Cover Image: If We Were Villains

If We Were Villains

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Member Reviews

5 stars--I loved it. An amazing read that's exactly my genre.

Three things about this book that might make you love it or hate it:

1. It's very similar to The Secret History, both in plot and theme. I love The Secret History, so this was right up my alley.

2. It contains an abundance of Shakespeare. There's a Shakespeare quote or play discussion on nearly every page. The characters speak to each other using phrases from Shakespeare. 

3. The characters are pretentious, entitled, white college kids. I found them all pretty unlikeable but that didn't hinder my enjoyment of the book; I was fascinated by them and their sheltered world. I came to have the same love-hate relationship with them that they had with each other. (And as an English major who used to communicate with my other English-major friends using scraps of poems, I can relate. I wince at the memory, but relate!)

This book is a suspense novel in one of my favorite settings (college). I couldn't stop reading to see what happened, and overall, despite some minor quibbles, really loved this book.

I received this review copy from the publisher on NetGalley. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review; I appreciate it!
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I very much enjoyed the book. The intro immediately pulls you in, but the first introduction to all the students was rough to keep track of all the characters. It gets easier and each character becomes fleshed out and individual. It's a unique story  and Rio's obvious mastery of Shakespeare adds  so much to the story. 

I think this has the potential to be crossover for teens  and adults since the audience is really both. Not to mention it would certainly make studying Shakespeare more interesting to the general populous. 

One of my only negatives is that it doesn't feel set in 1997. I suppose it's a good excuse to not include cell phones, but there are no references to fashion or pop culture and I  can't imagine the school would be so insular as to not know about Hanson.
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What really happened ten years ago when one of a group of college students studying Shakespeare was killed? Oliver was arrested and convicted of the crime, but the detective who arrested him as always wondered if he got the right man. Now as Oliver is being released, detective Colbourne is about to retire and approaches Oliver, hoping to uncover the truth. What follows is the story of seven students so involved in the stage characters they portray, that fantasy and reality begin to blur, resulting in disastrous consequences. This is a literate mystery that is more subtle than most of the thrillers published today, but the reader’s patience will be rewarded by this rich and evocative story
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