If We Were Villains Review

  • Author: M.L. Rio
  • Series: Standalone
  • No. of pages: 432
  • Dates read: 13.04.20 – 17.04.20
  • Rating: 5 stars! Favourite!

Plot: Oliver Marks has just served ten years for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day of his release, he is greeted by the detective who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, and he wants to know what really happened a decade before. As a young actor at an elite conservatory, Oliver noticed that his talented classmates seem to play the same characters onstage and off – villain, hero, temptress – though he was always a supporting role. But when the teachers change the casting, a good-natured rivalry turns ugly, and the plays spill dangerously over into real life. When tragedy strikes, one of the seven friends is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless…

Is it possible to both hate and love a book?

I love this book but I hate what it did to my emotions!

If I was to describe what this book is about I would say relationships! This book focuses on the relationships between the characters both them as a whole unit as well as the smaller connections within the core group. I loved exploring the various dynamics this group had and also see how their dynamics changed both before and after the murder. It actually reminded me slightly of a friendship group that I was apart of though obviously less dramatic and no murder!

I really enjoyed the structuring of the book where each section was split into acts and each chapter titled scenes.

I loved the weaving of Shakespeare in this story. This book is a Shakespearian tragedy in itself. I loved the different ways Shakespeare’s works were referenced and mentioned. Obviously, they are Shakespeare students so he is heavily involved in this book but I loved how we would see his work quoted in this story through random quotes the characters fire out in a normal conversation to actually performing the play to a conversation between 2 characters which was them practising their lines but really using the lines to tell them what they actually feel. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL. Though this book did test my Shakespeare knowledge.

These characters were so distinct and layered and it’s hard to really give them justice with my review. I just loved how varied they are, Rio going into this story truly knew her characters and what made them tick. She knew their strengths and their weaknesses. She knew how far they would go for another person or how long it would take to make them crack and I loved it.

I found this book super easy to read and normally I try to read at least 50 pages a day but I was reading at one point over 100 pages in one sitting. I couldn’t put the book down! One of Rio’s best moments was when it came to writing tension. Whether the tension of panic fueled or fueled by anger she had me on the edge of my seat waiting desperately to know what happened next!

The next book I will be reviewing is Stormfront by Jim Butcher.

6 thoughts on “If We Were Villains Review

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