The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
Author: Mackenzi Lee | Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
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.
It’s beginning to feel like he’s shuffling his way through the seven deadly sins, in ascending order of my favourites.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is an insanely wonderful read.
Like, right off the bat, you’re dropped into this time period where everything is suddenly moving and shifting and the narrator, Monty, does not hold anything back. His voice is active, aggressive but you quickly realize that his actions are the opposite.
Monty is such a great character — he seems like level-headed, mature 18-year-old kid who’s ready to take on the world. But as the book progresses, you quickly realize that he isn’t. Monty is struggling to find out who he is and is moving away from the self-centered world he’s created in his head.
What’s even better is that this book does its best to stray from cliches — Monty is troubled and he tries his best to live his life either way. He wants to push against what others think of him and he wants to be seen as a responsible, good friend.
Apart from those things, however, it also becomes obvious that Monty has so bad luck. Sometimes the things he does end up getting him in trouble without his trying — which is super unfortunate. As a reader, you’re constantly smacking your own head wondering why Monty did that one stupid thing, to begin with.
The stars dust gold leafing on his skin. And we are looking at each other, just looking, and I swear there are whole lifetimes lived in those small, shared moments.
This book was amazing and definitely needs to be read by everybody. The angst, the slow burn feeling, the agony of waiting for things to work out well for Monty — it’s a great read.
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