Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers, #7) women and gender studies

[books] If We Were VillainsAuthor M.L. Rio –

You can justify anything, if you do it poetically enough. this is going to be my favorite book of the year almost definitely I m saying that now on January 26th because I want you all to know I genuinely cannot remember the last time I found myself so utterly engaged in a book Okay, so this is a drama set at a Shakespeare theater, in which a group of theater actors accidentally kill a man and deal with the fallout Yay Fun happy stuff As the plays continue, their roles within this drama shift and switch, ironically mirroring their respective development, and they accidentally get way too involved in several plays as they are occuring Dark academia is actually such a compelling and amazing genre to me, always, but Shakespearean drama is perhaps the best dark academia pick out there We have moral intrigue long soliloquys everyone knows who he is, but he still has plenty of speeches no one knows gay subtext used to its best degree We cracked up But we didn t really shatter until we came back together again. The seven lead characters each fit into well known archetypes Oliver the lacking type boy James the good guy Alexander the villain Meredith the sexpot Wren the ingenue Phillipa the lacking type girl bi I have no proof but definitely bi Richard the dick himself The degree to which the character dynamics affect this plot is just so so amazing There is a genuine actual love triangle, as in every branch has some weird tension Actually, I don t know how to make a love dynamic of this friend circle Help them I don t really know how to describe what made this book so completely enthralling This isn t a book focused on plot twists I figured out most of the plot points here, actually, aside from a couple mini reveals Yet every plot point, whether guessed or not, is satisfying, placed perfectly and used perfectly This is a Shakespearean tragedy and on some level, we know how it ends But it is completely impossible to get off the tracksBut that is how a tragedy like ours or King Lear breaks your heart by making you believe that the ending might still be happy, until the very last minuteAnd you know what, this book would have been a five no matter how it ended, but the ending made me screech out loud So there s that I want to thank Chaima, Melanie, and Aleksandra for encouraging me to read this, because honestly dear god.Blog Goodreads Twitter Instagram Youtube This thing of darkness I acknowledge mine I have no words I expected this to be good there are so many exceptional reviews, I really hoped it would live up to its hype.Well, it did and 7 drama students at an Elite Arts University are in their final year They are as close as 7 people can be, they fight, they love and above it all they are obsessed with the works of Shakespeare bear this in mind if you don t like Shakespeare as there are loads of quotes and sections in here.Oliver Our main protagonist, describes himself as the least talented of the group The most ordinary.James Oliver s room mate and best friend, they have been inseparable for the last four years.Meredith The vixen Described constantly as this impossibly attractive woman, no man is immune Every part she has ever played has invoked this sexual aura she seems to have.Richard Dating Meredith The absolute epitamy of the shortened version of his name aka Dick I hated this guy with a passion, he is arrogant, rude and violent He usually gets the main part in every show they put on.Wren Richard s cousin, a delicate flower Another reviewer described her as the girl next door which I think is a good description for her.Filippa A bit mysterious She never reveals her home life, keeps mainly to herself but she is fiercely loyal to the others.The book opens with Oliver about to leave prison after a decade, serving time for murder Detective Colborne the police officer who arrested Oliver, has never really believed his story Now he is about to retire, he asks Oliver if he will finally tell the truth about what really happened all those years ago.We are swept up into the students world of parties, drugs, obsessions and secrets And honestly It is so addictive there is this underlying theme of darkness, we know something bad is going to happen, it s just a matter of when.The ending wasn t quite the twist I was hoping for But then again, it had to be someone so there couldn t really have been any other ending without it becoming unrealistic, so I think it was done well I was also heartbroken when view spoiler Filippa tells Oliver that James committed suicide a few years before he couldn t handle the guilt any Though the final page does leave the possibility that maybe he didn t die Potentially I like that idea hide spoiler this book this book my kingdom for this book this was absolutely sensational, a true work of brilliance i was so enamoured by this story and everything it had to offer it was quite clever and beyond invigorating the type of book that fully immerses you whilst reading it the passion which radiated throughout this book made me feel so in love with shakespeare and his words and i honestly never considered myself a fan the way in which these students dedicated their lives to studying him was almost romantic, in a way how they integrated his language into their own interactions, making their own lives a work of poetry in the process, was very inspiring and because of