Thoughts on : The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Posted by on December 15, 2017 2:23 am in 4.5 stars reads | 1 comment

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Audio narration : Christian Coulson
Genre : YA, historical fiction
Series : Guide, book 1

About the Book  :

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.  

My Thoughts :

What a pleasure this book was!

Despite the hype, I went in with lowish expectations, but hoping for the best; and what I got was far better than anything I could have hoped for. In a bookish world where popular YA novels often feel too similar to one another, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue stands out in a delicious way.

I recently realized I haven’t seen many male bisexual characters in YA fiction; and I certainly haven’t seen any set in such a historical setting. Again, I was skeptical about these elements being brought together in a book that others qualified as lovely, heartwarming and cute – but it worked so well! I was quickly transported to another continent and another century, and I absolutely loved the characters and their story. Admittedly, students of history would probably find plenty to comment on, but to me it felt as though the author had taken the time to consider both factual history and storytelling in her writing.

I absolutely adored Monty. And if you wish to read this book, I would encourage you to give the audiobook a try; Christian Coulson delivers what I felt was a near perfect narration for the character of Monty. He portrayed him with energy and passion, and while I’m sure I would have enjoyed the book without him, I don’t think I would have been as enamored of it as I am now. Paired with Mackenzi Lee’s writing and humor, it made for a phenomenal audiobook.

On top of a perfectly entertaining narrator, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue offers an adventure filled with European destinations, mysteries and seafaring. And romance, of course! The romance between Monty and Percy is a huge part of the book, but, in my opinion, it builds up perfectly. There’s just enough tensions and what-ifs to keep you reading, and the chemistry between the two characters is simply magic.

I also have to at least mention Monty’s sister, Felicity. She is both lovely and inspiring in her tenacity, and I’m really glad to know the next book will be all about her (though I do hope we’ll get to see a bit of our favorite couple!)

I would have very little negative to say about the book. It just came into my life right when I needed something positive and cheerful and hopeful. Just thinking about it makes me smile! If you need a bit of romance and history in your reading life, please do give it a try 🙂


1 Comment

  1. I really want to read that one. A friend is supposed to lend it to me (because book buying ban) and I just cant wait!

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