Review: If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

If We Were Villains
If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
Publisher: MacMillan Audio
Format: audiobook
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oliver Marks has just served ten years in jail – for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he’s released, he’s greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade ago.

As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingenue, extra. But when the casting changes, and the secondary characters usurp the stars, the plays spill dangerously over into life, and one of them is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.


My thoughts

I listened to the audiobook and read an arc of this title. It’s been a long time since I had the arc and I wasn’t able to read it till now. All I have to say is that it’s worth the read. The audiobook narrator was brilliant!

Reading this was an interesting experience and it almost reminded me of the time I’ve read The Secret History. Basically, the main character looks back into their past and it’s up to the reader to figure out (read about) who did it. But unlike The Secret History, the reader does not know who died and who did it (in this novel).

It is also a character-driven novel. Some events that took place influenced the actions of the characters (plot).

Well, what else can I say about this novel?

There’s a Richard Papen figure, LGBTQ+ rep, and the writing was excellent! I would definitely read more books from this author.

However, what I least liked had been the interruptions of flashbacks and the ending. These are actually both opinions. I think it will be obvious to anyone who has read it.

Before you read (or while you read), feel free to give my playlist a listen (I’m kind of proud of it):

Trigger warnings include: drug & alcohol abuse, assault

Have you read this book?

Let me know down in the comments

Published by Claire @bookscoffeeandrepeat

Filipino American YA book blogger. Coffee connoisseur. Fond of art, films, & music. Likes to read about antiheroes and villains.

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