I received this book for free from the Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on June 27th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Historical, Romance, Diversity, LGBT
Source: the Publisher via Edelweiss
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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.
This book was getting a lot of hype and luckily for me, totally lived up to it! This book was a fun adventure with amazing characters, a swoony romance, and non-stop action. I really loved the main trio, Monty, Percy, and Felicity and am beyond thrilled that Felicity is getting her own book!!! These three really were the best part of the book for me. They had great relationships that developed and changed over the course of their journey, a lot of fun banter between them, and you could really feel how much they all loved each other. The book takes a lot of twists and turns and there are things happening almost right up until the very end, which makes it impossible to put down. But it also ends a little abruptly for me. I wish there had been time for a little bit more resolution with some of the issues these characters are dealing with over the course of the book, especially those between Monty and Percy. We do get a resolution for them and we know what happens with Felicity and I liked knowing what would be happening with the characters, I just didn’t love the way it was all wrapped up so quickly. Even so, the book is highly enjoyable with lovable yet flawed characters and a ship I won’t be forgetting any time soon! Pick this one up as soon as you get the chance!!
Once and for All by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers on June 6th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.
Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants.
Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.
I both really enjoyed this one and also had a lot of problems with it, which is making both rating and reviewing it tricky. I’m going to hide some parts of this review because I do think it’s a little bit spoilery. And I’m going to break it down into things I liked and things I didn’t like, just to make it a little easier for me. So if you’d like to read what I liked and didn’t like about this one, just click to read more but be aware there are some spoilers!
View Spoiler »So here’s what I liked: I liked the MC, I liked the dynamics between Louna (the MC), her mom, and William. I liked Louna’s best friend, Jilly and her family and the sort of messy happiness they brought to Louna. Except I was hoping Jilly could get out a little bit more on her own rather than being responsible for her younger siblings exactly 1000% of her time. I loved the flashback scenes and watching Louna fall in love. And I really enjoyed seeing the behind-the-scenes activities of the weddings.
What I didn’t like: Unfortunately, I didn’t actually love Ambrose. I’m not really sure why but I just didn’t click with him. His personality just wasn’t a favorite of mine and it always felt like he was using excuses instead of taking responsibility for anything that went wrong. I get his idea that giving someone else the attention they need doesn’t cost you anything, but it often felt like it went too far. Flirting with a girl while delaying your own mother’s wedding isn’t actually a good thing. He was just mostly selfish and childish and kind of a jerk. Though, to be fair with the constant flirting, he was only in a committed relationship for a short period of time, but still, it just sort of grated on me. I did really like Ethan, though, and his and Louna’s chemistry. Which made it a little hard to keep having to watch Louna and Ambrose, who had just about zero chemistry. I also didn’t like that everyone was either in a romantic relationship or they were a huge cynic who didn’t believe in love. That’s not how it works in real life and to portray it that way is just completely unfair. There are lots of reasons people choose not to be in a relationship or to be actively looking for romance, not just because they’ve been burned before and hate love now. And I really kind of hated that everyone ended up in some sort of romantic relationship. Not everyone needs a romantic partner to be complete, nor do they have to find someone like that in order for their lives to mean more than spending it alone or with friends whom they love. I love romances and I love it when people end up together and all the swoony stuff, but I just didn’t like how so much of the focus for the secondary characters in this one was focused on them coupling up. Seriously. Everyone ended up in a couple. Louna’s mom, William, Jilly. I’ve never really paid much attention to things like this before but it was just so obvious and in your face in this one, that I think I won’t be the only one who notices this. But maybe I will and it’s just me who has a problem with this. I kind of hope so because I usually love Dessen books but these last two I’ve read have been disappointments. But I’ll continue to read her books because I do enjoy them and they’re really good summer romances with emotional subplots that always seem to hook me. « Hide Spoiler