How much did I love this book? So much that I wanted to rip open a page and slip inside.

Imagine an ensemble cast, a.k.a St. Elmo’s Fire, but smarter and straight out of The Royal Shakespeare Company set down in a thriller of their own making (i.e. The Girl on the Train.) This is an addictive read.

I haven’t felt this strong an urge to live inside a book since The Secret History or The Raven Boys. I guess I can’t resist complicated and intriguing ensemble casts. And even though this is squarely an adult book, mature YA readers will love it too.

So you know the deal–no spoilers–which makes this one difficult so instead of telling you about the book I will tell you what kind of reader will love it.

If you love Shakespeare RUN and get a copy. The characters, 4th-year thespians at an ivy-covered art college, live in “The Castle” and speak a language all their own pulling from every play and every line they ever learned intermixed with a sharp wit and biting commentary. If you want to see what I mean check out Act 1 Scene 1 posted on M.L. Rio’s website. And pop over to the about me page–she knows her Shakespeare–having a master’s degree in Shakespeare Studies from King’s College London. (Before that M.L. Rio was a Tarheel, I said I wouldn’t hold it against her.)

Needless to say, this is a smart book. But read closely–the devil is in the details.

If you love dark stories with complicated fully flawed characters this is the book for you. I loved them all, in a way. Wanted to be them all, in a way. Sometimes even the ones I later hated.

If you are/were/wished to be a thespian it would be a tragedy of historic proportions not to read this book because you too will want to rip open a page and crawl inside. (You know who you are friends. I plan to tag you.)

I honestly don’t know how I missed If We Were Villains when it released last April, but that just goes to show how many books are out there and all the more reason to write this blog. It was suggested to me by an agent at Muse18 and I am glad she did. Lucky for us the paperback version


came out Monday and M.L. Rio is happy to sign the copy I ordered from Malaprops for one of you. (I just love personally signed books.) This one has been published in multiple countries, even Italy. (Goal: Book launch in Italy ;))

I will be using the handy random number generator to gift a personally signed copy later this week. So comment, share, retweet, like, love or just give me a 🙂 to be entered. And if you wish to follow this blog. Look for a small pop up button in the bottom of the screen.

Until next time,