The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue



I can’t. I literally cannot even. I’m done. This book killed me and this is my ghost currently typing this review from the great beyond.

I don’t think I have ever laughed out loud so much in reading one novel. And I don’t mean any awkward smiles and silent little huffs of amusement. Not even a weird chuckle. No, I mean literal lol’s. I was getting weird looks from my sister all day. And yes, I read it all in one day, all 513 pages of it, because I simply could not put it down. It was that well written, and that hilarious, and most importantly, that good.

The voice of this book was great. Monty was the perfect narrator. He was engaging, and funny, and so honest and just plain great! Sure, he starts out looking for all the world like a complete asshole. He’s spoiled, self-centered, hedonistic, and completely oblivious to the pain and hardships of others. But, worry not, he does learn to be a better man along the way. We also get to see that maybe, just maybe, there is more to Monty than meets the eye.

Then there are our other two leading characters, Percy and Felicity, both of whom I loved. Percy is a dark skinned boy with African heritage dealing with issues of race. Felicity is a driven, intelligent girl dealing with the restrictions of gender. Both are strong and good and kind and ferociously loyal to Monty. Honestly, without the two of them, Monty would have probably died a quarter way through.

Now, the thing that I loved the most about this book, aside from the fact that it is absolutely hilarious, is the fact that it was filled with so much diversity. Usually, in YA we get one hint of diversity, usually through a minority character as a love interest or something, or a gay best friend. And don’t be mad at me, we all know it’s true.

This book not only gives us the minority love interest and the gay best friend, but it ends up rolling them into one. It also brings in the issues of racism, that is sadly still faced today by many different peoples, as well as talks about the sexism that women face on a daily basis. And you know what? It does this wonderfully, showing the harsh realities without sounding condescending or like it was preaching to us, and did it in a way that still sounds relevant to us in this day and age. And what is better, it also touched on issues such as alcoholism, physical and emotional abuse, PTSD, physical disabilities, as well as sexuality and as the difficulty, and sometimes the danger, of coming out.

So, why not five stars? Well, because somewhere in the middle it did begin to slow down and stall for a bit. The beginning was adorable, the end was fast paced and wonderful, the middle, on the other hand, was pretty meh. Although, I must admit that this may have to do with the fact this book did not go where I was expecting it to go. I thought that this was going to be one thing and it turned out to be another, and I did not see it coming in any way.

In the end, though, I gotta say, this book was everything I had been expecting it to be. I look forward to what else Mackenzi Lee writes in the future.



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