The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The 2024 Art Show Poster
The Diverse Artistry of Glenbard
Maggie Falkenberg, School News Writer • February 8, 2024

This year, Glenbard South took its turn hosting the annual District 87 Art Show. Students walked past a multitude of different colors, styles and scenes in the commons hallway,...

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Chloe Gong’s “These Violent Delights” Defies All Expectations

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“These Violent Delights: Nominee for Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2020)” – Source: GoodReads

As someone who rarely dabbles in YA fiction, I was skeptical when my friend first recommended “These Violent Delights” The main reason I read it anyway was because the cover looked beautiful. If you are the type of person to put down a book after reading the first page without any action, do not fret – this book gets right into it. Readers will be surprised with this modernized Shakespearean retelling, as the book begins with an attack that takes place on a bridge in 1920’s Shanghai. The mysterious attack smoothly leads into the introduction of one of the main characters, Roma Montagov, the heir of the White Flower Gang. The other protagonist is Juliette Cai, heir of the Scarlet Gang. This modern retelling of a Shakespeare classic, Romeo and Juliet, will have readers on their toes as Chloe Gong creates an atmosphere of mystery, a hint of slow burn romance, action, and a sprinkling of historical detail. 

Juliette Cai, who was sent to the U.S. to study for four years at fifteen-years-old, returns to Shanghai at nineteen to become the leader of the Scarlet Gang. Over time, she has become more passionate and vengeful, waiting until the day she may take revenge on the White Flower Gang. On the other hand, Roma Montagov has stayed in Shanghai for almost his whole life, after many immigrants, his family included, migrated to China from countries in Europe. However, the history between the two protagonists is complicated. Following the attack on the bridge, many others occurred for unknown reasons. In order to stop these attacks, Roma and Juliette will have to silently work together without getting caught by their families. The question is: will their collaboration lead to future alliances or a whirlwind of chaos between them?

Although a YA novel, “These Violent Delights” is elevated by Gong’s skilled writing, which takes the reader on a journey with the characters, deeply feeling every moment of fear, desperation, passion and vengeance, along with thrilling action. Gong artfully combines history with fiction, giving her writing a distinct and fresh touch. Perhaps that is because she is, in fact, a new author on the rise! As a graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, she made her debut with “These Violent Delights” in 2020. In that short time, she has already amassed over 100,000 followers on Instagram and been named the No. 1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author. In an interview with The Drew Barrymore Show, Gong said that she decided to become a full-time author once she graduated, especially due to the pandemic and the pressure of needing to find “a real job.” She elaborated that writing started out as a hobby and, eventually, she decided to “take a leap of faith and go for it.” It is admirable to see that type of courage and determination. She says that she has many more contracts lined up and she is going to release more books, so be on the lookout! 

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About the Contributor
Alishbaa Karim, Creative Corner Artist
Hi, my name is Alishbaa and I am the main editor of the Poetry section in Creative Corner this year! As we aim to try and expand the Creative Corner section, our goal is to express the diversity of creativity at Glenbard South and provide a place where artists can express themselves! Don’t hesitate to reach out! (My email: [email protected])

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