Parents' Guide to

These Violent Delights

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Epic, engaging historical fantasy reboots Romeo and Juliet.

Book Chloe Gong Romance 2020
These Violent Delights Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Kids say (11 ):

This is a strong, epic debut novel from promising college undergraduate Chloe Gong, who does an especially good job of bringing Shanghai in 1926 vividly to life. Her powers of description are best in creating atmospheres from the eerie river at night to elegant lawn parties in the French section of town. The large cast of characters are well developed and for the most part easy to keep track of. Teens will enjoy this retelling of the classic star-crossed-lovers tale whether they've read Romeo and Juliet or not.

Action, excitement, and mystery solving share the pages with sweeping and epic change in the politics and society of Shanghai at the time, as well as with the inner workings of the two rival criminal gangs. It's a lot to take on, and it's pretty well balanced, although some readers may feel it slows too much when it delves into Shanghai history, the rising popularity of Communism, or the foreign powers all too eager to gain control of Shanghai for themselves. Overall the plot builds well to an exciting cliff-hanger of an ending that will have readers eager for the rest of the story.

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