Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well! Today I’ll be sharing a spoiler-free book review about the second book in the These Violent Delights duology by Chloe Gong, Our Violent Ends. Note: while there are no spoilers for Our Violent Ends in this review, there may be some spoilers for the first book in this duology, These Violent Delights.
We recently had two (!!!!) snow days where I live and the same day that our cancellations were announced my hold on this ebook came in. Needless to say I read this book over the two days I had off school, staying up until 1am to finish the rest of Juliette and Roma’s story
Our Violent Ends follows Juliette and Roma in the aftermath of the events of These Violent Delights. Juliette is struggling to maintain power in the Scarlet Gang as her cousin threatens to take the control that is rightly hers. Roma, shocked from witnessing Juliette’s betrayal, is trying to become the perfect heir of the White Flowers, determined that the next chance he gets, he will kill her.
Meanwhile, Benedikt is consumed by his grief and both Kathleen and Rosalind have secrets of their own. The conflict between the Communists and Nationalists is also brewing.
The monster is also back in a much more calculated and frightening way that just might push Juliette and Roma back together.
I had a lot of mixed feelings about this book. While I really liked it (and rated it 4 stars), I felt as though there were a few things missing. I absolutely loved These Violent Delights when I read it a year ago, and in some ways the sequel fell a bit short. However, that doesn’t mean it didn’t offer a suspenseful and powerful read.
One thing I really liked about this book, as I did in the first, was the side characters. Alisa becomes much more of a major character in this book, and I enjoyed getting to see her develop more. I also loved Kathleen’s character during this book, and throughout the entire series, and I enjoyed seeing her continue to grow as she tried to discover who she wanted to become. One of the things I missed about this book was the Benedikt and Marshall dynamic, and although I understood why the author had to separate them, I hadn’t realized how much I had loved it until it was no longer there.
One of the main problems I had with this book was that one of the major plot points of the story was very predictable. I wasn’t able to predict the final outcome of the story, but I did find a couple character arcs to be rather unsurprising. They were still interesting to read, but after being shocked while reading the last book, this was a bit disappointing.
This book was riveting and kept me hooked the whole time. I never lost interest in Juliette and Roma’s story, or in the stories of their friends and family. I also found the political climate in 1927 Shanghai fascinating to read about, and the weaving of the real events with fictionalized and fantasy elements proved to make the book very powerful.
I went into this book, as I think almost all readers did, expecting to be crushed or in tears throughout the story. Unfortunately, this did not quite happen. However, I thought the epilogue was very moving, and without any spoilers, I did almost tear up at the end.
If you enjoyed the first book, or if you like other YA historical fantasy, I would highly recommend this book. Despite some of my critiques I truly liked it and I found this series to be one of the best YA fantasies I have read in a while.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Did you like These Violent Delights? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!