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These Violent Delights Hardcover – 17 November 2020

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,502 ratings

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Review

A deliciously dark twist on Romeo and Juliet that feels vibrant, modern, and wholly exciting. Gong's writing brims with energy. I was swept away to her dark Shanghai from the first page and never wanted to leave!Natasha Ngan, New York Times bestselling author of Girls of Paper and Fire

Heady, smart, and vicious, These Violent Delights strikes every note with precision, layering romance and politics into a roaring 20s Shanghai of both monsters and monstrous imperialism ― Tessa Gratton, author of The Queens of Innis Lear

Chloe Gong's These Violent Delights plants a Shakespearean classic in the rich soil of 1920s Shanghai, allowing her characters to grow, flourish, and steal your heart while warring against their ownJoan He, author of Descendant of the Crane

Chloe Gong does expertly what all the best retellings do. She doesn't simply transpose her source material into a new setting, she engages with the spirit of the original and in doing so crafts a story that is entirely and beautifully her own . . . I cannot recommend this book strongly enough ― Chaipters

Gong ensnares readers with a delicious tale of family rivalries and forbidden love all set against the glittering backdrop of 1920s Shanghai. Don't miss this dark and beautiful retelling of Romeo and Juliet!Emiko Jean, author of Empress of All Seasons

Full of glitter, suspense and gore, These Violent Delights takes readers into the perilous world of 1926 Shanghai . . . Chloe Gong's debut is a terrific, deliciously unputdownable read! ― June Hur, author of The Silence of Bones

Gong's debut is not to be missed. With a dazzling setting, a mysterious series of murders, and diverse, unapologetically criminal characters, this novel ranks with the greatest YA ­retellingsSchool Library Journal, starred review

An unforgettable reimagining of Romeo and JulietALA Booklist, starred review

A lush, wholly original debut that will satiate Shakespeare aficionados and draw those seeking an engrossing, multifaceted historical fantasyPublishers Weekly, Starred Review

These Violent Delights is a phenomenal book and a wonder of a debut . . . Chloe has written star-crossed lovers/lovers-to-enemies like I've never read before, and if you love yearning, then trust me: you'll love These Violent DelightsThe Quiet Pond

A must-read with a conclusion that will leave readers craving moreKirkus Starred Review

This is the kind of book where I sort of just want to open my mouth and let the words expressing my love tumble out with abandon . . . I truly loved everything about this book ― The Elven Warrior

Gong's darkly seductive YA debut transplants Romeo and Juliet to 20s Shanghai for a gripping story of rival gangs, forbidden love and a plague that threatens to tear the city asunderThe i

Filled with Gong's lush prose, These Violent Delights brings 1920s Shanghai to life, along with a romance that is weighed with history ― BookRiot

Stylish and engrossingPopsugar

The setting's brilliant, a city split by merchant colonies and divided into gang territories, in a country itself fractured politically and on the verge of revolution ― SFX

These Violent Delights combines strong characterisation, skilfully interwoven political insight and an atmospheric portrayal of a Shanghai in the throes of changeGuardian

A rip-roaring, magic-tinged epic of cabarets and speakeasies, dens and divas . . . Gong's vivid Shanghai is a place to get enjoyably lost in ― Financial Times

Book Description

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.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Hodder & Stoughton (17 November 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 464 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1529344522
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1529344523
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 660 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 16.4 x 4.4 x 24.2 cm
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ United Kingdom
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,502 ratings

About the author

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Chloe Gong is the New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights and its sequel Our Violent Ends. She is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she double-majored in English and International Relations. Born in Shanghai and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Chloe is now located in New York pretending to be a real adult.

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.

You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok under @thechloegong.

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
1,502 global ratings
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Top reviews from India

Reviewed in India on 20 May 2021
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Reviewed in India on 16 May 2021
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Reviewed in India on 14 August 2021
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Reviewed in India on 7 March 2021
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Reviewed in India on 19 November 2020
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Reviewed in India on 27 February 2021
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Top reviews from other countries

The coycaterpillar Reads
2.0 out of 5 stars Very poorly executed
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 February 2021
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11 people found this helpful
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bea
1.0 out of 5 stars paperback não vale a pena
Reviewed in Brazil on 30 April 2021
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26 people found this helpful
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piercedgirl
5.0 out of 5 stars The Romeo and Juliet retelling we all want
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 November 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Romeo and Juliet retelling we all want
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 November 2020
I was kindly gifted a copy of this ebook by Hodder & Stoughton via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So thank you so so much!

When I initially heard about These Violent Delights, all I knew was that it was a Romeo and Juliet retelling set in a 1920’s Shanghai. For me that was enough to get excited and immediately pre-order. I have always been a huge fan of the forbidden romance/enemies to romance tropes, so Romeo and Juliet was always up my street.

I didn’t know much more about this one until I received the ARC, so I was extremely pleased to find that not only was it an R&J retelling but also containing a murder mystery, monsters, and gangsters.

The thing that really captured me was the writing style. I was immediately drawn in to the 1920’s Shanghai and politics surrounding the story itself. I found it informative without even realising, with the rich descriptions I felt as if I were there myself at times.

