Title: These Violent Delights
Author: Chloe Gong
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fantasy
Taken 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 didn’t think that I would get a new favourite book of the year within the last two weeks of the year, but These Violent Delights has proved me wrong. I absolutely adore this book and need the sequel now! It is full of everything that I love within YA fantasy, has a fantastic enemies to lovers romance, and it is a Romeo and Juliet retelling, what more could you want.
One of my favourite things about These Violent Delights was the characters. I loved Juliette and Roma individually and as a pair. Juliette was everything that I want from a strong female main character, with opinions of her own within a male-dominated world. She was strong, powerful and didn’t take any notice of what she was being told to do. Roma was a great love interest who had a distinct personality and problems of his own, which can sometimes be lacking in some of the YA fantasy I have been reading. The other characters within These Violent Delights were also fascinating and didn’t feel neglected for the progress of the story. I hope that we get to find out even more about them in the sequel as I feel like there are some really interesting stories to tell.
The romance within These Violent Delights was one of the best enemies-to-lovers romances that I have read in a long time. The tension and dramatics between Juliette and Roma made the romance so believable and intriguing. I have to admit that I did squeal when they first kissed. I can’t wait to see what is going to happen in the sequel, especially after the events of the ending. There was another romance starting to form in These Violent Delights, and I can’t wait to see where it is going to go. I am definitely on board with it and hope that Chloe Gong follows through with it as I think it could be adorable.
While These Violent Delights is a Romeo and Juliet retelling, it is set within 1920s Shanghai. I loved this setting, and it added a different element to the story. I like learning about the political layout of Shanghai within this period and how Chloe Gong integrated the story within it as well as the fashion and the introduction of western culture into Shanghai. With These Violent Delights being a Romeo and Juliet retelling, I did enjoy the nods to the original story, even though it did mean I spent most of the book terrified of the way it was going to end, anyone who knows the original play will know what I mean. It was integrated amazingly as I didn’t feel as if I was reading a direct retelling; there were just subtle moments that reminded me of the original.
The last 50 pages of These Violent Delights were some of the most dramatic that I have read in a long time. And they have set the sequel up perfectly. I can’t wait for Chloe Gong to finish the series, and she has definitely become an auto-buy author for me in the future. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.
Thank you so much if you made it to the end of my 500+ ramble about how much I loved These Violent Delights 🥰
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