Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy

Because You Hate to Love Me

Title: Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy

Author: Ameriie (Editor)

Series: N/A

Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens

Release Date: July 13th 2017


Five Stars

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: Renee 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).

– Blurb courtesy of

I’m not a massive fan of anthologies, I feel like they can be a tricky thing to get right given how few pages and words the author has to get their story across. However after seeing some of the authors who contributed to Because You Love to Hate Me I knew I had to have it. Any book that combines stories by Marissa Meyer, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon and Adam Silvera is a book I need in my hands as soon as humanly possible.

“He had no place here. No place anywhere.
His entire family had seen to that.
If Rhone had been born a girl – if his sister had never been born – then he would be the one destined for the sovereignty.”

The Blood of Imuriv by Renee Ahdieh

I’ve loved all of Renee Ahdieh’s books I’ve read so far and while I still enjoyed this short story, making it no exception, I wasn’t that impressed. The Blood of Imuriv was well written, and considering it was a short story the world building was pretty well done as well, however it felt like the beginning to something bigger because when I got to the end the story just felt unfinished.

Jack by Ameriie

My feelings on this story are a little mixed. I loved the premise and what Ameriie was trying to do with the prompt she had been given. However I wasn’t able to connect with the giantess and considering Jack was told from her perspective it made this a hard story to get into. That said the ending was brilliant; well written, and chilling even though it was the only way it could have ended.

Gwen and Art and Lance by Soman Chainani

Looking back on this story I think the only thing that worked for me was the prompt. Gwen and Art and Lance was an Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere retelling with hints of the Hades and Persephone story mixed in. However Chainani chose to write it through text message conversations between the three main characters which left me detached from their development and motivations.

“Let’s just say I want to find what’s real. I want to feel it—whatever it might be. And then, while the rest of the world sits cosy and oblivious inside their glass houses, I will be walking through walls.”

Shirley and Jim by Susan Dennard

Again this was a short story I wasn’t that keen on looking back; telling the story of Sherlock and Moriarty but in a modern day setting before the characters’ become who they are as adult Shirley and Jim had the potential to be amazing. However I was left disappointed by Shirley’s characterisation because in my mind she felt like a very watered down version of Sherlock.

The Blessing of Little Wants by Sarah Enni

This was an incredible premise and I love the world we were introduced to in this short story, a world where magic exists but is limited leaving its use strictly regulated. The ending was a little confusing, I still can’t wrap my head around Sigrid and Thomas and what actually happened to them, but the world building and the journey they went on was enough to make this read more good than bad.

The Sea Witch by Marissa Meyer

The Sea Witch was one of the stories I had been waiting for and Marissa Meyer definitely didn’t disappoint. I feel fairytale retellings are one of Meyer’s strong points as a writer and The Sea Witch, which retells The Little Mermaid but with the sea witch as the main character with the choice to make, was wonderfully written. Like with Heartless Meyer made me identify with Nerit, all she wanted was to belong, to have someone who loved her, but it was the one thing she couldn’t find.

“Mei Du lifted high on her coil, and the snakes on her head writhed with anticipation.
She was ready to meet her match.”

Beautiful Venom by Cindy Pon

Trigger warning: Rape scene, it’s not graphic but it’s there.

I was surprised by this story, but in the very best way. Cindy Pon retells the legend of Medusa but replaces the Greek mythology with Asian, and for me Beautiful Venom was one of the best additions to this anthology. Pon’s Medusa was an incredible character, one you couldn’t help but feel for as she thinks on her past and how she was so wronged by the Gods she worshipped.

Death Knell by Victoria Schwab

If I’m being honest Victoria Schwab’s addition to this anthology was the one I was the most excited for, and it’s probably no surprise when I say that Death Knell was my favourite of the lot. It was a haunting tale that was incredibly written, two things I feel are trademarks when it comes to Schwab’s books because if the authors’ names hadn’t been printed with their stories I would have instantly known which was Schwab’s contribution.

