Ameriie is a woman of many talents — you might remember her best from her 2005 hit, “1 Thing,” but now, the Grammy nominee has taken her talents to YouTube, where she vlogs about beauty, style, and our personal favorite: books!
Now, Ameriie can add “editor” to her resume, as she’s partnered with other BookTubers and YA giants like Nicola Yoon and Marissa Meyer to create Because You Love to Hate Me, a new anthology celebrating all the delightfully bad guys and gals out there. Ameriie tells EW:
“When I think of my favorite TV shows and stories, I find that ultimately, I’m asking myself Why? Why did this so-called villain do this terrible thing? Having a good reason and being hell-bent on going after a goal seems to be the difference between wanting the so-called bad guy to get caught and wanting him to prevail in the end, even if it means escaping justice. It’s why we root for Nucky Thompson and Tony Montana and Francis Underwood, after all.
Everyone loves to hate a villain (or loves to love one, even), and sometimes we’re afraid of what that might mean about ourselves and our own values. What is right? What is wrong? Can something very wrong today be deemed a necessary evil years later? Where’s the line? Is there a line?
For me, storytelling is more about questions than answers, and it only made sense to explore the concept of villainy from as many perspectives as possible. I had a lot of fun doing this in my own story, which spun from a prompt involving a twist (or twisted?) version of Jack and the Beanstalk. I’m so grateful for the fantastic contributors involved, who approached the topic from some very creative angles. And I can’t wait to unleash Because You Love to Hate Me upon the world. (Cue maniacal laughter.)
EW is excited to reveal the anthology’s cover, as well as Ameriie’s introduction and a complete list of who’s involved, below. Because You Love to Hate Me is due out in summer 2017.
Excerpt from Because You Love to Hate Me
“You don’t have the guts to be what you wanna be? You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your f@*$!n’ fingers and say, ‘That’s the bad guy.’”
—“Tony Montana” in Scarface
Villains. Stories are nothing without them. Heroes cannot rise to greatness without them. In the absence of an enemy, our beloved protagonists are left kicking rocks in the Shire or taking tea and biscuits in a mind-numbingly cheery Spare Oom. We love villains because they turn their aches into action, their bruises into battering rams. They push through niceties and against societal restraints to propel the story forward. Unlike our lovable protagonists, villains—for better or worse—stop at literally nothing to achieve their goals. It’s why we secretly root for them, why we find ourselves hoping they make their grand escape, and it’s why our shoulders sag with equal parts relief and disappointment when they are caught. After all, how can you not give it up to someone who works that damned hard for what they want?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve empathized with the underdog, the misunderstood, the so-called wicked. Perhaps it has much to do with my worldview, which questions the very existence of “good” and “evil” in the first place. Maybe what is considered good today is foolish tomorrow; perhaps the terrible deeds done now will prove themselves necessary evils in a year’s time, a hundred years’ time. I’ve always found the concept of good and evil to be wholly complicated, ever since learning as a kid about that conversation God had with Satan regarding Job. It was like seeing your best friend commiserating with your sworn nemesis: Hold up, you guys are on speaking terms?
Villains aren’t created in a vacuum; they’ve likely suffered devastations and have made the best choices available, never mind their decisions might differ from our own. They’ve also had their share of oft-forgotten moments of truth and honor (Jaime Lannister, anyone?). Villains take the risks our heroes can’t afford to take and make the choices our heroes are too afraid to make. They live in the Grey, and I, for one, love that sliver of space between light and dark, where things tend to be more interesting, people are more complex, and it’s harder to draw clean lines. Look into a villain’s eyes long enough and we might find our shadow selves, our uncut what ifs and unchecked ambitions, a blurry line if ever there was one.
Because You Love to Hate Me isn’t just about badass villains, but about ourselves, in all our horror and glory. Within these pages you will find 13 stories of villainy written by some of today’s greatest writers paired with commentary by 13 of the most influential booktubers and bloggers on YouTube and in the blogosphere. (Unlucky #13, reppin’ baddies since 1307.) You’ll see nefarious old favorites and new faces, some reimagined, some twisted out of context, but not in the ways you might expect. The perspectives explored in these stories force us to re-examine our most fiercely held notions of good and evil, right and wrong, and what it is to be human. To be alive. Life, Death, Hate, Love, Vengeance, and Heartbreak—it’s all here.
Villains, the deliciously wicked. We love to hate them and they hate to be loved, if only because being hated frees them from having to be good.
And we’d have it no other way.
April Genevieve Tucholke
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)
Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel)