our violent ends – chloe gong | arc review

Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong

Series: These Violent Delights #2
Published November 16th 2021 by Hodder & Stoughton
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Retelling
Rep: POC (chinese, korean), lgbtqia+ (trans, gays, m/m side romance)


Rating: 4 out of 5.


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.


Thank you to NetGalley. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Nobody is having a good time in 1927 Shanghai. Roma wholeheartedly believed that Juliette killed Marshall, and Juliette’s letting it happen. Benedikt mourning the loss of a dear friend and someone he loved. Rosalind and Kathleen are sisters who drifted apart. The Scarlet Gang and the White Flowers, though powerful in These Violent Delights, are starting to crumble. With foreign powers coming in, the tension between the Communists and the Nationalists, and the uprising of a revolution, where does the blood feud stand? Is it even that important that Shanghai’s reality is on the brink of being overturned?

Adding onto that, the madness can be controlled now. Someone is working behind the scenes to terrorize the people of Shanghai. They are strategically releasing the insects and killing citizens without care. A blackmailer threatens to devour the gangs if they don’t comply with money and weapons. Roma and Juliette are forced into each other’s paths again.

“All that is good is gone, or perhaps it never existed. The blood feud kept us apart, forced us onto different sides. I will not allow death to do the same.” 

Juliette’s morality and identity were continuously questioned throughout Our Violent Ends. She recognized the horrendous impact of the madness and a potential civil war on the normal Shanghainese people but the higher-ups refused to listen to her when she tries to do the right thing. Within, Juliette’s struggling with her feelings for Roma. The pivotal moment in which she comes to terms with her conflicted emotions left me stunned. I couldn’t believe Juliette would do something like that. Chloe Gong made me feel bad for that person!! How?! Feeling guilt that Roma brought Juliette back into his life which resulted in the death of Marshall, Roma steeled his heart against anything related to Juliette. He vowed to kill her. As we all know, there’s a thin line between love and hate.

Benedikt has been miserable since the death of Marshall. Not knowing that truth, he came out of his mourning period feeling vengeful and pissed at Juliette. I can probably say this for every These Violent Delights fan: FINALLY, BENEDIKT AND MARSHALL TALKED ABOUT THEIR FEELINGS FOR ONE ANOTHER. I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS. 🙌🙌🥰🥰

Although Kathleen and Rosalind are minor characters, I enjoyed following their perspectives. Kathleen’s ultimate decision to give everything up and fight for a cause she personally believed in just showed how tired she was. However, I wished Rosalind’s parts were fleshed out more because it basically showed how things were moved.

When I was reading Our Violent Ends, I totally forgot that it was a Romeo and Juliet retelling. Chloe Gong just transported me back into 1927 Shanghai with such ease that I never contemplated how the original tale ended. You know, Romeo is “dying” and then Juliet actually dying thinking that the love of her life is dead. How Chloe Gong spun that ending got me reeling. I didn’t think my heart could handle it.

Where you go, I go. I will not bear a day parted. I will take a dagger to my own heart if I must.

My final take: READ THIS DUOLOGY. No regrets. I just want more.


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