REVIEW: ‘Our Violent Ends’ by Chloe Gong brings this popular duology to a painfully satisfying ending

 

If you thought Chloe Gong’s ‘These Violent Delights’ was dark and twisted then you have seen nothing yet!

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

For all the readers who enjoyed These Violent Delights, you are sure to fall in love with Our Violent Ends. The stakes are high as Roma and Juliette are forced to work together again with many obstacles standing in their way.

From the Blurb:

The year is 1927, and Shanghai teeters on the edge of revolution.

After sacrificing her relationship with Roma to protect him from the blood feud, Juliette has been a girl on the warpath. One wrong move, and her cousin will step in to usurp her place as the Scarlet Gang’s heir. The only way to save the boy she loves from the wrath of the Scarlets is to have him want her dead for murdering his best friend in cold blood. If Juliette were actually guilty of the crime Roma believes she committed, his rejection might sting less.

Roma is still reeling from Marshall’s death, and his cousin Benedikt will barely speak to him. Roma knows it’s his fault for letting the ruthless Juliette back into his life, and he’s determined to set things right—even if that means killing the girl he hates and loves with equal measure.

Then a new monstrous danger emerges in the city, and though secrets keep them apart, Juliette must secure Roma’s cooperation if they are to end this threat once and for all. Shanghai is already at a boiling point: The Nationalists are marching in, whispers of civil war brew louder every day, and gangster rule faces complete annihilation. Roma and Juliette must put aside their differences to combat monsters and politics, but they aren’t prepared for the biggest threat of all: protecting their hearts from each other. 

When I read These Violent Delights it took me some time to connect with the story and its characters. Honestly, I had to skim through some parts at the beginning before I became invested in Roma and Juliette’s lives. Now with Our Violent Ends, I had a completely different experience. After the first chapter I couldn’t put the book down and when I wasn’t reading it, I couldn’t stop thinking about these characters. These are the best types of books.

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The story picks right back up in Shanghai where it left off.

There are many things that Roma could forgive Juliette for, but murdering his best friend is not one of them. He hates her for it and now he’s determined to be the one to end her life himself. As for Juliette, she carries the weight of what she did to protect Roma and the grief of losing him the best she can. Roma and Juliette are electrifying when they are together but when they’re separate they are just as intriguing. I absolutely loved reading from both of their perspectives because amidst all of the hate there was love.

Now they are facing new monsters and threats that force the two of them to work together once again. The challenges that Roma and Juliette go through had me stressed and terrified for them. I thought These Violent Delights was intense, and I had no idea how much Chloe Gong’s writing would level up in this book, but it sure did. Every scene was so descriptive and it will keep readers glued to the pages. I’m so amazed by how well written this book is because despite being rather lengthy I didn’t get bored once.

This series also does a great job exploring the lives of these morally grey characters. Romeo and Juliet is such a well-known piece of literature that it’s hard not to see comparisons to it, but I enjoyed how Gong made Roma and Juliette feel like their own characters outside of what we expected of them. As for all the other characters, I love how even the villains were shown grace by giving them a backstory that explained how they became evil. I think Chloe Gong’s writing is stunning and I can’t wait to read more from her!

Roma and Juliette were both born into roles they never asked for within a city that knows nothing but blood. They continuously fight against odds and life is always taking from them when they only want peace. The two of them get broken down in this book but at the end of the day they never stop fighting for themselves and the people they love. In its core, this series is about not fighting against the villains of the story, but for fighting for the hope that there will be a better tomorrow.

Our Violent Ends may be my favorite read of this year! I hope other fans of this series are just as satisfied with the ending as I am (yes you will cry). Being a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, readers can expect the main focus to remain on the romance between Roma and Juliette. Within their love story there is so much that happens, though. There’s more action and politics within each gang, and the side characters get more recognition than in These Violent Delights.

If you love fantasy or retellings then I would recommend this series to you. For readers that enjoyed Chloe Gong’s debut novel then you will definitely love Our Violent Ends!

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A hopeful and painful ending

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"And she is the reader who browses the shelf and looks for new worlds but finds herself." - I'm a writer who enjoys telling you all about the things I love, which includes a lot of books!

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