This book was one of my most anticipated releases this year. Ever since I read the first book (The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue) I couldn’t wait to return to the wonderful world of the Montague siblings once again. The first book was one of my favorite books of all time. It was just utterly amazing, unique and completely addictive, and I fell completely in love with the sassy, hilarious Monty and the sweet, darling Percy, as well as Felicity, Monty’s fierce and ambitious younger sister.
This time, the story was told from Felicity’s POV, and focused on her ambition to study medicine and her problems to be taken seriously as an intelligent woman and be admitted to a medical school. Just like in the first book though, adventure comes knocking and soon Felicity finds herself on a quest across Europe and on a dragon hunting expedition in the Atlantic that will bring her back to her childhood best friend, Johanna, who she hasn’t spoken to in years, and Sim, the girl with a secretive past. I liked the headstrong Felicity already in the first book and can certainly relate to her and how she’s not able to do what she really wants, as opposed to what society dictates she must do. So I was happy to get a chance to get to know her even better in this book, but I must confess that I really missed Monty’s POV. A lot of what made the first book so amazing and hilarious, was that it was told in Monty’s engaging, sassy voice. In the first book, Felicity felt like something of a Hermione Granger on speed, so I thought she’d be able to carry the story as well, but sadly not. With the story being told from Felicity’s POV this time, it lost that unique way of telling the story and made it less fun.
The story was also much slower this time. Especially the first part of the book, which dragged a lot, until the more adventurous part kicked in. It felt unnecessary that this book was over 500 pages, it would have been better without a hundred of them or so. Where The Gentleman’s Guide felt like a wild roller-coaster ride, this story at times felt too serious and straight forward. I get that some of that is due to the fact that the story is told by Felicity, who is a much more serious person than Monty, but it was still disappointing that the magic and the unique tone and humor from the first book was missing in this one.
But, overall, it was still a good book full of story twists and adventures, and strong women, friendship, love and pirates. And dragons! I loved that part of the book, it added some of the magic from the first one again. The best parts of the book were the ones that Monty and Percy were in. My heart melted every time and I had this goofy smile all over my face! So even though this book did not fully meet my expectations set by the previous book in the Montague series, I still really enjoyed parts of it very much.
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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is such as a lovely, unique and completely addictive read. It’s hilarious and romantic at the same time, and so fast paced. I finished the book in basically one sitting. From the very first page, the story just pulled me in and it was impossible to put it down until I’ve read it all.
On the surface this is a YA historical fiction book about a young gentleman in the 18th century doing a tour of Europe before assuming the duty to take over the family’s estate, but from the very first sentence of the book, you realize that there is so much more to it. (That opening paragraph must be one of the best ever, BTW. How can you not be intrigued and immediately drawn into a story that starts like this: “On the morning we are to leave for our Grand Tour, I wake in bed besides Percy. For a disorienting moment, it’s unclear whether we’ve slept together or simply slept together.” Got me hooked at once!) This book is so much fun, so emotional and just… utterly wonderful! What was supposed to be a culture tour of Europe, turns out to be the adventure of a life time, with pirates, and a kind of mystery to solve. But even though the plot is really fun and adventurous, it is the characters that make up this book. There’s so much depth and layers to these characters.
The story is told from Monty’s POV. Henry “Monty” Montague being the spoilt heir, who has never been able to live up his father’s expectations or be the gentleman he’s supposed to be, but gets kicked out of all boarding schools and spends his time in gambling halls, with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men. But even if Monty is a selfish ass and an absolute privileged bastard at times, his sassiness and vulnerability just makes it impossible not to love him (even though you often feel like slapping him). And to hear the story from his engaging, sassy voice just makes it downright hilarious.
And then there’s Percy - the love interest of Monty, and my absolute favorite. He’s just such a sweetheart. He’s gentle, wise and the rock keeping Monty at bay. I think their love story is one of the sweetest m/m romances ever, it’s simply heartwarming and gush-worthy. My heart broke a little every time he had to deal with racial comments and discrimination.
But not to forget Felicity, Monty’s headstrong younger sister, who is Hermione Granger on speed.... She adds so much to this story! I can relate so much to her and how she’s not able to do what she really wants, as opposed to what society dictates she must do, but how she just ignores that and take up medicine studies on her own anyway.
This book is a wild ride, that will make you feel out of breath and run over by a train at times, but also put a smile all over your face. It’s a completely unique experience that I recommend with all my heart! This book is simply amazing!
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Alwyn Hamilton Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.G. Drews Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elizabeth Acevedo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jenna Evans Welch Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray John Green Julianne Donaldson Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Williamson Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Mackenzi Lee Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally M. Tasia Nancy Garden Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve River Braun Roan Parrish Roseanne A. Brown Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Saundra Mitchell Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophie Gonzales Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Teagan Hunter T.J. Klune Tomi Adeyemi Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard Yamile Saied Méndez