Cover Image: Our Violent Ends

Our Violent Ends

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Member Reviews

A perfect second book to this duology. I cannot recommend it enough and am very excited to buy it for my high school library.
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Another propulsive, romantic, lush installment in Chloe Gong's ouvre. Returning to our favorite characters, setting, and feuding felt like coming home (albeit to a pretty dysfunctional one), and I was gasping and turning pages through the twists along the way.
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It took my mind a while to get into this book, but it's because the duology is so intricately written. I loved it. The drama, the thriller aspect, the play on Shakespeare's original play, all of it tied together to make for a really good end to the story.
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It was such a satisfying conclusion to These Violent Delights! Highlights: strong female characters, interesting setting, monsters and a neatly wrapped up story. Start with These Violent Delights, then finish with Our Violent Ends and finally keep your eyes open for anything that Chloe Gong writes!

Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley. Published November 16, 2021.
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The emotional damage….

I was a little hesitant because I only liked the first one, but this one blew me away. 

Great characters, story, and world.

All I can say is I love this duology!
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This duology has so much in it that it is almost too much to keep up with. Having no previous historical knowledge of 1920s Shanghai, there is a rich history retold of flappers, gangsters with the Chinese Communist Revolution woven in. Much of the first part of the duology builds the tension between the rival gangs the Russian White Flowers (led by the Montagovs) and the Scarlet Gang (run by the Cai family). The Montagavs and White Flowers are in a blood feud that is destined to end badly. Amid this tension a new threat to the entire city emerges - a mysterious plague spreads through its streets threatening to destroy everything in its path. Roma Montagav and Juliette Cai clash as their young romance died in betrayal years before, but when this new threat emerges - they must decide to unite in a truce or to perish with everyone else. The novel is very complex and has many interesting plot lines and characters. Readers will be compelled to improve their knowledge of Chinese culture and history as well as brush up their memories of Shakepeare (especially when you last read or saw Romeo and Juliet long ago).  YA readers will find this to be a suspenseful and action packed mystery on top of all of the other plot lines. The story also represents queer teens with characters who accurately represent their hopes and fears in the form of Benedikt and Marshall and Kathleen/Celia (a trans woman).
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This was a very satisfying end. I don't know that I've ever read a sequel that gave me as much peace as this did. There were plot twists I did not see coming, which made me happy.
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Sadly this book was taken off Netgalley before I could download it on my Kindle. I reached out to the publishers but sadly they weren't able to provide the book anymore. I really loved the first part of the series though and am really excited for Chloe Gongs next brilliant book!
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I came into reading this second book with many doubts in my mind. I wasn’t as bought into the hype with These Violent Delights, and I wasn’t sure what I would find with Our Violent Ends. However, I was extremely surprised to find myself loving the direction that the sequel to These Violent Delights took. It helped answer a lot of the questions that where left up in the air in the first book, but thankfully there was also much more detail and description around the political scene and the gang intricacies, and less focus on the monster part of the story.

In order to avoid spoilers of the first book in case you haven’t read it, we are left at an impasse between our main characters. The blood feud between the families is at its highest, and there seems to have been an irreparable rift between our two main characters that we just cannot wait to see mended.

We hit the ground running with this book, with every page bringing in new information, new dangers and the stakes are higher and much more complicated. Multiple players in the Shanghai scene start to take on a bigger role, and the streets of Shanghai drip with shed blood that does not actually come from the monster our two star crossed lovers defeated in the first book.

I am absolutely glad I continued reading this book. I’d fallen in love with Roma in the first book, but this second book was all Juliette for me. I loved reading about her struggle. Juliette’s chapters were an incredible insight into the anger, anguish and frustration she feels as she navigates the complicated relationship she has with her family, what she feels is right and her love for the heir of the White Flowers.

Moreover, there a few new players, with interesting roles in the overall plot that I absolutely loved. It’s clear that the romance in this story is absolutely secondary, with the story playing a central role and just bringing it to a thrilling conclusion. I felt the romance could have been exploited a bit more – it was quite lacking at times, and it could have had a bigger involvement in the story, even being a YA novel. Overall the star crossed lovers’ routine fell a bit flat. I would have liked more commitment to that romance story from the author in order for me to become more emotionally involved with the perils they faced. I would have liked more character development and more emotion from them to be able to feel more connected to the story.

