Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

 

Historical fiction has always been one of my least favorite topics to read. Most of the time I zone out with the details and descriptions of past events. Things have changed lately with more authors finding ways to tell a historical fiction story while making it fun or engaging. That is exactly what this story did. It was brilliant and I want everyone to read it.

Short recap: Henry Montague, aka Monty, is on his tour through Europe. He is a very outgoing, headstrong, and confident man who knows what he wants and likes in life. Monty is not alone on his tour, his sister (Felicity), and best friend (Percy) are along for the ride. Buckle up for a crazy adventure full of pirates, highwaymen, gambling, and hookups.

The number one thing that stood out to me in this entire story is that Monty is bisexual. He knows it and is proud of it. Why did this stand out to me? Because we have so few YA stories that are diverse enough to have a MC bisexual, for starters, and this kind of character is in 18th century England. What Mackenzie was able to do was create a story… a bloody brilliant, witty, and clever story that is so diverse it blew me away. It was not all about the white man’s fight for power and glory. OH NO! Monty was in love with his best friend, Percy, who happens to be biracial. I was constantly reminded of the struggles of non-white men during this time period because Percy was living them. It was so well written that I really did hurt for Percy. He was a nobleman but nobody believed him because of his skin color. Then we have Felicity, Monty’s sister. She was very well educated and head strong, but she was looked down on because she was a female. These social injustices and more were present in this story. It felt like a wonderfully written tale that showed the world was your oyster and you could do no wrong if you were white, male, and straight.

I found myself howling with laughter throughout most of this story! Monty’s wit and snark were on point and I quickly found that I wanted to be friends with him in real life. He could poke fun at himself while pointing out the ridiculousness of the events going on around him and his traveling companions. I also wanted to have as much self-confidence as Monty did. Maybe I’ll strive every day to be more like him.

The plot… oh the plot! It was … what’s the word I want to use… exhilarating! It was believable, enjoyable, and I didn’t want it to end! I was never twiddling my thumbs wondering when this would be over, it was the opposite. I listened to this audio in one day and I was heart broken when it was over. How can someone be bored when there are pirates and highwaymen involved?! And shall we finally talk about the romance and tension between Monty and Percy?

“Fetch me a couch, for I nearly swoon.”

I may not ship a lot of couples but this one will make me start. The attraction between these two is off the charts.

I really want everyone to read this story if they have not already. You won’t be disappointed! And keep in mind that Felicity’s story is next, THE LADY’S GUIDE TO PETTICOATS AND PIRACY! How can you not be excited for her story? Maybe there will be more pirates and highwaymen. One can certainly hope.

 

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Books Left Unread #87

Wallpaper-Books

Books Left Unread

Welcome to my blog post where I talk about the books I have been meaning to read, but just have not yet. You know what I am talking about – the books that have remained unread for various reasons yet when you see them you think, “You know, I really need to read that.” Instead you get distracted by another book, series, or something in your TBR pile. It happens to the best of us. I want to spotlight those books in the hope that I can persuade myself to move them up on my TBR list.

This week’s post is dedicated to:

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

Written in the Stars

 

You know, I don’t have a solid reason for not reading this one yet. I am mostly a mood reader so perhaps I haven’t been in the right mood. Have you read this? What did you think?

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Review: Zac & Mia

Zac and Mia

 

Why do I feel awful for not liking this story as much as everyone else? I felt this was a slow and disappointing story. It was just missing that thing that would have made this story really great.

Short recap: Zac is having a relapse with his leukemia so he’s is in the hospital again, this time for a marrow transplant. While in his room he eyes the newbie in the room next to him, Mia. Mia has a huge chip on her shoulder and awful taste in music, but she is the first patient on his floor that is close to his age so he cannot help but pay attention. A simple, small act ends up being exactly what these two needed to bring them together.

