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The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Montague Siblings Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 518 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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|Age Level: 13 - 17|
|Grade Level: 8 - 12|
- Book 1 of 3 in Montague Siblings
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From the Back Cover
KIRKUS PRIZE NOMINEE
ONE OF NPR’S BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BEST BOOK FOR TEENS
NEIBA NEW ENGLAND YOUNG ADULT BOOK AWARD WINNER
Witty, romantic, and irresistible from the first line to the last, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is the unforgettable escapade of Lord Henry “Monty” Montague, a charming young scoundrel who fully expects to carouse his way through his Grand Tour. However, Monty’s plan for one last hedonistic hurrah with his best friend and secret crush, Percy, quickly turns into a harrowing manhunt across eighteenth-century Europe. Truly a novel that’s meant to be savored and not to be missed.--This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
Mackenzi Lee holds a BA in history and an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults. Her short fiction and nonfiction has appeared in Atlas Obscura, the Boston Globe, Crixeo, and the Newport Review, among others. Her debut novel, This Monstrous Thing, won the PEN New England–Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award. Her second book, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, was a New York Times bestseller and an ABA bestseller, earned five starred reviews, was a #1 Indie Next Pick, and received a 2018 Stonewall Book Award Honor and a New England Book Award. She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three. She currently calls Boston home, where she works as an independent bookstore manager and pets every dog she meets. www.mackenzilee.com--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- File size : 3559 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publication date : June 27, 2017
- Print length : 518 pages
- Publisher : Katherine Tegen Books (June 27, 2017)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B01M0WRN4B
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #51,935 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Warning: You will read this book in the voice of an English gentleman. It can't be helped.
Due to the immense amount of hype surrounding the book, I was concerned that my expectations would far outweigh the abilities of this book to meet them; and while I can't say I am as enamored with it as most of the book community, I have to admit that this was a very fun ride that I found extremely enjoyable.
This book follows Monty, a product of English nobility, who has been bread to be a gentleman; however, he is more inclined to live a roguish lifestyle and is the picture of debauchery. He likes to seduce both ladies and men, imbibe impressive amounts of alcohol, and essentially live a life against his father's expectations.
As a last hurrah before he is expected to take over his family's estate, and Percy, his best friend and love interest, heads to law school, they are going to take a tour of "the Continent," which is basically mainland Europe. But the tour is complicated by the fact that Percy's father, a domineering and abusive man who is completely embarrassed by Monty's hedonistic lifestyle, hires a babysitter to accompany them on the tour which turns the tour into an overwhelmingly dull experience. It is further hampered by the presences of Monty's sister, who is temporarily accompanying them until she is taken to finishing school.
However, the trip suddenly takes an adventurous turn after the group finds themselves pursued by the Duke of Bourbon who, we come to find out ,is after an item that Monty has stolen from him believing it to be a worthless trinket. The book then takes a turn into the mysterious and magical as the group tries to uncover the importance of this box and then use it to their own advantage.
I'll admit that this story began slowly for me. I was not compelled by the plot until the actual mystery entered into the story and took the plot in a direction that was different from what I was expecting. Thought it wasn't quite a four star read for me, there were plenty of positive points. Here are my favorites:
1. I love the voice in which the story is written. Lee does a fantastic job of capturing the vocabulary and style of 18th century English language. She also has a way of writing that is clever and witty.
2. I also enjoyed the relationships that are formed within the story. I particularly enjoyed how a quasi-pirates essentially take the group under their wing, particularly Monty, and gives him the fatherly relationship he never has.
3. Felicity is the character that truly made this book for me. I found Monty slightly irritating as he was usually selfish, stubborn and cowardly, but Felicity was amazing. She was bold, sarcastic, witty, smart, and not afraid to be brave in a time that was not kind to women.
4. I really enjoyed and appreciated the historical context Lee added at the end of the book. Though it was at the end, it really added to my overall understanding and enjoyment of the plot.
All in all this was a fun and enchanting read. Definitely worth a go
This book is undoubtedly one of the most humorous and entertaining YA historical fictions I’ve read, beside My Lady Jane of course. The Gentleman’s Guide is filled to the brim with comedic moments that are balanced out by surprisingly serious topics introduced throughout the characters’ long and arduous journey
Not only does Mackenzi Lee create a fun adventure filled with witty dialogue, bouts of debauchery, and intrigue, she also does an excellent job in exploring the human experience by providing situations and character relationships that inspire deep conversation.
