke’s work. Also, I wasn’t a fan of the narrator he was cocky and annoying, he tried way too hard at being mysterious.
13. Sera by Nicola Yoon & Steph Sinclair and Kat Kennedy
4 stars. I love Yoon’s writing, so it’s not a surprise that I really enjoyed this. The one thing I didn’t like was the amount of time we spent in the flashback instead of the present. Other than that, this was such an interesting read and it had one of the most creative prompts “gender-flipped God of War.”
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Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Anthology/Short Stories
Star Rating: 4 out of 5...Read more