Marigold by Samantha Shannon

I was a little thrown by this story at first, simply because at the very beginning there was a lot of information thrown at the reader to help us understand the background and the world. That said once the story started I was hooked. Shannon created an incredible story from an interesting prompt; featuring Erl-folk and more than a few ambiguous characters which meant I was never sure who was the villain and who was the hero, at least not until the very end.

“You’re worshipped for the way Daze can make the city forget. You’re celebrated for the way Token can revive memories as far back as childhood. You’re feared for the way Trance can implant false stories others forge.”

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

This is a short story that really shows the diversity of Adam Silvera’s writing. Without his name next to the title I would have never guessed this was his contribution because it’s so different to the stories I’ve read by him before. Then again Silvera is great at creating well developed characters and that’s exactly what he’s done in this story, albeit with a character I never want to meet in real life.

Julian Breaks Every Rule by Andrew Smith

This was a really humorous take on the prompt and I loved it. The story is narrated by Julian so it seems as if he’s talking directly to the readers, and it made me like his character even more. I didn’t see the ending coming, despite the ‘foreshadowing’, and although I was left wanting more from Andrew Smith and Julian it wasn’t the same way Ahdieh’s contribution left me wanting more.

Indigo and Shade by April Genevieve Tucholke

It wasn’t until I got to the end and read the prompt that I realised what aspects of the original tale Indigo and Shade was retelling. It certainly made for an interesting story, and I enjoyed Tucholke’s writing and characters, but in the end this wasn’t a standout for me. It was good but not great, and looking back the only part that stuck with me was the last couple of chapters.

“Sera was fearless, but not in a good way. There were things in this world to be afraid of, and Sera was afraid of none of them.”

Sera by Nicola Yoon

While there were contributions to this anthology I enjoyed more, I think Sera was the perfect one to end on because it’s the one that’s stayed with me the longest. The story itself was so-so but the characters were amazing, we’re told most of the story from the mothers perspective but we get glimpses of Sera at the end and it’s those glimpses I enjoyed the most.

I can’t say I loved every story in this anthology, but there were more that I loved than ones I didn’t which makes Because You Love to Hate Me a success in my mind. I got brilliant stories from my favourite authors which I expected, and even one or two I didn’t expect which I enjoyed just as much. That said I am now hungry for more stories where villains take the centre stage, so if you have any recommendations please let me know.

What did you think of Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.


49 thoughts on “Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy

  1. I love how you did a mini review for each of the stories, Beth! I’m not one for anthologies, but this book has intrigued me from the get go, mostly because a few of my favorite authors are included. I’m actually really interested in Beautiful Venom and Death Knell. I’m not sure I’m surprised that there is an implication of rape in Beautiful Venom because I think the Greek tale of Medusa mentions Poseidon’s mistreatment of her. I’m also interested in Death Knell, because well, it’s V.E. Schwab. Love to hear that it didn’t disappoint. I’m sorry not all of the stories were to your liking, but at least there were quite a few that met expectations! Excited to read this book one day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I figured that’s the easiest way for me to review anthologies, when there’s plenty of mini stories rather than one long one. 🙂
      The authors are what drew me to this one to. Any book with stories by V.E. Schwab, Samantha Shannon and Marissa Meyer is a book I need ASAP. 😀
      The rape part of Beautiful Venom didn’t surprise me either considering the original tale it was based on, and it wasn’t graphic or anything but I figured best put a warning in just in case. Death Knell was amazing, and so was Beautiful Venom.
      I feel there are always going to be a few stories in anthologies I don’t enjoy as much, but as long as the majority are enjoyable I consider it a win for me, and Because You Love to Hate Me was definitely a win.
      I hope you enjoy this book Azia! 😀 ❤


      1. You and your love for Shannon and Scwab 😂 And good on you for putting the warning 😊 Doesn’t hurt to be cautious
        I hope so, too! Thanks, Beth 💕

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Rape scene trigger warning, wow. I didn’t expect that. However, Beautiful Venom really intrigues me. Schwab’s story also has me hooked. I’d pick this book up just to read those couple of stories hahah Really nice and concise format to review this anthology by the way. Great review, Beth!

