Happy Friday book friends! Yesterday I finished Our Violent Ends and I am ~upset~ So, I hope you all were already convinced to pick up this series, because I do not want to suffer alone.
I read and reviewed an ARC of These Violent Delights in October 2020, and highly enjoyed it. It was a fun book with interesting character dynamics and a great cliffhanger ending. So waiting for Our Violent Ends was a little torturous, but at the same time I also can’t believe more than one year has already passed since TVD was published?! Anyway, Our Violent Ends was amazing, but also… ouch. Read on for the content warnings and I’ll tell you all about this book!
Warning! Even though this review won’t contain spoilers for Our Violent Ends, it might contain spoilers for These Violent Delights.
Our Violent Ends
By Chloe GongMy Rating: ★★★★.5☆
Published 16 November 2021 by Hodder & Stoughton
Young Adult | Historical | Romance
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.
Honestly there are only two things I can think about at the moment and the first is that this book hurt my feelings and I am upset about it. The second is that even though These Violent Delights was great, Our Violent Ends was better. I guess there is no space for second book syndrome when writing a duology. Anyway, Our Violent Ends is good in a “this could be a movie” way. It actually played out in my head like a movie, which obviously means Chloe Gong’s writing is very good.
One thing that was great about this book is that it ultimately doesn’t alter any history (as far as I know). It’s easy to root for the gangsters and hope that they manage to keep their control of Shanghai, because our favorite characters are part of this gangster rule. But let’s be real, most of these gangsters are ultimately terrible people. So in short, this story isn’t really about saving the city from an evil outside force. In my opinion, it’s more about surviving and hoping one can love who they want at the same time.
I loved the character dynamics in book 1, but loved them even more in book 2. Juliette can be unexpectedly funny, and I love how tender Roma really is. Plus, reading the whole “Marhsall is alive” reveal was one of my favorite aspects from this story. All POVs are incredibly engaging, and I didn’t think that any of them were less interesting than the others. All the side characters are exploring their place in the world more, which makes for complicated alliances but also compelling character arcs.
What I Liked Less
The only thing that bothered me a bit was that the start of the book didn’t really line up with book 1. Obviously I don’t want to give too much away here, but the events of book 1 made it seem like book 2 would pick up right where book 1 ended. That did not happen. It didn’t make the beginning bad, but I was a little confused. My first reaction was, “wait, what about this thing that happened?”
Also let’s not forget that this book hurt my feelings. I will not get over this any time soon. No, that did not impact the score I gave this book, but still. I guess when you read a book called “Our Violent Ends,” you should expect the ends to be violent.