These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong – A Review

Hello! Mikelann here again with another guest review. Today I’ll be getting into These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. Enjoy!

Title: These Violent Delights
Author: Chloe Gong
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published Date: November 17th, 2020

In 1927 Shanghai, 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.

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I’ve never been much of a retellings fan, but after reading These Violent Delights…I’m starting to think that perhaps I just haven’t been reading the right retellings. That, or Chloe Gong just has a knack for taking an age old tale and twisting it into something new and exciting. I really enjoyed how she took the story of Romeo and Juliet and spun it into an action packed adventure. I’m also a sucker for supernatural monsters, so of course I was sucked into the search for the mysterious being lurking in the Huangpu River.

My main fault with this book, though, was the characters. While it is always wonderful to see a strong and independent female lead, it is sadly very easy for an author to overdo it, and I feel that Gong unfortunately way over shot Juliette’s untouchable demeanor. I felt that her murderous instincts and violent nature was a bit too forced for my liking. 

Overall, I did enjoy this story very much. It had a way of drawing you in and keeping you hooked through every page. Will I continue this series once the sequel comes out? Hell yeah! While this story did not blow me away, that does not mean that it wasn’t a good book. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Not to mention, the author throws one hell of a curveball at you at the end, and I am just an absolute sucker for a good cliffhanger.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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