StoryGraph Saturday: If We Were Villains

StoryGraph Saturday is a weekly thing where I randomly choose a book from my To Read pile on StoryGraph and show it off to remind me that it’s there and to show it to you in case you find it interesting, too.


If We Were Villains
by M.L. Rio
fiction/dark academia
368 pages
Published in 2017

From The StoryGraph:

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.

A decade 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, and extras.

But in their fourth and final year, 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.


I don’t remember where I heard of this book, though I know it made the rounds of the book community in 2017-18. I hadn’t given it much of a thought until recently, but now that I have read and adored The Secret History by Donna Tartt and am currently enjoying R.F. Kuang’s upcoming Babel, dark academia books are piquing my interest. I’m on the waiting list for the audiobook of If We Were Villains, and I’m looking forward to its arrival in the next few weeks or so.

2 thoughts on “StoryGraph Saturday: If We Were Villains

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