Book Review: Because You Love to Hate Me – Ameriie

This will be a super lengthy and detailed post, because I want to have a short review for every single short story.

All authors and booktubers will be listed with the corresponding short story, so the info section won’t be spammed.


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Name: Because You Love to Hate Me
Editor: Ameriie
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: July 11, 2017

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!


Book Cover Comments

That pink and purple gradient? And that metallic rose with the black sleek oil? Absolutely evil and vicious. I have to say though, the metal stem on the back creeps me out. Probably what its going for.


The Actual Review

I love the idea of how the authors make a new piece from the prompt given from the booktubers, and then the booktubers have a short piece of their own. It’s a very cute and innovative idea, a way to have our booktubers to shine not only from YouTube, but also from written work. Gathering all the best authors from all around the book community to produce this amazing anthology is the best thing ever.

The formatting of the following review will be separated by each collaboration, and a final thought will be at the very end of this review.

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Renée Ahdieh & Christine Riccio: An Ambitious Dark Lord

Renée’s story was absolutely captivating. The surprise plot twist at the end of this short story, and the build up to that excitement was greater than ever. The way she turned Christine’s prompt into a futuristic setting was very clever.

Christine’s writing in the form of a guideline was very Christine. Her sense of humor was weaved into this short piece, and I couldn’t help myself but make my dad read this hilarious piece. This totally un-usable guide is worth a read.

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Ameriie & Tina Burke: The Giant from “Jack & the Beanstalk”

Ameriie’s story stays true to her thoughts on how she sympathises with villains, and she gives the story a modern and special twist on the giant, as well as giving it a rich and deep character for readers to sympathise with, and to understand.

Tina’s piece was in a form of a commentary to Ameriie’s work, allowing us readers to have many thoughts, as well as many aspects that affect the giant’s character. An intriguing piece that brings out the ideas that we’d never had about villains.

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Soman Chainani & Samantha Lane: Lancelot

Soman’s innovative text message format of a behind-the-scenes to the story involving Lancelot, while confusing, was very high-school-(oops spoilers!) drama like. The question therefore is: is the villain really the villain, or a hero?

Samantha’s twitter-stagram to comment on given identities of villains, such as “bornwicked” or a character from Lancelot’s story leaves readers pondering on the blurred line between a hero and a villain.

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Susan Dennard & Sasha Alsberg: Moriarty

Susan’s rich and complicated story of Moriarty brings that one subject that I oh-so-loathe to my mind again: Theory of Knowledge. Her story makes us readers think about exactly what right and wrong is, the ethics of law and justice.

Sasha’s blog that finishes off with a shocking surprise brings the modern world to surface, how the internet takes place in events and actions that are recognised as villainy, and how Moriarty could be lurking on your web history right now.

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Sarah Enni & Sophia Lee: A Dark Sorcerer seeking Immortality

Sarah’s story shows the sorcerer’s ambition and the sorcerer’s motivation and willingness, while spinning the minds of readers while we fall deeper into the confusion of the hero and the villain.

Sophia’s commentary brings out idea that I  of the sorcerer, and goes another level deeper into the fundaments of the character, as well as the role of a hero or a villain, as they could switch roles in another person’s story.

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Marissa Meyer & Zoë Herdt: The Sea Witch

Marissa’s writing once again amazed me as a reader, delivering the story of the birth of the “villain”, when in truth, their stories began from a heart of innocence and purity, however destroyed by the betrayal and the pain.

Zoë’s commentary shows how the story of the sea witch weaves through her life, and when people linger between the choices of good and evil, as well as ending her piece with a short quiz that determines whether you’re a hero or a villain.

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Cindy Pon & Benjamin Alderson: Medusa

Cindy’s story combines Greek mythology with Chinese culture, creating a new fusion that brings out the most intriguing thoughts on the story of Medusa. The way she uses the names and the meanings behind it leaves a great impression.

Benjamin’s Q&A that discusses his thoughts on Cindy’s story highlights different key aspects of it, as well as some hidden messages that a reader might brush past. He also ties in his past experience with the story of Medusa in this short piece.

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Victoria Schwab & Jesse George: Death

Victoria’s symphony of death weaves together the story of two characters, concluding with a mysterious ending that leaves me seeking with questions and answers. Her materialisation of “death” was avant-garde.

Jesse’s letter threads through his own feelings from an experience he had with a certain someone. A letter filled with curiosity and inquiries, Jesse displays the love-hate relationship that people can have with this special someone.

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Samantha Shannon & Regan Perusse: The Erl Queen

Samantha’s story twists the original tale of the faeries and sets it in the 19th century, turning the arrow that points towards the villain in the other way. The story closes with a shocking and dark ending that highlights the concept of “folklore” itself.

Regan’s commentary highlights the reason behind her prompt, as well as the contrast in gender in the story. She also points out the display of female power in the story, the complete opposite of what 19th century England is like.

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Adam Silvera & Catriona Feeny: A Comic Book-inspired Teen Crime Lord

Adam’s tale is told from a perspective of “you”, displaying a uniqueness to the text. He designed his villain so that the villain was born due to the environment when growing up, a common concept that was looked over when judging villains.

Catriona’s analysis of using masks, a key concept in Adam’s story offers a psychological view into us as a person, what it tells about us, as well as highlighting some key points and issues in the teen crime lord’s short story.

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Andrew Smith & Raeleen Lemay: A Futuristic Psychopath

Andrew’s sense of humor in the story caught my attention. His rich description and the sophisticated design of the psychopath was hard to understand, and yet left me with many questions about the character that I want to know about.

Raeleen’s analysis ties in her own ideas of what a psychopath is, and discusses the psychopath’s character, the story’s plot line, and her own feelings and thoughts. Her piece is a perfect explanation and support to the sophisticated story.

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April Tucholke & Whitney Atkinson: The unwanted suitor from “Beauty and the Beast”

April’s brand new story puts a never-seen-before twist on Beauty and the Beast, erasing whatever we’ve known about the original story. Both saddening and a heartwarming ending, the last two lines takes your breath away.

Whitney’s piece shows the contrasts between expectation and reality, the representation of heroes and villains, and how villains are much more special in the sense that, they go through life and reality.

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Nicola Yoon & Steph Sinclair/Kat Kennedy: The God of War

Nicola’s twist on the God of War in a modern era was exciting and thrilling. Through the multiple perspectives, Nicola shows the sadness when one is born with a negative quality, therefore labelled as a villain.

Steph and Kat’s guide to villainy is the absolute best way to close the book. Introducing cliché villain characteristics, the guide also assists you on building the strongest, most powerful, fearless and uncontrollable villain,

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My final thoughts are that, no matter if it is a brand new story, or if it is a retelling, this book activated a lot of thinking on the actual role of villains, and raised many many questions on villains. I believe that no one was born evil, but what was it that gave these villains in these 13 short stories the label “villain”?

It’s true that one would hate a villain to the core, but Because You Love to Hate Me shows a different aspect on these villains: what if some of them had stories, stories where the lines of good and bad would be no longer clear?

Because You Love to Hate Me is a spectacular anthology that brings up thousands of questions on the roles of villain, the blurred lines in between, and so much more.