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These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Each month our staff picks additional recommendations based on our Dandy Roll Book Club pick. We're recommending These Violent Delights for those of our members who enjoyed reading an old story in a new setting based on our February pick, Pride by Ibi Zoboi.

Set in 1920’s Shanghai, this retelling of Romeo and Juliet is loaded with action and intrigue. It’s not only a new take on one of our favorite love stories, but also an exploration of the impacts of imperialism in Chinese history. Oh, and did we mention there are monsters?

Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Serpent & Dove, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.

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.

  • 464 pages
  • Hardcover
  • Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2020
  • Ages 14 and up