In regards to the story I really enjoyed it, it dived right into the action and was easy to follow, there was little hidden in regards to the gory deaths and that made it all the more exciting. Although we immediately knew the cause of these deaths it was still surrounded in mystery and remained that way until the very last page, being 464 pages (according to Goodreads) the expectation would be that we would get an early reveal or after some time it would become a little predictable or even dare I say it a bit boring. But I was still as hooked as I was when I first started. The one thing I love about the mystery's is trying to predict the killer, but I had no chance with this one. Characters were introduced so intricately that you didn’t question their motives until everything became clear at the end.

Throughout the book various plot holes arise, mentions of the past we do not know about but so desperately want to, they are revealed neatly at the end in a way which fits the story, rather than simply info dumping.

I loved the ending, it was suspenseful, everything came to together and set up book 2 perfectly. My only issue is that by reading this ARC I now have even longer to wait for the sequel!

I liked being able to recognise the characters from the play, being such a big family on both sides I found it easier to keep track of each one and their relevance to the plot. I felt we saw more of the Cai’s rather than the Montagov’s, so although I feel I have a pretty good idea of Juliette’s family with Roma I still feel a little unsure. But I am hoping this is something that can be looked into more in the sequel. However I do have to say that this replicates their relations to their family perfectly.

We become immediately aware that although both are in line to take over from their family only one is more comfortable doing so. Only Juliette was trying to fit into the role which was almost being taken from her, whereas with Roma, I can’t recall more than a single instance that he was actually at his family home, unstinting to continue on with the reigns being passed onto him.

Speaking of characters, I enjoyed the diversity. I will admit I did get a little confused with Kathleen’s past, when they spoke about the death of a sister, I assumed it referred to Kathleen in her being transgender. However when another sister was mentioned I did get a bit lost. I am planning to re-read this once the book is released, and since I have a physical copy I think it will make it easier to keep track of what may have happened.

I loved the closeness of both families, Roma with his cousin and friend, and their slow building romance between them. And also Juliette and her cousins. Aside from Roma and Juliette I think Marshall and Benedikt’s relationship was a big favourite of mine, I loved the friendship and the banter they had, but also when it was suggested there was more to it.

Ultimately the build up between Roma and Juliette was so frustrating, but at the same time I don’t think it could have happened any other way. I loved how long it took for them to trust each other fully again, with the combination of not knowing what had happened between made it all the more interesting to read on.

Overall I loved the book, I felt it was executed perfectly and was more than I was hoping for in every way. I do have some theory regarding book 2, there was a mention of a traitor but nothing more was said so I am hoping this is going to be a bit plot point in the sequel. I have an idea on who I think it may be, so time will tell!

My only issue that I had, and it was a relatively small one considering was with the bugs. Naturally we don’t know a lot about the bugs however, I wanted to know how they knew that by killing the host the bugs would also die. There was a lot of talk of killing this monster to save everyone (which was pretty important) but no one really thought about what they would do if the bugs weren’t affected, or even if they couldn’t kill it.

Again its not a bit issue at all, I am pretty hopeful we will find out more in book 2!
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4 people found this helpful
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Valerie
1.0 out of 5 stars Liked the setting but overall a boring read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 March 2021
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3 people found this helpful
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Kristel Greer
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a brilliant retelling of Romeo and Juliette set in Shanghai in 1926
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 March 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a brilliant retelling of Romeo and Juliette set in Shanghai in 1926
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 March 2021
This is a brilliant retelling of Romeo and Juliette set in Shanghai in 1926. Roma Montagov, heir to a Russian mafia family, the White Flowers and Juliette Cai, daughter to the head of the Chinese drug cartel, the Scarlets. Roma and Juliette met young, fell in love but were cruelly separately by Roma's betrayal which led to deaths on both sides. Juliette leaves Shanghai to live the high life in New York while Roma remains behind.

Juliette returns and tensions between the rival families are at an all-time high. However, a new threat arises with dire consequences for both the White Flowers and Scarlet gangs. A mysterious affliction is sweeping through their members and making them claw their throats out in a sudden onset of madness. Roma and Juliette must set aside their animosity and distrust and work together to find a solution. Their investigation uncovers a powerful supernatural foe at the heart of the contagion. As the deaths pile up, tension rises between the ex-lovers which force them to confront their unresolved feelings and the trauma of their pasts. Will they find the solution before it's too late and can move past their differences to rekindle their love?

This was a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 read for me as I loved the attention to detail given to the backstory and world-building at the start which set the stage for a gripping and addictive plot. The fresh take on the Shakespearean story was incredibly creative and I found that both the main characters as well as the supporting roles were beautifully written with complex backgrounds, motivations and diverse personalities. The sexual tension jumped off the page and the visceral love story between Roma and Juliette was both riveting and emotional to read. I loved the Shanghai backdrop with its rich Chinese customs and cultural references as well as the historical elements of the rise of communism and the interference of foreign powers of that time which were incorporated into the plot. This added more depth and realism to the story.
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