Because You Love To Hate Me (Edited by Ameriie) – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Because You Love To Hate Me
Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, Nicola Yoon, Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA and The Lushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (Jessethereader), Zoë Hardt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (PollandbananasBOOKS) & Steph Sinclair and Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery)
** Click the names and it will take you to the author goodreads page or the BookTubers channels – Yes I linked all 24 people!**
Genre: YA Fantasy Anthology
Publication Date: July 11th, 2017
Pages: 339 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Bloomsbury
3 and a half star

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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!

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So this is only going to be my thoughts on each of the short stories in this book! Some I didn’t care for and some I loved! I won’t be able to talk too much about each as there isn’t much to each and I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.

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Rating: 2.5 stars

So this was one of the stories that were just kind of meh for me. It was interesting but didn’t wow me too much. I liked that it showed that some people can’t control their anger (kind of like Bipolar I guess, I’m not sure if that is actually the case though for the MC).

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Rating: 3.5 stars

This one is a Jack and the Beanstalk retelling from the Giants POV. I enjoyed the main character and also Jack. I have never read the actual Jack and the Beanstalk story but I have seen the movie adaptations and I rather like this more than what is usually the case. This one wasn’t my favourite either but was pretty good.

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Rating: 1.5 stars

Strongly disliked this one. I didn’t like the format as this one is written in text messages. But it’s not just 2 people texting back and forward it’s the MC texting about 4 different people and it gets so confusing. Even if they had left an extra line of a blank text when it changes character so that way we can more easily follow who is talking at the time. Having to stop and look at how the message is to and from every couple seconds really messes with the flow of the book. And also I could not stand Gwen. Not just because she is technically the villain, but she is a petty, pathetic, immature and selfish person.

Warning! Love triangle!

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Rating: 3.5 stars

I enjoyed this one. I liked the mysterious aspect of Jim and I also liked the hidden corner of the library setting of the book! I didn’t fully see the ‘villain’ aspect of this one that much though honestly. So as a story about Villains I was kind of disappointed but as a story, in general, it was pretty good.

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Rating: 2 stars

I honestly barely remember this story so it must not have been too exciting. But I remember the ending being really confusing and the plot was dull. And also who is this author?! She has no other books on Goodreads but this one? So I honestly don’t see why she is in this book.

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Rating: 4 stars

Now we are getting somewhere! This one was really good. So this one was a twist on The Little Mermaid. I liked the Villain in this one and I wasn’t at all angry when she committed the crime that made her a villain. But at the same time, I thought she was very immature at the start as it seems most of Marissa Meyer’s MC are like (I’ve only read Heartless and Cinder and both the MCs started out similar to this story).

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Rating: 4.5 stars

Trigger Warning: Rape (Not descriptive, just implied)

This one is a retelling of Medusa and I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the meaning behind this story and how it relates to things that are happening all the time in the real world. I enjoyed that Benjamin brought this up in his part too. I enjoyed seeing Medusa in a different light, I don’t have a massive knowledge of the Medusa story though.

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Rating: 5 stars

Honestly, I had to take a second at the end of this book because it was just so good. This story is beautiful but has an extremely unexpected twist right at the end. I haven’t read anything by Victoria Schwab but I love her writing in this book. This felt like more than a short story but this was literally under 20 pages! I also loved Jesse’s Dear Death and it honestly nearly made me cry!

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Rating: 3.5 stars

I didn’t love or hate this one. It was pretty good and I liked the aspect of girls can stand up for themselves and not just be used. And that twist at the end I was not expecting. Isaac I kind of enjoyed but also he was naive and didn’t even realise the damage he could be doing or that another was unhappy. George was just a pathetic and selfish person.

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Rating: 3 stars

So, honestly my first thought when reading this book is what the heck is it with Adam Silvera and altering memories. In his book More Happy Than Not messing with memories is a big part and in this one there is something called a memory drug. But anyway, moving on. This one’s, MC is kind of a Psycho really by the way they do things. I didn’t love or hate this story. It was okay but nothing exciting. The writing of this book kind of through me off too as it’s written in second person POV which I don’t know if I like or not, being my first experience with it.

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Rating: 3.5 stars

For this one, I liked being in Julian’s head. It was funny and I liked his general way of thinking most of the time. Granted he is still a psycho and does very much overreact a little. But I also liked that there are the real life problems in this book too. And I also liked that the being able to break every rule part also shows that that isn’t  always the best thing either!

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Rating: 3 stars

This one was kind of dull and predictable. This is a beauty and the beast retelling and I did like that the gender roles were kind of swapped in this book and that it was a little different as the MC was (according to Whitney) a retelling of Gaston. This one didn’t wow me but I did like some small aspects of it.

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Rating: 2.5 stars

I didn’t really get this story. I understand the basic meaning behind the story after reading Steph & Kat’s part but throughout the story, I just kind of didn’t get it. I didn’t mind the swapping from present to past to present. And I didn’t mind the skipping ahead months or years at a time just to show the main things that happened with Serra. But a lot of it felt forced, it didn’t just flow nicely and I think that was because there was so much skipping and straight info.

