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Book Talk: “All of Us Villains” by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Kennesaw chapter.

Welcome to 2023, everyone! One of the things that I want to make more time for this year is reading. These past couple of years, I have consistently had the opportunity to read outside of my coursework, but never fully taken advantage of the opportunity. This year, I want that to be different. January 2023 feels like the right time to try to enjoy reading again. With that in mind, I am making the goal that all of my articles this year will be “book talk” or “book review” related. I hope that I can introduce you to new books through these next few articles.

The first book that I would like to talk about is Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman’s All of Us Villains. But, before I go on a tangent, let me clear a few things up. By “book talk” I mean that I will be sharing a book that I’m interested in and have just started reading. I have not finished this book yet! Once, I do, though, I’ll post a “book review” with my final thoughts on it. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about All of Us Villains.

This book is a New York Times Bestseller. It is the first in a short series akin to The Hunger Games. It tells the story of seven champions, from seven competing families, trying to survive a tournament for exclusive control of a hidden source of magic. This tournament to the death has been a tradition for a long time; however, this time is different because someone has released a book exposing it to the world. This time, the competitors have a choice. From the reviews and high praise, I can’t help but be excited to delve deeper into this book. Even the tagline: “Blood before all” seems to promise an interesting read.

So far, I’ve only been reading this book in my free time, which I don’t have a lot of, so I haven’t gotten very far. But here’s what I know—without spoilers. Our four main characters are Alistair Lowe, Isobel Macaslan, Gavin Grieve, and Briony Thorburn. Alistair is the youngest of two brothers and comes off as very mischievous. The Lowe family has been painted as the villains of the town and Alistair plays the role well.

Isobel is a smart and cunning girl from an equally cunning and calculating family. Their first encounter wasn’t very sweet, but I think there’s a possibility for her and Alistair to have a romantic relationship later on.

Gavin comes from a long line of dead champions and misfortune. He’s incredibly independent and intelligent. I think he has the most to prove out of everyone.

Finally, Briony is from a powerful and wealthy family. The Thorburns made all of their potential champions compete in a series of tests to earn the title. They’d won the last few tournaments and used the magic to improve and preside over the town. Briony’s strong-willed, and she might be my favorite out of the four protagonists. They’re all so different but each has a solid reason for wanting to win the tournament.

That’s one of my favorite things about this book so far. All of the characters are dynamic, unique, and relatable. All of them are in a position to win, either of their own making or their backgrounds. The banter between characters is great. The setting and world-building is amazing. I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here.

This story truly seems like The Hunger Games but darker. And I’m even more curious to see if my predictions for the ending and any potential pairings are correct. I’ll let you all know more in my book review! I hope you all will come back for that. It’d be even better if you’d read along with me! That way, I won’t be spoiling anything for you. So far, this book has just the right amount of action, mystery, magic, and humor that I look for in a good book. If you enjoy any or all of those things, I suggest you give All of Us Villains a try!

Hi, I’m Jazmine! I am an English Education major at Kennesaw State University. I am also a writer for HC at KSU. Follow me on Instagram! (@jazminenxcole)