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These Violent Delights - Chloe Gong (ARC)

"Perfect for fans ofThe Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginativeRomeo 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."

Pages: 464


CW: This book contains mentions and descriptions of blood, violence, gore, character deaths, explicit description of gouging self (not of their own volition), murder, weapon use, insects, alcohol consumption, parental abuse. (Content warnings from the author on GoodReads!)

I received These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong for free on NetGalley by Hodder & Stoughton in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much to Chloe Gong, Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for this early copy! These Violent Delights will be published on the 17th November 2020 and will be available on GoodReads, Amazon and Waterstones.

These Violent Delights was one of my most anticipated reads and I was so excited to be approved for it on NetGalley! I've heard so many good things about this book and it definitely lives up to the hype! A Romeo & Juliet retelling set in 1920's Shanghai is such a fantastic concept, I knew I had to read it!

In These Violent Delights we follow our star-crossed lovers Juliette Cai and Roma Montagov who are the heirs to rival gangs. Raised to hate each other but they fell in love anyway until a harrowing betrayal sets them firmly back as enemies. I didn't realise how much I would love the "enemies to lovers to enemies" trope, it is so good!

Juliette has returned to Shanghai, after being forced to go to America, and she is ready to take her rightful place as the heir to the Scarlet Gang and determined to forget all about Roma. I loved Juliette's character so much! She's an absolute badass, quick witted and incredibly dangerous. I have to declare right now that I'm definitely joining the Scarlet Gang!

On the other hand Roma is trying to get back into his fathers' good graces and trying to get everyone to take him seriously as the heir to the White Flowers. He's learnt to be more cautious but he does have an angry side that flares up when those he cares about are hurt.

They've both got to prove themselves to their families but soon have to put aside their differences and work together in order to stop the madness that is plaguing the city.

The writing throughout the book is incredibly gorgeous, it's so descriptive and intriguing. I also loved the historical elements that were layered in the story, there was so much I didn't know about and now want to research even more! These Violent Delights is an intense read that really immerses the reader fully into the story. I usually make notes as I go along but I didn't want to take my eyes off the story for a single second! It is so clever and such an amazing retelling - I must admit I love it even more than the original Romeo & Juliet. The suspense, the yearning and the twists were just perfection, you can really tell how much love was poured into every part of this book. I can't wait to read even more!

These Violent Delights is witty, intelligent and an instant favourite of 2020 for me! Thank you again Chloe Gong, Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley, it stabbed me right in the feels but I loved every second!

Thank you for reading my thoughts, you can also find me on my Twitter and Instagram! Let me know if you have any recommendations of what I should read next.

Chloe Gong is a student at the University of Pennsylvania, studying English and International Relations. During her breaks, she’s either at home in New Zealand or visiting her many relatives in Shanghai. Chloe has been known to mysteriously appear when “Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare's best plays and doesn't deserve its slander in pop culture” is chanted into a mirror three times. You can find her on Twitter @thechloegong or check out her website at thechloegong.com.

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