Hi everyone! I hope you’re all keeping well! Recently I’ve been treating myself to a few books that I’ve either been dying to read for a while or are new releases that I’m so excited about, and one of those is Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender! I received it in the post about a week ago and I’ve been dying to read it since then, and I finally did and loved it! So I thought I’d do a short review on it! I hope you enjoy!
Title: Felix Ever After
Author: Kacen Callender
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, LGBT
Rating: 5/5 Stars – 9.00 CAWPILE rating
Synopsis: 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.
This book was a joy to read! First and foremost, this book follows Felix who, at the start of the novel, walks into school one day to find pre-transition photos, which he thought were private, plastered around school, alongside his deadname. Felix, understandably distraught, goes on a mission to get revenge for this and accidentally ends up falling in love along the way. Felix was a great main character to read from. He was at times rash with his decisions but always tried his best to be kind and understand other people’s point of view. Felix struggled with being truly accepted by his dad, and even some of his friends, and this was something I could really relate to. He also brought up how difficult it can be being trans, black and queer all at the same time and I think it’s so important that people will be able to finally see themselves in a character like Felix!
Then we have Ezra, Felix’s best friend, whom I adored! Ezra is so sweet and really Felix’s biggest supporter and their friendship was something that I really loved about this book – Ezra always stood up for Felix and backed him up no matter what, and they really are the best duo. Unfortunately, none of the characters felt that fleshed out to me, which is why this got a low 5 star CAWPILE rating. A lot of the characters are part of the LGBT community but sometimes that’s all they felt like they were – we never really got to learn any of their hobbies, their likes and dislikes, even Felix. Saying that, I think the amount of representation we got in here was amazing, and I really cant wait for young queer kids to get their hands on this book!
Regarding the representation, there were some really important discussions in here that were tackled amazingly well. To name only a few, we got discussions on labels which was done so respectfully of both sides of the ‘argument’ – on the one hand it can be empowering for people and create a sense of community, but for others it may feel restrictive to label yourself – and it’s one of the few books I’ve seen tackle that (another book that did it well was The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper). Furthermore, there was a discussion about privilege which I also felt was done really well, and also about how, even though someone has faced struggles growing up, it is still important to acknowledge your privilege and that one does not negate the other. Intersectionality of identities was also touched upon and how it’s okay to keep questioning your identities, even if you thought you had them down. For these discussions, and the many others throughout the book, it’s evident how important this book will be for young people who pick it up, and I wish I had read it when I was younger too!
Finally, I’d like to touch on the plot. There are a couple of little plot lines throughout the book but I suppose the main one was who created the gallery of photos and Felix’s deadname. I really enjoyed the plot of this one, even if at times it was difficult to read. I was trying to figure out who did it alongside Felix (and was honestly surprised by the ending too!) and I really grew to love a few of the characters throughout too for how they reacted to things that happened. I felt that the romance/love-triangle plot was also done very well (especially coming from someone who’s not a big fan of love triangles) and I’d honestly love to see an epilogue novella of what happens to the three of them, because I’d love to see their dynamic after what happened at the end of the book!
Overall, this book was fantastic and should definitely be a staple in classrooms across the world as I really think young LGBT (and, in particular, trans) kids and LGBT kids of colour would really benefit from reading it! Please, please pick up this book if you get the chance!