Hi friends! I’m here with another review, and can I just say that this book was amazing???? Literally, the only reason I picked this up was because it was the one book I had time to read during Friday Fright-A-Thon. And I! Loved! It!
Enter the players. There were seven of us then, seven bright young things with wide precious futures ahead of us. Until that year, we saw no further than the books in front of our faces.
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.
Ten years 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, extra. But in their fourth and final year, the balance of power begins to shift, 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.
First, I think we should all make bets and count how many times I say actually, honestly, sorta, and I don’t know*. I’m such a 2018 blogger.
*oh yes and how many times I say just because I can’t stop won’t stop
Before I get into character run-downs, I do need to address one issue with this book and that is how under-developed the female characters are. I sorta understand given that we’re reading from Oliver’s perspective and he’s closer to several of the male characters but it is still rather disappointing.
Oliver is such a sweet, genuine person. I related quite a bit to him! His love for his friends was just ridiculously endearing. My favorite character (or maybe he’s tied with James or do I even like James I DON’T EVEN KNOW).
James’s character was my favorite in the very beginning, then shared the spotlight with Oliver, and then kinda fell but still stayed? Just because I got to know Oliver the best and related so much to him? It’s so hard to talk about these characters without spoilers, because each and every one is so complex and developed it’s actually insane.
Wren’s character was…well…um…she had a bird name??? In all honesty, I liked her well enough but didn’t really get to know her.
Filippa was my favorite female character! I don’t know why but I kinda shipped her and Oliver? For like no reason but that apparently I like to be contrary??? Anyway, I feel like I need more answers on her background! MORE PLEASE.
Meredith I didn’t really like that much. I just didn’t agree with a lot of her decisions, and her character archetype has never been my favorite?
Alexander was okay. I was kinda “meh” about him one way or the other. He was a good character, and I appreciated his scenes but he was personally overshadowed by the others for me.
Richard is the kind of person you’d blindfold, say “hey man we’re throwing a surprise party for you!” and then dump him on the nearest trash boat out of here. He is pure garbage.
The writing was absolutely atmospheric, but not in any kind of fancy way. Every word just sorta brought up it’s own feelings, despite being simplistic in itself. I think that if you went to college this book will bring up a LOT of nostalgia!
Now. The plot. I don’t really know what to say because brain! And mouth! Don’t like each other! This did not sound like the kind of thing I’d like. I know about as much about Shakespeare as I do quantum physics, and this didn’t sound very…thriller-y? If anything, it sounded like a campy, Pretty Little Liars drama club.
But ho-ho-ho, was I wrong.
Even though this book took it’s time to develop the characters, I was never bored. The dynamics of all the personalities, their utterly all-encompassing passion for Shakespeare, it was just perfection. This ain’t your classic mystery, in fact, the focus is barely on the mystery. It’s more about the choices we make, how easy it is to walk the line between villain and hero. I CAN’T RECOMMEND THIS BOOK ENOUGH.
Oh! And that ending?!?!?!?!?!?! What was that?????? I’m confused by it but also not and trust me when I say that this ending is worth every line in this book. The last paragraph, the last line, blew me away. It tied everything together while still leaving room for you to wonder and wish and dream and gasp. I can’t believe that this is a debut and I am eagerly waiting for news of the author’s second book!
So that’s it! Sorry this is so long, I guess I had a lot of things to say about this one! Tell me: have you read this? What do you think? What’s your favorite thriller or mystery?