    P.S. I believe you must be at the convention nowadays, if I stand correct. And if so, I hope you’re having a blast!! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I think it’s just because of the nature of the story that was being retold (Medusa). Like I said it wasn’t graphic but it was there. The main reason I picked this up was Schwab’s story so I’m definitely there with you. Thanks so much Lashaan. 🙂
      I think by the time you wrote your comment I was back from the convention, but thanks. It was so much fun! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This looks awesome! I’m not big on Anthologies either however this one looks great, I’ll have to keep an eye out for it. Great review as always 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Every time I read a review of this it makes me want it more!! I wasn’t sure at first because let’s face it I’m shallow and I didn’t really like the cover all that much, but I’ve only heard good things about it! I’m glad you liked it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yay, in that case I hope you manage to get around to this book soon.
      Yeah I’m not a massive fan of the cover either, but this was a case of the authors involved had me really really really excited for its release! Thanks Esther, I hope you enjoy this book as well! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel you! I would probably buy anything from my favorite authors even if the cover was the equivalent of a booger hahaha. I probably won’t get to it any time soon because my book budget is nonexistent right now *sad face* BUT I’ve put it on my wishlist so maybe for Christams! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, oh I haven’t seen many mixed reviews for this book, but then again I have read too many of the reviews it has at the moment! 🙂
      Ha, in that case I hope your library get a copy soon, and I hope you enjoy it as well Destiny. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed! I mean, I know it’s probably not considered a huge release by non-YA readers, but in the YA sphere, it’s pretty big. Sadly, the libraries are frequently pretty lacking in YA new releases here in Georgia. I am the worst when it comes to being impatient about books, too! I don’t do well with book bans because of that, so this month, I’m trying something new – since I’m focusing so strongly on ARCs for #ARCAugust, I’m not allowing myself to buy any books that aren’t either pre-orders, or books that I KNOW I’m going to put at the tippy-top of my September TBR.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s a pretty massive release in the YA community, honestly I’ve seen so many people talking about it just because of the authors involved in the book. I get what you mean though because my library is the same, very lacking in new YA books.
        In that case I hope your trial for this month works, if it does you’ll have to let me know because I suck at book buying bans as well and my TBR list is out of control so I need to do something! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad you enjoyed this, Beth! I’m really looking forward to reading it, because of some of my favorite authors’ work being featured in there! I’m really excited to read Schwab’s and Meyer’s stories because I LOOOOOVE their books. I’m glad they didn’t disappoint!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it was a great read May, and in that case I hope you really enjoy this book as well! 😀
      There were so many authors I wanted to read in this book, and none of their stories disappointed me so I’ll keep my fingers crossed it’s the same for you. I think you’ll 100 love Schwab’s and Meyer’s stories! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so excited to read this anthology! This gives me a chance to have a feel of the writing style of some of the famous ya authors I’ve been meaning to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh in that case I really hope you enjoy this book. I think for the authors I know and have read before this book is a good way to get used to their style. There are a few authors who’s works I will be checking out more because of this anthology! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I just finished this book yesterday. I liked quite a few of the stories (like you, I enjoyed the Meyer, Schwab and Yoon ones, but I did like Ahdieh’s too) but found the contributions from the booktubers pretty pointless. I found myself skim reading them to get to the next story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m glad you loved a few of the stories (Schwab’s was just amazing wasn’t it, and Yoon’s was a bit of a surprise for me but wow that ending!) Yeah I get what you mean about the Booktubers, although sometimes I think they did add something to the story, like in Cindy Pon’s case. I still read them but they weren’t my favourite part of the book or anything. 🙂


    1. Given some of the authors who contributed I don’t think there was any chance of me not loving it, and I’m sure you’ll feel the same Stephanie.
      Oh no, I’m guessing the sampler would have been among the stuff that went missing given you can’t find it. :/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah. It was definitely one of few. I’m so mad that someone would violate my personal space like that. I’m just hoping I get my ARC of The Empress so the manuscript I lost won’t sting so much.

        Liked by 1 person

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