This is an ARC of the book! Any quotes that I use are subject to change by publication!
TW: sexism, aphobia, racism, character injury
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – 3/5.
So, this book wasn’t gotten through “normal” channels. A wonderful, wonderful blogger on here named Em friended me on Goodreads and when I said how much I’ve been looking forward to this book, she helped me get one. So, fucking thank you, Em! My heart is full and her review is here!
I do not need reasons to exist. I do not need to justify the space I take up in this world.
This was the book I was hyping most for this year. And, God, it did not fail me. Definitely my favorite read of this year. I mean, damn. Mackenzi Lee, you outdid yourself with this book.
It takes place after the events of Gentleman’s Guide, starting in Edinburgh. After returning to England, Felicity goes there to see if she can convince medical schools to allow her to start their program. Being the sexists asses they were in the past, she wasn’t. Returning to London, she tries again and, well, begins her adventure, ranging from England to Switzerland to islands, began. And it was a wild ride that I ate up every second.
I don’t want to give too many spoilers for the book, so I’m sorry for being vague about it!
This time, there’s an amazing gang of girls who love and hate each other.
In the company of women like this — sharp-edged as raw diamonds but with soft hands and hearts, not strong in spite of anything but powerful because of everything — I feel invincible.
Johanna Hoffman, a friend from Felicity’s past that ended on a bad note. Sim, a black Muslim woman who decides to help Felicity on her journey.
It was just wonderful.
I loved reading the complex female relationships! One of my favorite things was Johanna telling Felicity off for hating women who are “stereotypical” for the period. As in, they want frills and to look pretty and on and on. She doesn’t understand that girls can like many different things, including things that seem complete opposites like pretty dresses and bugs.
Sim was also a great character because, again, we had that hint of 18th-century racism and sexism. Talk about intersectionality right there. She was rough and fun and just great to read because I found her so complex.
Not only that, but this book confronted the realities of aphobia, something that made my little ace heart fill with love.
And then there’s me, an island all my own.
I adored everything about how Lee handled the topic. Not many books out there featuring ace characters are ones I loved. Really, I don’t usually enjoy books with ace characters because I don’t feel represented. But, because Felicity has been identified as an aro/ace, I really felt represented by it all. It made me feel at home because what Felicity described feeling — wanting to have friends and books and people that she loves, but not someone to be romantic with — fits me perfectly.
And people realizing that about her, without making her feel wrong or horrible, gave me hope that people out there could understand that about me, too.
In short, this is an amazing book. Everything about it was wonderful. This is definitely one of my top 2018 reads so far and I don’t know if anything else will top it!
If you’ve read this, what did you think?? Tell me about it!
If you haven’t read it, is it on your TBR?