Book Review || Because You Love To Hate Me

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Book: Because You Love To Hate Me

Author: Ameriie, Various

Publication Date: July 2017

Format: Kindle Ebook

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Rating: Each short story and essay has a different rating, but overall 3.2ish/5 stars.

I have been super intrigued by this anthology since the buzz started on booktube several months ago.  And let me say, I love the idea of this book: short stories featuring different villainous characters.  

There are thirteen stories in this anthology written by various YA authors paired up with 13 booktubers who supply the prompt and essay.  While I have heard the controversy about publishing booktubers, personally, I was excited to read this book and thought it was definitely a cool idea.  I will say that I didn’t think most of the essays added a lot to the story except a few, but I still gave this anthology a solid 3.2ish stars overall.

Now, on to the individual stories and essays.


(Story) The Blood Of Imuriv by Renée Ahdieh

Rating: 2/5 Stars

I was hesitant going into this short story mainly because the only book I’ve ever red by Ahdieh, The Wrath and the Dawn, I really didn’t like.  And unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan of this short story.  The story felt too short to really be invested in the sibling rivalry backstory and even the sudden ending wasn’t enough to keep my attention.

(Essay) The Evil Vaccine: Keep The Darkness At Bay by Christine Riccio (PolandbananasBOOKS)

I didn’t think the tone, which tried to be lighthearted and funny, matched very well with Ahdieh’s story, which was serious and ominous.  There were a few lines that stuck, but overall, it felt a little off key.  


(Story) Jack by Ameriie

Rating: 1.5/5 Stars

For a short story, I felt like it plogged along a bit and mixing “magick” with modern life “below” didn’t quite work.  I thought the ending was the best part, but that the rest of the story should have been darker to lead up to it.

(Essay) Giants And Tyrants by Tina Burke (The Lushables)

This prompt was probably my least favorite out of all of them.  And Jack and the Beanstalk was never one of my favorite fairy tales, so that may have something to do with it, but I also wasn’t a huge fan of the essay that followed the prompt.


(Story) Gwen And Art And Lance by Soman Chainani

Rating: 1/5 Stars

Oh, dear.  This was definitely my least favorite story, mainly because the whole thing is told in text messages/emails.  It was just kind of a disaster for me.

(Essay) The Bad Girl Hall Of Fame by Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes)

I thought the format fit the essay (social media inspired) but that the essay wasn’t memorable.


Shirley & Jim by Susan Dennard

Rating: 2/5 Stars

I’ve seen several people comment on the unnecessary gender swaps of Watson and Sherlock and I completely agree.  I definitely would have rather read a story about a male Sherlock in love with a male Moriarty.  Also, “Shirley” didn’t feel like an accurate interpretation of Sherlock at all, high school girl or no.

Dear Sasha, The 411 For Villains by Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia)

While this was not the most unique idea, I am a sucker for anything Sherlock, so I do like the prompt and thought that the essay was clever.  I just wish the actual story was better.


The Blessings Of Little Wants by Sarah Enni

Rating: 2/5 Stars

I actually enjoyed the magical system in this story, but the ending made no sense and I don’t feel like it was really about a villain.  At least, it didn’t feel villainous.

Will The Real Villain Please Stand Up? by Sophia Lee (thebookbasement)

The essay didn’t add much to the story for me.


The Sea Witch by Marissa Meyer

Rating: 4/5 Stars

This story is where the book started to pick up significantly.  Finally, this story is about a villain who is definitely villainous, but you can’t help but root for her.  And the writing was fabulous.  I’ve never read anything by Meyer, and now I 100% want to.

Villain Or Hero? You Decide! by Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe)

Great idea for a story and I thought the essay was cohesive with Meyer’s story as well.


Beautiful Venom by Cindy Pon

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Good writing and great spin on the Medusa story, but I did think the ending was a little abrupt.  

**TRIGGER WARNING: This book contains a raoe scene.  It is not graphic, but it is still there.**

Without The Evil In The World, How Do We See The Good? by Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes)

The idea was okay, but Pon really brought it to life with her interpretation.  However, the excitement for the idea and story was really evident in the essay.


Death Knell by Victoria Schwab

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Wow.  I’m not sure why a short story should be allowed to make me tear up, but screw the rules, because it sure did!  This was my favorite story and was beautifully written.  My only complaint is that I need approximately 400 more pages. 

Dear Death by Jesse George (JessetheReader)

Easily my favorite essay.  It was also beautifully written and touching and these two together=perfection.


Marigold by Samantha Shannon

Rating: 3/5 Stars

My main issue with this story is the way too open ending.  It almost needed a little more character development, but the setting and world building was good for the length of the story.

Evil Revealed by Regan Perusse (PeruseProject)

I really like the mash-up of ideas for this story, especially centered around the oppression of women during Victorian England.


You, You, It’s All About You by Adam Silvera

Rating: 5/5 Stars

This story was dark and twisty and pretty amazing, but it needs to be a full length book ASAP.  Also, I have never read anything by Adam Silvera, and that needs to change yesterday because his writing is incredible.

Behind The Villain’s Mask by Catriona Feeney (Little BookOwl)

I liked the prompt (brought to life by Silvera), but I didn’t feel like the essay really added to the story.


Julian Breaks Every Rule by Andrew Smith

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Good writing, but it didn’t feel futuristic per Raeleen’s prompt, but more paranormal maybe?  And I’m probably in the minority with this story in general, but the ending especially was a little disappointing.  Overall, I wish I would have liked this one better.

Julian Powell: Teen Psycho Extraordinaire by Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07)

This definitely wasn’t my favorite prompt, but I thought Smith did an okay job with it regardless.  I also didn’t think the essay added much to the story.


Indigo And Shade by April Genevieve Tucholke

Rating: 1.5/5 Stars

This was definitely an odd mashup of traditional lore/fairytale retelling in the modern world and it didn’t quite work.  The insta-love was distracting and it didn’t feel super villainous.

Glamorized Recovery: Expectations Vs. Reality by Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels)

I thought the prompt was good, but it just wasn’t well executed by Tucholke.


Sera by Nicola Yoon

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

This story was super creepy and totally awesome.  I want a whole book out of it.

The Bad Girls’ Guide To Villainy by Steph Sinclair and Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery)

I also really enjoyed this essay.  It was darkly funny and fit the theme of the book perfectly.


 

Overall, I definitely enjoyed reading this anthology.  There were a few standout stories that were really, really good and make me want to read more by the authors (Adam Silvera, Marissa Meyer, Victoria Schwab, Cindy Pon, and Nicola Yoon).  

If you have been curious about this book and the stories inside, I would definitely recommend picking it up.

One thought on “Book Review || Because You Love To Hate Me

  1. Pingback: July Wrap-Up

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