June 4, 2017

Cuteness Aplenty | The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue Review| SST TOUR



The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on June 27th 2017
Pages: 528

An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.
Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.
But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is 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.
Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he 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 that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.
Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

Ah, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. I have been excited about this book for a long time and I was so happy that I was privileged enough to be able to read an early copy and review for you today for one of the first stops for the Sunday Street Team. I recently saw a specific way of reviewing that I absolutely love on Hardback Horders on Youtube. She gives words that came to her when she read the book and I think that is just the perfect way to start reviewing in a way that I hope is enjoyable for you to read. So, without further ado here are the words I thought of when reading Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue:


Cute: One of the first words that came to mind when I was reading this book was how cute it was. I felt my heart melting like a warm piece of chocolate at every word. I loved the relationships between Monty, Percy, and Monty’s younger sister Felicity. The banter between Felicity and Monty at times made me laugh out loud many times.

Frustrating: One of the things that I found frustrating about this book is that Monty was a difficult character to like. I completely understand that I am not supposed to like every character but I guess I find this most frustrating because his perspective was the only one we were privy too. He was funny and endearing at first but then as the story went on I could not help but want to take him by the shoulders and shake the little cinnamon roll.  I wanted him to grow up and learn at the end of the story but it felt like that might not have been the case. It was all….very frustrating!

A Hidden Depth: When I first was attracted to this book I knew that it was going to be a fun romp around Europe. What I was not expecting how Lee intertwines such depth to the story that it sneaks up on you and you can’t help but love it. She covers so many diverse topics in the 18th century; bisexual representation, a character dealing with the difficulties of being biracial, disabilities, abuse, PTSD, and sexism. Oh, wow.

I recommend this book for those who want a fun and fast read that has such a hidden depth that you can’t help but love. There are frustrating parts and I wish that the ending was more solid but I think that everyone should give this one a chance!


About the Author:

Mackenzi Lee is a bookseller, history nerd, and the author of THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE, THIS MONSTROUS THING (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins), and the forthcoming SEMPER AUGUSTUS (Flatiron Books, 2018). She holds 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. She currently calls Boston home.

6/4 Tour Blogs Stops

Character Profiles – Blame It On The Books

Review –  Bookishly Thinking

Review –  Charmingly Simple

Interview – The Hermit Librarian

6/11 Tour Blogs Stops

Review – Tween to Teen Book Reviews

Interview – Sarcasm and Lemons

Unique Post (Ships to Travel With) – Roecker Reviews

Interview –  Books Buying Beauty

Review – The Ultimate Fangirl

6/18 Tour Blogs Stops

Review – Books and Ladders

Interview –  Book Stack Amber

Review –  YA and Wine

Review – A Thousand Words A Million Books

Unique Post (Characters in Social Media) – Live Love Read YA

6/25 Tour Blog Stops

Interview – Hopeful Reads

Review – Olivia’s Catastrophe

Review – Bayy in Wonderland

Review – Curly Hair Bibliophile

Unique Post (Mood Board) – A Book and A Cup of Coffee

December 18, 2015

Beautiful Inside and Out|Front Lines ARC Review

What do you think of my soldier girls, Gentle Reader? Aimless, naive Rio and sexy Jenou; smart, determined Rainy and gentle, conflicted Frangie?

(ARC, 298)

Wow is all I have to say about Michael Grant’s Front Lines. As I try and write this review words are failing me and through the tears I am so happy that I was given the opportunity to read this book. In simple words it is a heart wrenching alternate history where woman can fight in WWII and three diverse heroines have to navigate a world that defines them by their sex and race. These three women join the Army for different reason, but each find something, a piece of themselves that they have been missing in their lives on the battlefield.

I love historical fiction and as I stated previously in my review of Wolf by Wolf, I love alternate history. But Front Lines had an extra special place in my heart because it deals with a topic I myself have dealt with. If this is the first time you’re visiting my humble blog, you might not know but I was in the active duty Army for 4 years. Along with me my husband was in the military for 10. So, not only have I worn combat boots but I have been on the other side as my husband deployed 3 times for a total of 36 months in theater. Maybe I’ll speak more about this because I feel like a discussion is at hand about some things that have been spurred on by not only Front Lines but things that are happening in our own lives as we speak that are starting to mirror this book.

As for the plot, the beginning could be considered slow by most people’s expectations. The book is split into three sections and the first revolves around the three girls lives and coming to the decision or not to enlist. The second is their first introduction to the military and growing into soldiers. The third is their first introduction to war

The above quote fits perfectly with explaining the characters of Front Lines. All I will say other than that is the fact that Grant does a beautiful job at making these girls not only distinct in their voices but their stories as well. It doesn’t feel repetitive and each of the girl’s stories help build on a great and larger one. What place do women have in the military; but more importantly in war?

If you asked me if I recommend this book it is a definite and complete yes. This book is more than a military book but a story that everyone, male and female, should read.


December 6, 2015

My Love of Historical Fiction is Revived!|Da Vinci’s Tiger Review

I’m going to start this review off with explaining that I love history. I have my favorite periods, but for the most part I love ALL history. One of the main reasons that I picked this book up was because ever since I started watching The Da Vinci’s Demon’s I have wanted to read more about it. Previously, this period was one that I’ve heard about, read about, but never been interested in much.

So to preface this review, while I was reading this book I was picturing this!


With that background knowledge let’s get on with the review:

The first thing that I noticed about Da Vinci’s Tiger was how absolutely brilliant and well written it was. I’ve read some historical fiction where the only thing that was similar was the names of the characters and nothing really gave you a sense of the time. This book had this in spades! Now, because I’ve been introduced and read about the story (and enjoyed) it the historical content did not bog down the book. But to those who might not be aware or not like too much historical content it might be a tad too much and overwhelm. But you can definitely tell that Elliot knows what she is writing about and I love it!

Ginevra de’ Benci, Leonardo Da Vinci, Bernardo Bembo, and Lorenzo de Medici are all characters that came to life on the pages. They live the lives of Florentine elite, where clothes must be perfect, parties must be grand and full of excess, and the societal philosophical movement that surrounds them. Ginevra isn’t a character that before this book that I was familiar with.  I am ashamed to say I didn’t know that she was Di Vinci’s first painting so it was interesting to become more aware of her through the eyes of Elliot.

If there is a fault in this book I would have to say that it would be in the fact that it broke my heart that there wasn’t a romance to root for in this book. In the beginning of the book, Ginevra, like many high born females of this time period, was promised to a man twice her age and of lesser stature and rank by her uncle. She catches the eye of Bernardo who is very much interested in her to become his Platonic muse; a concept that basically meant that a woman became a man’s muse (or friend) and is not a sexual arrangement. As I read it, basically the woman was there to tempt the man but if he resists the temptation, it would bring him closer to God. Honestly, I felt like this whole idea was good in principal but in execution just ended up being just a shit show of hypocrisy that was not in short supply during this time period.

If you love history and you want to read a tale of a woman breaking free of the societal restrictions and expectations, Da Vinci’s Tiger is a book for you!

I’ll end you with a quote that I think I’m going to remember for a long time. It makes me feel so lucky for living in a time and in a country where my sex does not limit me. It makes me want to do so much for those women who still feel the weight of oppression.

“Sing for us. Sing for yourself. Sing of what treasures like inside women’s hearts and minds if men but look beyond their preconceived notions. We think, we feel, we bleed when hurt. We have courage when tested. Someday men may laud rather than fear that. That is my hope.