Book Review: “If We Were Villains” by M.L. Rio

Hello!

June was a surprisingly good month for my books. I thought I would be about to get through three to four books, but I guess I was reading a lot faster than I originally thought and I managed to finally hit 25 books as we neared the end of it.

When “If We Were Villains” first came out, I was unsure if I’d really be interested in it. I was intrigued by the suspenseful mood but having a big chunk of it built around Shakespeare made me worry since I’ve always had trouble understanding the meaning of what everyone was saying, like most would, but then again, I’m always searching for something like Victoria Helen Stone’s “Jane Doe” and I will admit this book isn’t anywhere near in that direction, but I liked it just as much though.


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Oliver Marks has just served ten years in jail – for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he’s released, he’s greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade ago.

As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingenue, extra. But when the casting changes, and the secondary characters usurp the stars, the plays spill dangerously over into life, and one of them is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.

taken from Goodreads.

As the reader, you get to hear both the events that happened in 1999 to a group of students. Four boys and three girls, as they study theatre in college. Everything starts up like it does every day, but then they get their individual requirements for the Halloween show and something changes within the group itself. One character ends up dead and everyone is trying to go on about life, while in the back of their minds, they try to solve who actually killed their friend.

It was just us—the seven of us and the trees and the sky and the lake and the moon and, of course, Shakespeare.

Honestly, it’s a very cliche of “who done it” style of book but I will say it also had a very unique layout. The fact that the author included many Shakespeare references throughout was interesting to me! I got to see how the characters live and breathed William Shakespeare’s plays on a daily basis. You could see each of them act out various characters – sadly I was more focused on how these people would bring them to life as if I could see the show in front of me, and this was a wonderful display of elements. I still had some issues with the dialogue of that time’s way of speaking. I made it through in one piece, but I doubt I will read anything like that for a while. Thanks to this book, I have put both “Macbeth” and “King Lear” on my TBR list!

My true issue was once you made it passed the events that happen after Halloween, everything became very boring, it didn’t pick back up under the final Act, which for a while I wondered if it was worth finishing because it was that bad for me! As I suffered through this section, I tried to figure out who could play each of the characters…

I started hunting when I first started reading but I was thinking of various other actors, and I went with Jamie Campbell Bower as Alexander, Camila Mendes as Filippa, Emilia Clarke as Wren and Sam Claflin as our main Oliver, although I did end up changing my mind toward the end of the story, but I don’t know who the person I saw at that point. Honestly, this was a difficult thing to do because I rarely see a person’s actual face when creating the character’s features, so I could have all of the descriptions an author can give me, and I could still have problems forming them.

Have you read “If We Were Villains” by M.L. Rio yet? If you have, what were your thoughts on it? I’d also like to know who you saw for the important characters down in the comments too.

snowflake

Book Review: “Anne Boleyn: 500 Years of Lies” by Hayley Nolan

Hello!

If you know me well enough, you wouldn’t be surprised by my loving support of Queen Anne Boleyn. I’ve always thought she has a bad rap before, during and after her marriage to King Henry VIII. I’ve watched a lot of movies, tv shows, and documentaries that follow the whole “six wives” drama, and I’ve wanted to read a biographical story of her life, but I didn’t want to hear to hear the same things I’ve been hearing since 2008, and I have attempted to read this book two years ago, but I just wasn’t in the mood for it, so after the book itself basically stalking me for months on end, I decided to make a goal to read and complete it before the anniversary of her death in 1536.


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A bold new analysis of one of history’s most misrepresented women.

History has lied.

Anne Boleyn has been sold to us as a dark figure, a scheming seductress who bewitched Henry VIII into divorcing his queen and his church in an unprecedented display of passion. Quite the tragic love story, right?

Wrong.

In this electrifying exposé, Hayley Nolan explores for the first time the full, uncensored evidence of Anne Boleyn’s life and relationship with Henry VIII, revealing the shocking suppression of a powerful woman.

So leave all notions of outdated and romanticized folklore at the door and forget what you think you know about one of the Tudors’ most notorious queens. She may have been silenced for centuries, but this urgent book ensures Anne Boleyn’s voice is being heard now.

#TheTruthWillOut

taken from Goodreads.

Everything you think you know about the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn is turned upside down, as with every historian and film based on the second line of the Tudor dynasty can be comprised of lies, and lots of them. There were things that I didn’t concern beforehand that while I read this book immediately changed my mind and where I stand on my view of both the king and his former “love” that was Anne Boleyn.

