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If We Were Villains: A Novel Paperback – April 17, 2018

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,861 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Nerdily (and winningly) in love with Shakespeare...Readable, smart.”
New York Times Book Review

"Pulls the reader in from the first page...A well-written and gripping ode to the stage...A fascinating, unorthodox take on rivalry, friendship, and truth, IF WE WERE VILLAINS will draw readers in and leave them pondering the weight of our biggest actions and their consequences."
Mystery Scene

"Echoing such college-set novels as Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and mixing in enough Shakespearean theater to qualify readers for the stage, Rio’s debut mystery is an engrossing ride…Rio crafts an intricate story about friendship, love, and betrayal. Recommended for readers who enjoy literary fiction by authors such as Tartt or Emily St. John Mandel.”
Library Journal, starred review

“Bloody, melodramatic, suspenseful debut… This novel about obsession at the conservatory will thoroughly obsess you.”

Kirkus, starred review

"This is a rare and extraordinary novel: a vivid rendering of the closed world of a conservatory education, a tender and harrowing exploration of friendship, and a genuinely breathtaking literary thriller.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough, and can’t wait to read what M. L. Rio writes next."
―Emily St. John Mandel, New York Times bestselling author of Station Eleven

“Much like Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, M. L. Rio’s sparkling debut is a richly layered story of love, friendship, and obsession. Both comic and tragic, this novel asks what people are willing to sacrifice in the name of ambition. Expertly plotted, beautifully written, If We Were Villains will keep you riveted through its final, electrifying moments.”
―Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author of The Nest

“If We Were Villains is a whip-smart, chilling tale of a group of Shakespeare students who are, as the Bard put it, "a little more than kin, and less than kind" ― especially after one of their own meets a horrific fate. Full of friendship, betrayal, and passionate devotion, this is a page-turning literary thriller whose final, shocking twist you won't soon forget.”
―Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet and June

“A tale worthy of the Bard himself…ending in one final, astonishing twist. Recommended for readers with refined literary tastes, and those looking for ‘something like’ Donna Tartt.”
Booklist

“Intriguing…a solid mystery that keeps the pages turning.”
Publishers Weekly

About the Author

M. L. Rio has worked in bookstores and theatres for years, and is currently pursuing her MA in Shakespeare Studies at King’s College London. If We Were Villains is her debut novel.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Flatiron Books; Reprint edition (April 17, 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250095298
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250095299
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 10.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.49 x 0.99 x 8.15 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,861 ratings

About the author

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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
1,861 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2018
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55 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on August 5, 2018
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21 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on May 17, 2017
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43 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on January 29, 2021
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Top reviews from other countries

Mrs. Beverley A. Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong debut
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 2, 2017
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17 people found this helpful
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BewBob
3.0 out of 5 stars While its' been said (multiple times) that this has a ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 2, 2018
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6 people found this helpful
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McManus
2.0 out of 5 stars Okay, up to a point
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 20, 2018
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6 people found this helpful
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Georgiana89
4.0 out of 5 stars great atmosphere and use of Shakespeare make up for a hit and miss plot
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 7, 2018
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2 people found this helpful
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David Harris
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of drama!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 9, 2017
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3 people found this helpful
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