Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy. Ameriie. Young adult/Short stories/Anthology. 2017. 368 pages. 4.5 stars.
Villains, the deliciously wicked. We love to hate them and they hate to be loved, if only because being hated frees them from having to be good.
Leave it to the heroes to save the world–villains just want to rule the world.
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)
I love villains. I love how morally ambiguous they are. I love knowing why they are the way they are. If anything, I actually root for the villain in movies and books (Loki, Kylo Ren, the Darkling, etc.). It’s not a mystery why I loved Because You Love to Hate Me. These are the origin stories of various villains in all types. You have the psychopath villain, the god of war villain, the cool and composed broody villain. It’s a mashup of all villains you can imagine! Villains in contemporaries all the way to villains in high fantasies—they have it.
Out of all the short stories, I only skipped two. “Gwen And Art And Lance”, and “The Blessing of Little Wants”. I skipped the former because of its format. I wasn’t in the mood for epistolaries. I didn’t care for the messages they exchanged. I wanted visuals. I wanted to imagine this villain in their very essence. “The Blessing of Little Wants” simply didn’t capture me. It had an interesting premise with magic and its restrictions but I couldn’t get myself to like Sigrid. The chemistry wasn’t there and I chose to skip to the others.
My personal favorites are:
- “The Blood of Imuriv”
- “Beautiful Venom”
- “You, You, It’s All About You”
- “Indigo and Shade”
Most of these stories are more or less in the fantasy genre: “The Blood of Imuriv” tackling magic, “Sera” and “Beautiful Venom” with Greek mythology, and “Indigo and Shade” with fairytales. It is so easy to get attached to these characters because we don’t see them as villains yet. We see their becoming. We see what pushes them into becoming the villains of someone else’s narrative. While we are in theirs, however, we fall in love—and we fall hard.
I can’t tell you enough how many times I had to remind myself that these short stories are just short stories because the way it’s written made me yearn for an entire book about every single one of them.
These stories are couples with a booktuber’s explanation of the “challenge” they gave to the author and how the story impacted them. I only read a handful. You can easily skip these if just want the stories! Some of them do give amazing insights though so I suggest reading the essays of your favorite short stories.
I’m giving this 4.5 stars because I enjoyed 11/13 stories and marked 5/11 as personal favorites! Have you read Because You Love to Hate Me? Let me know in the comments!