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These violent delights di Chloe Gong
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These violent delights (edizione 2020)

di Chloe Gong

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
441943,210 (3.89)6
Utente:michou_
Titolo:These violent delights
Autori:Chloe Gong
Info:New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2020.
Collezioni:La tua biblioteca
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Etichette:to-read

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These Violent Delights di Chloe Gong

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A fun book to read with an interesting backstory

The backstory of the 1920s Shanghai is pretty intriguing on top of the overlay of a modern day Romeo & Juliet story. Looking forward to the sequel. ( )
  geoff79 | Jul 11, 2021 |
This book was slower than I was expecting. But it was a rollercoaster kind of read. It starts with a bang and goes from there. This book was a little gory compared to what I am used to reading, but I knew what I was kind of expecting with gangsters being the core of the novel.

The main character Juliette Cai is a Chinese heiress trying to prove her father and his inner circle that she can run the Scarlet Gang. Her competition for that title is her cousin Tyler Cai. Juliette has returned from a four year leave in America. Because of this, she often feels like a foreigner in her own country. This is sad, and I believe it also helps her character arc. The author wrote her journey through this book well. What a reader can consider a flaw is Juliette feeling like in order to gain respect, she has to be Americanized. Juliette was a well written and round character. I enjoyed reading her and her two cousins Kathleen and Rosalind and how she takes care of them, knowing if she did not, they would not be protected.

The next main character is Roma Montagov Russian heir to the White Flower Gang. He is too trying to prove to his father he is worthy to run the gang. I think Roma is an okay character. I personally liked Marshall and Benedikt. The author wrote his journey well. He is a caring guy. Roma loves his sister and will do anything to protect her. He is a well rounded and written well; he is just not for me. Like Juliette, he has his flaws too. Roma takes care of Marshall and Benedikt, much like Juliette does for her cousins.

The other characters in this book, I love! I want to see more of them. They played their roles well, and like the two main characters, the author wrote them extremely well. They were rounded and had flaws of their own. At some points in the novel, I wanted the story to stay with either Marshall and Benedikt or Kathleen and Rosalind. They were just as important in the story as they helped the main characters push forward. The monster was a bit odd. I do not know if I fully understand how that came about. Maybe it will be explained better in the second book.

This story takes place in the 1920s during the age of gangsters. Instead of America, this takes place in Shanghai, China. During this time, China is being overrun by foreigners, the ones mentioned were the French, Russians, and British and Communism was planting itself as well. The western migration was taking over. The burlesque bars and flapper dresses were becoming popular.

I enjoyed this book. It was a rollercoaster and a bit slow, but written well and kept my interest. I would recommend this if you are interested in the 1920s, gangster settings, China, and gore. This book is bloody.

*I received an ARC, and this is my honest opinion. ( )
  Charliwriter | May 12, 2021 |
I really enjoyed this book. I read it on my kindle in three days and loved it so much that I bought the hard cover so I could display in on my shelf. I loved how diverse and likable the characters were. The world building was great and the story was continually compelling. I would recommend for anyone who’s looking for a great story with action, romance and mystery. The lgbtq+ Rep was great. I’m excited for next book to come out. ( )
  katelynwickizer | Apr 18, 2021 |
Fans of Romeo and Juliet are really going to like These Violent Delights. As far as retellings go, it’s decent. The best of the story is yet to come in the second book, I think, but the elements of the retelling are all there and nuanced in such a way that give fitting tribute back to the original work. In short, you can tell in the reading of this book that Chloe Gong is a true fan of the original.

I struggled with the chemistry between the two main characters, particularly as we’re going into their story where they already have a history. This is usually the type of romance I enjoy – the burnt out flame where the embers are still hot and there is tension that will most likely not get resolved (except this is Romeo and Juliet, so it probably will get resolved). I thought the characters were interesting in their own rights, but I didn’t feel the chemistry between Roma and Juliette. I did, however, feel loads of chemistry between Marshall and Benedickt. Both were supporting characters who I liked better than the leads – Kathleen Lang, as well, was fantastic when she was given time and a little freedom to do her own thing. I’d love see more of the supporting characters in the sequel.

