(Review) The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Pages: 528 (hardcover)
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
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.
I wasn't actually sure what I was signing up for when I requested this ARC, but I am definitely happy that I did. This book had such a great mixture of everything and it absolutely kept me on my toes (and swooning).
Monty is kind of a jerk, let's be honest. He's rich and entitled and can get away with just about anything. He pines for his best friend Percy, loathes his family, and can't wait to get out on Tour away from any and all responsibility. Only things don't turn out quite the way that Monty plans.
Because he's well, Monty, trouble ensues. He insults someone of high importance and then, to get back at someone who insulted him, he steals something.
That something is where things go downhill for Monty.
I won't get into all the details because it's a great thing to read and figure out. What I loved most about this story was Monty, thought. Sure, he's a drunkard and kind of a douchebag but wow does he have a lot of layers. There are definitely things that Monty suppresses from himself and pretty much everyone around him. Throughout the book we get to see how he changes from a selfish boy to a man who knows what he wants and also knows what is important to him.
Not to say that this book is all sunshine and roses. There are a lot of difficult things that the author touches on, including sexuality and race issues. I think that it's important we read this and realize that things aren't so different now than they were in the eighteenth-century.
I loved the dynamic between the three major characters and how strong and smart Felicity and Percy both were. They complemented Monty's boyishness nicely and helped him on his journey to find himself.
I'm so happy to have been able to pick this up and read Monty's tale.