Well, I think that is all for this review!


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Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Flame in the Mist
Renee Ahdieh
Genre: YA Fantasy & Retelling
Publication Date: May 16th, 2017
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Hachette Australia
3 and a half star

*Thank you to Hachette Australia & NetGalley – I received an eGalley in return for an honest review*
*All opinions are my own & 100% honest*

You can pre-order a copy of this book from Hachette Australia or Book Depository, just click the links.

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The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.


If there are any SPOILERY parts of the view they will be in purple font.

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This cover is really pretty. I like how they incorporated the throwing stars in with the flowers around the peacock. I’m not sure what the peacock has to do with the actual story as I don’t remember a peacock ever being mentioned. But it is still a gorgeous cover.

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This book is written in third person POV, which I don’t really enjoy that much. It’s not horrible but I just feel like I can’t connect with the characters as much as I can with first person POV. I enjoyed Renee Ahdieh’s writing but I think this book would have been soo much better in first person POV.

I kinda wish that I had known at the start that there was a glossary at the back of the book because there were a fair few terms mentioned that were in a different language and I had no idea what some of them meant. Like the odd one I could figure out what it meant, but most I had no idea and it was really frustrating. As I read the book in digital copy I didn’t even know it was there until the last page and I swiped across and there it was! Would have been handier at the start.

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I enjoyed the aspects of this book that were similar to Mulan. I had never even heard of a Mulan retelling until this book, so I enjoyed that part of it. Obviously it didn’t stick exactly to plot of Mulan but some of the main points were still present. In Mulan, Mulan volunteers to go to war in her father’s place by dressing up as a man. Where as this story takes a different turn of events to lead to Mariko pretending to be a man, involve arranged marriages, a dark forest, unknown creatures and a plot to kill Mariko. This story is a little bit darker at times as well, but I have never read the original Mulan story, it could be even darker than this one, I’ve only seen the Disney movie and as it’s a children’s move its pretty tame most of the time. In this story Mariko’s brother also plays a major role, which I enjoyed sometimes and then others not so much. He was kind of a confusing character, but I will talk about that more in the Characters section below. I don’t believe Mulan had a brother in the Disney adaptation of the story, so this was an interesting addition.

Also I don’t understand the magic system in this book at all. There is one guy who has these magnificent powers, there is a woman who walks through a tree into some other place and that’s about the extent of the magic and it just confused me. Also at one point it implied that the guy with magnificent powers paid or something to be given the powers which is even more confusing.

Also, I don’t understand at all what the point was of showing Ranmaru’s feelings for Yumi. There was no explanation at all as to why she was ignoring him. How Ranmaru came to have feelings for Yumi, outside of her physical appearance. It just didn’t make sense that they put it in there for like one page and then said no more about it. 

Another odd bit was the part where Okami found out that Mariko was actually a female. So, I kinda understand why Mariko kissed Okami, but I don’t get why he kissed her back. Only a few minutes ago he believed she was a male, I have nothing against 2 males having feelings for eachother, but it just didn’t make sense. I don’t know if the author was going for an insta love type deal when it comes to Okami’s feelings for Mariko or what it was.

And the last thing that isn’t specifically plot, it’s more the characters, but I’m putting it here anyway… Why does no one in this damn book tell the truth.. It’s kinda irritating. Mariko, Okami, Ranmaru, Mariko’s father, The Empress and the royal consort (can’t remember her name) are all lying and keeping secrets. It was getting a little monotonous.

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So I have already said that I couldn’t really connect with or fully understand the characters because it was in third person POV. But I’ll still talk about some of the main characters.

I  didn’t mind Mariko, I like that most of the time she made calculated decisions and never gave up on what she was trying to do. Okami was that character that showed no emotions and then does for the right person, while I don’t hate that type of character, they also aren’t my favourite. Like we get it, you’re tough.. You are allowed to show happiness atleast.. Ranmaru, I don’t really know, he may have been the clan leader but he was still kinda background in the story itself most of the time. Yoshi, first off I’m surprised that spelling of this name isn’t trademarked to Mario Bros or Nintendo or something. But anyway, I liked him, he was interesting and treated Mariko like a human being from the start even if sometimes she annoyed him. Kenshin, was just I don’t know. He was confusing most of the time. Like I know that he was just trying to save his sister, but some rationally thinking sometimes wouldn’t have hurt! And what has with killing that old guy and the two kids and waking up and not remembering doing it?! Sorry what and how?

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Well this book was okay, but it wasn’t fabulous. There was a lot of confusing elements and seen as this is the first book in a duology, there is a lot of things that need to be explained in that second book. Is one book really going to be enough? I disliked the third person POV in this book. Third person POV can be done really well, for example, Harry Potter.. So it’s not that I hate Third Person POV as Harry Potter is my favourite series ever. But this book there was just no connection to characters and a majority of the time I just didn’t understand why they did anything.

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