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These Violent Delights

(These Violent Delights #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  95,420 ratings  ·  18,658 reviews
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
Hardcover, 449 pages
Published November 17th 2020 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Chloe Gong Someone directed me over here to answer (I don't usually see Goodreads questions, any other ones should be sent direct to me) but yes, I do have one! …moreSomeone directed me over here to answer (I don't usually see Goodreads questions, any other ones should be sent direct to me) but yes, I do have one! Roma is masculine in Slavic cultures, you might referring to different cultures. It's a diminutive for Roman, which is indeed a very Russian name. Hope that helps!(less)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Adira Kathleen is a trans woman, who’s father does not accept her identity. Her chosen name is “Celia,” but her father refuses to call her by this name. Whe…moreKathleen is a trans woman, who’s father does not accept her identity. Her chosen name is “Celia,” but her father refuses to call her by this name. When her sister dies while they are away at school in France, her father allows her to take on Kathleen, the dead sister’s name, to save face when they return home to China.

Once at home, their family pretends that the male heir died instead of the real Kathleen and they let the new “Kathleen” exist in place of the actual daughter who died.

This hurts Kathleen as a trans woman, but she throws herself into being loyal to Juliette since Juliette is the only person who allows her to belong and always stands up for her. Throughout the book, we see how Kathleen focuses on not being clocked as trans. This is why the story of “Amethyst” is significant later in the book.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  95,420 ratings  ·  18,658 reviews

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Start your review of These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1)
Mar 29, 2022 rated it did not like it
babe, wake up, someone published a twitter thread critiquing capitalism's ongoing effects on young writers convinced they must publish before they're actually ready and it prompted chloe gong to drop a sulky, self-absorbed essay about how we're all really just jealous that we aren't published authors.

the tiktok marketing has brainwashed everyone because this book was absolute ass……

i do think that the growing urgency people feel to write, publish, and market books from a very young age is self-sa
I'm dreaming of a good fantasy...
Just like the ones I used to know...
Without the tryhard writing...
And silly love interest fighting...
And a plot I can only say is slow...

(insert pause for applause, standing ovation, loud WOO's, the whole arena to do the wave, people chanting my name, etc. here)

Anyway. Clearly this whole "reading" thing isn't working out, as I continue to get disappointed by my most anticipated reads as if it is my job, so I might try my hand at songwriting.

"White Christmas" is t
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
↠ 5 stars

You had me at Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920's Shanghai. In this wondrous debut from author Chloe Gong, Shakespeare meets a new decade, one with rivaling gangs and a river monster tormenting the citizens. The blood feud between the White Flowers and the Scarlet Gang is one that has transformed the city. Alliances have been drawn and no one can stand the middle ground. Enter the once-lovers, Juliette and Roma, separated by their families and a long ago betrayal. They must set asi
Chloe Gong
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to begin this note with a quip about giving the book 5 stars, but the truth is, if I hadn’t poured all my heart and blood into it, then I wouldn’t have put it forward for publication. And since I have put it forward, then that means I believe in this book with everything I have, and I’m honored to be able to share These Violent Delights with you all.

Goodreads is a space for readers, not authors, so I’m only here to drop this note and then skedaddle. If you’d like me to share or read yo
chai ♡
me: now that I am done with finals, I just want to relax and nestle into the soothing embrace of a good book

also me: *picks up this Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s gangster-run Shanghai about star-crossed exes putting aside the blood feud between them to prevent a monster from terrorizing their city that everyone tells me it's guaranteed to break my heart*
Mar 31, 2022 rated it it was ok
"I was raised in hatred, Roma. I could never be your lover, only your killer."
Before you get too excited, that was practically the only pithy line in the entire book. I thought I was getting an exciting gangster retelling of Romeo and Juliet with some fantasy elements. Instead, the writing almost did me in.

In 1920s Shanghai, rival gangs the Scarlets and the White Flowers are engaged in a blood feud. Their young heirs Juliette Cai and Roma Montagov used to be secret lovers, until Roma betraye
These Violent Delights is superior to Romeo and Juliet in so many ways, and reducing it to simply "a R and J retelling" is doing it a disservice. Even though I did feel like an intellectual whenever I caught the Shakespeare references.

This book is the product of an intriguing mystery, a forbidden romance, and the gorgeous atmosphere of 1920s Shanghai. Juliette Cai, heir to the Scarlet Gang, is a young Chinese girl desperately trying to live up to her family's expectations before her throne can b
Joel Rochester
One of the best YA books of this year. Completely amazing, I love it sm.

OwlCrate's December 2020 Box : My Rep Code: MEL10 ❤️
Fairyloot's November 2020 Box: My Rep Code: MELANIE5 ❤️

✨ Reviews you should check out: Xiran's, Lili's, CW's 

"Anyone can be the master to a monster should their heart be wicked enough."

