“After four years away, Juliette’s memories of the people she had left behind no longer aligned with who they had become. Nothing of her memory had withstood the test of time.”Chloe Gong, These Violent Delights
Title: These Violent Delights
Series: These Violent Delights (Book 1)
Author: Chloe Gong
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling
Pages: 463 (Kindle)
Published: November 17th, 2020
My Rating: ★★
Read: 11/28/2022 – 12/3/2022
These Violent Delights has an interesting premise, and frankly, one I liked more than the original Romeo and Juliet tale (sorry, I’ve never been able to get into Shakespeare…), but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. My reasoning ultimately boils down to being the wrong demographic.
Set in Shanghai in 1926, the book is reminiscent of the West Side Story take on Romeo and Juliet with gangs, forbidden love, and tragedy. Juliette and Roma serve as our protagonists in this dystopian-like setting.
This had more fantasy elements than I anticipated. I’m picky with this genre, but what got to me the most was the gore. Not for me. The writing was definitely geared toward a younger audience. Of course, I was prepared for this given it’s marketed as YA. The setting was fantastic, but the characters were completely unrelatable to me. I continued on due to it being a book club read. If this looks like something you’ll enjoy, you probably will.
Likes & Dislikes:
What I liked:
- The premise. As I already said, I enjoyed this more than the original story of Romeo & Juliet.
- Promising writing. The author is young. Though it could use polishing now, a few years down the line I suspect she’ll be phenomenal.
What I didn’t like:
- Disturbing imagery that felt gory just for the sake of being gory. I’ve read countless books fiction and non-fiction set in concentration camps and detailed accounts of true crimes. I have a fairly strong stomach, but this made me skip ahead to the next chapter not caring what I might be missing.
- I may have liked it more if it was strictly historical fiction.
This was the December book club read with The Global Book Nook (formerly Book Santa & Lovers). This was on my radar before it was chosen but I guess I didn’t look into it deeply enough. I would have possibly sat this one out with so many things pointing to a disappointing read for my taste.