I am so thrilled to be part of the Because You Love to Hate Me blog tour, celebrating the villains in books. I had the opportunity to review this incredible anthology and interview Susan Dennard and Sasha Alsberg. Keep reading for a giveaway at the end of this post!
About the Book:
Title: Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy
Author: Ameriie (editor)
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Synopsis: 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 (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)
Because You Love to Hate Me is such an original anthology! This book is a collection of short stories celebrating the villains of YA. I personally love villains, and having an entire book dedicated to them is so satisfying. What I really enjoyed is the fact that the stories retold aren’t ones that are too common, such as Medusa. I also found the booktuber-author pairings to be interesting, since I have never seen this before.
One of my favourite stories in this collection is Susan Dennard’s, which is a Sherlock retelling. In the story, Sherlock is actually female, which is a very unique twist. It also takes place in a boarding school, a setting that I always seem to enjoy. I also loved Marissa Meyer’s Little Mermaid retelling and Victoria Schwab’s story, which personifies death. There is really something for everyone in this anthology, and I would definitely recommend it to those who are fascinated by villains.
Interview with Susan Dennard and Sasha Alsberg:
1. I love the fact that Shirley and Jim is a Sherlock retelling! Are you a Sherlockian? Who is your favourite Sherlock Holmes character?
I don’t know if I qualify as a Sherlockian, but I have followed many iterations of Sherlock Holmes. My grandparents first got me hooked when I was a kid, giving me an abridged version of the mysteries, as well as letting me watch many an episode of the 1980s Sherlock Holmes TV show with them. (My favorite tale was always “The Adventure of the Speckled Band.”)
When the BBC show came along a few years ago, it reminded me of that childhood love for mysteries and problem solving. Plus, Sherlock-love aside, it’s just an awesome show. And Andrew Scott on there is handsdown my favorite portrayal of Moriarty EVER.
2. Jim is described as a rebel in your story, while Shirley seems to be a do-gooder. Which character do you relate to more?
Shirley. Ha! I’m such a goody-goody. Growing up, I was always that kid who followed the rules and did her best in class. Deep down, though, I wanted to be a rebel, and I did give it a try in college. Eye-liner, studded belts, punk music. But let’s face it: that’s not who I really am, and the persona didn’t stick for long.
3. Another aspect of Shirley and Jim that is so exciting are the chess games that take place. Is chess a game that you enjoy and play often?
I wouldn’t say I play often, but I do enjoy it when I get the chance to play. I taught myself how in college, and for a while there, I was pretty addicted (what a rebel!). I would play with anyone who knew how, but more often than not, I got my butt whooped by the computer. It was awesome fun, and I still carry that love for strategy games to this day.
About the Author:
Susan Dennard has come a long way from small-town Georgia. With a masters degree in marine biology, she got to travel the world—six out of seven continents, to be exact (she’ll get to Asia one of these days!)—before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor.
She is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series (from HarperTeen) as well as the forthcoming Witchlands Series (Tor, 2015). When not writing, she can be found hiking with her dogs, exploring tidal pools, or earning bruises at the dojo.
1. Do you ever find yourself empathizing with the villain when you are reading or watching tv?
All the time! I used to think that was weird when I was younger but then I learned how villains come in various forms and not all them think what they’re doing is bad. But, some villains I cannot empathize with at all. It’s the ones I can empathize with that are the ones that stick with me long after the book ends!
2. Who is your favourite fictional villain?
I think that Black Jack Randall from Outlander is truly a horrific person. I absolutely hate him with everything I can muster up within me. That’s why he’s my favorite, because he makes my blood literally boil!
3. You mention online façades in Dear Sasha, the 411 for Villains. Do you think that most people hide behind some sort of mask when they are online?
100% yes. Lots of people hide behind the screen and either they use that to be bold and good, or rude and awful. Someone can express themselves fully online because they can find a community they feel is unlike anything they have in the real world. Like the book community! READERS ARE OUT THERE! But then there are the trolls and haters who use their computer screens to hide behind because they love to feed negativity into the world. Cowards. So share love not hate! Use the screen to be positive and unite with people like you.
About the Author:
Sasha Alsberg is the #1 NYT Bestselling Co-Author of ZENITH: The Androma Saga.
When Sasha is not writing or obsessing over Scotland she is making YouTube videos on her channel Abookutopia. She lives in Northern Texas with her dog, Fraser.
For her writing, she is represented by Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary and is represented on YouTube by Brian Lieberman at Studio71.
You can win:
- one copy of Because You Love to Hate Me (open to US/Canada only)