Okay so WHAT
I was absolutely delighted when I noticed this at the library, and proceeded to read it in two days and mull over it for much longer (presumably. It’s been a few hours since I finished and I haven’t stopped thinking about it so…. predicting things, here). It provides thirteen short (antihero!!!) stories written in collaboration with thirteen booktubers. After the story, the booktuber(s) (who gave the author the prompt/challenge) paired with the author get to do a short feature/commentary on the story.
Here are some of my favorite pairings and my brief thoughts on them:
The Blood of Imuriv by Renée Ahdieh
—–The Evil Vaccine by Christine Riccio
I was instantly hooked, instantly intrigued by the setting and the characters and at the end, I wanted more. Somehow, within a few pages, the family was fully developed and I understood what was going through his head. Which was slightly terrifying.
And the commentary piece? *dies laughing*
*slinks off to corner to pet cats and mull over evil agenda*
The Blessing of Little Wants by Sarah Enni
—–Will the Real Villain Please Stand Up? by Sophia Lee
Whoaaa. Yes to the plot twist and yes to the scarily relatable antiheroine and yes in general, okay?
Beautiful Venom by Cindy Pon
—–Without the Evil in the World, How Do We See the Good? by Ben Alderson
Chinese Medusa retelling! And it’s an excellent commentary on society and our culture. This is a story we need in this world.
Death Knell by Victoria Schwab
—–Dear Death by Jesse George
Okay but THIS IS WHY I ADORED THE NEAR WITCH. And why I adore Victoria Schwab. And why I adore stories like this. And why I adore in general, bc who are we kidding here.
Julian Breaks Every Rule by Andrew Smith
—–Julian Powell by Raeleen Lemay
Psychopathic High School Boy Can Kill Anyone With His Mind Except For This One Awful Guy.
Sera by Nicola Yoon
—–The Bad Girls Guide to Villainy by Steph Sinclair and Kat Kennedy
This just blew me away. Like, I’m not really a fan of Nicola Yoon’s other books (Everything, Everything, for example, was majorly problematic), and still won’t be instantly putting everything she ever writes onto my TBR- but I won’t be totally ignoring them, either. I was Intrigued.
TL;DR? These stories have important messages that need to be heard. The line between good and evil isn’t so much a line as a blur. Often, those who are branded as ‘wicked’ are actually the victims.
And read these stories, please.