We Could Be Villains was a book I’ve been following ever since Megan started pitching it on Twitter. It looked fun, and when it was available for preorder last year, I couldn’t resist. I bought a copy, received some incredible preorder goodies (keep reading to see a picture), and found myself immersed in a universe where Comic Con is livestreamed, the biggest superhero franchise is actually real, and one girl becomes caught up in lies, betrayals, and a villain she doesn’t understand as well as she thought.
This book is easily one of the top five books I read in 2022. I was immediately hooked by page one because of how relatable Rosemanry’s fangirl vibes are, and I really did just love every minute of this book. The story flows beautifully, the characters are well-rounded, and the whole thing is basically a love letter to the fandom community.
Gun violence, death, murder, blood, injuries, stalking, gaslighting, manipulation, child abuse (think Thanos with Gamora + Nebula), panic attacks/anxiety, and grief.
What I Loved
Ironfall. Sometimes you have a villain that’s just fun to hate. Other times, you love a villain because they are so flawed and broken and just need a hug. Ironfall is definitely closer to the latter, and he was just a really good character. I like the fact that he is super morally gray, but not in a way that makes me feel icky. Like, he knows that he’s a bad person who has done terrible things, and he owns that. He’s not in denial about who he is or what he’s done, and that’s a remarkable trait amongst villain characters. Overall, this dude is my favorite and pretty much the best part of the book.
Sam and Rosemary’s friendship. I love a good romance, and everyone knows that. But I also really love platonic love and hardcore friendships because those are just as, if not more, important. Sam and Rosemary have such a strong bond that literally bleeds through the pages. They truly care about one another, which makes the stakes that much higher when one of them is in danger (which is like the whole novel, honestly). I also really love their banter. This will always make me like a book better, and this one had the sassiest, most delightful sibling-like banter that just made me really, really happy.
The fandom culture representation. I haven’t read a ton of books that feature fandoms or pop culture references, so this was really fun. I’ve seen some people list out all the fandoms that are referenced, and it’s a really long list, so I applaud Megan for finding a way to cover so much fandom ground with this book (she really deserves an award for this). Furthermore, I like how this book shows the positive side of fandoms. Not every fangirl or fanboy is a psychotic person who has an unhealthy obsession with a person. Some people are like that, but not all of them, and I appreciate that this book gives us some good representation.
The plot twists. I did manage to predict one of the big twists for this book (I even messaged Megan to tell her my theory), but it didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the twists at all. Every one was beautifully executed and offered enough foreshadowing that they never felt completely unrealistic (as some twists tend to feel). Basically, I just really love every part of this book and will never stop telling people about it.
What I Didn’t Love
Rosemary skipping school. I obviously get it because who wouldn’t skip school in that situation, but like…how is she gonna graduate? Is she going to graduate? This thread was never really wrapped up, so it’s just a small bit that kind of confused me in regards to her long-term arc.
“You threw a knife at my head.”
“I never miss.”
“ok but if Ironfall was real and took over the world I would let him.”
“I’m a villain, Rosemary. What did you expect?”
Listen to the official We Could Be Villains playlist
About the Book
Avoid spoilers. Don’t get fired. Defeat a not-so-fictional supervillain?
Seventeen-year-old fangirl Rosemary Collins lives for VIGIL & ANTE Studios movies. From action-packed superhero fights to sweet character moments, she’s here for it all. But in a real-life crossover no one saw coming, the fandom’s heartthrob supervillain, Ironfall, isn’t as fictional as the film studio wants her to believe. Beyond the glamorous red carpet lies the government’s most guarded secret: the movies are real.
Armed with a devilish grin and a wit as sharp as his knives, Ironfall needs her help, and refusing means he’ll kill her parents. Her only other option involves spying on him for the government’s secret superhero division. Suspended between fact and what she thought was fiction, Rosemary must join her heroes and create an impenetrable web of lies—or guarantee her parents’ safety as she watches the world burn at its adored villain’s hand.
Perfect for fans of pop culture and comics, WE COULD BE VILLAINS packs an entire cinematic universe into a book. Join Rosemary and the not-so-fictional heroes (and villains!) of the VIGIL & ANTE films in this imaginative science fiction where superhero battles equal publicity stunts, fictional characters become family, and the villain just might steal your heart.
About the Author
Megan McCullough wanted a superpower, so she picked up a pen and became an author. Living in Florida, the theme park capital of the world, only fuels her love for storytelling. When she isn’t writing, you can find her designing a book cover for someone else’s literary masterpiece, fangirling over the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or wishing she was at Disney World.
Have you read We Could Be Villains? What did you think? Do you have a favorite character? Would you be friends with Sam or Rosemary? If you haven’t read it, have I convinced you to add it to your TBR? Let’s talk all things superheroes and books in the comments!