Just a girl obsessed with books and movies sharing her thoughts.

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“For someone who loved words as much as I did, it was amazing how often they failed me.”
― M.L. Rio

If you spend some time on Instagram lurking around the #bookstagram community, you would probably see this book pop into view a few times. One thing caught my attention right away was the title. I’ve always been fascinating by villains and their roles in the stories, so adding this book to my TBR was a must. I had no prior knowledge what it is about and I must say it makes the whole experience even more enjoyable.

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If We Were Villains centered around a group of 4th Year students from Dellecher, a theatre school. As they tackled their senior years, a few tensions rose and imminently their behaviors will be tested as the pressure to perform increases as the difficulties to separate one’s self from the plays.

“Imagine having all your own thoughts and feelings tangled up with all the thoughts and feelings of a whole other person. It can be hard, sometimes, to sort out which is which.”

If We Were Villains, M.L Rio

This book is pretty much a fantasy comes true for anyone with an interest for college-set, Shakespeares’ plays and language. It’s as if the author dedicates the whole book to literature and art, which was very pleasing to read. Throughout the story, the students four of Shakespeare’s plays which manifests a few themes in common : love, loss, jealousy, betrayal, and violence.

These themes are explored by each of the student’s character. The rawness in M.L Rio’s words is breathtaking and stunning. The main protagonist is Oliver, not much of a character at first, always the last one to be picked kind of vibe but somehow his character development was one of the wildest.

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The interesting part of the book is also the criticism the author seemed to be doing about competition and high-achieving school environment, often toxic but blinded by the student’s love to attain perfection and please the teachers. The only thing that was annoying to me is when the characters insist on speaking to each other in Shakespeare’s verses. At the beginning, it was pretty interesting but as the book goes on and I realize that they would speak like this no matter what I started skipping some lines.

Overall, I don’t think I have ever enjoyed quite a book like this in a long time and it’s a book that I would add to my re-read list. Definitely recommend this title for anyone who loves a good mystery and a college-set-up kind of story.

What do you think? Would you read this book? If you already have, what are your thoughts about the novel?




5 responses to “If We Were Villains by M.L Rio”

  1. Georgia @ Lost in Neverland Avatar

    I’ve not read this but it sounds amazing! Adding it to my tbr right away!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trang Avatar

      Yess, if you can give it a go 😀 !

      Liked by 1 person

  2. todd Avatar

    I’d not heard of this one (not on Instagram) but I love seeing how much you enjoyed it. It’s always great to stumble upon a book that ends up being something you look forward to one day rereading.


  3. Pink Roses Avatar

    I do like books with college settings, like The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I haven’t heard of this writer but have made a note of M L Rio.


  4. TOP 5 Books I read in 2021 – Bookidote Avatar

    […] It took me an awful long time to finally sit down and read this book and WOW it was worth it! One of my biggest highlights of 2021. I’ve never been this intrigued and invested in a story before. Unpredictable turn of events, adding to it the dark academia tones, with studying Shakespeare and having the university surrounding of theatre students. It’s brilliant. You can read my full book review here. […]


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