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 Abby Kaitz Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed Aislinn Brophy AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alex Beltran Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Alice Winn Ali Hazelwood Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton Amanda Ferreira Amanda Woody A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster Amy Spalding André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Ashlyn Kane Audrey Coulthurst Ban Gilmartin Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cait Nary Cale Dietrich Cara Dee Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare Cat Sebastian C.F. White C.G. Drews Charlie Adhara Charli Meadows Chasten Buttigieg Chris Bedell Christina Lauren Christina Lee Ciara Smyth Claerie Kavanaugh Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colette Davison Colleen Hoover Courtney Kae Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Dallas Smith Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Debbie Schrack Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton D.N. Bryn Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elisa A. Bonnin Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E.L. Massey E. Lockhart Emery Lee Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens F.T. Lukens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hannah Grace Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett H.E. Edgmon Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving H.S. Valley Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacob Gelman Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson James L. Sutter Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jen Bailey Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray Jesse H. Reign Joelle Lynne John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Julian Winters Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé Kathy Anderson K.A. Tucker KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Lauren Shippen Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Lex Croucher Leylah Attar Lisa Henry Lisa Williamson Lisa Wingate Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Lynn Michaels Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Magdalena Di Sotru Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr M.A. Wardell Melanie Munton Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot Morgan James M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nathaniel Shea Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Nyla K. Owen Lach Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rachel Reid Racquel Marie Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Renée Dahlia Rhiannon Wilde Riley Hart River Braun Roan Parrish Robin Gow Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sally Rooney Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Sasha Laurens Saundra Mitchell Saxon James Serena Bell Shannon O’Connor Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophia Soames Sophie Gonzales S.R. Lane Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tal Bauer Tamara Girardi Taylor Jenkins Reid Teagan Hunter Terry J. Benton-Walker Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tobly McSmith Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Tracy Deonn Tucker Shaw Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard V.L. Stuart Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez