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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

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 b…

Overall Book Review:

“Evil in many cases is a matter of perspective…” –Regan Perusse in her response to Marigold.

Because You Love to Hate Me is a series of short (familiar) stories, each being followed up with a response. This is a compilation of clever and eclectic stores. With so many different authors, the styles of writing vary significantly and some were more intriguing than others but they were all written well and frequently left the reader wanting more.

A few favorites from the collection include Death Knell with main characters Death and Grace. Both are just trying to carry on the way they think they should, but of course, it’s impossible for both to do so. The direction author Victoria Schwab takes the story was a pleasant surprise but while the ending was inevitable, you couldn’t help but hope for another twist. Cindy Pon’s Beautiful Venom was another favorite. Pon has you cheering and sympathizing with Medusa, something I never thought possible. The story, Gwen And Art And Lance by Soman Chainani was a modern and interesting twist on the classic. Having thoroughly enjoyed Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, it wasn’t surprising that her short, The Sea Witch, was my favorite of the stories. Her story was the most engaging and one that made you understand the villain’s evil reasoning.

As mentioned previously, each story is followed by a challenge. These are written by booktubers who respond to the story in a variety of ways; some with a letter to the villain, others with a sort of commentary on the story, etc. Each response is unique but a few favorites include Christina Riccio’s challenge to The Blood of Imuriv which was witty and funny. Sasha Alsberg’s challenge to Shirley & Jim was also comical, especially the ending.

Because You Love to Hate Me provides a great opportunity to get a little taste of several authors’ writing styles and a feel for the booktubers’ personalities. If you’re a fan of fairy tales with a twist, you’ll likely appreciate it, especially if you enjoy short stories.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  19 mild obscenities; 1 religious profanity; 5 derogatory names; 15 scatological words; 9 anatomical terms; 10 F-word derivatives as well as 3 instances of “wtf”.

Violence/Gore:  Many (146) brief incidents including characters wanting to hurt others; characters could potentially get hurt; similes of feeling like gotten hurt; joking about hurting someone; children play violent game like sword fighting and shooting guns; character killed in game; character may have to choose to die in order to save others; implication that people were killed; verbal threats; threatened with gun; character tells another to kill self and others; character imagines what dead people look like; reference to character getting burned; many second-hand reports of death, suicide, and murder; character reads a story about death and mentioned it in vivid detail (one sentence); reference to genocide and poverty; reference to apocalypse, fire, pestilence, and famine; reference to ghost story; references to killing or hurting sea creatures; second-hand report of attempted murder; second-hand reports of children getting kidnapped; reference to destruction of property resulting in death of some; references to child abuse (physical) by parent; second-hand report of strangling; reference to characters cutting off own legs; reference to planes and children going missing; second-hand report of character having been branded; few incidents of characters receiving non-life threatening injuries; character imagines blood; character thought to have killed magical character; character turns people to stone; hunting including animal hunting other animals; teens and adults fighting; character purposely breaks brother’s arm; non-detailed scenes of death and murder of YA and adults; male characters of all ages fighting to the death including blood and gore; animal kills another animal with detail given.

Sex/Nudity:  Many (57) brief incidents including kissing; holding hands; touching face, hand, neck, back & shoulder; flirting; dancing; cuddling; arm around; naked mermaids; naked changeling; character wants to swim naked through space; implied rape; reported affair; reported sex; male character touching female character and brushes against her breasts; characters play strip poker resulting in female in see-through bra and male character completely naked; minors have sex (without explicit detail).

Mature Subject Matter:

Death, murder, minors having sex, advice on stealing and blackmail, underage drinking and smoking, drug references.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Character thought another character smoked cigarettes or snorted Adderall; references to selling drugs; reference to drugs making you feel good; several references to characters drinking; reference to opium; character drugs others; a few references to characters doing various illegal drugs; teenagers drinking, smoking cigarettes and marijuana at a party.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I love being able to help busy parents who just don’t have the time to pre-screen all their children’s books and know how much I appreciate it as my sons have gotten older. I feel very blessed that my amazing husband makes it possible for me to be a stay-at-home mother to four amazing boys. When not reading or enjoying time with my family, I like baking, especially trying new recipes, and the occasional sewing project.