These Violent Delights is an ownvoices story starring a Chinese heiress who recently moved back to Shanghai and is willing to do anything to prove to her father that she is ready to rule the Scarlet Gang. But in 1920s Shanghai,
Miranda Reads
Dec 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: grchoice_round1

Just posted my Dec 2020 OwCrate Unboxing and Review Video !!

Overall: this book was a 2.5-star read for me.

It certainly had elements that were interesting but ultimately was lackluster when it came to execution.

The science felt...awful...simply awful and neither of the characters felt particularly compelling to read about...I probably won't be continuing this series cause I simply cannot care enough to continue. For more details, check out my video review!

YouTube | Blog | Instagram |
may ➹
— find this review and others on my blog!

Backdropped by 1926 Shanghai humming with life and debauchery, These Violent Delights follows Juliette Cai, heir to the Scarlet Gang, who watches angrily as her city falls further into the clutches of white foreigners. Equally as worrying as the threat of colonialism is the sudden appearance of a monster that causes people to tear out their own throats. The only way Juliette can defeat the monster and save her people is to work with Roma Montagov, heir to
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
if i could sum up the story of roma and juliette, it would be this quote by toni morrison:
‘we mistook violence for passion… and thought recklessness was freedom.’
the ruthless gangs, the rekindling of a first love after betrayal, the haunting of a monster and madness, and the dramatic ploys of various nationalities trying to gain control of shanghai, this story delivers on so many fronts.

i could most definitely see how this follows the tale of romeo and juliet, but at the same time, it feel
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
A Romeo and Juliet retelling coupled with a historical screenplay of Shanghai torn by two rival Gangs (Scarlet gang and the White Flower gang) the Communists, and other foreigners fighting for power, These Violent Delights is, without an ounce of doubt, a debut of immense talent.

The crux of the story

Scarlet Gang is in charge of Shanghai and is the most powerful of all gangs in Shanghai. Juliette Cai , heiress of the Scarlet Gang ruled by the ruthless Lord Cai, has returned from America and i
Era ➴
[rtc after rereading]

Trigger Warnings: violence (pretty gory), abuse, racism, grief, mentions of drug use.

Listen, I just came for the 1920’s Shanghai aesthetic. And then I got so much more than that.

“This place hums to the tune of debauchery. This city is filthy and deep in the thrall of unending sin, so saturated with the kiss of decadence that the sky threatens to buckle and crush all those living vivaciously beneath it in punishment.”

It was gorgeous. There was glitter and grit and a lot of d
Lia Carstairs

What the hell was that cliffhanger?!?!
All that work and then that happens??? omgomgomg-

Chloe Gong really knows how to deliver an ending. I just love how she ends the book in the middle of a climax?!?! (She even added the "To be continued" at the end as if knowing that her readers would be begging for more aghhhh and I unknowingly fell into the trap)

I could honestly just feel the beginning of despair swallow up the characters and horror dawn on them as they
Cait Jacobs (Caitsbooks)
Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Check out this review (and more) over on my blog!

Quick Stats:
5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: I had some pretty high expectations for this book, but I never expected it to fly above all of them.

// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Assault, Gun Violence, Torture, Suicide, (Drug) Addiction (Mention), Child Abuse, Murder,
Althea ☾
Additional note: I forgot to highlight this because I only realized it, the reason I love (and perhaps for a lot of other people too) Juliette and Roma so much is because it never felt like Roma was Juliette's knight in shining armor. The romance felt like they were reliant on each other without ever making half of the couple showcase inferiority. They were both strong and vulnerable.

Miss Chloe Gong really said let’s put diversity, chemistry, and beautiful writing together and then write a book.
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

DNF @ 15%

Well, that was disappointing. The 1920s Shanghai setting hooked me and the idea of a Romeo and Juliet retelling intrigued me, because even though I'm not keen on the play, I think it offers a lot of potential for reworking the storyline. And a retelling with rival gangs? YAS.

Sadly, this book just wasn't it for me. The writing was such a slog. It has that forced ornateness to it that a lot of the YA coming out these days has-- TH
Phuong ✯
2.5 stars

First of all I want to say that I think it's unfair that this book is in the GCA Semifinals in Young Adult Fantasy when it hasn't even released yet. GR messing up these awards every year is nothing new, but it still bugs me. A book that has been released for months now, should be able to have that spot. I would have said this regardless if I liked These Violent Delights or not, I just think other books that have already been released may deserve the exposure more.

Edit: Not surprise th
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Here it is, my love of 2020! I wasn’t just immersed in this book, I was drowned in it. It’s the kind of book you wish you could read for the first time, again and again.
This was such a captivating mix of fantasy, romance, horror and mystery (basically all the things I love) packaged into this neat story that I just could not put down.
The characters were all so admirable and I loved how the story played out. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to call this work flawless.
Waiting for the sequel is gon
May 06, 2020 marked it as to-read
This author is still an undergrad in college...
what have I been doing with my life??????
ale ‧ ₊˚୨୧ ₊˚
5 stars.

