One of the most anticipated releases of 2020 in my blogosphere friends and I can understand why, I mean look at this cover. LOOK AT IT. It’s gorgeous haha! Without further do, I will have to side with my friends here and admit it was quite an enjoyable ride. The diversity of this set up is quite insane. I’ve never seen any Asian representation this good with such a varied collection of characters before.
From the title, you can quite guess the concept already; a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. But the fun part is, it’s in 60’s and the feud between two powerful gangs : The Scarlet Gang and The White Flowers. However, an unexpected guest arrived and forced the two parties to cooperate for the sake of their city: Shanghai.
Our own Juliette here is the heiress of the Scarlet Gang while our own Roma is the heir to The White Flowers. Interestingly, the author starts off the book right off telling us they were lovers before but something between them and they struggle to keep it together without having to stab each other whenever they meet in their territories. I said interestingly because she doesn’t want us to have the typical romance where they meet for a few seconds and feel a sparkling chemistry. Furthermore, the second characters were as much captivating as the protagonists. Chloe Gong gave us enough time to get to know Kathleen and Rosalind (Juliette’s cousins and sidekicks) and Benedikt and Mars (Roma’s sidekicks) which I find was an engaging parallel.
The novel has a great pace and there will always be something interesting that will happen and keep the reader on its toe. However, the strength in the book is in the cultural message. Juliette comes from an American culture with the duty of bowing to the traditional and that’s something I could relate to. I think with this new generation of cultural blending, Chloe Gong reminding us that we are not alone. No matter where we are, we are always trying to navigate and see where we belong.
I recommend this book 100% if you’re looking for an exciting romance (not sensually wise) but more action wise!
RATING : 4/5
What do you think? Would you add this to your TBR?
REVIEW BY TRANG TRAN