For What It's Worth

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

review: the gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue by mackenzi lee

viceHenry “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. ~

Source: Borrowed (Thank you Brooke!)

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue was a rip roaring, rollicking 18th century road trip adventure, filled with romance, scandal, pirates, intrigue and just a touch of magic. And as Monty might say – it was abso-blood-lutely hilarious. I was hooked from the very first page and despite it being just over 500 pages – read it in one sitting.

Monty is good looking, arrogant and self indulgent. He drinks, gambles, smokes, has affairs with both men and women – damn the consequences - but he also has a soft marshmallow center when it comes to his best friend, and unrequited love, Percy. Despite his many, many flaws – he is 110% lovable.

Monty's rich father bails him out of most of his scrapes but with his mother giving birth to a new male heir, Monty is given an ultimatum. He is allowed to go on one final Grand Tour around Europe, accompanied by Percy, his sister Felicity and a guardian that's supposed to keep him on the straight and narrow, then he needs to give up all his shenanigans, marry a nice girl or be cut off from the family entirely.

Monty is the definition of needing to get his white male privilege checked and Lee does an amazing job of weaving in the issues of mental health, privilege, sexuality, race, sexism, abuse, PTSD, mental health and disability head on – while never slowing the pace or taking away from the lightness of Monty, Percy and Felicity’s adventures.

Monty gets away with things and tries to drag Percy (bi-racial) and Felicity (a girl) into his schemes without realizing that they don't get the same get of jail free card as it does he does as a white male.

This book is smart and entertaining but with a tender heart at it’s quircky core. 

Monty and Percy were ADORABLE but Monty’s bookish sister, Felicity, damn near stole the show and I’m thrilled to hear that she’s getting her own book!

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for high stakes adventure, humor, romance with heart and EXCELLENT character development. You can read a preview here.

* I had a hard time with this review – as I do whenever I LOVE a book. I get too rambly and in my quest to reign myself in, I don’t include enough information. lol So here’s a few more reviews that capture what I loved so much about this book.

Fine Print: 5 Reasons to Read The Gentelman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
Emily May's Reviews

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

tell me something tuesday

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Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.


When you first started blogging, where you hesitant to give a low rating? Has that changed?

This is going to be a slightly long winded answer. lol

When I first started blogging I didn’t thing ANYONE would ever see my reviews so I didn’t even give it a second thought. I hadn’t heard of ARC’s and was just doing this as a fun hobby so I enjoyed most of what I read and most books were rating highly anyway.

Then I started accepting review requests from self pub authors and if I didn’t like the book I would still be honest but maybe gentler and round up my ratings (like a 3.5 instead of 3) because I felt horrible - and tbh that was when a lot of indie authors started going ape shit on bloggers for negative reviews - but be a  little more critical of the *big* publisher books. I was also entering a reading burnout phase at this point and started hating everything!

Then I started writing these really objective (boring) types or reviews where I listed pros and cons and didn’t really discuss my rating or my feelings at all – thinking that “I review – you decide” lol but I lost my *voice* and second guessed myself a lot trying so hard to be objective and without emotion.

The whole thing got murky for me and I don’t feel like you should even bother reviewing books if you aren’t going to be honest about it and I fell into a blogging/reviewing/reading slump because of it.

Now, I don’t use ratings on the blog but I do on Goodreads and I just say what I feel. I’ve been at this for 8 years now and my days of worrying about it are long gone. I was always honest but I guess now I’ve created a bubble around myself and I can’t worry about what other people are thinking. This is the way I read/review/blog and people either like it or they don’t but I can’t let myself stress over it.

But what are your thoughts on this? I know there’s a lot of drama around the book blogoshere about negative reviews – even 3 stars (which I don’t consider negative but that’s another discussion lol).

Monday, July 24, 2017

monday musings…questions for the bookish hive mind - audio book & genre rec's

As I catch up with my reading (I’m talking review books – NOT my overwhelming TBR pile that’s still holding at about 140 books on my shelves *sobs*) I’m trying to branch out in my reading.

I plan on trying audio books. I’m really not sure how that’s going to go. I can read a book a day so I don't know that an 18 hour audio book saves me any time and I get distracted SO easily. I’ve been practicing with podcasts and can go about 20-30 minutes before losing the thread. I know audio books take much, much longer and I’m not going to be one of those audio multi taskers – vacuuming and listening lol But it might be a different and enjoyable experience anyway so I’m looking for tips and rec’s for audio book reading.

  • Narrator recommendations?
  • Are there any novellas you would suggest starting with? I’m thinking something light – possibly humorous to keep my attention.
  • I see everyone talking about speeds etc….what does that mean? Do I need to worry about that when I first get started? Any technical tips?
  • I was planning on getting the books from Amazon but is there anywhere else I should go? Apps I should get?

I'm lucky to have Felicia from The Geeky Blogger - the Audio Publishers Association's 2017 Audio Book Blogger of the Year  as a resource. She's such an passionate advocate for the audio format and never tires of answering my questions - waiting patiently for me to actually give it a go. lol

My second question involves genre rec’s.

I read TONS of romance and YA but I would like to stretch that a bit. I see thrillers are all the rage right now. Not sure they are for me but I’d love to hear your recommendations on where to start.

I’m not a fan of procedural's so the less step by step crime solving from the cops pov the better. I’m ok with gory/violent/killer’s pov but not cool with a lot of sexual violence and definitely no animal abuse.

Cozy mysteries are fine but so is the darker stuff. I figure things out easily so I'm hoping for something that will keep me on the edge of my seat or be fun like a cozy mystery.

I don't know if character development is as prevalent in thrillers/mystery but that would be great. Maybe a series so I can stick with one person over a few books?

The other genre is sci-fi. I’m specifically looking for novellas in this case. I really like things that question morality and ethics. Bonus if there is some type of relationship in there. (Sorry! but I’m a romance junkie at heart lol) I've read and loved Ann Aguirre's Sirantha Jax and SJ spin-off sci-fi/romance series and I just read a fun novella - All Systems Red by Martha Wells (recommended by Greg at Book Haven)

And lastly, graphic novels/manga. I’ve only read two so far – The Walking Dead Volume 1 and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (loved!). I guess nothing too complex at first as I dabble but I'm up for anything as far as genre. I really have no idea what's out there in graphic novels/manga.

Thank you! 😘