June 26, 2020

Exclusive Meet the Characters Guest Post: These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

 Hey everyone! I'm SO excited to have the chance to fangirl about These Violent Delights - a YA historical fantasy retelling of Romeo & Juliet set in 1920s Shanghai! If you haven't heard about this book yet - check out that gorgeous cover and read on for some info! I'm also super excited to share some exclusive content with you guys! The author has created a "Meet the Characters" guest post with an awesome twist - TikToks! Read on to meet the main cast of the book and don't forget to add it to your TBR!!

These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights #1)
Author: Chloe Gong
Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical/Retelling
Release Date: November 17, 2020
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books


Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, 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.


Meet the Characters

THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS is a retelling of Romeo & Juliet in 1920s gangster-ruled Shanghai, about a blood feud grinding to a halt when a monster wreaks havoc across the city, and I like to think my cast of characters reflects the violence and glamor and extravagance of that time period. I love them dearly, and I can’t wait for readers to meet everyone. Until then, I’ve found the perfect few TikToks to exemplify each character, because what better medium is there than TikTok to match with a bunch of unruly teenagers?

I give you…



Elegant, confident, and a bit too brutal… but if it works, it works. Juliette is the heir of the Scarlet Gang, raised from childhood to believe that this city is her responsibility, and the people under Scarlet protection are all looking to her for future leadership. The Scarlets don’t hesitate to assert their power, so Juliette doesn’t either. Of course, Juliette wouldn’t be Juliet Capulet’s progeny (in a sense) if she didn’t have a whimsical side—the part of her that dreams, and wears jewellery simply to look pretty—alongside that brutal spark. Juliet Capulet was not to be underestimated, after all: she threatened her own death to get her way, and Juliette Cai has that same iron.



On the outside, he looks cold enough to cut a man, but inside, he’s as soft as butter. Roma is the heir of the White Flowers, the rival gang to the Scarlets, as neck-deep in the blood feud and its consequences as Juliette. However, where they differ is that Roma hasn’t been trusted in the gang for a long while, and everyday is a mission in proving himself. He cannot hesitate to shoot when he’s fighting a turf war: any hesitance is betrayal. But still… I did pull him from Romeo Montague, and if you squint, you can see starry-eyed Romeo who feels too much and falls too fast. Roma has a particular fondness for wandering the open markets outside his house and reading his Russian poetry.



Oh, Marshall. He’ll flirt with everybody in a ten-mile radius, and adores introducing himself to new acquaintances. Ask him about anyone and he probably knows them, but not all for good reasons. When he’s in trouble, his motto is to hit first and ask questions later: hurt people before they hurt him. It works, of course. It helps that he’s Roma’s right-hand man, which adds to his credibility in the White Flowers, especially when he is a far cry from the usual stoic gangster. Just as Mercutio is the one with all the best lines in the play, Marshall loves to listen to himself talk, and he’ll go on and on unless Benedikt claps a hand over his mouth. But outgoing as he is, he’s still the one with the most mysterious past...



Alongside Roma and Marshall, the pensive and thoughtful Benedikt rounds out the White Flowers’ power trio. He doesn’t summon much fear on his own on the streets, but people are scared of his cousin Roma, and rumor has it that his best friend Marshall is a loose cannon who will pulverize anyone looking at Benedikt wrong. Shakespeare’s Benvolio was a peacekeeper, and Benedikt certainly adopts the same attitude of not wanting to stir the pot unless it’s necessary. Benedikt lives inside his head. In his eyes, the world works against him, it does not unfold with him.



Kathleen is the one you want to go to for advice. She’s Juliette’s dearest cousin and closest friend, which means she’s in the Scarlet inner circle, but not quite accepted either, because she is not a Cai, and being a Cai is important in the Scarlet Gang. To tell the truth, Kathleen doesn’t really mind. Some might call her a pacifist because she doesn’t see the point of the blood feud, but she’s only tired of the grappling and fighting and struggle for power. She would do anything for the people she cares about, but she would also do anything—sacrifice anything—for peace.



They call her the darling of the city, but not in the same sense as her cousin Juliette. Juliette cuts throats on the streets; Rosalind is the best dancer at the Scarlet Gang’s most infamous burlesque club. She speaks like she has honey on her tongue, but make no mistake, Rosalind Lang has an anger inside of her that comes from being overlooked again and again. They don’t see her on the stage, not really. They see a creation. She wants to be Rosalind: Scarlet inner circle for her mind and skill. Instead, she is Rosalind: Scarlet inner circle for as long as they need her to dance.

Bonus Roma: https://www.tiktok.com/@itsn1cholas/video/6732281213672819973

Bonus Juliette: https://www.tiktok.com/@adventurous.k9/video/6819866352518515973

Bonus Kathleen and Rosalind: https://www.tiktok.com/@hjevelyn/video/6817608102116904198

Bonus Roma-Benedikt-Marshall Trouble Trio: https://www.tiktok.com/@grisham.lauren/video/6775377400902536454

And that’s the main cast of THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS! They have razor-sharp smiles and can throw knives like nobody’s business, but they’re also all violently delightful, if I do say so myself. While Roma and Juliette are the starring roles—after all, this book is about two star-crossed exes forced to overcome a blood feud in the hopes of saving their city—I hope readers have favorites among the others too.

Chloe Gong is a student at the University of Pennsylvania, studying English and international relations. During her breaks, she’s either at home in New Zealand or visiting her many relatives in Shanghai. Chloe has been known to mysteriously appear when “Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s best plays and doesn’t deserve its slander in pop culture” is chanted into a mirror three times. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @TheChloeGong, or check out her website at TheChloeGong.com.


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