Hello, book lovers! 💕
The following is from Goodreads:
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’m back with another review, which is crazy because I never post two reviews in a row, but I figured I’d try to keep on top of the books that I need to review. And These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong is the most recent book that I finished reading. Well, the most recent book that I finished listening to since I listened to the audiobook.
So this story is essentially a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, which I was well aware of going into the book. However, while I was listening, I noticed that the retelling aspect wasn’t as prominent. I mean, it was there in some parts, but Chloe Gong took some creative liberty with falling away from the retelling. I’m not sure if that exactly makes sense unless you’ve read the book.
For instance the whole romance between Roma and Juliette wasn’t as prevalent as it is in the original Shakespeare play. I mean it was there, but it was really subtle. I feel like that worked really well so there was more emphasis on the feud going on between the two gangs as well as the madness that was rampaging the city.
But I didn’t find that to take away from the story itself. Chloe Gong had her own spin on the retelling, which made the story interesting. Like what was happening in the city with the madness. It was such a wild ride figuring out what was going on with that. And it was kind of gruesome at some points, but I didn’t think that it was overly violent or gruesome (and I’m the type of person who gets scared and grossed out pretty easily).
I really appreciated some of the characters as the story progressed, especially Juliette. I liked how badass she was and didn’t take no shit from anyone. She didn’t let anyone push her around just because she was a woman, which was something that wasn’t heard of in the 1920s. She wasn’t afraid to protect her people.
I loved Kathleen, who is one of the side characters. She was such a cinnamon bun that I wanted to protect at all times. Along with Marshall, another side character, who’s banter with Juliette was a lot of fun and added a lot to the story even at the grimmest of moments. Like when they’re examining a victim of the madness in the lab.
As for the writing, I felt like it was pretty good in the sense that Chloe Gong did a fantastic job with the world-building. She created such a vivid setting that I was able to envision while I was reading, and I was pretty ,much sucked into what was going on.
So there you have it. Those are my thoughts on These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. I would definitely recommend this book if you’re a fan of The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell. Or even if you enjoy Romeo and Juliette retellings. Or stories set in the 1920s. I’d definitely pick it up.
Have you read this book? What were your thoughts on it? Do you plan on picking it up? I’d love to discuss it in the comments below!
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