Hi everyone! Today I have a new Diversity Recs post for you all. I know I said I was going to spotlight Mask of Shadows, but I haven't had chance to read it yet, while this book is one I picked up during my trip to London last weekend and have started reading. I absolutely love it so far. It is of course The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee!
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.
I've had this book on my TBR for so long and I was ecstatic to find it in Foyles. I absolutely adore Regency Era novels, and this one is no exception, but more importantly I was excited to read it for the representation of Bisexuality.
Henry 'Monty' Montague is our main character in GGTVAV, and he is proudly, unashamedly Bisexual. Even against his aristocratic father's wishes he spends most of his days waking beside both men and women, and is both proud and happy with his lifestyle. It's only when his father gives him the ultimatum of 'growing up and taking over the estate' or being disowned that things start to get complicated for Monty, but that doesn't change his attitude to his feelings, nor the very strong feelings for his best friend, Percy. Monty's attitude towards his sexuality is so refreshing. In many YA novels that feature Bi characters they are either not the main character or they spend a lot of the book figuring out their feelings. To find a character who knows immediately from the start who they are, and are proud of that fact, is like a breath of fresh air. I love it. Lee's characterisation and writing of Monty is just *heart eyes*.
As someone who identifies as Bi-Romantic I am always ecstatic to find Bi characters in YA. After all doesn't everyone like to see themselves in what they read? This book itself is just wonderful, specifically - as I've said above - for its approach to to Bisexuality and Monty's proud self-identification. Many more books like this please publishing industry and I will be very very happy.
Have you read GGTVAV? What did you think? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!
Thanks for reading!