I just want to let everything know, I took quite a few notes between mid-April to early May, just so I could remember things that I thought were really important to other people who enjoy a 16th Century soap opera!

Who was the real Anne Boleyn?

The first thing I thought was both crucial and interesting was how the author Hayley had the guts to say that Henry VIII could have suffered a mental illness all throughout his life. She believes she could have been a sociopath, and yes, she tells her readers why this seems like something he would have been going through in life, and It wouldn’t have been caused by the jousting accident he had in 1520’s, although she does point out that it could have heightened his paranoia of his court and of course, not being able to have an acceptable heir.

I thought it was somewhat funny how much I was comparing his actions like of Victoria Helen Stone’s Jane Doe series. Jane is also a sociopath, but totally fictional, so in a way, to see how her mind works–she doesn’t believe she is in the wrong, blames over people, she doesn’t know how to show true emotions like love, and is ruled by her impulses. I thought Victoria’s books were the shit before; I definitely love them now. but it was also frightening to see the similarities between these two, and again Jane is a fictional character!

Besides the rundown of Henry’s erratic behavior, you understand that we need to see Anne as a human being, although it was 1500’s, she deserves to have her real story told and this book is full of information by tons of courtiers and religious people of the time, such as Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell, Thomas Crammer, Archbishop of Canterbury, William Latymer, William Kingston, Chapuleys, Ambassador of Spain. You are told things that many historians and authors normally pass through because it doesn’t fit the mold that is the Tudor era.

One of the things we always learn about this part of history is that court life is not about this grand and there is always a party of some sort going on, but this isn’t exactly true. People were stuck in large palaces, and it was fairly quiet, so there was always in need of musicians and poets to keep everyone happy (or at least comfortable with their surroundings!) but it wasn’t just the king and his advisors that were working hard, the Queen also had her own job as she helped the king discover another religion which was evangelism and helped break away from Rome. She was helping students continue their schooling and protected them from harm for practicing another faith. She always worked based on what she hoped would happen for the nation and educate her little daughter Elizabeth as Protestant than Catholicism.

When non-history-fanatics think of Anne Boleyn, do they recall her fighting for religious reform and freedom? No, they think six wives, six fingers and beheaded.

There is something I wasn’t a huge fan of, I didn’t care on how cocky Hayley was, getting her point across with each chapter. I understand as someone who loves and supports Anne very much, you want everyone to know the facts, but I thought the author was sort of cocky with her words. However, there were interesting tidbits that were mixed with sarcasm here and you felt like she was sitting right next to me having a very intense debate about who was really responsible for bringing Anne (and the other poor victims) of the murdering plot down for good, and when it came to sections like this, I was fine with that familiar banter but the rest, not so much.

Anyways, if you are looking for a different perspective on this time period and looking at the ‘romance’ or ‘love story’ that was King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. I definitely recommend this book, but if you are set with what media chooses to discuss, then you might want to ease yourself into the real truth of Anne Boleyn.

Have you read Hayley Nolan’s “Anne Boleyn: 500 Years of Lies” yet? If you have checked it out, what were some of your thoughts about what she shared with us?

snowflake

Book Review: “Problem Child” by Victoria Helen Stone

Hi 🙂

I wasn’t expecting to read this book so soon after I finished the first book a few months ago. I actually had it on my list for what I want for my birthday and I will say, I was prepared to wait four to five months until that day to check out the newest story of Jane. All of a sudden, my mom decided we needed Kindle Unlimited and then one night I went scrolling through the catalog and there it was; I almost shit my pants, I was so happy but shockingly, I didn’t grab it right away. and I’ll explain my reasoning for that in a minute.


46066517._SY475_She’s cold, calculating, and can deceive with a smile. Jane Doe is back in the Amazon Charts bestselling series – and this time she’s met her match.

After a brutal childhood, Jane Doe has been permanently wired to look after herself and only herself. Now, looking next to normal, Jane has a lover and a job. But she hasn’t lost her edge. It sharpens when she hears from her estranged family.

Jane’s deeply troubled sixteen-year-old niece, Kayla, has vanished, and no one seems to care. Neither does Jane. Until she sees a picture of Kayla and recognizes herself in the young girl’s eyes. It’s the empty stare of a sociopath.

Jane knows what vengeful and desperate things Kayla is capable of. Only Jane can help her – by being drawn into Kayla’s dark world. And no one’s more aware than Jane just how dangerous that can be.

taken from Goodreads.


