*This review will contain spoilers*
The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue (authored by Mackenzie Lee) was a simply phenomenal book. I found it easy to relate to the character’s, even though I haven’t gone exactly what they went through and didn’t feel exactly feel what they feel, I could still relate to their issues and see where they were coming from with my own knowledge and how I think about things. Recently, I have noticed that I haven’t been able to really relate to characters, just because of where I am in my life, but I think Mackenzie Lee does a magnificent job of portraying emotional turmoil and making it easy to see where characters are coming from. Maybe I was able to relate to them simply because I was able to relate to the issues more closely in this book than others, but either way Mackenzie deserves some props because this story is amazing.
I would like to start off by saying that Monty started off as a pompous jerk. He really was awful and aimless and in so much pain. To me, I think it would have been so interesting to start off by seeing Monty from the eyes of someone else and see him being such pompous jerk and not knowing what lies beneath. Alas, that is not what happened, but what did was just as, if not more, amazing. To see Monty being so pompous and so jerky, but also being able to see why and understanding and knowing was so different for me and I really, really enjoyed it. Being able to understand that his father is horrible, that he is hopeless in love with someone who he thinks will never, ever return the feelings, and feeling stuck, but not knowing where to go and what to do, it was so weird to sympathize with a character I would usually hate.
Going into this book, I knew that some major character development would go down. I would say it is almost a given seeing how Monty was in the beginning. But this wasn’t groundbreaking and it didn’t have any fireworks, but I loved it. I loved how Monty didn’t go through some big change and made himself a completely different person. It’s more like he changed his mindset and gained some knowledge. And I think that is so great and amazing and how I think that is what happens for a lot of people. Sure, in the future he will continue to grow in this new direction and looking back he will seem like a completely different person, but it takes time. I loved how we got to see the first part, the hard part, of figuring out that how you are thinking of things isn’t working. Ugh, I just loved how this was so different from other major character developments from other books!
Although that was amazing, I would have liked for him to come to the conclusion that he is worth it and amazing and good on his own, instead of finding out that his father actually sucks and then thinking that his word doesn’t have any truth to it because he lied about so many other things. I think Monty was going in the direction of being able to make the decision for himself, but you can’t have everything.
The box. In my eyes, I feel like that element of the story was built from nothing. And that’s pretty cool. First, it was just some trinket for Monty to steal to spite a Lord for bad-mouthing him, then it was something that could get them killed, and it finally landed at something that held the power of like and death. Even when it was the useless at the end of the book, it was still the key (haha, I’m so funny) to getting Felicity, Percy, and Monty to where they were.
Felicity was a complete an total badass. I thought that she was just going to be an annoying little sister of a side character, but boy oh boy how wrong was I! I look forward to her and Monty’s relationship flourishing, because I think they could be good for each other. One thing I didn’t quite understand, but kind of do, but kind of not was how Felicity, with her forward minded thinking, didn’t quite accept Monty’s sexuality. She is all about women doing things men do and basically breaking all the standards there, why not the same with Monty? Sure, this book takes place long ago and some religious beliefs to pair with the times, but I don’t think I remember Felicity being overly religious. I guess I just don’t understand, with her forward thinking mind and how she puts things together, why she couldn’t do that for this subject.
Anyway, I’m still majorly looking forward to the spinoff with Felicity coming out next year! I can’t wait to see her pirate adventures and see her learn more about being a physician!
Also, Percy. I would like to learn more about him too. Even though he was a main character, I feel like I don’t quite know him as well as I do the other characters and I would like to spend more time with him. Nevertheless, he’s still awesome. Another thing that I loved about this book was how Percy’s illness was portrayed. Yes, with the time period most people thought people with epilepsy needed to be shipped away, but I liked how Percy thought about it. It’s just something he deals with. Yes, it sucks. But I like how he sort of just went “Alright. I’ll deal with this and it will be fine.” He didn’t want the heart, he didn’t want to kill anyone, he was fine just living how he was because he knew it wasn’t insane and he knew he could handle it. I think the best part about it was at the back of the book was all sorts of information about the time period the book was set in, LGBT+ information, and information on epilepsy and a website to visit if you wanted to learn how to help or if you just want more information. I just thought it was really awesome. It’s like this book COULD have actually happened and something for you to use to feel even more connected to this story.
All in all, this book was fantastic and I definitely would recommend it. Say hi to Percy Felicity, and Monty for me.