“You destroy me and then you kiss me. You give me a reason to hate you and then you give me a reason to love you.”


my tumblr review

So I made a playlist for this book (perhaps I'll start to make playlists from now on, tbh, lol) If it flops, I'm gonna delete it because yikes.

Buckle up, bitches, my review has some spoilers, so, you've been warned.

I'm gonna start saying that Romeo and Juliet was the very first book that I've ever read and Romeo was my first fictional character boyfriend..
Xiran Jay Zhao
juliette cai cosplay
juliette cai cosplay

Personal Rating: Juliette Cai could backhand me right into the Huangpu River, and I’d thank her
Reasons to Read: The richly realized world of 1920s Shanghai, the poetry-like prose, the tense mystery, the meticulously developed characters, the delicious and scathing discourse against colonialism, the doomed LOOOONGING between Roma and Juliette

So this is one of those books that makes me angry. Angry because I cannot BELIEVE I never knew the extent of how interesting the situation in 1920s Shanghai
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
4.5 Stars ⭐️

Here’s the 411. I read/listened to this book yesterday but kept getting interrupted so I did read it again today! I liked some of the book but I needed to make sure I loved it because I wasn’t so sure. BUT, after all that, I love it! Holy crap on a saltine kracker!! I’m so excited for the next one I can’t hardly stand it!!

And that ending!! 😳

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

Got the same book in our December Owlcrate. I love the FairyLoot edition more but I do love the art under dust jacket and the embossing
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
rating: 2 stars

it's me, ya girl. the one who keeps giving all her most anticipated books low ratings. i wish i could see what everyone does in this book (at the time that i'm writing this it seems that i'm in the minority) but there were too many issues that i couldn't overlook.

— the writing

if i took a shot every time there was an info-dump during the first hundred pages or so i'd be dead on page ten. i practically fell asleep. interesting conversations would be broken up by random backstorie
Lisa of Troy
Nov 28, 2020 rated it liked it
To be clear, this book is 3.5 stars.

This book These Violent Delights is an updated version of Romeo & Juliette set in Shanghai in the 1920's. Roma and Juliette are now ex's from warring gang families who must come together to solve a problem.

As Chloe Gong's debut novel, she should be proud of her book especially her writing. I enjoyed the lyrical nature in which the author wrote. She is clearly very talented. Further, based on the little synopsis, full disclosure thought that this book would be
Lucy Tonks
Mar 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
“She…hoped. And hope was dangerous. Hope was the most vicious evil of them all, the thing that had managed to thrive in Pandora’s box among misery, and disease, and sadness—and what could endure alongside others with such teeth if it didn’t have ghastly claws of its own?”

I loved this book so much more than I was expecting. I've seen a lot of 3 stars reviews for this book right before I read it, so I went into it fairily medium expectations, but somehow this book managed to surpass my expect
elena ❀
Mar 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
So don’t start believing that skill is all it takes to stay at the top. Loyalty plays its dirty hand too, and it is a fickle, ever-changing thing.

These Violent Delights has become one of the most talked-about books on every part of social media, and I can see why now.

When you’re someone like Gong and decide to write a historical retelling of Romeo and Juliet, with a Chinese Juliet and Russian Romeo as they put their rivalry and blood feud to the side in order to stop a mysterious mad
Nash (all too unwell)
“The stars incline us, they do not bind us.”

Buddy read with Em💖

⭐⭐⭐⭐ stars

These Violent Delights is a Romeo Juliet retelling. But I tell you it's soo much more than that.
Power struggle, inner conflict and forbidden romance or something like that
aka the ALMOST perfect book<3
I felt something was lacking in this book
I will detail it below!


Juliette is the heir of the Scarlet gang. Roma is the heir of the White flowers.
There was once a time when both were in love. But it's not the same a
Kimberly (Deity of Books)
✨ (↠ For a more mobile-friendly reading experience ↠) Review is also posted on my blog

As someone who is not a fan of the original Romeo and Juliet (sorry), I really enjoyed this. This book is one of the best books I’ve read in 2020. It definitely could be one of the best books I’ve read in my entire life.

We are introduced to Juliette Cai, one of the main characters. She is the heiress of the Scarlet Gang and has just come back from New York City after finishing her education. She and most char
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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. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, and Ti ...more

Other books in the series

These Violent Delights (2 books)
  • Our Violent Ends (These Violent Delights, #2)

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“The stars incline us, they do not bind us.” 560 likes
“Do you not listen to me when I speak?” he answered shakily, his lip quirking up. “I love you. I have always loved you.” 335 likes
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