One of my favorite things about These Violent Delights was the honesty with with Chloe Gong wrote the world. There is sexism and racism. The story confronts colonialism and corruption, and even takes the time to point out the American dystopia overseas. Class privilege is also addressed, and there is one chapter where a trans character mulls on her struggles. These dialogues sometimes made the narrative a bit clunky but I would rather have a bit of a clunky narrative in this case than ignore the issues outright.

As a whole, the writing style was a little slow-paced for my personal tastes. It took me a really long time to get into the first half of the book. Between the multiple POVs and the world building in all those different voices, I felt like the establishment of the situation took a long time. There was action from the beginning, but it took a while for the story to gain the sort of momentum that kept me rooted to reading rather than pushing myself through each chapter.

In that way the pacing threw me as well. Chapters are strikingly different lengths, the shortest being a single sentence and the longer chapters falling at 20 or more pages. There’s nothing explicitly wrong with this. This happens in plenty of good books. For me, it made it a little more difficult to find pauses in the narrative where I could take a break because of the structural inconsistency, making me restless as I read. I cannot emphasize enough that this is a personal thing, but because I know chapter length makes a difference to some readers out there, I’m mentioning it here as well. I think I would have been better prepared if I knew going in to expect longer chapters on the whole – it would have better helped me structure my reading time.

Rating this book is tricky for me because I understand why people love it so much. These Violent Delights takes one of Shakespeare’s most loved plays and puts it in unique setting and pulls together a bunch of interesting characters. But if I’m being honest with myself, I felt that this book suffered from a lot of really common debut flaws, including pacing and structure issues, that really dampened the overall enjoyment of the story. At the end, that puts These Violent Delights on an “it’s good, but it’s not great” level for me as a reader. I am so happy for Gong’s success with this book and I would definitely read the sequel (especially since things are just starting to get good at the end) but I don’t think it’s a groundbreaking work.

Please don’t let these last comments deter you – I am in the minority in this opinion and I have seen so many readers calling These Violent Delights one of the best books of 2020. Definitely pick it up, or at least get Gong on your “Authors to Watch” list if her work interests you. But brace yourself for an uphill battle in the first half of the book, as well as long chapters and clunky character asides. ( )
  Morteana | Jan 25, 2021 |
While falling along the rim of a Romeo and Juliet retelling, this dive into Shanghai during the 1920's allows for so much more than an intriguing tale.

Juliette has spent the last four years studying in the U.S. and returns to take her place as future heir to the Scarlet Gang, who rules Shanghai and is at constant odds with a Russian gang, White Flowers. While she's no stranger to the ruthlessness involved, she's soon faced with more than the already difficult task of gaining respect. Add an ended but once intense relationship with a potential heir to the White Flower gang, and she's got her hands full. But things aren't done there. She needs to fight to keep her status in a very violent and unforgiving world...and that as a monster has crept up into Shanghai and started to kill people with random reason. But monsters aren't Juliette's greatest concern.

The writing in this book is very well done. It is beautifully worded...and sometimes, with a touch of structure which almost reminds that Juliette doesn't have English as her own mother tongue. She's from Shanghai, through and through, but broader and more world-minded thanks to her studies abroad. And she's tough. She knows what being the heir to the gang means, and she has no qualms about taking on this role. So, yes, it's a violent book, and she's not a gentle woman. And yet, she's hard not to like.
Roma, on the other hand, is the softer of the two.

The parallels to the original tale are clear, but there is definitely enough originality to this retelling to keep it more than interesting. Juliette and Roma might have a true-love romance...if the bloodshed, family politics, territory wars, and monsters would allow a sweet romance to occur. But then again, Juliette isn't a sweet romance kind a girl. There's simply too much gore in this book to every qualify as sweet.

The world building is very well done, and this was probably my favorite aspect of the book. It's rich enough to make every scene vivid and draws in enough history to make it feel realistic to the time. I especially appreciated the building up around colonialism...not just for setting purposes, but the author incorporates many of the feelings involved. The mix of various backgrounds and fights to find foothold...or keep foreigners from gaining too much...creates an intriguing historical glimpse alongside the main plot.

It's an interesting read and not just for Romeo and Juliet fans (which....if I'm allowed to admit it...I'm definitely not) Still, I enjoyed this read quite a bit. ( )
  tdrecker | Jan 20, 2021 |
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Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Chloe Gongautore primariotutte le edizionicalcolato
BillelisImmagine di copertinaautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
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