You guys!!! I know I say this almost every blog tour, but this is the most excited I have ever felt to be included on a blog tour! When I first heard of this book publishing last year, it was literally all I could think about. My little wasian and Shakespeare-loving self was bursting at the seams for These Violent Delights, so when I got my hands on an arc I actually shed some excited tears. So keep on reading to learn more about the book, my thoughts, and a giveaway to win your copy.
About the Book:
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.
About the Author:
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.
These Violent Delights was one of my most anticipated releases for 2020, and it absolutely didn’t disappoint! Not only was it a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, but it’s set in 1920s Shanghai. That is a recipe for perfection if I ever heard of one.
I don’t know how to put my love for this book into words, but I’ve always wanted to read epic fantasies revolving around the culture that I hold so close to home. I’ve only visited Shanghai a handful of times, but These Violent Delight captures the chaos of the city (the real and modern city is obviously more civil, but the chaos is similar). I actually even had my mother-who lived in Shanghai for 10 years- read some passages, and she said the same 🙂 The historical setting was super fun to read, and I definitely think it added to the tension between the rival gangs. The writing was also impressive for a debut novel, so I’m excited to see what GOng writes next.
Juliette and Roma were great protagonists to read, and I adore the slow burn of their romance, and the added “second-chance” aspect. They don’t kiss till around page 250, but the intensity is certainly worth the weight. Juliette’s strife of being the “American” amongst her family was definitely something I related to on such a personal level. As a mixed kid, I always felt to foreign to fit in with either side of my family-whether it be my dad’s Dutch side or my mom’s Chinese side. Juliette feels the same since she was raised primarily in America, where she was considered too Asian, but when she was back home with her family and apart of the Scarlet Gang, she was too “western”. Her internal struggle being considered an outsider with the added challenge of being a girl in a culture that values men more had me emotional at many points in the story. But she was strong, and continued to prove her skill, making a name for herself. Roma also has family struggles, and their pain was something that bonded the pair. it’s clear how much they care for one another.
One of my favorite aspects of reading These Violent Delights was the parrales it had to the source material. Whenever a scene mirrored a scene from R+J, I was so excited that I linked the two. But even though it had some similar scenes, the story itself was much more gritty and violent than R+J. It features a lot of gang violence and drug use, so I caution against that if you feel that could be triggering.
Overall, These Violent Delights is a thrilling story of star-crossed lovers trying to save the city they love from the hands of a chilling and mysterious monster. If you love an intense slow burn, then definitely pick up this book!!
Prize: Five (5) hardcover edition of These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
- Open to international (INTL)
- Ends on 25 November 2020 (Philippine time)
- Click the link here, or the image above to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!
Click here for the full tour schedule th check out other posts for this tour!