First of all, this book came out hot on the heels of The Fault in our Stars so immediately I was hesitant to even start. Kind of hard to compare to the passion and power that is Gus & Hazel. This book did not come anywhere close to TFIOS so rest assured there really is no comparison. What this story is full of is disappointment. The first 100 pages or so are chalked full of dreary and depressing stories of cancer treatments, doctor visits, and medical procedures. Actually, it was pretty boring. It felt like reading a textbook instead of a novel. I didn’t DNF because I told myself it had to get better after the first 100 pages.  Boy how I was wrong! It went nowhere fast.

The characters themselves were completely underdeveloped and one-sided. I don’t know about you, but I like my characters to develop and grow as the story continues. That didn’t happen here. Not even close. Zac has a rather judgemental tone to his thoughts and narrative, like he is one to judge others. Alright slick, you go right ahead and throw those stones at people in glass houses. Wait until that turns around on you, then come back and let me know how it feels. Wanker. And Mia? That girl was a bitch. There’s no other way to say it. She was a selfish brat who only thought of her whoa-is-me self. She was downright rude to her mother who did nothing to deserve that. Jerk. Her inner monologue came across as immature and I didn’t want to read anything else about her. She was clearly meant to be the Manic Pixie Dream Girl of this story but it just did not work. She was just a toxic, hateful, horrible person that never should have existed in this story.

In the end, I do wish I had DNFd this one. It was painfully predictable and (again) very boring. I felt nothing for any of the characters. I didn’t care that Zac and his mother played card games for weeks on end. BORING. It was almost instalove and we all know how much I don’t believe in or like instalove. *gag me with a spoon* I cannot recommend this to anyone in good faith. It was a bad read and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. If you want a good story about cancer teens, stick with TFIOS. Green knew what he was doing with that story.

 

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Review: Be True To Me

Be True to Me

 

You want the truth about this book? BORING. Snoozefest. This book was dull as dull can get.

Short recap: Two girls fight over the same guy during the summer of 1976.

Pretty direct and two the point, no? That’s about all you need to know when it comes to this book. Do not go into this expecting a swoony summer romance because you will be very disappointed. Think along the lines of We Were Liars or Pretty Little Liars, but those still would have been better than this story and I strongly disliked We Were Liars. I really struggled with this story. I should have cut my losses and DNF but I was stubborn for some reason. Oh how I paid for my decision. There are just so few compliments I can give this one. There really was not much I liked about it.

The characters. UGH. The characters were all flat, shallow, and completely forgettable. Their voices did not sound unique enough for me to really be able to tell who was who. The story is told from alternating POVs: Jean and Fritz. (Who names their kid Fritz in the 70s?) These two girls are fighting for the attention of the new boy on the island, Gil. (Seriously, who is naming these kids.) I did not care for either girl. They were both the “misunderstood” child that fell into the shadow of their more good looking, more popular, more successful sibling. So basically this is a story of a teen with an ugly duckling syndrome. They are trying to prove they really are loveable by snagging the heart of the dreamy summer boy. YAWN This has been done a million times before and yet it has been done better. These characters did nothing for me. I wasn’t rooting for one over the other because they were both shallow, nasty people. I would have prefered if Gil had a voice instead but sadly that did not happen.

The plot. There was a severe lack when it came to the plot. It was a hot mess. I think it was supposed to be somewhat humorous and jovial but I’m here to tell you that is not the case. It was never funny, I never chuckled or cracked a smile. I’m not really that tough on books but when a story feels like forced humor, it immediately turns me off. I really wanted this tragedy to end and end quickly. It read like an uncomfortable first date or awkward meeting of two estranged friends. The two girls this story rotates around never even talk to each other. That’s right! They ignore each other the entire book so riddle me this: What is the point?? Don’t get me started on the disappointing and unsatisfying ending. What a joke. (SPOILER: All characters walk away sad and unhappy.)

