SPOILER FREE REVIEW
Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com):
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).
Goodreads Rating: 3.62/5 Stars
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
I want to open with this: on a normal day, I usually struggle with reading anthologies. But that was not the case with this anthology! I completely ate up these stories and didn’t abandon a single one of them. I believe that it came down to the collaboration done between some of my favorite BookTubers and top young adult authors out there.
While some of the thirteen villains were more hardcore than the others, there were three stories that I enjoyed more than the rest:
- “Death Knell” by Victoria Schwab
- “You, You, It’s All About You” by Adam Silvera
- “Julian Breaks Every Rule” by Andrew Smith
There are many reasons why I enjoyed these three stories more than the rest. Primarily, the story challenges the booktubers gave to the authors. They gave the perfect amount of space to the authors to play around with both characterization and plot. (Also, these stories were the perfect length and wonderfully encompassed writing skills that I aspire to have.) Not to mention, we got to see stories in first, second, and third person point of view, which circulated so you never got too tired of reading in one perspective type.
Here’s a brief overview of why I enjoyed the stories so much:
“Death Knell” quickly became one of my favorites because of the story structure and writing style. Also, as a writer myself, I usually write about darkness and death in general, so I was jealous that V.E. Schwab wrote such a genius story before I had the chance to!
“You, You, It’s All About You” I haven’t read anything by Adam Silvera before and that definitely needs to change after reading this story. First of all, I loved the fact that this story was written in second person. It gave the readers a different way of experiencing the story and getting into the main characters head. Plus, it was a story about a female drug dealer – what’s not to like?
“Julian Breaks Every Rule” Throughout this entire tale, I was laughing out loud over the humor and overall chaos of the tale. It was, strangely enough, a charming story about a villain and I was disappointed when it ended, because I could have stayed with Julian for a while longer.
While this was a collaboration between authors and booktubers, I found myself enjoying the booktuber “essay’s” more than I thought I would! Many of them took creative routes with their discussions of the short stories. Some chose to create extensions of the stories and discuss what makes a villain a villain. Others went for creating a discussion through “social media” posts; still, others made quizzes for the readers to complete. While reading the stories were fun in general, seeing what the booktubers felt and had to say was also powerful in itself.
Overall, I completely loved this anthology. When I first heard of it on BookTube, I knew I had to put it on my list. I was also lucky enough to preorder a copy so I had it for my family vacation. Honestly, I hope these authors and booktubers come together again for another anthology.