Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Title: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Adventure, LGBT
Source: Katherine Tegen via Edelweiss

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 by Nara

Th Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (geez that's a mouthful haha) is probably high on the majority of people's TBR lists for 2017. It just sounds like a winning combination of 18th century Europe, magic, adventure and romance all bound up with the ever sought after diversity (in this case in race and sexuality). I have to say, the book certainly does not disappoint. Just as I'm sure that it's high priority on many people's TBR lists, I'm sure that it will be high on people's "Best of 2017" lists.

The story is basically an adventure novel, with our hero Monty taking a nice detour around various European countries while dealing with a conspiracy and his changing (or I guess not changing depending on how you look at it) feelings for his best friend Percy. I must admit, the plot does at times get quite ridiculous, but it's the type of ridiculous that you roll with, as it adds to the fun and adventure.

Monty is quite a flawed protagonist, and it's a wonder that he's so likeable despite being pretty damn annoying throughout the entire novel. He's one of those people that get away with everything because of their charm, but he is still somehow realistic/human enough that you can't dislike him. Percy and Felicity are also very well developed secondary characters, and you very quickly get invested in the trio as they make their way across Europe.

To be honest, I don't even think I need to mention much else in this short review for the novel. I'd actually rather not talk about the plot at all (including the romance) because the book is so fun that you should just experience it for yourselves. Highly recommended.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
World Building: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 2/5