“These Violent Delights” Retells Romeo and Juliet

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Niyah Neal

Chloe Gong’s debut novel

Niyah Neal, Features Editor

These Violent Delights, Chloe Gong’s debut historical fiction novel, reached a level of popularity through traditional marketing and gained a cult following on TikTok. The popularity catapulted it on the New York Times Best Selling List.

The Romeo and Juliet retelling, These Violent Delights, is centered in 1920’s Shanghai, China. The novel follows eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai and nineteen-year-old Roma Monatov, both heirs to their respective gangs–the Scarlet Gang and the White Flowers. Juliette arrives back in Shanghai after being disowned and betrayed by her ex-lover Roma, which led to many deaths within the Scarlet Gang. The two ex-lovers then have to come together to defeat a lurking evil that’s causing citizens to kill themselves. The book beautifully mixes fantasy and historical fiction by adding monsters, evil forces, and Russia’s influence on Shanghai in the early 19th century. 

Chloe Gong’s first published novel screams experience. The book features beautifully written quotes that portray the classic Romeo and Juliet, for example, “…and he mourned for her. He didn’t wish to, but he did—he ached with the knowledge that the softness of their youth was gone forever, that the Juliette he remembered was long dead. He ached, even more, to think that though he was the one who had dealt the killing blow.”

Although the book features an enemy-to-lover romance, the novel also includes detailed violence and gore. This stunning book will easily trap you into the world and characters. Overall, I recommend this book to people who love romance and action.