I am shattered. This book left me speechless. There have not been many books that have touched me in a way as ML Rio’s If We Were Villains has – here are my thoughts!
After ten years in prison for a murder he may or may not have committed, Oliver finally opens up to the former detective about what happened back then, when the seven actors where at college – soon to be six. When one of the seven friends turns up dead, the remaining six must convince the police and themselves that they have nothing to do with the death of their friend and that it was an accident. In a place where everyone can fake their feelings and when roles turn to reality, the six friends must face their greatest acting challenge yet.
The plot, oh my, the plot was incredible. There was never a second where I wasn’t on edge – positively – where I didn’t want to know what happens next. The story was magnificent, murder combined with theater and Shakespeare. I especially enjoyed the scenes where we got to see the plays the actors where preforming where the students never knew the others’ characters and only knew who they were playing themselves. These plays where not only interesting to follow, but also very important for character and story development, which was great.
The characters where on a whole new level. The synopsis says the classmates seem to play the same characters onstage and off and that was the very special thing about the book that made it unique. We rarely get such things in books, characters that seem so very known on the one hand as they resemble the onstage character, but who are strangers in other parts. I love and hate every character in a different way and the ending left me shocked.
The writing was everything I love about books. The combination of normal conversation mixed with Shakespeare quotes are something I have never experienced before and why I was hesitant to read the book at first because I don’t know much about Shakespeare. But let me tell you, read it because of that. You don’t have to be a fan of theater or of Shakespeare himself or know him to love this book because sometimes these quotes can express what normal conversation can’t and that is who these characters are – theater geeks who express themselves through Shakespeare and art.
The atmosphere was to die for. The whole book took place on the grounds of the elite university which sometimes resembled the Gryffindor common room. The old castle described as the house the seven students shared was a great addition to this book and the whole book seemed to take place in an alternative universe. It was enchanting.
Recommendable: definitely to everyone!
Whether you are a fan of murder/crime, of Shakespeare, of great character development, twists and turns or simply of great literature, this is the perfect book for you. It may be my favorite read so far this year.