Title- These Violent Delights
Author- Chloe Gang
Series- The sequel is Our Violent Ends
Genre- YA fantasy
POV- chaotic. See below
Trope- enemies to “something”
Similar Books/Comps- The Cruel Prince. Amazon compares it to Serpent and Dove, and honestly I feel as if this one wasn’t in the same league as Serpent & Dove
Steam level- (0- no sex, 5- erotica)
My emotions- mostly frustrated
Juliette was not likeable and did not redeem herself to me. She was grouchy, bitchy, controlling, mean, blunt, impulsive, revengeful, bitter, resentful.
Roma was a bit more
Comments while reading–
Page 28- so what I’ve got so far- Juliette Cai and Roma Montagov are in rivalry gangs and knew each other 4 years ago. I believe they’re 19 years old now. They may have even been romantic back in the day, so this could be a second chance romance possibly? I’m not quite sure yet which side is the Scarlett Gang & which is the White Flowers. This brothel/city seems to be quite diverse with ethnicities and languages even though this fictional story is based in 1926, which is awesome. The monster brings a whole extra layer to their feud that I’m super excited about. My big question is will this be a tragedy Romeo & Juliette or a romance, because I need to prepare who to let myself get attach to. The prose are written well when describing the vibe but my biggest concern so far is the head hopping of different characters within the same paragraph or chapter.
Page 54- okay so what did Roma do to Juliette 4 years ago? What are these unearthly bugs? What lives in the water? Will the cousins betray the main characters to become heirs? I want more scenes of Juliette and Roma together.
Page 95- a random POV switch without warning to Benedikt, Roma’s friend. I wish the chapters were headed with which character POV we are in. Overall though, I enjoy that the writing feels contemporary because of the prose despite the story takes place in 1920s
Page 122- more random head hopping mid -chapter. And it’s a side character, Kathleen, we haven’t heard much about yet for her POV. This part feels inconsistent and chaotic that we’re all over the place for the story. But the creepy brain infesting insect is surely interesting. I want less mystery right now and more Roma/Juliette interactions. Maybe at the French party?
Page 127- another head hopping to some random dancer from a burlesque club that doesn’t even have a name? These changes in POV are feeling excessive and is making the story drag and feel unorganized. Also, the tense just switched to present tense. Has it been switching all along? The next chapter back to the main characters is in past tense, like before. Another thought … this madness of self-inflicted tearing out your own throat is brutal and nasty and really well down visual-wise for the horror. But the same thing just keeps happening over and over. We need momentum and progression in the story.
Page 145- Juliette’s single thought here is the first time I’ve liked something about her character. Hopefully something happens with that
Page 168- the politics of the different countries and power and communist group is boring me. It feels like the plot has attention deficit disorder where it’s on one track then jumps to another
Page 196- I have started caring more since it’s impacting them more personally now
Page 239- it seems like the story is just starting now. Maybe this should’ve been the start of Act 2 instead of the midpoint.
Page 300- I’m enjoying trying to figure out who the spy is. (Looking back… I don’t think this was ever resolved)
Page 363- that was a great scene and much needed.
Page 364- a brand new POV? This late in the game? No thank you.
Page 398- GREAT VISUAL SETTING
Page 402- This explanation feels dry. I don’t really care and I’m unsure why.
Page 414- the symptoms and timing of symptoms aren’t consistent. When comparing the precursors of Roma’s little sister’s symptoms compared to others… they don’t match up.
Page 421- I needed to reread sentences often in the climax scene to clarify which slowed down the excitement
Page 431- well that climax was much better than the first one. It felt like the real story. But then the novel just ended …
Page 439- the epilogue is definitely worth reading
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.
Best part- the prologue was beautifully written. The creepy vibe of the monster/insects and the epilogue were my favorite parts
What I’d change- a lot, see comments, but mostly the POV issues