Genre: Urban Fantasy,
Duology: These Violent Delights #1
Publication Date: November 17, 2020
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Wow. Just wow.
I gave myself some time before writing this review to gather my thoughts but I don’t think it’s working; all I can think up is incoherent screaming and variations of OH MY GOD and THE BEST BOOK EVER.
Where do I begin? Characters? Plot? I’ll start with the thing that gripped me from page one: the writing.
🗡️ I absolutely LOVE the writing. I honestly have a hard time believing this is a debut novel!! It’s flowery but not too flowery and descriptive but not too descriptive; especially her descriptions have me in awe because we all know how hard it is to engage readers with descriptive writing and not bore them out of their minds. But Chloe Gong has managed to do it all the same: the writing she produces is so aesthetically pleasing, and so atmospheric it literally feels like I’m walking in the roads of Shanghai along with Juliette and Roma. The way she tells the story is so vivid, it brings the story alive I can practically taste the world she creates. And within this beautiful writing she weaves social commentary and raises various sociopolitical issues such as eurocentricism, westernisation, colonisation to name a few. Can I wait about the sequel and all other books she will write? Absolutely NOT GIVE THEM TO ME NOW!!
🗡️ Now characters, what can I say? I loved them all, each and every one of them felt so unique and fleshed out. There are so many layers to them all, truly amazing. So much diversity and so many different characters and personalities, what more can I ask for??????? If I had to pick a favourite it defenitely has to be Juliette: she is just so badass!!!! For real no other word can describe her best; she is the heir of a gangster family and she owns it: she is feared and adored by her people, nobody dares talk back to her or even talks about her and her overall attitude *cue incoherent screaming I talked about earlier* Classic case of looks like she can kill you and WILL kill you.
🗡️ THE PLOT talk about engaging and yes unique. I know it is a retelling so you are supposed to know where the story is going but guess again. Full of twists and turns, These Violent Delights has to be one of the most well crafted retellings ever. It tells the original story yes, but is has its own print. It’s like you get the main idea of Shakespeare’s play without feeling like you’re reading the same text. It is a retelling AND a completely different story at the same time, exactly what I’m looking for in retellings. I couldn’t wait to see how she will insert major plot points of the Shakespearian play to her own story each time and each time I was left more than satisfied.
🗡️ Last but not least the romantic aspect!!!!! This is a Romeo and Juliet retelling so of course we get all the angst that comes with having two people from rival gangs fall in love. However this is sort of a lovers to enemies to lovers situation so there’s double the angst and the slow burn. The tension between Juliette and Roma *chef’s kiss* There’s also a side couple I am ROOTING FOR WITH EVERYTHING I HAVE but I won’t say anything cause this is a spoiler free review and I’m polite.
Overall, These Violent Delights is the debut of 2020 for me. Full of monsters, blood and madness but also romance, slow burn and angst, it is the perfect mix of horror and romance. Don’t think twice and trust me on this one: go and preorder These Violent Delights now!!! You will not regret it I promise. Plus the cover is gorgeous just putting it out there for all of us who cover buy shhhhhh.
I received an eARC from the publisher through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Are you excited for These Violent Delights? Have you already read it? Let me know what you liked most about it!
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