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Sunday, July 26, 2020

Review: Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender @kacencallender @harpercollins

Felix Ever After 
by Kacen Callender

Publisher: HarperCollins
Publish Date: May 5, 2020
368 Pages
Genres: LGBTQIA+, Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult

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.

My Review:

What an absolutely beautiful story.  I stayed up late to finish it last night and then stayed up later processing the entirely of it all.  Remember when you were a teenager and pining for that first kiss and to just fall in love for the first time?  Well imagine all of that AND still trying to figure out your identity.  That's a LOT to take on as a seventeen year old.  And on top of THAT, you feel pressure to get a scholarship for college because otherwise, you wouldn't be able to go.. AND you're being bullied.  Felix is complex, talented and oh so lovable, even if he doesn't think that he is.

I went through the gauntlet of emotions while reading this.  Fury at the bullying Felix had to endure.  Elation at Felix coming to a lot of realizations.  Happiness for the relationships that endured and grief for the ones that did not.  How do you NOT feel in this quest for self-discovery?  I learned a LOT from this book.  Thank you, Callender.

I absolutely loved reading the author's note at the end where they talk about how Adam from Degrassi finally made them feel like they were being seen.  I hope that books like these and shows like Pose become safe spaces for others who are trying to find themselves to be seen.  We all need representation and while there is still obviously a LOT of work to be done, I hope more people will finally see that humans are HUMAN and deserve to be their true selves ALWAYS without fear.  You best believe I'm checking out their backlist!


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