Her characters Monty, Felicity, and Percy are each so unique, well-developed, and multifaceted. Monty, our far-from-perfect protagonist, is self-centered, self-serving, blasé, reckless, insensitive, and cowardly. However, his heart is in a good place. Most of the time, at least. He is hyper-aware and very accepting of his sexuality; however, his confidence falters in the face of his father’s bigoted and domineering presence. Monty’s father plays a much larger role than expected as his treatment of Monty cuts very deep and affects his son’s behaviors in a seriously notable way. It was extremely heartbreaking to read in a book that I thought would be all laughs and jokes. Well, it isn’t, just so you know.
As for the other characters, Felicity was an amazing female character. Though initially insensitive to Monty’s plight, she becomes fairly sympathetic towards the end. She proves to have an open mind, and on top of that, she has agency and a great sense of independence. I was impressed with her experience in medicine and her ongoing pursuit of knowledge. Because of this, I think it would be safe to say she’s the most clever and useful member of the group.
Percy is truly a sweetheart. Only he truly knew how to deal with Monty, and it was very amusing to see how the two boys interacted. I greatly appreciated how Lee didn’t shy away from race and discrimination during this time period and instead dives right into these issues. Percy’s biraciality provides another dimension to this dark comedy and not only that, Percy’s medical condition also provides another topic of discussion.
All the characters slowly evolve and become better versions of their past selves by the end. Monty and Percy’s relationship goes through rough times, but they eventually find their way. And in doing so, they’ve become one of my favorite OTPs!
The story takes a surprising turn and transforms into a hectic, suspenseful journey accented with piracy and a touch of magic/alchemy. Unexpected? Yes. But still very captivating and even more romantic and dangerous than first anticipated.
A Gentlemens’ Guide is a book that expertly balances humor and charm with provocative social commentary. I was very surprised by the darker, more weighty elements. The author navigates themes centered around racism, slavery, domestic abuse, sexism, homophobia, disability and mental illness, dysfunctional familial relations, and so much more. These heavier themes add great purpose to this romp of a good time, and I really couldn’t have imagined a better way of going about it. As a whole, this book is a perfectly blended adventure complete with fantastic characters. A total reread, if you ask me.
I looked forward to the Grand Tour storyline, which was the selling point for me. But the Grand Tour was but an excuse to get the characters to the Continent—much to my disappointment.
The abbreviated Grand Tour morphed into an adventure/teens in danger storyline l, but that plot was overshadowed by the characters’ (mostly Monty-caused) multiple problems.
Again I was surprised as the adventure storyline was eclipsed by a fantasy storyline about an almost-desperate search for an magical, all-powerful alchemical panacea.
The incredibly interesting and well-drawn characters saved this book for me. Of the characters, I loved Felicity most, not to mention her intelligence, bravery and self-confidence.
This book is written in first person, so at approximately page 150 Monty’s witty, self-centered chatter began to grate. Yes, Monty was funny, but how I yearned for multiple POVs—Percy and Felicity—to occasionally spare me Monty’s voice.
Recommended but if you get this novel, ignore the blurbs about the Grand Tour.
Unlike the majority of readers, I’m rating this 3 Stars.
Top reviews from other countries
The story itself was amazing. An adventure. A romance. It had pirates!! It made me so happy to see such a wonderful bi character in Monty. There was also gay rep and I'm certain there was a-sexual rep, which I hope will be made more clear in The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy! There was a strong female, a character with epilepsy, one of the main trio was a POC, and I don't think this book took a single wrong step. It's tied with Strange The Dreamer as my favourite book of 2017.
I've got so much praise for this book. I might even read it again soon. I cannot wait for the next adventure!
The basic premise is that our main character, Monty, is about to depart on his Grand Tour in the way that all well-heeled young men of the Regency period were wont to do, in his case accompanied by his best friend (and unrequited love interest) Percy. They've also been given the task of depositing Monty's sister at a finishing school on the way and given strict instructions about what they can and can't do. Likewise, at the end of their time together, Percy is supposed to be going off to university in Holland and Monty is already bemoaning that separation.