At times the story dragged, but I have to say that the last twenty percent of the book made it so worth it. I would say that those last few pages absolutely wrecked me, and I’m left emotionally destroyed. Our Violent Ends places this duology in the solid 4 stars for me. Interesting, captivating and filled with adventure. This interesting take on the Romeo & Juliette retelling was an exciting read for me this year.
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Really enjoyed the mix of romance, history, magic and science fiction to tell this action packed story.
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I loved this book and this duet as a whole. I am always looking for a good retelling that honors the original work while also making a story it’s own, and this tale does both amazingly well. My favorite thing about this duet is the relationship between the characters. I just adore Juliette and Roma and their vibrating tension but I loved all of their friends too. I did not know what was happening in Shanghai in the 1920, and this version of it was rich and vibrant and also devastating. This is an author who has a huge bright future ahead and I can’t wait to read all of her future books. All my love to Juliette and her Roma.
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This sequel was everything I wanted and needed. I loved every minute of it and found myself thinking about it even when I wasn’t reading. I loved the development between Juliette and Roma—the build up is real. I also really enjoyed see the other characters perspectives as well. I can’t really say too much about this one without giving too much away but all you need to know is that it had scheming, action and passion, and it was an amazing end to this duology. If you haven’t read this series yet then go pick it up right now!
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I had enjoyed TVD but something about OVE didn't click for me. It's unfortunate, considering how much I like Chloe Gong's writing style but the pacing of this book was quite slow and not enticing for me. I can see why there is a lot of love for this book and I am excited to read the spinoff coming out soon.
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it would be a severe understatement to say that this book destroyed me. it draws something so visceral out of you, a response so palpable that it’s hard not to notice what this book is doing to you: causing your mental health to slowly deteriorate before your eyes. in other words: I am hopelessly & utterly obsessed—let’s face it, I never stood a chance. 

in TVD, I never felt particularly attached to Juliette, but she makes a full redemption in my eyes, which was so satisfying to see. Juliette & her city both have been so consumed by anger and violence that she has rarely known peace. she has a constant burgeoning itch in her fingers to whip out her knife & start stabbing or pull the safety off her pistol & start shooting, especially when it comes to her loved ones, which I admire but also fear. Chloe Gong has delicately crafted a character so brilliant that it’s almost impossible not root for her. but what I truly love about her is how she will do anything to get what she wants, & how loyal she is to her gang & her family. she skins the world like an apple & shows us all its bleeding parts, all our flaws reflected in the lives of the people of a single city. I truly hate how she runs around chasing her stupid little Roma and making her stupid little decisions and hitting me right where it hurts. because clearly. we love our stupid morally grey Asian characters. and I, for one, will take them any day. she has been taught all her life to harden her heart, to trust only herself. but what she really need to learn was to soften her heart, to let love in, because that is what the world needs more of.
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Chloe Gong is one of my favorite up and coming authors. This second installation in the Romeo and Juliet retelling has all the dark, noir and historical goodness of the first novel. The enemies to lovers to enemies never gets old between our two heroes. Atmospheric, and lush.
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Our Violent Ends or my violent end? I can't tell at this point but this sequel to These Violent Delights was equally as amazing if not better.

Thoughts:
~ Personally I felt this was quicker-paced for me compared to the first one, which as much as I enjoyed it, was still a struggle to get through the first half. (This really just comes down to personal preference/my mood, though.)
~ I love the angst between Juliette and Roma, but my heart is absolutely invested in the side characters and I found myself caring about them a lot more than the main character. I especially loved Kathleen's story arc and development (but she's always been a favorite character of mine).
~ The writing was just as beautiful as the first one, and I enjoyed the revolution subplot a lot as things start to pick up in Shanghai with the threat of the city at the edge of exploding.
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What an ending!!!!! I am speechless! This is my new favorite duology! After the ending of the first one I was nervous, but Chloe Gong did not disappoint! Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for a review!
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I truly wish I’d loved this book as much as I was hoping to, especially after enjoying the first one and finding myself excited to see how tragically Juliette and Roma’s story came to a close. But while this sequel was a disappointment for me, there’s no doubt that Gong is a skilled writer and I’m sure bigger fans of the series will find themselves more satisfied than me.

Our Violent Ends sees Juliette and Roma grappling with their feelings for each other yet again as Shanghai crumbles around them to the conflict between the Nationalists and Communists, as well as the return of the monsters they thought they eliminated. Both must make drastic decisions in their fight against—or perhaps for—love that may or may not change the fate of the city forever.

This book was written to be especially angsty and emotionally destructive, after setting up a possible happy ending in the first book only to have it fall apart. But unfortunately, I genuinely just did not care enough to feel tormented in the way I was supposed to. Specifically, I felt extremely indifferent about Juliette and Roma, as well as their romance, which made it so difficult to feel invested in the book as a whole.

