The following is an honest review of If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio and my suggested age rating.
Synopsis of If We Were Villains
If We Were Villains takes place in an elite fine arts college. There are designers, philosophers, musicians, and actors. This story focuses on a small group of actors who have been together from the beginning. Although their dynamics are a little unconventional, they are close and consider each other family, that is until a shift takes place. When the casting list is posted, the usual stars take a backseat to new main characters. This causes tension that leads to jealousy and ultimately rage. When a party after one of their plays ends in a public argument turned violent, one of them ends up dead. Each one copes with the tragedy in a different way, but one thing remains consistent, their lives will never be the same again.
Review of If We Were Villains
This book was hyped across YouTube during the Halloween or “spooky season” and marketed for its dark academia vibes. I finally got my hands on a digital copy and dove in immediately. This book grabs you from the beginning with its descriptive writing of the college the story is set in and the detailed friendships of the group. The characters are each very unique which makes the storyline even more interesting. One thing to note, there are a great deal of quotes in this book. Lines from plays are a big part of the story and the characters often speak in quotes to each other. It is both interesting and annoying at times. I’m not super familiar with Shakespeare so much of it was lost on me. One critique I have of this book is that the climax of the story happens pretty early on so the rest seems to drag on a bit.
Overall, I really enjoyed the uniqueness of this story and gave it 4/5 stars on Goodreads.
Age Rating for If We Were Villains
This book contains a lot of things that could be triggering. There is language, drug/alcohol use, eating disorder, physical/verbal abuse, identity struggles, and ultimately murder.
I would give this book an age rating of 17-18+.
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