Reviews

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Mackenzi Lee

August 14, 2017

I’m very sorry to direct you here instead of posting this on Goodreads, but GR has recently taken to cracking down heavily on any negative reviews that specifically mention the author’s behavior. Alas, I’m only posting this on my own personal blog.

update: june 18th, 2019

I loved The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue a lot when it came out. I hadn’t seen much bi rep in books at that time, and as a bi woman, it felt good to be seen and recognized as valid! Unfortunately, in the 2 years since I read it, Mackenzi Lee has more or less ruined herself for me with her endless stream of various hurtful remarks, the most recent and relevant of which being when she was asked on IG what sexuality Monty would identify as, she said he “shouldn’t be labeled” and was simply “queer”.

If you’re not bisexual, you might not know why this is harmful, but the B in the LGBTQ+ community undergoes constant erasure and always has. For an author to write one of the stunningly rare bisexual men in YA fiction and then to erase that so effortlessly is painful, it’s dismissive, and it’s cruel.

That was enough to put a poor taste in my mouth to begin with, but there’s also the matter that Lee has another upcoming title releasing that has been pitched for the last several months as an f/f hist-fic novel, only to recently be revealed that the MC is, in fact, a trans man who is dead-named and given the wrong pronouns for most of the book and the entire synopsis. That’s sketchy enough as it is, but add in the fact that a metric shit-load of trans authors and readers have reached out to Lee to ask her not to do this, and she’s dismissing everyone and saying she knows what she’s doing? She, as a cis woman, “knows” what’s best for trans people more than actual trans people do? I think not.

All of that rambling/ranting aside, Mackenzi Lee… it’s time we break up. I’ll be donating the books of yours I’ve already purchased (*sigh*), and sending an email to the publisher of your upcoming Loki novel to inform them I absolutely will not be reading and/or promoting the ARC they’ve sent me, because frankly, I don’t want to think about you or the harmful things you’ve done to the bi and trans communities anymore.

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22 Comments

  • Reply ericarobyn August 14, 2017 at 9:23 am

    WONDERFUL review! Ah this made me that much more excited to get my hands on this one!! So glad it was a hit for you!

  • Reply amaranthinebooks August 14, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Great review! I also adored the characters, and I’m hoping we’ll get more of Scipio in Felicity’s sequel/companion novel.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 18, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      Thank you so much! OMG, me too. I was thinking that when I reached the end of GG – “pleeeease let Scipio be in the next one!”

  • Reply journeyintobooks August 14, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Great review, I can’t wait to read this book as it sounds absolutely amazing and this review has made me even more excited for it 😀😀

  • Reply EIise @thebookishactress August 14, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    I’m so glad you loved this!! one of my fav books of this year

  • Reply ChicNerdReads August 14, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Awesome review! I’ve heard rave reviews for this one and I am excited to pick it up. This sounds like a great pick-me-up due to the fact that it makes everyone laugh lol. <3

  • Reply Chelsea (lostamongthepages) August 14, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    I really enjoy reading your reviews! Am excited to pick this up!

  • Reply coffeelovingbookoholic August 15, 2017 at 3:04 am

    great review!!! i can’t wait to get to this book! 🤗

  • Reply Cass, Words on Paper (@cc9309) August 16, 2017 at 5:36 am

    <3 Another awesome review! I so need to read this book!!! Shenanigans? I'm in!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 18, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      Right? You can never have too many shenanigans! (Plus, it’s a fun word 😂) Thank you!

  • Reply Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3 – howling libraries August 17, 2017 at 9:00 am

    […] This is a fairly new release, and I actually broke my book buying ban to grab a copy of this one last month because I had heard so many good things about it! I completely adored it. I thought it was fun, sweet, silly, and even nervewracking at times. It’s not just an m/m romance; it’s also a story of shenanigans and adventure and a swashbuckling good time (heh). You can read my review here! […]

  • Reply August ’17 Haul & Wrap-up – howling libraries September 1, 2017 at 10:20 am

    […] Saints ★★★★★ (review) The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue ★★★★★ (review) Flame in the Mist ★★★☆☆ (review) Girls Made of Snow and Glass  ★★★★☆ […]

  • Reply lucien welsh June 19, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    I’m so upset about this. I truly loved Gentleman’s Guide, and the ace rep in Lady’s Guide meant a lot to a number of my friends. I 100% agree with you on the matter and will be doing most of the same. I’ve taken her upcoming titles off of my TBR as well. She’s apologized in regards to The Madness Blooms, but sometimes that’s just not enough. As a trans guy I’m so hurt by all of this. Thank you for posting this update.

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