Featured Review: The Gentleman's Guide To Vice and Virtue (MacKenzi Lee)
About This Book:
An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way. Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy. Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores. Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.
*Review Contributed By Staff Reviewer Jacklin Updegraft*
Full of heart and humor
THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE follows Henry “Monty” Montague as he takes his grand tour across Europe with his sister Felicity and his best mate (I love that word) Percy. After a reckless choice by Henry their grand tour turns into a terrifying manhunt and Monty begins to question everything in his life.
I am absolutely hopelessly in love with The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. It’s funny and witty and filled with amazing sights and characters. Monty and Percy are both characters I don’t read often enough. Monty especially was a character who was so flawed and kept making a mess of things, but ultimately was just trying to figure out what he wanted and where he fits in this life. Then there’s Percy, his best friend, and boy he's been in love with since the very beginning is his complete opposite. He’s quite and dignified, where Monty is outspoken and a rake. Then there’s Felicity who is smart as a whip and would rather attend university than go learn about becoming a proper young woman. I loved her most of all. I felt a very deep kinship to Felicity that I think a lot of girls reading this will feel. I also got the feeling from certain parts in this book, that Felicity identifies as asexual (which really hits home for me) and if that is the case I really hope we go into it more in her book. Oh in case you didn’t know Lee is writing a compANION NOVEL IN FELICITY’S POINT OF VEIW. I can’t wait to see from Felicity’s POV.
One of the best things about this novel was Monty’s character development. He starts out this book as a thoughtless, flirts with anything that moves, drinking gambling rake of a young man to a thoughtful more conscientious one who works hard to understand the feelings of those around him. Lee does such an amazing job of really fleshing out these characters. Giving them voices that felt authentic and fresh. And the relationship Monty begins to have with his younger, annoying sister Felicity is one of my favorites. They care for each other even if they are bickering and fighting constantly.
You can tell Mackenzi really put her time and effort into making this historically accurate while adding interesting facts about lady pirates and women who didn’t follow the norm of that time period. I loved that she found ways to work those into her book. This book overall had me feeling so content. It’s so hard to explain a feeling, but it’s as if Lee took a rainy day, cozy in your bed with a cup of cocoa and a good book and formed it into a book. It’s the beauty of this book with characters who make you fall in love and laugh out loud, and character development that blows you away. I want more books like this. More books that get to the heart of you with boys who are delicate and beautiful and girls who are strong and dedicated. I want more of that, more books that give me that cozy feeling inside. There was no one thing about this book that caused it, it was everything together. The adventure, the love, the growth everything worked so well to create this beautiful story that lived up to every bit of hype surrounding it.
One thing I do want to mention is that there is abuse from the father. It doesn’t get graphic but it does talk about and have flashbacks of it and I wanted to mention it in case anyone has a hard time with that. Other than that this book is lovely and so worth the read. So run don’t walk to your library/bookstore and pick this book up because I can not recommend or tell you how much I loved this story. It’s everything I look for in a book and is perfect for those who love a good adventure/love story.
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