Friday, 23 June 2017

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue // exciting, funny, and adorable

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue is the most fun I've had reading in a long time! Set in the 18th century, three friends steal a magical object that leads to them being chased across Europe, whilst also trying to escape the paths that life has laid out before them.

The plot was fast paced and constantly moving, but the book is largely character focused. There's Monty, who loves to live in excess. He's obnoxious and dumb and has to have his privilege pointed out to him, but he learns from his stupidity and grows throughout the book. He's also openly bisexual, although isn't so open about the fact that he's totally in love with his best friend, Percy. Percy is significantly more reasonable than Monty and is a complete sweetheart. Although the boys are of a similar status, Percy is biracial and epileptic, and deserves SO MUCH BETTER than sucky 18th century society. There's also Felicity, Monty's sister, who is pretty much the voice of reason even though she's the youngest. She's super smart and wants to become a doctor, but again, 18th century society sucks (also, it's implied she's asexual, but I don't want to make a solid claim on that until she gets her own book - which she is!).

The three characters start off at odds but slowly grow together through their adventures. I loved the character focus, although I do wish that I got to see more of Percy and Felicity's perspectives instead of seeing them just through Monty. But I completely loved Monty's voice and it was honestly laugh-out-loud funny. The romance is also amazing and I found myself shipping it almost 3 chapters in which is probably a record. It was actually adorable and painfully slow burn but it was perfect.

This is historical fiction, but the writing was light and I found it really easy to read. There's not much focus on the setting but I didn't mind at all because of how much fun I was having with the characters and their journey.

Light and refreshing, The Gentleman's Guide has a thoroughly entertaining voice, an action-packed story, and a love story that is the perfect balance of angsty and just plain adorable.

Diversity note: Bisexual protagonist, and side character who is biracial, queer, and epileptic

Warnings: blood, violence, physical abuse

An ebook copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.


  1. :D Another great review for this book! I have heard rave review after rave review. I'll have to go into it not expecting too much focus on the setting - thanks for the heads up! I love historical fiction, and while I do prefer those that are rich with detail and culture, I'm all good for a fun and exciting romp too! :) This sounds like so, so much fun and I can't wait to finally read it for myself! Great review.

    Cass @ Words on Paper

    1. I had my doubts when I saw so much love for this book, but now I can see that it is well deserved! Definitely don't expect too much from the book in terms of visual setting, but the author's note at the back shows that Lee did a ton of research into the history of this era which was really cool to read about. Thanks so much and I hope you enjoy reading it!

  2. Ah, I am so glad you enjoyed this one, Helia!

    I would have loved to see more of Percy, as well. I 100% would not object to a book from his perspective, especially after that ending *heart eyes* I have to say I am pretty keen on Felicity's book, and I am 99% sure she is ace, so that will be WONDERFUL.

    There was honestly so much to enjoy about this book, and I was surprised by how fast it went by, considering it's quite lengthy!

    Lovely review, dear <3

    1. Thanks Chiara! I'm super looking forward to the Felicity book, especially if it explores her being ace and the attitudes towards that within the era, because part of what I loved about TGGTVAV was how it addressed the serious topic of how people who don't fit societal norms are treated. Hopefully a Percy book will come in time too <3

      I agree that the book just sped by - I was expecting it to take a while to get through but there was seriously never a dull moment.

      Thank you again!