Book Reviews

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee

🌟 5 stars 🌟

This book is so precious! I loved reading about the adventures of Percy, Felicity, and Monty! I laughed so much. As an aside, I read this along with listening to the audiobook and Christopher Coulsen does a marvelous job of narrating this novel! 

Blurb:

“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.”

bless the book people for their boundless knowledge absorbed from having words instead of friends.”

This book revolves around the shenanigans these three get into on a tour of Europe before they all have to head their separate ways. Of course not everything goes quite as planned (aka Monty screws up) and this trio has to figure out how to worm their way out of unexpected situations. It is told from Monty’s point of view so we get to read about his inner monologue throughout the story.

Henry “Monty” Montague is probably the biggest mess of a main character that I have ever read about. If you looked up the definition of mess in the dictionary, you’d probably find a picture of Monty with a bottle of gin in hand. He is hopelessly in love with Percy but tries to hide it throughout this novel. So instead he turns to alcohol and sleeping around with boys and girls alike. His father sends him on this tour in hopes that he’ll clean up his act before returning home and learning how to be a proper lord of his land.

Percy Newton is the sweetest character who never wants to intrude on anyone. Even though he has been treated poorly just because he’s biracial, he is a patient and sweet man. He is the perfect counterpart to the mess Monty is.

Felicity Montague is one of the most headstrong and badass characters I have ever read about. She is resourceful and could hold her own better than either of the men she’s traveling with. Even though she is the youngest of the trio, she seemed the best equipped and quickwitted to handle every situation they came across. I think anytime I need a bit of courage from this point on in my life, I’ll think of embodying Felicity Montague.

Overall, this is a bit different from the books I normally read, so I’m surprised I loved it so much! It tackles privilege from the point of view of a character that does not even realize he’s privileged in the first place. Although he’s had hardships in his life, he learns a bit about how much harder life is for women and people of color in their time period. This book was amazing and I cannot wait for the sequel that focuses on Felicity.

 

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