After Monty follows his dick into trouble in Paris, as well as proving himself to be more than a little light-fingered, trouble starts to follow them. The trio end up separated from their chaperone and on the run, as well as a few things about Percy coming into the open. This is where, for me, the plot starts to go off the rails a bit and the author really should have considered not throwing twelve more plot ideas into the book just in case.
I almost gave this book 3 stars instead of 4 because of Monty, who is pretty much insufferable most of the time. It's rescued by the character of Felicity, who has all the common sense her brother lacks, while Percy still remains a bit two-dimensional at times. Anyway, apparently there's another book which follows on from this one but from Felicity's point of view - 'The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy' - due out later in 2018.
The reason this is 4 stars instead of 5 is for a couple of reasons, I think it was a little slow in places. I also thought the ending was rushed and would have liked a bit more of an epilogue. The climax of the main relationship while resolved doesn’t feel 100% satisfactory because it’s resolved and then the book ends abruptly. There’s not enough closure for me.
I love the world building and historical setting, I thought some of the political and racial issues in the book were well done though they made me slightly uncomfortable because of how they played out. Though these would be true to that era.
I thought the exploration of the character’s sexuality was brilliant. Particularly brilliant given the era and setting of the novel.
This book is so close to 5 stars. I adored it and would highly recommend this to anyone after a good quality story.
I had no idea what to expect from The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue except that I'd seen so many people raving about how great it was.
This book quite literally has everything in it I could ask for: grand adventure, love, friendship, sibling rivalries, sass, wit, mystery, deception, intrigue, slow burn romance, beautiful British humour, character development, a treasure hunt, pirates, gay and bi characters, diverse characters, and a strong-willed hellcat of a woman.
The entire novel is a coquettish rogue that seduces you from the moment you begin reading.
I adore the history in this book that sets the scene without being at all stilted or boring. I love particularly that we get to see what is probably an extremely realistic account of hormonal, ass-drunk teens during the period and all the amazingly fun and misadventures that follow.
The characters are wonderful. Monty is an arrogant, privileged rogue, but it's all part of his lovable charm. He has trials and torments that he needs to face, he misses the signs that are right in front of him, and in his own innocent ignorance, his mouth gets him into all sorts of trouble. But, it's Monty's witty, rambling, very heartfelt and at times naive narrative that really won me over.
"Lucky for me as well, or else we might never have met, and then what would have been the point of my life?"
I love that Monty isn't ashamed of who he is, or who he fancies, but that it's others who have the problem. He isn't actually afraid to express himself and I love that about him.
"I’ve always been of the mind that subtlety is a waste of time. Fortune favors the flirtatious. And by now, if Percy doesn’t know how I feel, it’s his own damn fault for being thick."
In case you hadn't guessed by now, this is a story with many themes. It's a love story, a coming of age story, a story of friendship, of loyalty, of overcoming fears and oppression.
"Rather, it is simply the tale of how two people can be important to each other their whole lives, and then, one morning, quite without meaning to, one of them wakes to find that importance has been magnified into a sudden and intense desire to put his tongue in the other’s mouth."
(I can't stop quoting this book!!)
Percy is Monty's best friend and he's the epitome of sweetness. He's loyal, steadfast and I want him to be my best friend!
"Percy had avenged me when no one else would look me in the eyes."
Then there's Felicity. An amazing heroine who I was so excited to find out has a book of her very own coming out later this year!! YAY!! Felicity is sassy, intelligent, sharp and unafraid to be herself. She also incidentally delivers one of my favourite lines in this entire book!
“Ladies haven’t the luxury of being squeamish about blood,” she replies, and Percy and I go fantastically red in unison."
(No, they do not!)
The adventure that these three unlikely heroes undertake is packed full of hilarious moments (like this) -
"Which is how I come to be running through the gardens of the Palace of Versailles, dressed only as Nature intended."
(I really need help! I told you I couldn't stop quoting this book!)
Alongside, fight scenes, lots of 'almosts', lingering touches, longing glances, near misses (and near kisses) and through it all, Monty's beautiful, touching narrative that takes this story to new heights and depths.
"We are not broken things, neither of us. We are cracked pottery mended with lacquer and flakes of gold, whole as we are, complete unto each other. Complete and worthy and so very loved."
If you haven't read this book yet, do it.
In the meanwhile, I'll still be over here quoting every single line and counting down the days until The Ladies Guide to Petticoats and Piracy is Released!
A resounding 4.5 stars from me!!