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)
Thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a copy of BYLTHM!
So if you invest a lot of time watching, reading, writing, talking (etc) in the online book community, then you would’ve heard about this anthology. Edited by Ameriie, thirteen well known YA authors and booktubers paired up to each write a story on a villain. Forget the heroes and the royals and the average side characters; this book is all about the bad guys. This book came out in Australia a little bit later than the US and because there was so much of a build up and so many of my favourite authors and booktubers features in it, I had high expectations.
I didn’t hear many people talking about their thoughts on the anthology after reading the book, and I didn’t actively search for reviews, so apart from the hype and my expectations, I didn’t really know how it was going to go. If you’ve read my last couple reviews, then you would know that I was in a reading slump during August (I’m slowly getting my way out of it), so it took me a couple weeks to get through this. But if I’m being completely honest, I didn’t love BYLTHM as much as I thought I would.
The stories weren’t bad, I just wasn’t intrigued by most of them. And if I’m being honest again, I actually liked the prompts and small sections that the booktubers wrote more than I liked the stories written by the authors. I found them humorous and creative and it was something a little bit different which I really liked.
I have a real question: why weren’t the prompts that the booktubers gave the authors put in the book before the authors story? For example, I personally think it should’ve been set out as: booktuber and prompt, authors story based off prompt, booktuber’s creative piece. Instead, their prompts weren’t shown until after the story which was really confusing. In the end, I just skimmed to the end of the story to read the prompt and then went back and read the story. It made a lot more sense that way.
I’ve only read a few anthologies and short story type collections before; Stephanie Perkins’ summer and winter collections is the first that comes to mind. I enjoyed these a bit more (maybe because I’m more of a contemporary fan), but I guess even in these collections, I wasn’t overwhelmed but the stories. I find short stories a bit more difficult to read; I’m not able to grow a connection to the characters in such a short amount of time, and I seem to always get confused from the beginning because they almost start from a mid way point.
There were a few stories in this anthology that I enjoyed (Marissa Meyer, Adam Silvera, Nicola Yoon) and some more (I really wish I tabbed the ones I liked). But I just didn’t love it as much as I thought I would.
If you’ve read this anthology, then be sure to comment below what your thoughts on it are. Did you get confused by the layout of the prompts? Was it as good as you thought it would be? Whose story was your favourite?