Both their individual arcs and romance felt repetitive, a rehashing of their struggles in the first book without enough new developments to keep things interesting. Gong knows her audience well and there are several scenes in this book that other readers will adore—sadly, though, I felt little over them, which was especially a disappointment after loving Juliette and Roma’s dynamic in the first book. But I did love how the tenacity of love was threaded throughout the book, the beauty of this idea only emphasized by the numerous conflicts in Shanghai that should stamp out love but somehow make it burn brighter.

I actually cared more about the side characters than the protagonists! The angst of Benedikt and Marshall’s relationship hooked me, and I felt much more invested in their romance than Juliette and Roma’s. And though I would have loved to see much more of her, Kathleen’s arc of growing into herself as her own person with her own choices was so beautiful. These characters’ chapters were a wonderful reprieve from the monotony of Juliette and Roma’s chapters and actually made interesting contributions to the plot.

A focal point of this duology is the subtle (to a certain extent) yet destructive nature of Western imperialism in China, and though I would have loved to see this explored more deeply, it was still heartbreaking to see the ramifications of Western exploitations. I also found it interesting to see how tensions between the Nationalists and Communists continually rose and stressed relations between the Scarlets and the White Flowers, as well as relations within the gangs. This sequel cemented that this series is a story of revolution, from literal political upheavals to the revolutionary idea of love persevering despite.

Unfortunately, though, the gripping politics were not enough to completely sustain my interest. I thought that Juliette and Roma were passive throughout the book—which makes sense since an overarching, tragic theme of the series and a major point of their characterization is that they are powerless against the unmoving walls of history and politics. However, it felt as if the two were running around in the beginning, chasing one thing after another without accomplishing much, which failed to engross me.

Overall, it felt as if this sequel’s plot was less cohesive the first book’s, made even more prominent with the continued inclusion of the monsters. One of my issues with the first book was that I was more interested in the politics of the story than the monsters, which I still felt with this sequel. But this time, the monsters played such a small role (and honestly, only played that role when convenient to other plot points) that they felt even more out of place. With so many things going on already, the monsters felt unnecessary and somewhat distracting.

As a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, it is expected that the ending of this book is dramatic and tragic. While I’d hoped that the ending might elevate the book for me, especially since near the end I just wanted to be done reading, I sadly found myself mostly unmoved by it. Despite this, I thought it was a well-written, fitting ending, with some open-to-interpretation aspects that I honestly loved—but it was disappointing that I didn’t feel any of the intense emotions I’d expected to hit me.

My indifferent experience with this book is one I think will be in the minority, though. Fans of the series will find a lot to delight in, from fiery confrontations between Juliette and Roma to Gong’s ever decadent prose. While I was disappointed to find myself detached from the story and its characters most of the time, Gong’s writing is nevertheless impressive and I do love her exploration of politics alongside romance. I’m looking forward to seeing what she brings to the table in the future.
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Chloe Gong is an autobuy fantasy author. This book was just so good and the perfect ending to the duology.
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Our Violent Ends is the heartbreaking finale of the These Violent Delights duology. The story continues our journey with Roma and Juliet with more violence, more politics, more betrayal and more romance. Yep don’t worry it’s not all bad for these characters.

So the first book really set up these characters and the feud, as well as introducing us to the monsters. It had that air of a mystery thriller type of setting. Now with the second book we are now fully submerged into the political aspects of the world as well as having a whole lot more violence. I don’t think I have yet to get over how the madness impacts people. I really enjoy books that take on this political route, I’ve always found it really interesting. I guess it depends on the type of reader you are. 

I dealt with some pacing issues with These Violent Delights but it felt like Our Violent Ends really took off from the first page. I never felt like any part lagged and the story had great movement. Of course I always wonder if it’s just my impatience anymore.

So we have a lot going on with politics. The Scarlets, White Flowers, The Nationalist and the Communist. I know some history on it so I think it was definitely easier for me to keep track. Even if you haven’t ever really looked at it, I think Chloe does a good job of having enough information for you to understand what is happening. Why are the riots and protests coming about and what is changing in the gangs. Of course there is the use of the monsters as well.

Betrayal galore! Ok so maybe not that dramatic but don’t worry you will still have plenty of characters and plenty of drama in that respect. This is a story about rival gangs. Although there are also unbreakable friendships and family bonds as well. I think for the most part the characters seemed to follow the line that I was expecting. I think my favorite stand out character award would have to go to Kathleen. I found her arc to be so interesting as she learns more about the party she is spying on.  

Of course there is Roma and Juliet. I really really enjoyed them and their interactions in this half the story. They were of course good in the first book but I think we really see them work out some of their tensions. If it’s hate or love that keeps them moving forward it was great to see them together. I was really happy with their arc.

Overall I really really enjoyed Our Violent Ends and it’s unusual for me to love a second book over a first book but I definitely do with this one. I’ll be excited to see what Lady Fortune will be like.
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