Books,  Contemporary,  LGBTQ+,  Reviews

Felix Ever After | Kacen Callender

INFO

Title: Felix Ever After
Author: Kacen Callender
Series: –
CW: Transphobia
Genre: Contemporary

SYNOPSIS

From Stonewall and Lambda Award–winning author Kacen Callender comes a revelatory YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time.
Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.
When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle…
But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.
Felix Ever After is an honest and layered story about identity, falling in love, and recognizing the love you deserve.

REVIEW

Good morning! I’m awake and it’s only nine which means I’ve sleep a total of three hours, so this is as good a moment as any to write a review.

While I was sure I’d like this book, I wasn’t expecting to adore it so much. Felix ever after is the story of a trans boy navigating his teens while questioning his gender identity and where he belongs in the world.

The good:

There’s something really authentic in the way the characters are presented to the reader, and I think it being own voices plays an important part.

From the get go you get to see Felix and his classmates as teens who have a lot of internal grow to do and who are flawed. Yes, all of them.

There’s no way to describe this book other than sorting through your head and getting to know yourself, the most honest version of you. And as we see Felix evolve and learn to stand for himself, we also see him doing actions that don’t paint him in a good light too.

Felix experiences self-doubt and sadness and the fear of not knowing or understanding your own feelings. Everything discussed it’s important and real, and while I don’t think it applies only to teens, because you never stop growing up and getting to know yourself better, but it feels inherently coming-of-age.

There’re characters you’re supposed to dislike from the get go, and dislike them you do, but there’re also some characters whose personalities you uncover while Felix does the same. Whether you like them or not, they feel human.

Felix using catfish to try and unmask the person that’s targeting him lands him in a very gray area; there’s a clear understanding of morality and the fact that none of them is perfect and they all take decisions that can have negative repercussions on people.

The discussion around privileges is also very interesting, because there is an egalitarian factor: that all of them are part of the LGBTQ+ community. And although they all experience different types of repercussions, to a greater or lesser extent, this does not prevent their other privileges from being addressed and challenged.

The bad

It was too short. I mean, not really, because everything had a resolution and it was one I really liked, too, but I read somewhere that with more pages to develop the relationships it could have been a poly romance, and that would have been an interesting take.

Have you read Felix Ever After? Did you enjoy it?

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