reviews

Book Review – Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy

Book: Because You Love to Hate me. Edited by Ameriie
Release Date: July 11th 2017
Tags: Anthology / Young Adult / Villain / Booktubers
Rating: 2,5 out of 5 stars

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Goodreads

Synopsis

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!

Review

Anthologies can be hard to rate. Some stories might strike a chord with you, others might not. In Because You Love to Hate Me 13 authors and 13 Booktubers got combined to write these 13 villainous stories. The Booktubers gave the author they were paired with a prompt. It made me curious to see what some of these authors could do. Some of these authors I have read, others not at all. In the end though most of the stories did not do a whole lot for me.  I was expecting a lot more of some of the stories considering the prompts they got. Most of the times I was even quite bored. I even dnfed a story nearing the end because I could not get over this annoying voice. However the stories by V.E. Schwab and Cindy Pon were great. After each story there would be a few pages by the booktubers on villains. Some of them tried to be witty and clever and creative. I honestly didn’t care for any of them. I wanted to know why they went for some of these prompts and such. Not all these lists about villains and the like. If you want to know more, I have rated all stories separately.  I have listed them below with a few thoughts. If you want to remain unspoiled I would suggest not reading this section.

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The Blood of Imuriv by Renee Ahdieh / Christine Riccio
2 stars
To me the story fell down with the characters. I couldn’t attach to them so when he did kill his sister it didn’t really bother me. I also felt some of the worldbuilding lacked. Things were mentioned that I had little idea about. About certain councils and the like. I don’t know anything about this world so it was just confusing

Jack by Ameriie / Tina Burke
3 stars
This was an average short story, focusing on giants as the villain. I actually felt quite sympathetic towards our main villain in this story. I could understand where he was coming from and I wasn’t entirely expecting that ending as he lulled me into a sense of security with him as a main character.

Gwen and Art and Lance by Soman Chainani / Samantha Lane
1 star
This was such a big no for me. It is told through texts between these characters and some big romantic love drama. Gwen is manipulative in this. But through the text we got no deepening into any of these characters. Just a whole lot of drama. Not worth a read. Just skip right over it. And it is a shame because Soman Chainani can write good middle grade.

Shirley & Jim by Susan Dennard / Sasha Alsberg
2 stars
This was a Sherlock Holmes retelling, meant to be on Moriarty. However Susan Dennard wrote it as an email send from Shirley (female Sherlock) to her friend Watson. It focuses on Moriarty a bit but honestly, I would have preferred the story to have been told from Moriarty’s view instead of from Shirley. That, I would have found interesting. This, not so much. We get more on Shirley and her life then on Moriarty.

The Blessing of Little Wants by Sarah Enni / Sophia Lee
3 stars
For the most part this was a solid short story that had a lot of potential to be expanded on. The short story does leave the ending open and leaves us with a lot of questions. On the one hand I like this because I like the potential of having more but on the other hand I dislike it because the potential of more is very unlikely.

The Sea Witch by Marissa Meyer / Zoe Herdt
3,5 stars
This is basically a prequel story to The Little Mermaid that focuses on the sea witch. I’ve never given much thought before on how the sea witch came to be as she was. I thought the story was interesting for the most part, however nearing the ending we skip through a few years and that doesn’t quite work so well for me. I feel like I am missing something.

Beautiful Venom by Cindy Pon / Benjamin Alderson
5 stars
Beautiful indeed. The reason this story gets such a high rating as it leaves such an impact at the end. I was completely on board with our ‘villain’ because the way she gets blamed as a victim is unbelievable and something that unfortunately happens too often in today’s society as is.

Death Knell by Victoria Schwab / Jesse George
5 stars
I knew before reading this book that Victoria Schwab’s story would be about death and can I say that was the top reason I wanted to read this book. Of course I was going to like this story a lot. There is something so cute about this story. I know that sounds weird, as this is about death but there was just something about the characterization. And can I say that I completely love the ending. I just love that idea.

Marigold by Samantha Shannon / Regan Perusse
3 stars
I quite liked the idea of this story with the supposed saviors becoming the villains of the story, but I also feel like it lacked a real punch in the end when it came to Marigold and her telling them she wasn’t coming. I can’t quite put my finger on what that was. It just lacked a bit of feeling for me. Perhaps throughout the whole novella.  Even so I like the idea of the erl queen being an escape.

You, you, it is all about you by Adam Silvera / Catriona Feeney
2 stars
This story is written in you, 2nd person point of view, and that put me off instantly. Maybe if the start had been more similar to mine and it would have build up more I could have gotten into this but now it straight up starts with a crime lord and well, I had a hard time connecting with that. I also didn’t understand why she was doing what she was doing to Franklin. It just didn’t make sense and I found very little explanation in the story unfortunately.

Julian Breaks Every Rule by Andrew Smith / Raeleen Lemay
2 stars
I had such a hard time with Julian in this book. I thought the first few paragraphs had great potential but then all the hate just took over. I understand this is a villain, a psychopath, but there was just such a one-sidedness to him that made this story boring to read. Just hate. I get it. You hate him. Boohoo.

Indigo and Shade by April Genevieve Tucholke / Whitney Atkinson
DNF
Oops, is it very wrong to dnf a short story? I just could not get through this. It is a Beauty and the Beast retelling from Gaston’s point of view. However his voice was terrible. Well that and his thousand watt Valois smile. Gag. He just made me gag. I suppose that  was the point. But I think it was just a bit too much on top of it. A bit more subtle would have been nice.

Sera by Nicola Yoon / Steph Sinclair and Kat Kennedy
2,5 stars
The thing with this, is that the idea of Sera was a great idea. A child that was born that was evil. But for me the execution very much lacked. I just don’t think it works when you write a short story this way. There would be paragraphs in Sera’s past that would have six years and 4 months, six years and 9 months, 8 years and 2 months and so on above it. It was to show us how Sera came to be from a baby. That something always had been wrong. But I think if it had been written different, perhaps introspectively from Sera’s point of view or through the interview her mother had with a police officer, it would have worked better.

14 thoughts on “Book Review – Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy

  1. I had no idea booktubers were involved in this. Sorry this was a disappointment though. I thought it sounded neat, but I wasn’t planning on reading it anyway since I don’t read short story anthologies. That’s too bad the Gaston one didn’t work well for you, that sounds like it could actually be really interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been hesitant to pick up this collection because of what you identified above. I’ve heard that overall the stories as a full collection aren’t really worth it. That said, I’m glad you found two you really enjoyed! And yes, you can TOTALLY DNF a short story. I do it more often than I’d care to admit. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha glad I am not the only one then. 😉 Yeah it is a shame. I wanted to try this because there are some authors in there that I haven’t read but are curious about. Unfortunately I was not sold on most of them with this book.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Zo blij dat ik niet de enige was bij wie het boek tegenviel. Wel een goed idee om de verhalen apart te beoordelen vermits sommige van hen wel ok waren. Jammer genoeg kon de meerderheid me niet echt bekoren én de begeleidende stukjes van de booktubers al helemaal niet.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Argh it’s so hard to find reviews for this anthology. Can I say I’m glad you gave it a lower rating?? Or is that rude 😂?? (Sorry – I’m sad you didn’t enjoy it :3) Honestly it’s nice to see someone that doesn’t just give it a full 5 stars because of the booktubers. I was debating whether or not to pick this up (V. E. Schwab’s story being the MAIN reason tbh) and I just wanted a honest review. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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