I’m actually going to mention the setting here. Why? Because it stood out to me. This story is set in the summer of 1976 (uh… ok?) on a small-town island for wealthy people. That already lets you know these kids will be spoiled and vapid beyond belief. I did board the Struggle Bus when it came to remembering that the story was set in the 70s. Almost nothing let the reader know the decade. It could have been set in any decade and it might have worked just as well. Nothing reflected the time period except a small lack of electronic devices. Big whoop. There was so much potential but like everything else in this story, it fell flat.

One thing that really stood out to me: The earrings. I have a thought that the earrings in question represented the boys in the story. GASP! These girls fight over “earrings” because they can, only they were actually talking about fighting over “boys”. I may be making something out of nothing but it is a thought. It isn’t a good thought because it gave the impression that boys were just objects to be captured by rich and spoiled girls that are bored with their lives. That I am not on board with and do not support.

I’m off my soapbox now. I did not like this story and would not recommend it to anyone. Do yourself a favor and skip this. Don’t put yourself through the torture of reading a badly written story.

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Hearts We Sold

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

The Hearts We Sold By Emily Lloyd-Jones

The Hearts We Sold

From Goodreads:

“When Dee Moreno makes a deal with a demon—her heart in exchange for an escape from a disastrous home life—she finds the trade may have been more than she bargained for. And becoming “heartless” is only the beginning. What lies ahead is a nightmare far bigger, far more monstrous than anything she could have ever imagined.

With reality turned on its head, Dee has only a group of other deal-making teens to keep her grounded, including the charming but secretive James Lancer. And as something grows between them amid an otherworldy ordeal, Dee begins to wonder: Can she give someone her heart when it’s no longer hers to give?”

 

Is this on your TBR? I’m rather excited to read such an unique story!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Love But Never Wrote A Review For

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week I’m listing…

Books I Love But Never Wrote A Review For

 

 

Night At The Electric

Midnight at the Electric

 

 

The entire Firebird series

A Million Worlds with You (Firebird, #3)

 

 

Out of the Easy

Out of the Easy

 

 

The Daughter of Smoke & Bone series

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3)

 

 

Dark Matter

Dark Matter

 

 

Leave Me

Leave Me

 

 

The Chosen One

The Chosen One

 

 

The Cormoran Strike series

Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3)

 

 

The Jasper Dent series

Blood of My Blood (Jasper Dent, #3)

 

 

Like a River Glorious

Like a River Glorious (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #2)

 

This post proves that I need to get better at writing reviews. WHOOPS. Have you read any books that you loved but never wrote a review for? Let me know!

 

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Review: It’s Not Me, It’s You

 

It's Not Me, It's You

 

Sorry, book, in this case your title is true…. it isn’t me, it is YOU. You failed me. You bored me to tears and made me question why I was reading this story. I’m still trying to figure out the point of this story. It felt choppy, badly plotted, and void of actual characters.

Short recap: Avery is the Queen Bee at school and her dating history is open for all to discuss after she was dumped publicly.

That’s all I could get out of it. The format itself is supposed to be “oral history” but I don’t think Strohm achieved that. The way Strohm had the main character jumping in all of the time to defend herself against something negative said towards her really threw the momentum off. I don’t know a lot about oral histories but I’m pretty sure the MC is not supposed to interrupt to “make a correction”. Also, it read as if every single person was sitting in one large room giving their version of events. If that’s the case, wouldn’t that affect what the others say?

I never connected with any character in this story (there were far too many, tbh) so I couldn’t tell you any names. I can tell you that the high school girls came across as vapid zombies who were only concerned about who is dating whom and who is going to prom with whom. sigh. The characters were incredibly shallow, self absorbed, and clueless. They talked like valley girls and I cannot stand that. That’s a personal pet peeve I have.

I don’t know what I am missing from this one. What was the point? Seriously, what was the point. A girl who is supposed to be super popular gets dumped in a very public way and she decides to get an oral interview on her dating history? Excuse me but who cares?! What difference does it make?! I’m getting more aggravated the more I think about this book. I clearly was not the target reading audience for this one. I did not like this one bit.

 

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