that, i would say the characters were the main focus for me in this book yes, there was a mystery thriller element that surrounded the students, but i felt like that took a backseat to what were phenomenal characters, the boys in particular i became so enthralled with their lives, how they orbited one another, and just their day to day routines and i should have known not to get so attached, as this story follows the form of a true shakespearean tragedy so as i closed the final page, i found myself wistfully thinking that parting is such sweet sorrow 5 stars You can justify anything if you do it poetically enoughThis book is so haunting, so atmospheric, so gripping, and so perfect And If you, too, love The Secret History by Donna Tartt then I recommend this book with every single bone in my body Also, this is such a love letter to Shakespeare and all his work, so if you appreciate that I think you ll also fall so head over heels for this story I m honestly not sure what I expected going into If We Were Villains, but it is now one of my favorite books of all time This story follows seven very pretentious theater students, going to a very prestigious and private college They moved to Ohio to go to the university from all over the world, but they really made a found family with each other, while all living in what they call the Castle on campus But one night their life completely changes when they all come together on a decision that alters their fateNothing mattered much after that morning Our two souls if not all six were forfeitRichard has a bad temper and is the mean one Meredith Richard s girlfriend, and the sexy vixen type Filippa The cool one, in my opinion Mysterious home life My second favorite Alexander Gay, grew up in foster care, and I believe is Latinx Yet, is the stoner one Wren Richard s cousin, and the girl next door type James The best actor and our main protagonist s roommate I d say the popular one Oliver Our main protagonist, who is nice, and who is sweet, and who just wants to keep the peace between his group of friends Also, Oliver is totally pansexual and no one can change my mind on thisMy infatuation transcended any notion of genderOliver is for sure the main character, and this book starts out with him getting out of prison ten years after the events of that frightful night And he is finally telling the story of what actually happened This book is also broken up in five acts, but we get to see the events of what really happened that night, a decade ago, and we get to see the ramifications of how that altered everyone s lives in present dayHow tremendous the agony of unmade decisionsAnd each act, to me, really highlights a different Shakespearean play, that really sets the tone for what is unfolding in that act FromA Midsummer Night s Dream, to Julius Caesar, to King Lear, to Romeo and Juliet, to so many the honoring, appreciation, and celebration are all there and it truly makes for a read like no other This book is a love letter to theater And this book is structured so perfectly, written so expertly, that I really think that R.L Rio crafted something beyond geniusIt s easier now to be Romeo, or Macbeth, or Brutus, or Edmund Someone elseFriends, I feel like this is a book that won t be for everyone, but if it is for you then you will love it with the sum of your being This was perfection for me, and completely made my October this year If you re looking for something haunting, and thrilling, and so very atmospheric, then please give If We Were Villains a try And that last line It is going to haunt me forever with its beautiful perfection Blog Instagram Twitter Tumblr Youtube Twitch Content and trigger warnings for death, murder, physical abuse, slut shaming, a transphobic comment, a onetime use of the slur for Romani people, a homophobic comment, drug overdose, PTSD depiction, depression depiction, suicide, self harm, and mention of an eating disorder and a poor taste comment about it.Buddy read for FridayFrightAThon which I co hosted with Amy A Court of Crowns and Quills, Jen Pinot and Pages, Chelsea Chelsea Palmer until the ending, this was probably going to be a three star from me a high three on the three star spectrum, but a three nonetheless it held my interest, but i think this one will resonate with theater kids than it did for me, because of how firmly entrenched it is in that world rio makes it accessible to regular folk, but it probably helps to have a soft place in your heart for young actors and the things that drive them, and i m someone impatient with affectation both in life and in my reading, so the characters were frequently grating than charming to me they re definitely convincing for who they are, but i never warmed to any of them or felt sympathetic towards them i ve certainly known people like this in my life, but it s exhausting to be confronted with seven of them at once, all posturing and pretentious banter, where conversations are on the nose passages from shakespeare s plays shot back and forth, displaying the characters education, not necessarily their personality i m with the detective the first speaker in this scene So, he says How much of what you told me about that night was true All of it, I say, in one way or another A pause Are we going to play this gameWherein I am false I am honest not true, to be true,I say I thought they would have beaten that bullshit out of you in prison That bullshit is all that kept me going One thing I m sure Colborne will