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

Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi LeeThe Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on June 27th 2017
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
Pages: 528
Source: Edelweiss
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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.

This was a ridiculously fun read. I love that this is a historical LGBTQ+ young adult read about a boy who just wants to go on his Grand Tour with his best friend (whom he’s crushing on), flirt and get into shenanigans. And instead, it all goes to hell in a hand basket.

“We’re not courting trouble.” I say. “Flirting with it, at most.”

Henry “Monty” Montague sets of on his Grand Tour with his best friend, Percy and (wonderfully snarky) sister, Felicity, travelling around across Europe, though not in the way they imagined. I loved that due to series of unfortunate events (that sort of Monty’s fault) it leads to ridiculous shenanigans that include getting chased by highwayman, and kidnapped by pirates to just name a few. It definitely keeps you on your toes!

“Oh no.”
Percy looks sideways at me. “Oh no what?”
I swallow. “I’d first like it to be noted that I am most certainly not a smuggler.”
“Monty…” he says, my name sopping with dread.
“And,” I continue overtop him, “I’d like you to both remember just how much you adore me and how dull and gloomy your lives would be without me in them.”
“What did you do?”

Monty is an interesting character. He’s selfish and flawed and absolute privileged. But he’s also engaging, inappropriate, hilarious and the character growth that we get to see him go though throughout the adventure was perfection.

Oh and Monty’s and Percy’s relationship is just absolutely precious. As best friends and as adorable awkward crushes. Percy was such a great character. While he’s grown up as upper English, he’s also biracial, which created a lot of struggles for him. I loved the depth and development we got to see in Monty’s and Percy’s relationship as they both face changes and their fears. They’re just so freaking cute together.

The world could have been a blank canvas and I still would have been exactly this livid with happiness, just to be with him.

A character that sort of took me by surprise was Felicity. Her amazing drive to better herself and her snark just totally won me over. Having her around to keep the boys in line was hilarious and delightful (she’s definitely the brains in this trio). Again, Lee does a wonderful job of adding that extra depth to the relationship. The changes in Monty and Felicity’s brother-sister dynamic was engaging and I loved it.

Overall, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue was a diverse entertaining and captivating adventure. It’s chalked full of silly and heartwarming moments.

Quotes; (because Monty’s got some good lines)

I am somehow stuck with an obstinate mount that resembles less a horse and more a leggy sausage, and seems fond of ingesting my commands and then ignoring them in their entirety.


A small shift in the gravity between us and suddenly all my stars are out of alignment, planets knocked from their orbits, and I’m left stumbling, without map or heading, through the bewildering territory of being in love with your best friend.

{*Thanks to Katherine Tegen Books & Edelweiss for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.


Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

12 Replies to “Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee”

  1. I’m so excited about this one. I just bought it recently and I’ve been anxiously awaiting it in the mail. lol! Glad to hear that you enjoyed it! Great review!

  2. Yay. I am glad you enjoyed this. I actually have it on my wishlist 🙂

  3. I’m so glad this was a fun read and the characters sound so dynamic in it! Glad you enjoyed it Cyn!!

  4. Sounds so fun and interesting. The author is new to me but I’ll check it out. What POV does this book use? I’m curious. Anyway, awesome review, Cyn. 😁👍🏻

  5. I love that they are just now doing more historical in the YA genre because it is one of my favorites and I know as a teen I would have devoured these and discovered the genre so much sooner than I did.

  6. This does sound like A LOT of fun! I really want to meet Monty.. 😀

  7. I TOTALLY agree with you about Monty’s character growth! I was really wary of him at first and his jerk-y behavior, BUT HIS GROWTH IS SO GOOD. My ending verdict is that he is a PRECIOUS BEAN and needs to be protected 24/7. I also adored the sweet, sweet romance and Percy in general! 😀 Can’t wait for Felicity’s book – woohoo!

  8. So happy I saw your review today since my copy of this one should be arriving from Amazon today. 🙂 Tbh, I was going to give this one a pass based on just the cover (I’m shallow, I know) but then I starting seeing reviews raving about it. Reading your review makes me super excited to dive right in. Great review, Cyn!

  9. Oh my gosh!!! I love Monty’s quotes!! I’m so glad you included them and I wish I had grabbed this book. I had just grabbed sooooo many YA books and even those got left behind 🙁 Awesome review!! I had no idea this was that funny of a book!!

  10. Yes! I love this review so much! I’m still waiting for a copy to be available from the library, or a prettier paperback edition to be released – whichever happens first! Thanks for the review. I LOVE the sound of this book, and I adore friendship stories. And yay for diversity and LGBTQ+ stories!

  11. Ah, this book sounds delightful! I have never seen a ‘historical’ fiction with LGBTQIA+ characters before, so this already sounds intriguing. The characters seem so loveable, and I’m looking forward to picking up a copy so I can meet Monty, Percy and Felicity myself!

    Lovely review x

  12. I adored this book! It was sweet, swoony and fun!

    For What It’s Worth

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