Book Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

“I understand less than half the words in that sentence, but God bless the book people for their boundless knowledge absorbed from having words instead.”

After reading so many good things about this book for months now, my expectations were quite high and I am happy to say it didn’t disappoint. I had a lot of fun and there were quite a few laugh out loud moments which is such a refreshing change from all the intense fantasy books that I usually read.

“Everyone falls in immediate, passionate love with you.” “They can hardly be blamed. I’d fall in love with me, if I met me.”

Monty maybe a self-absorbed, slightly narcissistic rake, but he is so full of charm that I couldn’t help but like him. Being in his head the whole time, we get to know all his insecurities and uncertainties and get to see a vulnerable side to him that he doesn’t really show to others. There were times when I wanted to shake him and make him see some sense, but then I also felt bad for him. Percy is his best friend whom he has secretly been in love with for quite awhile. Percy is the one person in his life who is calm and composed and keeps him grounded. Their relationship is so wonderful with their quiet understanding, meaningful silences and just so much love for each other even if they are unable to express it properly.

“The stars dust gold leafing on his skin. And we are looking at each other, just looking, and I swear there are whole lifetimes lived in those small, shared seconds.”

Felicity is a fiery feminist in the 18th century who has strong opinions, is very smart and wants to pursue medicine, but is not allowed due to the restrictions on women. At the beginning, they don’t really have a warm sibling relationship but as they travel together, it was great to see them get to know each other in a different light, away from the judgmental eye of their father. The scene where Monty tries to explain his sexuality to Felicity and she tries to understand but him but can’t really accept it as natural is very poignant.

“It took several thousand miles for me to begin believing that I am better than the worst things I’ve done.”

The whole journey includes some very unrealistic (borderline fantastical) encounters with highwaymen, pirates, alchemists and sinking islands but this book is about what they learn about themselves and each other through the journey. The love story is absolutely adorable and I really wish there was an epilogue about their later life. The dialogue is part cheesy part sassy but extremely entertaining, however, the author uses this same light tone to touch on difficult topics like homophobia, racism, privilege, sexism, mental health stigma and abuse. But ultimately this is a coming of age story of Monty – him growing up and learning to understand and care for others, realizing what is most important in his life and gaining the confidence to go for it. And find his true happiness!!!!

“We are not broken things, neither of us. We are cracked pottery mended with lacquer and flakes of gold, whole as we are, complete unto each other. Complete and worthy and so very loved.”

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

27 thoughts on “Book Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

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  1. I have been wanting to read this for so long, it’s almost insane! This book has been so hyped and I’m glad you enjoyed it so much. Anti-heroes are my guilty pleasures so I’m pretty sure I would love Monty. Plus, there seem to be harsh topics being dealt with here like sexism and mental stigma so this would be a pleasure to read. Great review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Fanna…
      I definitely waited to read this one but it was awesome… it’s hilarious and over the top and I think that suited Monty’s vibe.. being set in a historical era, it does show us a window how women and people with mental illnesses were treated… it was great to see such topics handled through a humorous story…
      I hope u love Monty too… hez quite endearing 😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well… it may not be to everyone’s taste and not everything that happens is logical, but it was a very fun read.. I hope you enjoy it though if u decide to pick it up.. 😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I STILL haven’t read this. I really need to, because I think I would really like it. I have heard the audiobook is really good – Christian Coulsen (who played Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) is apparently a brilliant narrator!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have heard too that the audiobook is awesome… but I read the ebook version for now.. it was so much fun and adorable… and angsty too… I think it was a perfect book to read before Valentines.. 😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

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