never understand is that I need language to live, like food lexemes and morphemes and morsels of meaning nourish me with the knowledge that, yes, there is a word for this Someone else has felt this before Why don t you just tell me what happened No performance No poetics For us, everything was a performance A small, private smile catches me off guard and I glance down, hoping he won t see it Everything poetic Colborne is quiet for a moment and then says, You win Tell it your way to backtrack, this book is a variant on The Secret History theme it features seven theater students in their fourth year at a very elite arts college whose discipline is strictly shakespeare they live together in an appropriately dramatic castle like structure, slightly off the main campus inseparable from each other, isolated from normal people, and constantly immersed in tragedies filled with feuds, vengeance, and casual murders further complications result from the particulars of the actor s temperament A good Shakespearian actor a good actor of any stripe, really doesn t just say words, he feels them We all felt the passions of the characters we played as if they were our own But a character s emotions don t cancel out the actor s instead you feel both at once Imagine having all your own thoughts and feelings tangled up with all the thoughts and feelings of a whole other person It can be hard, sometimes, to sort out which is which considering this perfect storm of elements, it s not surprising when life and art get blurred and one of them ends up dead but is it the result of an accident or murrrrrderrrr the events of that night are murky, but our verbiage spouting narrator oliver marks confessed to the murder and has spent the past ten years in jail his release coincides with the retirement of detective colborne, the lead investigator in the case, and oliver is ready to tell colborne exactly what happened that night his way.the story is split between oliver now, returning to the scene of the crime with colborne, and the story of everything that went on in this cult like group ten years ago of a group of people obsessed with shakespeare whose relationships with each other were as complicated as any tragedy resentments and rivalries, sexual dalliances, unrequited longing, blood relatives and lovers, straight and gay, addictions and insecurities and the fine line between acting and lying, onstage combat and real life s a debut, so there s some first timer clumsiness in terms of exposition the first chapter, introducing all the players is kind of tedious, but it definitely picks up once it gets over the basic stage setting the scenery chewing shakespeare stuff is a bit indulgent shakespeare ends up doing a lot of the narrative work in what is often a pretty straightforward story, if you ve read a lot of The Secret History type books, but there s one interesting spin on the story usually the narrator in these books takes the outsider looking in role, typically separated from the group at large because of a lower socio economic status, but in this case yes, oliver is much less well off than most of his peers, but i think each of the characters could claim outsider status for one reason or another, and the group is less cohesive than The Secret History norm although it does mirror the character checklist of two view spoiler possibly incestuous hide spoiler Tis now dead midnight Measure for Measure, Act 4, Scene 2 Why midnight Midnight stands between light and darkness The day that has been completed and the new one that slowly attempts to rise During midnight, two key events take place in this glorious book, and like this haunting time of day, our characters are walking the thin line between good and evil And for this, they make the best villains.This book is so exquisite,so darkly beautiful that I didn t want it to end What fascinated me was the fact that it is not only an ode to the immortal genius that is Shakespeare, but a hymn to the significance and immense value of the Villain Well written villains are the crown jewels in Literature and a large majority of readers find them absolutely fascinating as they have shaped and continue shaping Literature and Theatre Shakespeare s villains, in particular, are the core of his greatest plays Is Macbeth a villain Or Shylock What about Brutus or Edmund Or Iago who seems to have absolutely no redeeming qualities In M.L.Rio s novel, we have seven four year students that are about to graduate and become actors in the real world A tragic event following a short period of intense feelings causes their world to tumble down Passions and hidden animosity come forward and the villains become victims and the victims are turned to villains on their own freewillBy the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes Macbeth, Act 4 , Scene 1 M.L Rio manages to use and refer to every play by the Bard and some of his sonnets, but there are four plays which shape the narrative Macbeth, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet Each one serves a different purpose and Rio works them in the story masterfully Wicked deeds are set in motion when a member of this fellowship loses the sense of right and wrong, and as in Julius Caesar, the battle between friends and the acts that can be considered treasonous consist the essence of the entire story The theme of problematic friendship is present in Macbeth as well, where Macbeth turns against his loyal friend, Banquo, guided by ambition and