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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.2 out of 5
5 Stars
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All Book Reviews

  • Extremely well written and woven

    While falling along the rim of a Romeo and Juliet retelling, this dive into Shanghai during the 1920's allows for so much more than an intriguing tale. Juliette has spent the last four years studying in the U.S. and returns to take her place as future heir to the Scarlet Gang, who rules Shanghai and is at constant odds with a Russian gang, White Flowers. While she's no stranger to the ruthlessness involved, she's soon faced with more than the already difficult task of gaining respect. Add an ended but once intense relationship with a potential heir to the White Flower gang, and she's got her hands full. But things aren't done there. She needs to fight to keep her status in a very violent and unforgiving world...and that as a monster has crept up into Shanghai and started to kill people with random reason. But monsters aren't Juliette's greatest concern. The writing in this book is very well done. It is beautifully worded...and sometimes, with a touch of structure which almost reminds that Juliette doesn't have English as her own mother tongue. She's from Shanghai, through and through, but broader and more world-minded thanks to her studies abroad. And she's tough. She knows what being the heir to the gang means, and she has no qualms about taking on this role. So, yes, it's a violent book, and she's not a gentle woman. And yet, she's hard not to like. Roma, on the other hand, is the softer of the two. The parallels to the original tale are clear, but there is definitely enough originality to this retelling to keep it more than interesting. Juliette and Roma might have a true-love romance...if the bloodshed, family politics, territory wars, and monsters would allow a sweet romance to occur. But then again, Juliette isn't a sweet romance kind a girl. There's simply too much gore in this book to every qualify as sweet. The world building is very well done, and this was probably my favorite aspect of the book. It's rich enough to make every scene vivid and draws in enough history to make it feel realistic to the time. I especially appreciated the building up around colonialism...not just for setting purposes, but the author incorporates many of the feelings involved. The mix of various backgrounds and fights to find foothold...or keep foreigners from gaining too much...creates an intriguing historical glimpse alongside the main plot. It's an interesting read and not just for Romeo and Juliet fans (which....if I'm allowed to admit it...I'm definitely not) Still, I enjoyed this read quite a bit.

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    29 person found this review helpful

    29 people found this review helpful

    29 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Wonderful reimagining of Romeo and Juliet

    I could not love this book more. The mystery, the forbidden romance, the setting and the subtle Mobs to Shakespeare. I cannot wait for the next book.

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    15 person found this review helpful

    15 people found this review helpful

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Great!

    This book is so capivating and I couldn't put it down! It is kind of gruesome, but...good! I definatly recommend to ages 8 to 19. Hope this was helpful.

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    9 person found this review helpful

    9 people found this review helpful

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Best Debut of 2020

    This book was a masterpiece and I enjoyed every minute of it. I simply adore Juliette Cai and Roma Montagov.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Beautifully Written

    This book not only lives up to the hype around it but exceeds it. Not only was this a unique version of a timeless story, but it was also told with a gorgeous style and relevant themes that totally enthralled me from beginning to end. Juliette is fierce, stubborn, and wickedly clever. Her attitude and perseverance in challenging situations made her highly compelling. In contrast, Roma is sweet and mostly gentle, his heart big making him instantly loveable. All of the side characters each have a unique spin on their personalities, which are borrowed from Romeo & Juliet. I really enjoyed many of the interactions, though Juliette and Roma obviously had the most enthralling chemistry. The story is also fresh and exciting and melds perfectly with the setting. This version of Shanghai feels vivid and real, blending history with fiction and even a dash of horror. It's thrilling, intense, and moves at an exciting pace. I had high hopes for this book and it exceeded all expectations I've had. Definitely a stellar and memorable debut that I will be thinking about for a long time. Highly recommended to fans of Shakespeare, tragic romance, Six of Crows and Peaky Blinders, and fantasy horror. Can't wait to start the next book!

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    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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