Title: If We Were Villains
Author: M.L. Rio
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publish Date: April 11, 2017
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "On the day Oliver Marks
is released from jail, the man who put him there is waiting at the door.
Detective Colborne wants to know the truth, and after ten years, Oliver
is finally ready to tell it.
Ten years ago: Oliver is one of
seven young Shakespearean actors at Dellecher Classical Conservatory, a
place of keen ambition and fierce competition. In this secluded world of
firelight and leather-bound books, Oliver and his friends play the same
roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingénue,
extra. But in their fourth and final year, the balance of power begins
to shift, good-natured rivalries turn ugly, and on opening night real
violence invades the students’ world of make believe. In the morning,
the fourth-years find themselves facing their very own tragedy, and
their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, each other,
and themselves that they are innocent."
My Two Cents:
We Were Villains" is the story of a group of college students who are
studying to be Shakespearean actors at an elite college. This group is
at the top of their game. They are constantly chosen for the best parts
and their parts start bleeding into real life. When one of them ends up
dead and another ends up in jail for the murder, no one can tell what is
truth and what is fiction. Nothing adds up. This book had a slowwwww
start for me but boy, the middle all the way to the ending was
When the book opens, Oliver has been in jail for 10
years and is about to be released. The detective that worked on his case
contacts him and wants to know what really happened and Oliver agrees
to tell him because he wants absolution even if he has already received
the punishment. The story flashes back and forth between the past and
the present and we get to know the others in the group. We see how
Richard (the one who will end up dead) takes his parts to heart and may
take them too far. Is it method acting? Is it for power? That's left up
to the reader to decide.
As I mentioned this book had a slow
start for me. Yeah, Oliver is in jail for a crime he may or may not have
committed in the beginning of the book but at first the cast of
characters seems like a bunch of unrealistic elitist actors who take
themselves way too seriously. Looks are deceiving and as the book moves,
we see that these characters have more substance than the labels
assigned to them throughout their acting.
It took to page 100
for me to REALLY get into the story and then it happened with a flash
and a bang and the action continued to the very last page. So be patient
with this one and you will be rewarded.