a misleading wish for power Perhaps, Macbeth is the play most presented and quoted in the novel, something that contributes to its foreboding beauty There is a sequence of a production of the Scottish Play, set during the night of Halloween, in the darkness, outdoors It is among the most beautiful and most powerful depictions I ve ever read or watched Theatre directors should definitely consult Rio before they attempt to deal with Macbeth I d dare to say that the Bard himself would certainly embrace it It is an eerie, haunting scene, an exaltation of Will s masterpieceBelieve none of us Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1 Yes, the seven friends are among the most interesting characters you ll come across They are not to be trusted, or believed, but you must care for them Richard is wild, possessive, the male star of the company.Wren is delicate and shy, the Ophelia of the group Alexander doesn t really know what to do with his life, James knows what to do but is too afraid to do it The three most interesting characters are Oliver, Meredith and Filipa.Meredith is my spirit animal Fierce, demanding, questioning everything, but sensitive and always uncertain of herself and her abilities I love her Filipa is a beautiful soul, loyal, tender, the rock that keeps everyone solid, struggling for them to retain their sanity Oliver is the heat of the story, he is kindness and innocence and the proof that there is still some good in this world that cannot be destroyed Poor Oliver The writing is exceptional Oliver s speech on the essence of Shakespeare is the best I ve ever read The whole spirit of the Bard enclosed in a short paragraph, better than any collection of academic essays Modern language interacts with Shakespeare s immortal lines in a brilliant flow of speech.There are so many incredible twists, so much insight into the human soul What about lies Lies that are used to protect loved ones Lies that we have taken for granted for all our lives Who is the villain Shakespeare knew human nature better than any psychologist He knew that there is no clear line between a villain and victim Just as it often happens in real life And this is so beautifully transferred in Rio s marvelous novel that makes one wonder whether we actually know where our good self end and the bad begins This duality is a never ending battle This is a beautiful, moving book, created with darkness, strife and sensitivity Read it and see for yourselvesWhen shall we three meet again In thunder, lightning, or in rain When the hurlyburly s done When the battle s lost and won Macbeth, Act 1, Scene 1 To sum up This is the secret history, but written better and with less queerbait, and it focusses on Shakespeare not Greek myths Dark Academia is That Genre, I love it so much and it fuels me I m so glad I finally read this, it was truly delicious Also, I m talking about my Theory for the end in the last past of this review to stay tuned, folksThe real sky was enormous overhead, making our mirrors and twinkling stage lights seem ridiculous Man s futile attempt to imitate God If We Were Villains follows Oliver, who has just been released from prison The lead investigator on his case ten years ago, who has now quit the police, begs Oliver to reveal the truth of what happened on the fateful party that landed Oliver in prison ten years ago And so begins a tale of friends who attend an elite acting school for Shakespeare, where the characters and words they become every day start to distort their own perceptions of themselves This is Such excellent dark academia, exploring the power of words and characters and emotion I love Shakespeare, so I love how this focussed on his works and integrated the plays and the meanings of his works into the book The focus on emotion and pathos, central to Shakespeare, becomes central here I loved the way the author translated the contemporary idolisation of Shakespeare into something so dark and twisted I also loved that the author incorporated Shakespeare s style into the book For example, writing dialogue like a play script, and including themes, motifs and dialogue from plays into the text If We Were Villains makes sense if you haven t read Shakespeare, but I think it s enriched in a huge way if you HAVE read his works I think it was a cool choice the inside Shakespeare jokes and callbacks makes you feel just as pretentious and clever as the characters, and it s just a really fun dynamic to play withWhich of us could say we were sinned against than sinning We were so easily manipulated confusion made a masterpiece of us All in all, we follow main characters At first, I do think they re a bit stereotypical and cliche, but I thought Rio did a good job at exploring these cliches, and analysing why and how people categorise characters and people Oliver The main character He s the good guy , generally nice, just wants everyone to be friends and keep the peace He is a bit naive, a little bit unsure of himself, but as likeable as these characters can be James Oliver s roommate and best friend He s popular, a great actor, and usually gets the great, tragic hero roles Richard Truly, lives up to his dick nickname The Henry Winters, if you will But the teachers favourite, and gets all the heroic hero roles Alexander The funny friend He s gay and latinx Known for partying drinking drugs He was one of my favouries because he was so funny Usually gets the funny side character parts Meredith Richard s girlfriend The