These Violent Ends by Chloe Gong, #119 book review

Publication date: 16 November 2021

Shanghai is under siege in this captivating and searingly romantic sequel to These Violent Delights, which New York Times bestselling author Natasha Ngan calls “deliciously dark.”

The year is 1927, and Shanghai teeters on the edge of revolution.

After sacrificing her relationship with Roma to protect him from the blood feud, Juliette has been a girl on the warpath. One wrong move, and her cousin will step in to usurp her place as the Scarlet Gang’s heir. The only way to save the boy she loves from the wrath of the Scarlets is to have him want her dead for murdering his best friend in cold blood. If Juliette were actually guilty of the crime Roma believes she committed, his rejection might sting less.

Roma is still reeling from Marshall’s death, and his cousin Benedikt will barely speak to him. Roma knows it’s his fault for letting the ruthless Juliette back into his life, and he’s determined to set things right—even if that means killing the girl he hates and loves with equal measure.

Then a new monstrous danger emerges in the city, and though secrets keep them apart, Juliette must secure Roma’s cooperation if they are to end this threat once and for all. Shanghai is already at a boiling point: The Nationalists are marching in, whispers of civil war brew louder every day, and gangster rule faces complete annihilation. Roma and Juliette must put aside their differences to combat monsters and politics, but they aren’t prepared for the biggest threat of all: protecting their hearts from each other.

“These violent delights have violent ends”
is how I would describe this sequel.

Let me tell you, reading this book was stressful! I am a Chinese Malaysian. I watched China drama series that tells the story of the China Revolution through the decades, yes, I’m talking about the ones that take you through year by year from the POV of a merchant, general, soldier, housewife, farmer, ordinary everyday folk. I felt like I was reading a parallel universe of the China Revolution, one that involves a monster and a Shakespeare retelling.

My NetGalley request was approved by the publisher – Hodder & Stoughton! Thank you for seeing to my NEEDS! Proud Chinese right here! I am so grateful for the representation and all the Chinese words in it, it feels like an alternative universe to call home.

The drama, the politics, the intense plot, ROMA and JULIETTE, it was all *chef kiss*

‘What are you afraid of’ Roma Montagov asked.
Juliette lips parted. She exhaled a short, abrupt breath. ‘The consequences,’ she whispered, ‘of love in a city ruled by hate.’

Cough, sorry.

Since we got the backstory of our protagonist lovers, the second book is even more enjoyable because you already know them. You are able to truly get inside their head and feel their PaIn. And I truly did feel it. Tears flowed. I was rooting for them the whole fking time! My OTP! I don’t want a man if he isn’t gonna banter with me using razor-sharp big brain words and daggers like Roma and Juliette. The Angst in this!! Holy, if you think the first book was fire, this is lava. I really do love a good angst, I-love-you-so-much-that-I-hate-you couple. It kinda made me have a flashback moment of feels about my ex. *barfs*

There are so many favourite scenes and quotes. You can really see Chole’s confidence in her writing with her second book. The characters took a shape of their own and they basically wrote themselves into the dialogues. I can never trust anyone but Chloe Gong now to write a savage-found-family-against-all-odds-yet-I-still-hate-you book.

Let’s not talk about the ending of the book here, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS if my mouth opens. All I can say is… Shakespeare is immortal.

I can’t wait for November to come, I am a book tabber so I’m gonna be tabbing every 10 pages. Watch me do endless cosplays in my qipao and pretend I’m a Scarlet. Spiritually, I am one 🙂

BBR, too busy recommending this book to EVERYONE. Congrats on your success Chole, keep writing out there so we can keep fighting for you! 谢谢你,我爱你我为你为荣! 恭喜你!! 加油喔!

By elysianbooksish

The Bookish Faerie who loves to read and write, and bake too

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