My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I've been thinking of how I want to review this book for some time now. It's literally changed how I intend to write queer YA. From page one, I was gushing to friends and authors about how we're introduced to the main character's unapologetic bisexuality. Some YAs toe the line with talking about sex while Monty knows damn good what he wants from life, and that includes a stiff, er, drink.
Monty's voice is so strong and detailed, something I fear is missing from more recent releases. Lee does a superb job of transporting the reader to each new location. I never doubted her knowledge or questioned the authenticity of any character's voice. Everything felt real, vivid, and vibrant. This is an author that knows their stuff. Period.
Lee thrusts the reader into some scandalous and often times emotionally jarring situations, like how abusive Monty's father is or the tense racial issues that arise with Percy. And Monty's sister, Felicity! Bless her. I thought she'd be a bratty know-it-all, but she turns into a strong young lady with a wise head on her shoulders. This trio was a delight to follow and will take you on an adventure that you'll never see coming! I thought it was going to be a simple tale of two friends taking a Grand Tour, but it turns into a story of thievery, the King's men, magic, and more. Honestly, each new twist only adds to your enjoyment and there's a reason why the blurbs have read as they have. You want to be surprised.
This book was refreshing. It shows that queer history can be done and in a way that doesn't bring the reader down. Queer people are permitted to be the heroes, love interests, and go on Grand Tours! I'm truly looking forward to more of Lee's work.
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