sexy, sultry woman She gets all the best female roles Filippa Mysterious and nice No one knows much about her, but she gets along well with Oliver She, like Oliver, usually gets the leftover parts because no one really knows what her thing is Wren Richard s cousin, relaxed and moderate, usually trying to be the balance between Richard and the rest of the group She is pretty close with James One thing I really liked was how the characters typecasts in terms of Shakespeare plays both informed and distorted their characterisation The characters almost become their parts, making it hard to determine where their acting and their actual personality begins and ends Perhaps acting is personality and personality is acted and it s all the same Those are the kind of questions Rio poses throughout this book, leading to her characters becoming increasingly complex and hard to pin down throughout the book I thought the way she undermined but also played into the stereotypes from tragic hero, to the seductress, to funny sidekick, to loyal best friend was really interesting, and a way of drawing out characterisation I really haven t seen before Also, the way the characters are trying to escape their assigned destinies if they aren t good eg, tragic hero really made my heart hurt When THAT CHARACTER said he doesn t want to be a tragic hero again, he wants to be the hero of a romantic comedy Wow, MY HEARTDo you blame Shakespeare for any of it I blame him for all of it The writing in If We Were Villains was also really beautiful I found myself tabbing A LOT of this book because it was so wonderfully written The prose was a good balance of pretentious and flowery, a hallmark of the genre, but not overly incomprehensible I also loved how the atmosphere and setting were established Rio created such a tacit and tangible setting, with the smells and the pictures and the tone so easy to picture I liked how she took Shakespearean conventions to establish elements of the story, blending prose and play in such a clever way TheThe sky was clear and quiet, stars peering curiously down at us from a wide dome of indigo The water, too, was still, and I thought, what liars they are, the sky and the water Still and calm and clear, like everything was fine It wasn t fine, and really, it never would be again Anyways, I just really loved this book so much A true treat and delight for those of us who love Shakespeare and art and love to Feel Emotions but like, can t handle it Also, I was living for the m m romance ish kinda thing happening, and I would literally die for Oliver and his happiness Anyways, if you like atmospheric books, angst, the secret history, shakespeare, shaky friendships, and drama, you should read this book OKAY AND NOW I M TALKING ABOUT MY THEORY ON THE END SO SPOILERS Alright James is Alive and Well And here is my defence of that statementListen, I m going to give y all a quick sum up of Pericles Basically, Pericles has both a wife and a daughter he thinks are dead for the majority of the play He sails into the ocean to die because he thinks everyone he loves is gone, but he then finds out that his wife and daughter, are actually alive, and the final part of the play is Pericles being reunited with them both Pericles is an interesting play because it is set up like a tragedy but ends up like a comedy aka, in the Shakespearean comedies, the drama is resolved when the characters who are presumed to be dead turn out to be alive, or when two characters kept apart by circumstances end up getting married SO, how does it all relate One, James says Oliver is Pericles, which is significant because Pericles is the only tragic hero who actually gets a happy ending Instead of everyone dying, he gets everyone back in the end Second, James sending the Pericles letter is important because it refers to the bit where Pericles thinks he will be drowned at sea with his wife, only to discover she never drowned at sea and is alive Like, Pericles is The Hero who actually gets everything back, even when everyone thinks both he and his whole family are dead Also, James says at one point he s done playing the tragic hero and wants to do a comedy instead, which is when everyone gets to be happy at the end FINALLY, James and Richard are both likened to the Sparrow in Hamlet, and the sparrow is a metaphor for fleeing to somewhere where you can be guilt free and escape your past ANYWAYS, maybe I m reaching but I Just Want Them To Be Happy so yes I do intend to read every fanfic of this in the world and live in bliss imagining this until I day Have a good day, sir 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 AgoAs 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 If We Were Villains by M.L Rio is a 2017 Flatiron Books publication This is a psychological thriller for deep thinkers There is crime and there is punishment There is mystery, suspense There are intense characters, shallow ones too, those who are fatalistic and those who are tragic just like a Shakespearean play.Ten years ago, Oliver Marks was one of seven Shakespearean actors at the prestigious Dellecher Classical Conservatory Today he is about to walk out of a prison cell for the first time in a decade How did he end up behind bars That s something Detective Colbourne would also like to know He may have put Oliver in prison, but he knows there is to the story than he s been told He can t rest until he coaxes the entire story out of Oliver once and for all With Colbourne