Hello everyone! I have had this post in my drafts for quite some time and I kept delaying finally writing my review and posting it, but here we are today! Ever since the amazing Chloe Gong announced the title of the sequel to These Violent Delights, I knew I had to get on and finally publish this post. So, the review sent all the perfect but I loved this book and made a perfectly angsty playlist for it which I hope you all will enjoy!
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
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.
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.
A Romeo and Juliette retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, These Violent Delights follows the heirs of rival gangs as they save their city from a monster and being completely taken over by foreigners. Despite the blood feud raging between their families, Juliette Can and Roma Montagav are united in the task of saving their city and their people.
The various complicated dynamics in this book were fun to follow! The complex relationships were well developed and each interaction between the characters left you wanting to learn more about them and try to grasp the complete situation. This mystery especially pulled me in when reading as things were not always clear to us. However, as the haze cleared and everything came together like a crescendo in the last third of the book, picking up its pace, it seemed absolutely perfect!
The alliance between Juliette and Roma was especially interesting to follow as they had past baggage that wasn’t completely known to us, yet we had some indication of it. Their relationship progressed slowly and sometimes, they fell into old habits and it was thrilling to read their interactions! There was so much yearning and nostalgia for the past which held me in rapt attention. I also loved seeing how they were both in such similar yet different positions as they tried to prove themselves as the heirs, and watching them deal with it in different ways was engrossing.
I also love how well the side characters had been formed. Juliette’s cousin, Kathleen was one of my favourite characters to explore. I also loved Benedikt and Marshall, and watching their interactions! I am also partial to them for how they love and protect Roma no matter what and are always on his side!
The plot itself was also compelling to read and while it started off quite slow, I enjoyed the lengthy descriptions of the city and being able to immerse myself through them. I usually dislike slow beginnings and like to get into the thick of the matter but somehow, Gong’s intense writing captured my attention and made it almost impossible for me to put the book down.
I adore this book and anyone looking for a captivating history romance with a Romeo and Juliette retelling should definitely check this book out – it will not disappoint.
So here’s a playlist for all your angsty enemies to lovers needs and I hope you all enjoy it!
Have you read this book yet? Did you like it? Are you planning to read it in the future? Tell me in the comments below!
Also don’t forget to check out my playlist!