The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule. [Goodreads]
Spoiler Free Review:
Content Warnings: disease (pandemic), violence, self-harm
This had been one of my most anticipated releases for a long time, but it didn’t quite live up to what I was expecting.
I wouldn’t say anything about this book was bad, but nothing about was all that great to me either. I had been prepared for a slow-burn hate-to-love romance, but it felt like all the romance happened in the past.
The plot of this book revolves around a “disease” and there were a lot of parts that hit way too close to home considering the past year and a half.
The retelling aspect of this book didn’t really have me feeling either way. There were some plot points that I could predict because I knew of the original story.
The ending of this book felt very intriguing, but I don’t think it was enough for me to want to read the sequel. I didn’t feel connected to the characters and I didn’t particularly care about the gang rivalry.
I RECOMMEND THIS FOR…
I do think fans of YA fantasy would enjoy this, especially if a historical setting would be interesting to you. I think I am a little burned out from YA fantasy, so I didn’t enjoy as much as I could have.