retired, and with nothing else to lose, Oliver grants Colbourne his wish But that I am forbid To tell the secrets of my prison house, I could a tale unfold whose lightest word Would horrow up thy soul The story then flashes back ten years as Oliver walks us through the events that left him holding the bag for crimes he may or may not have been solely responsible for When one of the seven elite actors dies, the remaining six thespians are the very picture of innocence It was an accident after all wasn t it But, Detective Colbourne s senses they know than they are telling Are they as innocent as they appear or are they harboring a dark secret one that is eating away at them and with each passing day I tend to gravitate towards these types of stories, which are too few and far between, but I suppose that only makes me appreciate them even when I stumble across one The Shakespearean allegory is well done, as the stage is set for the ultimate tragedy Our little acting coalition is as thick as thieves, too close, too driven, too immersed within their own little thespian world to cope with reality as most of us know it, which leads to grave consequences, when they begin to become the roles they often play on stage Jealousy, competition, unrequited love, anger and resentment stir the bubbling pot until exuent omnes I was so engrossed in Oliver s tale, so mortified, so mesmerized and tantalized, and despite knowing most of the details of the crime in question, and that Oliver has obviously paid his debt, the suspense is still nearly unbearable, because I still didn t know WHY or HOW things turned out this way I was filled with such dread, I almost felt like I was back in Vermont at Hamden College listening to Richard Papen unfold a similarly horrifying tale of obsession But, as morally questionable as those standing center stage may be, as superficial and self absorbed, or in some cases, as honorable, or heroic the classic Villains VS Heroes , if you will, the story is haunting and left a painful ache in my heart But that is how a tragedy like ours or King Lear breaks your heart by making you believe that the ending might still be happy, until the very last minute The author did an amazing job with presentation and staging , as such, and created a vivid atmosphere, perfect for settling in for a modern Shakespearean tragedy If you are a fan of the Bard, you will really appreciate the way the dialogue mirrors the events as they unfold and of course the bittersweet irony This is not just a psychological thriller, it s a literary novel filled with obsessions and angst, with beauty and horror, and a near pitch perfect delivery This is a debut novel, incredibly, and I for one am pretty much blown away Pulling out the stars for this one Update 2018 Because I still think about this book almost a year after reading it, I m moving it to my favorite s shelf I think it s deserving there, right alongside The Secret History and Vicious.4.25 4.5 5 Stars This was breathtakingly brilliant Honestly, if this book isn t on your to be read list, it needs to be. It starts off shaky at least it did to me , however, once it grabs your attention it will not let go.Now, where do I even start Should I start with how layered these characters are Though, I will say, I noticed the female characters could ve used depth Should I begin with how flawlessly Rio tied in multiple Shakespearean plays into the actual plot Or maybe, I should talk about the mystery tension intertwined with everything that occurs throughout this novel You know what I m going to ramble.So This story revolves around 7 students who are majoring in Shakespearean Studies Acting something like that and from the beginning you realize that this degree and school is no joke It s competitive Serious Cut throat Which makes it all the intriguing It wouldn t be half as good of a story if it took place at a nicer school Getting right to it, I loved how every character had something going for them Though, at first, it was difficult remembering who was who, and it sometimes bothered me that I couldn t picture anyone However, those things hardly deterred me from continuing surprisingly The plot and depth of the characters made up for everything else So don t be fooled and think that these characters are just your shallow sort of college students In some ways, they might be However, they re much.Something else that I LOVED, was the strange strong relationship between James and Oliver When I was reading, I kept on wondering why the heck I wanted them to end up together Quite badly, too I mean, by all appearances they were just friends Plus, Oliver was head over heals for Meredith And yet, I couldn t help but feel that while he lusted after Meredith, he had a very real passion for James Just like Oliver himself says towards the end , he himself had no idea what he and James were Whatever it was, it was bloody brilliant.Unfortunately, this book didn t end up in my all time favorites I thought it would have Really However, when I looked at everything, there were some dull spats throughout the story Plus, I couldn t ignore how most of the male characters had layered personalities, whereas the female characters seemed bland Except perhaps Meredith, she played a big role but in a stereotypical way.Overall, I feel like I ve given away too much and not enough I wish I could ramble , but I feel like I m not doing the story justice I ll probably comes back and re review this In the meantime, get this book