Nail-biting cliffhangers as high school drama unfolds in every chapter: book review

By Kaiden-Chase

If We Were Villains, written by American author M.L. Rio, is a captivating mystery novel that explores the dark side of ambition and obsession. The story follows a group of seven drama students at an elite arts school, who are all vying for the lead roles in their upcoming production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. However, their competitive spirit takes a sinister turn when one of their own is found dead, and the remaining six are left to grapple with the aftermath.

Rio’s writing is both poetic and suspenseful, drawing the reader in with vivid descriptions of the characters and their surroundings. The dialogue is sharp and witty, and the characters are well-developed and complex, each with their own motivations and secrets. As the story unfolds, the tension builds steadily, and the reader is left guessing until the very end.

One of the strengths of If We Were Villains is its exploration of the power dynamics within the group of friends. Rio examines the ways in which jealousy, envy, and unrequited love can drive people to do terrible things, and how the lines between reality and performance can become blurred. The Shakespearean themes of betrayal, revenge, and tragedy are woven seamlessly into the plot, adding depth and nuance to the story.

Overall, If We Were Villains is a gripping and thought-provoking novel that will appeal to fans of both mystery and literary fiction. It is a testament to the enduring power of Shakespeare’s work, and a reminder of the dangers of unchecked ambition.

Priced at £8.27, you can purchase the book here.

(The writer is based in Staffordshire, United Kingdom and writes about art and cultureViews expressed are personal.)