by Mackenzi Lee
Katherine Tegen Books
It is rare that a YA book delivers a wallop and a romp that entertains, enlightens, and enraptures. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue is one of the best of this year! Get ready for awards, Mackenzi Lee, your book child is genius! Henry Montague is everything a reader could ever want in a character.
Lovable and irrepressible cad Henry (aka Monty) Montague is quite the ladies man and quite the man's man as well (he is bisexual). Monty is in love and lust with his boyhood friend Percy. The two have grown up together and Monty finds himself head over heels falling for his friend/companion. Henry is always in trouble. He's a rich ruffian who sleeps all day, languishing in bed after a night's debauchery, rising only to eat and get ready for another drunken night of gambling, drinking and frolic. Percy is his steadfast sidekick.
Lord Montague has had enough. His son Henry and Percy are of age for the Grand Tour, a yearlong event in which young gentlemen of fortune travel the continent seeing and learning the finer things. Sister Felicity is along and will be dropped off in France for school. The Tour is supposed to teach young men the art of meeting people, socializing and bonding with others of their class. After a Tour, gentlemen settle in and marry raising a family and building their family's business or estate. Henry is expected to take over his father's estate and become a proper British lord.
Monty's father hires Mr. Lockwood to watch over the boys. Under Lockwood's eagle eye, the boys are will be exposed to great art, opera, architecture and food. Monty has other plans. A yearlong trip abroad with his love Percy is more than Monty can even dream of. The only problem he has is Mr. Lockwood.
Readers will fall in love with Monty (Henry) who is at times a spoiled child, yet the child no one can punish. Monty has many flaws but his fierce love and friendship are solid. The threesome--Monty, Percy, Felicity--are winsome and exciting and their adventures are epic.
This YA novel explores sexism, racism, bigotry, snobbery, and society in the eighteenth century.
The cover is spot-on and the title sells this book off the shelf. The marketing team (the author?) who came up with the design and title are genius. This is how you sell a book!
Highly, highly recommended grade 9 and up. NOT for middle school. The title alone should tell would be readers everything they need to know about content.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the ARC from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.