So I recently finished “Because You Love To Hate Me”, an anthology of short stories about villiany by some popular YA authors and BookTubers. It took me AGES to get through! I just haven’t had much time to read lately.
Anyway, as with any anthology, I liked some stories much better than others. Before I go into that too much, here is a synopsis from Amazon…
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).
As the blurb suggests, there is quite a wide range of stories. I personally was expecting retellings of fairy tales from the villian’s point-of-view as that seems to be a trend right now, but the anthology is not that! Yes, there are some fairy tale retellings, but there are some stories from everyday villains.
The book is set up in a way that I found a bit difficult to get used to. It opens with the story from the author, then you come to a page that details the prompt the author was given from the BookTuber, as well as a response from the BookTuber. I guess this helps so that you don’t prejudge the stories before you read them, but I personally skimmed ahead to see what the story prompt was before reading it.
Here is a list of the stories in the anthology:
The Blood of the Imuriv by Renee Ahdieh
Jack by Ameriie
Gwen and Art and Lance by Soman Chainani
Shirley and Jim by Susan Dennard
The Blessing of Little Wants by Sarah Enni
The Sea Witch by Marissa Meyer
Beautiful Venom by Cindy Pon
Death Knell by Victoria Schwab
Marigold by Samantha Shannon
You, You, It’s All About You by Adam Silvera
Julian Breaks Every Rule by Andrew Smith
Indigo and Shade by April Genevieve Tucholke
Sera by Nicola Yoon
I personally really enjoyed Jack, The Blessing of Little Wants, The Sea Witch, Beautiful Venom, Death Knell, and Marigold the most. I would have been extremely happy if I had purchased full length books with the storylines from Marigold and The Sea Witch — those are the stories I found personally the most intriguing and where I found myself questioning my sympathies by the end of the story.
Overall, as with anything, taste is subjective. I spoke to someone else who throughly enjoyed some of the more futuristic stories, which weren’t exactly to my taste, but that is the good thing — in many anthologies, there is a little something for everyone.
I would recommend this book if you like a little bit of everything, because that is exactly what it contains! It also has prompted me to look up the authors whose stories I really enjoyed and to add a few of their books to my TBR list.
Have you read Because You Love to Hate Me? What were your favorite stories? What did you think?