As I had just finished reading the first book, the author was busy promoting this one, and I saw it every day on social media for about two months and so I became very interested in what this new book could be about, but I only knew that it had to deal with a family member and the possibility that this person could be like Jane, a fellow sociopath.

I was intrigued by the idea that someone else in her family could be a sociopath in the beginning. I thought this could be really interesting to see how it developed in this person as we know how it came about with Jane. And I think this is where I began to lose interest because I quickly realized they had similar background stories, and maybe too much if I’m being honest. However, I would love to see this relationship grow and see what kind of trouble these two can get into if the author decides to continue the series.

The one thing I did enjoy was Jane’s relationship with Luke and I’m very glad it was hanging on strong in the plot. Despite the fact that Jane cannot feel love for other people, especially ones she’s close to like Luke, you do start to see a sliver of affection towards him as the story ends. She might keep spinning her wheels with him, but I do think something will happen later on where she might lose him for good and might actually regret never giving him the attention and care they both deserved in the end.

So, when I was done, I gave it a sensible rating on Goodreads, I didn’t give it five out of five stars like I had hoped I would but I did give it three stars. Now to me, since they only have five stars, I feel three is a fair choice. It wasn’t awesome nor great, it was good, so it deserved that amount of stars.

Have you read the second book of Victoria Helen Stone’s Jane Doe series yet? If you have, what were some of your thoughts you liked or disliked about it? What did you end up rating it on Goodreads?

snowflake

Book Review: “Jane Doe” by Victoria Helen Stone

Howdy!

So, this week is all about reviews. I had two other plans for what I could talk about for today, but I just decided to scrap them and give you this one to round up a very busy time for books!

This month, I was able to enjoy some Prime Reading and as much as I had hoped that Margaret Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale would still be listed on the site as part of the choices you can read, it wasn’t so I had to find something else and as I scrolled through all of these books, I finally saw a familiar cover. Before we continue though, I have to mention that I am not really into suspense thrillers in both books and films. I have watched What Lies Beneath, Escape Room, and Play Or Die recently and really enjoyed them but I never finished Paula Hawkins’s The Girl On The Train so I was a bit hesitant but once  I read the description of the story, I instantly hooked!


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A double life with a single purpose: revenge.

Jane’s days at a Midwest insurance company are perfectly ordinary. She blends in well, unremarkably pretty in her floral-print dresses and extra efficient at her low-level job. She’s just the kind of woman middle manager Steven Hepsworth likes—meek, insecure, and willing to defer to a man. No one has any idea who Jane really is. Least of all Steven.

But plain Jane is hiding something. And Steven’s bringing out the worst in her.

Nothing can distract Jane from going straight for his heart: allowing herself to be seduced into Steven’s bed, to insinuate herself into his career and his family, and to expose all his dirty secrets. It’s time for Jane to dig out everything that matters to Steven. So she can take it all away.

Just as he did to her.

taken from Goodreads

So, I started reading this book, knowing that there would a big chance that I could be wrong and I would hate this, but thankfully I didn’t!

I was actually flying through it because I was loving the main character Jane. She explains everything from her childhood to how she basically self-diagnosed herself as a sociopath. I love watching some true crime shows on Investigative Discovery and it was interesting to see how her mind worked. I love to observe people and learning how to read their body language but this goes all in and it was so addicting! She also talks you through her reasons why she wants revenge on this guy, and this is where you really see this side of her really start to unfold, because she’s very honest about everything. I like that fact she isn’t a whiz at everything, like she says in the book, she can’t break into safes and vaults.

There are some strong religious views; a man has more authority, he owns everything and the only thing the women are suppose to do is be there for him and take care of the children and their home. A man can be forgiven by the Lord with little to no punishment whereas a woman has to pay for her sins automatically. I know there are a lot of people out there who still live and preach this way, but I have issues with it. I have always had questions about this lifestyle, but after taking a few days to think about it, I thought maybe I am a little bit of a feminist than I originally thought, because I believe in equality in relationships and if you are doing something against God, whether you are a man, woman, trans, gay, disabled you should all be punished for those choices. That’s my say on it.

Overall, the book itself was so good! I wasn’t even halfway finished with it before I basically announced it to anyone within ear shot that it was my favorite book of the year and at the moment, I have read four others so this is a pretty big deal for me! If you don’t normally go for these types of books, I definitely think you should at least to try to find it at your local library or if you have Prime Reading too, you can check it out there to see if you are proven wrong like I was!

Have you read Victoria’s novel “Jane Doe” yet? If you said yes, what did you like or hate about it? Let’s chat below!

snowflake