Review: Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy by Ameriie

Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of VillainyBecause You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy by Ameriie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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).

Look, I love complicated protagonists, and even anti-hero novels. And most of all, I love a good villain origin story. Sure, most villains are irredeemable, but it is interesting how they got there. Because You Love to Hate Me has 13 stories, all centered around one ‘villain’ or another. The stories are diverse, and some are retellings of folklore, like Jack and the beanstalk from the POV of a giant, or the Medusa mythology retold in a Chinese setting, a modern Sherlock-Moriarty romance, or even the Arthurian legend in a modern setting with a manipulative Geneviève. Some are original stories, like a prince in a matriarchal society, or a witch who wants to find the ultimate power at great personal cost, or a boy who is Death, or a boy who can kill with mere thought, and even a story about damsels getting away from their ‘rescuers’. Each of the stories is by a prompt from a popular booktuber, and after each of them, they write explaining the prompt and what they think of the story that came from it.

It is all about changing the perspective of what a villain would be like, their desires, their motivations, their stories – and every one of the stories is engaging and full of plot twists. Some, like the retellings, were already a bit known, but it was interesting in how the authors imagined what their stories would be lie. Like, in The Sea Witch, we get her story as a prequel to The Little Mermaid (I guess?) but with the story turned on its head, and instead of love there is betrayal. Mei Du’s story as a Medusa comes with the focus on the rape and the victim blaming by the goddess. Jack’s story left me cold and it was like the second story in the book and I was going – oh my god, that totally sets the tone for the book!

Basically, if you love morally grey or dark characters, this is the short stories anthology for you!

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