Villains Aren’t Created in a Vacuum | a Because You Love to Hate Me review

Author // Amerii (Editor)
Publication Date // September, 2017
Publisher // Bloomsbury
Readership // Young Adult
Genre // Fairytales, Fantasy, Mythology
Rating // 

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 (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).


Because You Love to Hate Me is one of the most anticipated books of 2017, a collaboration of short stories by well-known young adult authors and Booktubers. It takes the premise of the villains of known myths, fairytales and tropes and explores their origins via prompts from Booktubers to the authors.

There are thirteen short stories all up, and some of them I absolutely adored and some of them were okay. They were all founded on interesting concepts and there were enough interesting characters (and twists on characters) to make reading each story an enjoyable process. 

A few of the highlights for me were Amerii’s Jack, which was a twist on the Giant in Jack in the Beanstalk, and I loved the way she used gender and ideals to weave her story, and how the conclusion is both shocking and yet not at the same time. I also really enjoyed Cindy Pon’s Beautiful Venom, a twist on the Medusa myth. I haven’t read anything else by Cindy Pon, but now I really want to, because her writing style was just lovely.

The true highlight for me was Death Knell by Victoria Schwab, who’s writing I adore, and this story was no exception. She wove a wonderfully heartwarming and heartbreaking story of Death, and her take on both the idea of dying and the character of Death was not one I had seen (or even thought of) before. I could read a whole novel written around the concept she proposed in Death Knell, and of all the stories in the collection, this is the one that I know I will reread time and time again.

Each of the short stories is accompanied by a written response/essay from the Booktuber who provided the author’s prompt. I actually found these to be the least impressive component – some were definitely interesting, but overall I don’t think they added any extra to what was already there. I was also a little surprised by the decision to share the prompts after the short story – it seemed a strange formatting choice for the book because I would have preferred each story to have a ‘cover page’ with the prompt on it prior to reading the short story, especially given the fact that it was so heavily promoted as a prompt-driven short story anthology. However, that’s purely an aesthetic gripe and one that may simply affect me and no one else.

Overall I gave Because You Love to Hate Me 4 out of 5 stars, averaging out individual story ratings from 3 to 5 stars. I love that it brought together a group of people to collaborate on a shared interest and it produced some wonderful stories.

(Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a copy of Because You Love to Hate me for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)


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