These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong | Book ReviewThese Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
Series: These Violent Delights #1
Published by Simon and Schuster on November 17, 2020
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, People & Places, Asia, Romance
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781534457713
Goodreads
four-stars

Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

I am always down for a good re-telling. Now, when we add in 1920s Shanghai, Shakespeare, and madness? I simply cannot resist. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong is an excellent young adult historical fantasy. Personally, I devoured this book and cannot stop recommending it. Also? I wish I had the second book right this instant.

These Violent Delights is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Set in 1920s era Shanghai, this is the story of Juliette Cai and Roma Montagov. Juliette and Roma were once lovers but are now enemies. They come from rival gangs. Juliette’s family runs the Scarlet gang which is comprised of Chinese people. Roma’s family runs the White Flowers which are comprised of Russians. Meanwhile, there’s also the Communist faction as well as the foreign colonizers. The book opens with a person down by the docks who tries to rip their own throat out.

It seems this delusion which makes people want to rip out their throats is spreading, putting Shanghai at risk. So, Juliette and Roma, enemies, must unite to find out what exactly the issue is and put an end to the madness. We get perspective from Juliette, Roma, Juliette’s cousin and more characters. It was cool to see the connection between the side characters and the play which this is based on.

Chloe Gong’s debut is a winner. It is a story that is unique and complex. The pacing is never slow or overlong. Also, there’s a good amount of action to keep you satisfied. Plus, there’s the world building. Reading These Violent Delights made it easy to picture Shanghai of the past and the competing factions. Yet, this book does not shy from topics like colonialism, gender, politics, and more. I also liked how much of a twist it provided on Romeo and Juliet. Finally, it takes the story and making it new again.


four-stars
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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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