G. Bianco, 2019
Mackenzi Lee’s young adult novel, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, has made its mark in the YA book community. With two books and a novella already published in the series, I’m a little late to the party in reading the Montague Siblings Series! However, I still thought I’d give my review on it, in case there were other people like me who haven’t read the books, but are still intrigued.
Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but the finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions 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. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, Monty vows to make this year-long 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 was really funny at times, but I did find it a bit redundant with the constant peril and roadblocks that the gang ran into along the way. I didn’t like Monty until maybe Chapter 3, although that may have been the point. However, I really liked Percy and Felicity! I’m looking forward to reading more about her in the next installment of the series. I feel like certain things didn’t get the closure it needed (what happened to Lockwood, what’s going to happen with Scipio and his crew, etc.), however, there will hopefully be some closure in the sequel.
However, I did appreciate the historical aspect behind the plot. The fact that young Europeans went on a tour of the continent as a way to enhance themselves culturally was interesting and insightful. I found it fascinating how they were reliant on banks and papers and sometimes the goodwill of others to get through their journeys and how it matches up with modern day study abroad and backpacking trips.
Overall, this was a fun and adventurous read and will have YA fans in love with the characters and story. While it took me a while to really get into the book, I am still looking forward to reading the sequel.
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!