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

Rating –  4.25 out of 5

In The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, Henry “Monty” Montague is looking for adventure. With things being tense at home and a future of taking care of the family money not his cup of tea, Monty is looking for an adventure of a lifetime. His deliverance has come in the form of his grand tour which is to be taken with his best friend and complete crush Percy. While just starting their tour things go awry and the two boys and Monty’s sister, Felicity find themselves on the run and with a question they must answer. Spanning Europe their escapade becomes one that none of them will forget. 

Favorite Quotes

“What’s the use of temptations if we don’t yield to them?” ― Mackenzi Lee, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

“We’re not courting trouble,” I say. “Flirting with it, at most.” ― Mackenzi Lee, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

“We are not broken things, neither of us. We are cracked pottery mended with laquer and flakes of gold, whole as we are, complete unto each other. Complete and worthy and so very loved.” ― Mackenzi Lee, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Why I liked The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Real Talk – I did not like this book, to begin with. Monty was annoying and stuck up in the beginning in a way that I did not enjoy. Most of his antics struck me as childish and self-serving. I honestly for about the first 1/4th of the book was thinking that I would have to give up and not finish if I did not see something improve. Shallow and vapid was my read on how this book was going to go, and I do not appreciate that type of literature.

Then this book became something that I totally wasn’t expecting. Monty grew on me. In fact, I now enjoy him greatly as a character, mostly because he actually grew up a bit over the course of this book. What had started as selfish thoughts about how his life was not going to his plan became a genuine concern for others. He started learning from his mistakes instead of just writing them off as youthful indulgences. He began to see the consequences of his actions instead of just going through life without a care. I was impressed with his arch!

I appreciated how Lee highlighted the ways in which these characters had a very different life than we have today. Because this was not set in modern times things were different for Women, LGBTQUIA+ and people of Color in ways that made their lives more difficult. While I don’t think people of the era would have been so woke about some of these issues, for a modern audience, I think it was good that Lee addressed them in the way that she did. It brought new life to the ways that these characters interacted.

Overall, I have to say this was one of the most delightful and quote-able books I’ve read in a while. I cannot wait for the sequel – The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

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  1. I think I rather enjoy books where a character starts out annoying or whiny and grows and changes with the story. Your great review makes me more excited to read the book! <3


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