Title: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
Author: Mackenzi Lee
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Summary (from Goodreads):
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 travelling 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.
~I CAN FINALLY KNOCK THIS OFF MY TBR THANK GOODNESS~
(This is going to be a ramble more so than a review, so if you loved the book as much as I did, go right ahead and read and comment your favourite parts.)
Okay okay, so I know this has been out for AGES and that pretty much everyone has adored it, and I’ve gotta say – I 100% agree.
This is literally everything I absolutely adore, wrapped up in a single book. History? Mystery? Adventure? PIRATES???
And, of course, an abso-bloody-lutely adorable romance.
Monty, the protagonist, is one of the most hilarious narrators I’ve ever had to fortune to read. He’s seriously up there with Percy Jackson and Simon Spier on my fave-narrators-ever list.
Thing is, he’s not just a bundle of laughs. He has very real anxiety and low self-esteem, and it’s so brilliant to see a character who isn’t stereotyped in either extreme; he’s not merely an alcoholic or playboy, nor is he a quivering wreck that never speaks. Having a male character that is capable of talking about emotion is always refreshing and I loved every moment of his narration.
(Also my boy is squeamish as heck, like SAME Monty, same.)
Percy is also just wonderful. Obviously Monty loves him completely, but he’s still not painted as an absolute angel; both of the guys fuck up with one another, but they try and that’s the main thing.
Percy being black isn’t something I knew before I started reading the book, but I appreciate it. He’s written with care, and he’s never made into merely a victim; however, people’s reactions to him are still historically accurate. It would have been so easy to write him as white and explain it away as ~history~, but the author actually gave a damn, did some research, and gave the representation people deserve.
Felicity is probably my new favourite female character. What a badass. What a queen. Also, she’s heavily coded as asexual and I AM HERE FOR IT.
HERE I TELL YOU.
Heh. She’s one of those characters that is ruthless in getting what she wants, and she works hella hard for it. The banter between her and Monty is priceless too – I reckon they’re up there with Lucy and Edmund Pevensie for my “favourite-fictional-sibling” dynamic. At the end of the day, it’s Felicity that holds both of the guys together – she’s the ‘glue’ of the story.
There are loads of other supporting characters I could go into, and I love how each and every one of them is portrayed. Dante is a particular favourite because his stutter is actually somewhat realistic. Yes.
Plot-wise, this book is everything I wanted and more. It’s exciting, well-paced, and more than once I was caught totally off-guard. I LOVE that the ending is basically a case of “Well, we’ve been given two options, but both of them suck, so we’ll create our own”. What a trio of legends.
If you loved this book, give us a shout in the comments or via Twitter @ticktockcrocky 😀
(And yes, I will be reading the sequel, The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, as soon as it comes out in paperback. Woot.)
Lots of love,