Review: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Why I Chose This Book:

I had been looking forward to this book for months. It’s not very often that we get historical fiction books in YA, not to mention LGBTQ+ books in YA historical fiction. So when this book finally hit the shelves, I was there ready to hand over my life savings just so I could own this book.

by Mackenzi Lee
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: June 27th, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, LGBTQ+
Amazon  ||  B&N  ||  Book Depository


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. (Goodreads)

My Bookish Thoughts:

It was everything I imagined it would be and more. Mackenzi Lee has a beautiful, wonderful way of crafting a story with believable characters, and with stakes that matter to both character and reader. Because of all the action packed into this book, I would not categorize this as purely a historical fiction book but rather and genre blend of four genres: historical fiction, LGBTQ+, and adventure with a twist of mystery thrown in as well.

Overall, it was a whirlwind of adventure, and love, and a true test of friendship. It covered every single one of these areas splendidly, but what I didn’t anticipate was how well it dealt with race. The love interest concerned a white boy, Monty, who was bi and a black boy, Percy, who was gay, who also was of lesser status because of his skin color. At first, I was worried because not only was it a woman writing about a gay boys in love, but she is white and because of the demands of historical context, had to shine light on the racial tensions within the British aristocracy. In the past, I have seen authors fail miserably, and I was terrified that it would happen again with this book— Not so! Percy’s race was handled with care and she did such a wonderful job shedding light on the injustices of the time period both for LGBTQ+ peoples and people of races other than white European.

Final Thoughts:

I read this book shortly after it came out, and I continued to purchase it on Audible as well, because I wanted to have a way to listen to it as I cleaned my apartment—the narration is amazing, btw!

Needless to say, this book astounded me in the best way possible. It brought tears to my eyes, placed a fire in my soul, and made me love this book and these characters in a way that I haven’t experienced in a long while.

I gave this book 5 stars.


  1. T His book is on my shelf and I want to read so bad but the hype is strong! I think I'm going to love it, especially from your review, but we'll see. I'm hoping to read it over Christmas but that's if life doesn't get in the way.

    1. Yeah, the hype is strong, and if you're anything like me, I get it. I generally stay away from hyped books or end up not liking hyped books, but I really REALLY loved this book and it definitely lived up to the hype for me. I hope it does for you too!! After you read it over Christmas, drop by again and share your thoughts! I'm curious! :)


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