THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS (THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS #1) BY CHLOE GONG: AN UNDENIABLY POWERFUL DEBUT – BOOK REVIEW ft. FAVORITE QUOTES

greetings, my friends! how are you? (so, what’s with the “how are yous”? i figured i might make someone smile if i ask how are they doing, because it makes me smile as well when asked by this question.)

from the title of this post, this is a book review of These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong, which I really love! i admit, it almost gave me a heart attack when I read the last chapter, still i am so happy to be alive in this generation and read such masterpiece. also, the format of this review is a bit different from my usual, thus i’m hoping i’ll do a great job at it. finally, this is a review of a finished copy, not an ARC, finally!

now, welcome to my blog and let’s have some bookish fun!

*BY CLICKING AND PURCHASING THROUGH THE PURCHASE LINKS PROVIDED, THE BLOGGER MAY EARN COMMISSIONS

“WHICH SHADE DO YOU BLEED, MADAME? SCARLET OR RED?”

“THE STARS INCLINE US, THEY DO NOT BIND US.”

“SHE WAS A MONSTER IN HER OWN RIGHT.”

A RETELLING OF ROMEO AND JULIET

if some are not aware, These Violent Delights is a retelling of the renowned Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. the original play is about two star-crossed lovers, set in Italy, whose families are feuding for a very long time. however, in These Violent Delights, the young lovers are called Roma Montagov and Juliette Cai, and they were lovers in the past, their love story torn by the thorns grown by their rival gangs – the White Flower and Scarlet Gang . the story is set in Shanghai, China, which gives a refreshing take to the story.

i love that even though the book is a retelling, Chloe Gong added her elements, making the story her very own. the plot is exquisite, not too complex and not too simple. highlighting the addition of a literal monster, which can be seen figuratively as well. when i started the book, the monster element really hooked me until the very end. making Roma and Juliette past lovers is an excellent move, adding more substance to the story. if the author went down with the same meet-cute as the play by Shakespeare, I think it would bore me and maybe other readers as well. therefore, the originality of this book is commendable!

Chloe Gong’s writing is magic with its lyrical style! if you are an begginer in writing, i highly suggest reading this book. i think it will help in honing your craft.

A HISTORY LESSON.

imagine the research Chloe Gong had to go through when she wrote the draft of this novel. as it is set in 1926 Shanghai, searching for facts back then is a must. although, some parts are of the imagination, some parts should be nearly if not perfectly accurate.

in this book, you will be introduced to the politics and the status of Shanghai then. although, the aspect of colonialism is the main thing that I will focus on in this topic. as my country (Philippines) was also colonized in the past, reading about colonialism hits different. imagine white people building an establishment in China, but not a single Chinese is allowed to enter that establishment. the entitlement kind of triggered an anger in me, as such thing might also be happening now and we are just not aware. this book is a great eye-opener and a reminder that we should always remember our true culture. yes, i admit colonialism has its pros, but our roots will always be a part of us and should always be recognized.

A COLLECTION OF CHARACTERS.

oh, these set characters i really love! at first, i thought the POVs will only those of Roma and Juliette. however, i am also able to go through the eyes and minds of characters such as Kathleen, Marshall, Benedikt, and Tyler. among the mentioned four, my favorite is Kathleen. although i still can’t quiet figure out her backstory, it made her a solid character. and i really like her personality. for the best character, Juliette Cai is the queen! i really love savage characters and Juliette is 200% savage! i love her mindset, that she deeply cares for the well-being of her gang, caring yet firm when necessary. i also love her dark side, a button i will never push if ever.

as for my affiliation, i bleed scarlet all the way.

an undeniably powerful debut, with an influential literary voice. Chloe Gong is not here to play, people. you better watch out!

title: these violent delights
author: chloe gong
publisher: margaret k. mcelderry books
release date: 17 november 2020
age category: young adult
genre/s: historical
purchase link/s: [ indiebound | bookshop ]

content/trigger warning/s: blood, violence, gore, character deaths, explicit description of gouging self (not of their own volition), murder, weapon use, insects, alcohol consumption, parental abuse

about:
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. [ goodreads ]


Meet Chloe Gong, One of the Year's Youngest Best-Selling Authors - The New  York Times

CHLOE GONG is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, double-majoring in English and international relations. Born in Shanghai and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, she now lives at the top of a crumbling, ivory tower in Philadelphia (also known as student housing).

After devouring the entire YA section of her local library, she started writing her own novels at age 13 to keep herself entertained, and has been highly entertained ever since. Chloe has been known to mysteriously appear by chanting “Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s best plays and doesn’t deserve its slander in pop culture” into a mirror three times. She is the New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights and its sequel Our Violent Ends. You can find her on Twitter @TheChloeGong or check out her website at TheChloeGong.com. [ author website | twitter | tumblr | instagram | spotify | pinterest ]

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON RETELLINGS? IF YOU ARE GOING TO WRITE A RETELLING, WHICH LITERARY WORK WILL YOU RETELL?

22 thoughts on “THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS (THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS #1) BY CHLOE GONG: AN UNDENIABLY POWERFUL DEBUT – BOOK REVIEW ft. FAVORITE QUOTES”

  1. Oooooh oooooh oooh this one looks good!! Sort of reminds of Six of Crows, with all the gangs and the gang rivalry!!

    Like

  2. Glad to hear that you loved this book too! I’m eagerly waiting for the sequel especially after that reveal/twist at the end. I’d love a retelling of the twelve dancing princesses movie haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely review, I’m glad to see you liked this!!! I LOVED this book and I agree, the amount of research Chloe Gong must have done to write 1920s shanghai must be a lot! November has never seemed so far away, I can’t wait to read book two!

    Liked by 1 person

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