The surface level of this book is a fast-paced, inebriated, bisexual romp across Europe, but it tackles many important social issues along the way while providing a cheeky and diverse cast of characters that you are guaranteed to fall in love with. Lee's ability to discuss issues like racism and abuse (and many more) while keeping the core of the story a fun adventure novel set in the 18th century was seamless and deserves all the praise. Recommended By Brianna B., Powells.com
I picked up this book on a whim, but then it sucked me in! I did not expect to become so attached to each of these characters, but by the end of the story I was desperately invested in all of them. The biggest accomplishment of this book is that it manages to grapple with subjects like racism, disability, abuse, and sexuality in a delicate manner, all the while remaining a fun adventure story. Plus, there are pirates. Recommended By Junix S, Powells.com
Mackenzi Lee's comedic historical novel will take you on a hilarious swashbuckling adventure full of friendship, drunkenness, and gay love. It also tackles issues such as ableism, racism, and feminism — this book has it all. Recommended By Andy A., Powells.com
I picked up this book on a whim, but then it sucked me in! I did not expect to get so invested in these characters, but this book was a total sucker punch. Under the fun 18th-century romp and pirates, this book deals with some real world themes such as abuse, disability, and racism. But the mood of the book was never too heavy or overbearing. This is one of the best YA books I've ever read, and I am emotional about it. Recommended By Junix S., Powells.com
Monty — the foolish, handsome, and secretly romantic son of an English lord — leads his academic sister and devastatingly adorable best friend on a danger-filled adventure through 18th-century Europe. Hilarious, sweet, and occasionally raunchy, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is exactly the kind of story that makes me love YA! Recommended By McKenzie W., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A hilarious and swashbuckling stand-alone teen historical fiction novel, named one of summer's 20 must-read books by Entertainment Weekly!
A young bisexual British lord embarks on an unforgettable Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend/secret crush. An 18th-century romantic adventure for the modern age written by This Monstrous Thing author Mackenzi Lee — Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets the 1700s.
Henry "Monty" Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are 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.
So Monty 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, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.
Witty, dazzling, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue is an irresistible romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.
"Tongue-in-cheek, wildly entertaining, and anachronistic in only the most delightful ways, this is a gleeful romp through history. Monty is a hero worthy of Oscar Wilde." Booklist (Starred Review)
"This is a witty, romantic, and exceedingly smart look at discovering one’s place in the world. A stunning powerhouse of a story for every collection." School Library Journal (Starred Review)
"A gloriously swashbuckling affair." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"The book’s exquisite, bygone meter and vernacular sit comfortably on a contemporary shelf. And the friction of racism, tyrannical entitled politicians, and misguided disapproval of homosexuality also have a relevance rooted in current culture’s xeno- and homophobia. Austen, Wilde, and Indiana Jones converge in this deliciously anachronistic bonbon." Kirkus (Starred Review)
About the Author
Mackenzi Lee earned a BA in history (in the middle of which she took her own Grand Tour of Europe) and an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults. She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three.