These Violent Delights – Chloe Gong

 These Violent Delights – Chloe Gong, Margaret K. McElderry Books, 9781534457690, 2020

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

 Genre: Historical Fiction

 What did you like about the book? Juliette Cai and Roma Montagov are respective heirs to rival gangs in Shanghai in 1926. They have a bit of a history together, which they must hide at all costs due to the vicious and bloody feud between their families. When a mysterious illness begins to plague Shanghai, killing people without regard for faction or family, they must band together to put an end to the madness. The premise is quite unique and I was intrigued by the setting. There have been many books written about the roaring 20’s, but this is the first I’ve seen set in Shanghai. I also love the characterization of Juliette as a strong woman who wants to lead her family.

Anything you did not like about the book? While Juliette is a very well-developed, strong character, Roma is not as well fleshed out. It also took me a while to get into the rhythm of the prose. Some of it seems quite stilted.

 To whom would you recommend this book? Readers who enjoy updated retellings of classic tales will like this Romeo and Juliet spinoff. Fans with an interest in tales that include details of foreign cultures will also appreciate it.

Who should buy this book? High school and/or young adult librarians

Where would you shelve it? Y/A Fiction

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes. Once you get into it, it’s a quick and unique read

 Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Laura Luker, Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School

Date of review: 2/8/2021

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