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'Vice and Virtue,' YA Fiction (and a Pizza Party!) at Boswell Book Co.

Jun. 27, 2017
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In a pair of exceedingly entertaining YA (young adult) novels, readers are transported across Europe as the protagonists and their compatriots pursue high seas adventures, forbidden romance and long-buried secrets. Mackenzi Lee’s The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a boisterous 18th-century escapade that follows three young friends on a grand tour through Europe. 

Eighteen-year-old Monty is a snarky, witty and sharp-tongued English lord who’s known for hard drinking and romantic dalliances with both men and women. After being kicked out of his latest English boarding school, he sets off on a year-long escapade from Paris to Rome alongside his best friend (and secret crush) Percy and little sister, Felicity. Along the way, the eclectic and strikingly modern trio unintentionally unlocks ancient alchemical secrets, faces off against an inexperienced pirate crew and dabbles in illicit affairs. This historically accurate tale features creative characters who bravely confront cultural taboos while also finding time for raucous European hijinks.

In The Last of August, Brittany Cavallaro brings us the second installment of the high-octane trilogy she began in her 2016 novel, A Study in Charlotte. In her new book, readers reconnect with the crime-solving duo of Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes—the teen descendants of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. This time, the pair has unwittingly found themselves in a dangerous race across Europe to lay bare lost family secrets. From art houses in Prague to the underground scene in Berlin, the young partners face muddled mysteries as they also try to deal with their own relentless relationship drama. Cavallaro, currently a doctoral student of English literature at UW-Milwaukee, is also the author of the poetry collection Girl-King.

Mackenzi Lee and Brittany Cavallaro appear at Boswell Book Co., 2559 N. Downer Ave., at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 29, as part of a YA Pizza Party.

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