Also, her prompt was short, simple, and perfect. This story just feels bad. Like, if Susan Dennard would have just wrote a Sherlock and Watson gender-bent love story people would have lost it and completely loved this. Instead she gender bends Sherlock and Watson so they can gush about Moriarty? Like, she could have just, you know, left Sherlock and Watson boys, and had Sherlock gush over Moriarty and people would have loved that too.
Instead, we get this bad feeling, pointless gender-bend modern day version of Sherlock Holmes.
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It is extra sad, because this short story was pretty addicting. Also, it's beautifully written, but it just feels so bad thinking of what could have been. The prompt and the story were close to perfection.
This story is about two witches that are trying to save magic. Half way through, these two characters were sitting in their common room, surrounded by books, I thought I was reading a much darker version of some kind of side quest in Harry Potter. Seriously, this short story is amazing. Also, I already said Sophia's prompt was perfection, but her essay at the end was what I wish everyone's essay was like.
It was informative, while making me think, and even pulled at my heartstrings a little bit. And I, too, want to know all of the things Sophia wants to know upon finishing this short story. Like, I hope they pair up again and give me at least a novella about Sigrid and the consequences of her choices.
You Decide! This book is a take on the sea witch from The Little Mermaid and it was everything I could have asked for and more. This short story also talks about loneliness in the face of only wanting love, and then betrayal when you only wanted to be accepted. Perfect villain, perfect messages, perfect story.
Like, if you're a fan of Marissa Meyer, this short story is a must read. How can anyone not love her? And her essay was so amazing as well. She really talked about a side of her life that I think so many people can relate to, even though I believe she is nothing close to a coward. I also loved her quiz, even though I ended up being a villain! This story was also perfection. I love the discussion on beauty standards and expectations, while even touching on the expectations of young girls to remain virginal.
Also, this story probably has the most evil villain in this entire anthology, and the twist was so beautiful and nothing you'd expect in a Medusa remake. Also, now I want to read everything Cindy Pon has written. I also am a pretty big fan of Ben, and his prompt was exactly what I wanted and expected from this anthology.
Ben broke down different elements of the story and talked about some of his favorite parts. I wish all the Booktubers did this, instead of their "creative" things, because this flowed so well and just highlighted Cindy Pon's story, while adding a great perspective. Her story made me so unexpectedly emotional, too.
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Like, I had tears on my cheeks through the entirety of this short story. I actually think this could be my favorite thing that VE Schwab has ever written. Seriously, if you're a fan of her beautiful and mesmerizing writing, read this short story. Jesse's essay ended up hitting really close to home for me, too. It was really impactful and showed a vulnerable side of him that I really appreciated, especially surrounding the topic of death.
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I loved both parts of this collaboration. Her prompt had to do with a folklore story about a fae queen that kidnaps young girls in nineteenth-century London. If you follow my reviews, you know that this screams "Melanie"! I couldn't not give this five stars, and Samantha Shannon weaves an amazing tale that balances whimsy and female empowerment. Like, I want an entire series surrounding this short story immediately.
I love Regan and Matilda and she, like Ben, broke down Samantha's story with her thoughts and feelings, which made for such a wonderful transition that felt so right and cohesive. Also, I think she might be one of the few Booktubers that is not planning on writing a book, which is a damn shame, because her writing is absolutely fantastic. This was, hands down, the best written thing from any of the Booktubers, and I even enjoyed it more than some of the actual stories written by published authors in this anthology.
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Regan is so talented, and it shined so brightly through with her essay. Oh, and her prompt was the second best of the entire collection, too. Regan gets all the stars! Also, teenage girl crime lord that wears a mask made from the old skin of her abusive father? Like, please, allow me to buy this full length novel. Also, the different drugs that Adam's main character dealt were so interesting. They were all so inventive and I honestly wish I knew even more. This was a really strong story and I think many people would really enjoy this one. I didn't really care for Catriona's essay on different masks.
It wasn't terrible or anything, but it, again like many of the others, made my reading experience feel disjointed after I read Adam's beautiful story. I almost thought the prompt was going to have to do with Death Note , but it was just a generic prompt about psychopaths in the future. I did like how this story bordered on not knowing if Julian really had these powers, or if he just thought he did. Being in an unreliable narrators mind is always a fun thing to read about, and I feel like Andrew Smith did a really good job executing that.
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I'm not sure if she creates Booktube videos anymore, which, I'm not going to lie, feels pretty bad, because I know there are so many active Booktubers out there that would have loved to be a part of something like this. Obviously I didn't hold that against her prompt, but I also won't lie that I felt a little disheartened when I looked up her channel and saw she hasn't posted a "Booktube" video in five months and that she's only posted three videos in all of I've never read anything by April Genevieve Tucholke before, but her writing was fantastic and so engrossing.
I was instantly pulled into this retelling that somehow merged Bell, the Beast, and Gaston all into one. Like, I can't explain it without spoilers, but it was very well done. I love the whimsical in this, I loved the feministic undertones, and I loved the ending. The look at each time period was a little boring at first, but when I got to the present day part? Oh, boy, it was amazing and such a powerful story to end this anthology on. I really enjoyed it, and I want to know everything about Sera and where life is going to take her now.
Plus, Steph and Kat's essay was also perfectly executed with feminism and just the glory of being a strong woman. It was also funny while also talking about some powerful and real situations in today's world. I loved it. Easily the best prompt in this entire collection. Praise and bless all three powerful women that collaborated on this story!
Wonderful story and a wonderful prompt. View all 41 comments. We love to hate them and they hate to be loved, if only because being hated frees them from having to be good. I read this book solely because of Victoria Schwab, even postponing my weekly watch of one of the greatest shows, The Bachelorette , to read it, so if that's not showing you how dedicated I am to my favorite author, I don't know what will?
I think to celebrate this villain anthology, I have decided to include a GIF of my favorite "villain" aka 3. I think to celebrate this villain anthology, I have decided to include a GIF of my favorite "villain" aka angsty prince turned nicer angsty Fire Lord This book was a hit or miss for me. Some of the stories I absolutely loved, most of them I had neutral or negative opinions of. A lot of the stories did not feel villainous at all, while others made me wanna sleep with one eye open. In the end, I decided just to find my average rating and rate from there. If you only read one short story from this, I would highly recommend the one Cindy Pon wrote.
I think should discuss, real quick, is that a huge part of this book is the presence of Booktubers. I've seen some reviews address the controversy, and I feel like I should mention it as well.