The gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue

I randomly picked this book since the premise sounded interesting. I usually don’t read YA romance but I am glad I picked this one. This was a fun ride – adventurous, humorous, romantic – all at once. Monty, Percy and Felicity – I loved all the three main characters in this book. This is a must read if you love adventure and history. This is about Monty who is sent on a Grand Tour of Europe, along with his sister Felicity and his dark-skinned best friend Percy. Everything that could go wrong on that trip goes wrong.

Monty is a carefree teenager who is completely irresponsible and takes everything for granted, until they encounter highwaymen, pirates, an alchemist and a crazy Duke. Grand Tour was taken by rich English men in 1700s it seems where they would visit multiple countries in Europe and socialize with other rich men. I had no idea about this tour until I read this novel so it was interesting to learn about 1700s Europe through this book. There is a map in this book too. But I wouldn’t call it a travel book since there is not much focus on the places they visit. The focus is mostly on their misadventures.

There is a lot of conversation about racism, homosexuals and feminism in this novel which I thoroughly enjoyed. The main character is bisexual and this was my first book with a bisexual character in it. Also this was my first book with a proper gay romance in it and it was cute. I did read about a gay couple in Mortal Instruments but their romance was not the main focus of the book. Even though I am not a huge fan of romantic novels, the romance in this novel was abso-bloody-lutely (a word used in this book often, along with ‘darling’) sweet. 🙂

I loved the section at the back where the author talks about the books and materials that she referred to in order to make this book as historically accurate as possible. As a historical fiction, this book was great. The writing was good and witty, much better than the writing in some of the other YA novels. I highly recommend it. I gave it 5/5 stars.

My favorite quotes from this book –

It’s a strange thing, to want to die. Stranger still when you don’t feel you deserve to get away so easily.

“You might be the only person left on earth who thinks me decent.”
“Then everyone else doesn’t know you.”

“You’ve had a rough go.”
“Everyone has a rough go. I’ve had it far easier than most people.”
“Maybe. But that doesn’t mean your feelings matter less.”

“There is nothing good about watching another man claim your ship because your skin is too dark to do it yourself.”

“It’s good of you to stand up for me when I can’t do it for myself. But it’s difficult that you have to.”

“What’s the use of temptations if we don’t yield to them?”
“That’ll be chiseled upon your tombstone.”


{Spoiler: I also loved the discussions about Epilepsy – both in the book and in the author’s notes. }

5 thoughts on “The gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue

Add yours

  1. This sounds like a fun read! Yeah, the Grand Tour was very common during that time. A lot of Victorian romances and such feature these kinds of trips (a genre I read heavily during my teens).


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