Almost everyone knows the history of Romeo and Juliet. The story of forbidden love, feuding families, and a tragic conclusion have received many narratives in contemporary works. An example of one of them is Chloe Gong’s novel violent emotions. Could it surprise us that it is based on such a well-known motive?
Shanghai, 1926. In the midst of a gang deal, Juliet Kay and Roma Montagu become future leaders of hostile criminal organizations. To make matters worse, a sudden epidemic breaks out in the city, and people who have been plunged into an unknown frenzy start tearing their throats out. Soon it turned out that the cause of these events was the appearance of a mysterious monster. Our heroes are forced to cooperate and reach a temporary ceasefire. But how do you forget the hate all of a sudden?
From the beginning violent emotions We are dealing with fast movement interspersed with detailed descriptions of the city. Thanks to this, we can feel the atmosphere of Shanghai, as if we were already in this place. Despite Gong’s design for Romeo and JulietThe novel differs from this play, and the romance itself plays a smaller part than it does in Shakespeare’s drama though it is present in it. The author focuses primarily on secrecy and loss of control by the population, resulting not only from the plague, but also due to the growing conflict between gangs and political groups. The atmosphere in the Shanghai novel is heavy. There are also descriptions of brutality: blood flows through the streets of the city or victims slash their throats. However, the whole thing is well balanced, and the darker pieces are essential to building horror and tension.
Rome and Juliet have a lot in common – Rome is Russian, although it doesn’t quite feel like him, and charismatic Juliet is torn between the two cultures with which they are closely related for several years in America. But he also has a lot in common, including a strong personality and willingness to prove his worth to parents. And this, in connection with the shared past and the emerging feeling, creates an explosive mixture. The rest of the characters are also very well created. The multiculturalism of the heroes and the city itself are intertwined in Gong’s novel with a peculiar theme, complementing the whole with the perspectives of gay and transgender characters.
at violent emotions Nobody is perfect or outrageous. The author shows the various struggles of young people with the brutality that surrounds them and the burden of being part of a gang. Although the behavior of the heroes can be annoying, you can feel the harmony between them. Thanks to the author, we get acquainted with their past, the traces of which can be observed with the development of the plot. The theme of love is well planned and taking into account the gradually accumulated tension, its presence seems to be something natural and expected. The supporting characters, like Marshall and Kathleen, are also commendable, as they grab our attention thanks to their colorful personality and fun (and often funny) dialogues. I am curious to know their fate and hope to read more scenes with their participation in the following volumes. The paranormal element complements the whole perfectly and simply makes the reader unable to tear himself away from reading.
The biggest advantage of the book is its sudden twists and turns and the presence of many mysteries and secrets. The story is told from various points of view, including those of secondary importance – the relatives of Rome and Juliet. It allowed to show the different feelings and motives of both sides. In addition, the harmony between the heroes makes it difficult not to encourage this pair.
The disadvantage of the Polish version of Gong’s novel, which I must point out, is the lack of translations of the shorter Chinese and French phrases. Although long sentences were translated in French in the footnotes, this measure was missing in the case of shorter phrases.
violent emotions Filled with captivating events, twists, and colorful heroes, it is greatly influenced by the unusual atmosphere of 1920s Shanghai and a refreshing look at the tragic theme of love between members of warring families. This book will be ideal for teenage readers or for lovers of stories with a romantic tint, a dark background, and excitement. As a fan of the novel young adult under the banner My imagination, I had a lot of fun and would love to pick up the next volume.