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FELIX EVER AFTER by Kacen Callender – double review

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. 

Title : Felix Ever After
Author : Kacen Callender
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 318
Genre : YA contemporary
Publisher : Balzer + Bray
Release Date : May 5, 2021

Reviewer : Hollis/Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ / ★ ★ ★ ★ .5

Hollis’ 4 star review

I went into this read with some trepidation on two fronts; one, because I had read a book by this author before and absolutely hated it and two, so much hype. Almost all my friends unanimously loved this. So, yeah, I worried.

But pretty much from page one I was completely captivated.

There are a host of difficult themes, attitudes, and dialogue within this story. This isn’t just a tough coming out or coming of age contemporary. It’s self-discovery, sure. It’s battling prejuice, yes. It’s navigating life in all its ups and downs and ugly and messy and beautiful realities.

I’ll admit there are two bits or elements that are what keeps this from being a full five star read for me. Firstly I don’t enjoy catfishing plots, so that’s definitely a personal preference, but also I did just feel there was a lot of drama. Nothing really to the point where it felt manufactured just for the sake of it but, still, a lot of conflict.

Nevertheless, if you haven’t yet been convinced to take the leap and pick this book up, please let me be the one to nudge you over the edge. It won’t be easy but I hope you’ll find it worth it. I certainly did.

Micky’s 4.5 star review

Roller coaster emotions
A road to understanding

This book packed a punch to my heart, my emotions and it also paved a way to learning. I feel like this book should be a high school must-read, to provide a space for identificaton for teens questioning but also to inform, teach and give the opportunity to walk for a little while in Felix’s shoes. I threw myself into this story, the characters and they educated me and I loved them.

There is a world of hurt in this read, be ready. Felix was the kind of endearing and relatable character, finding his way, himself and often a bit of loner apart from his bestie. The hurt from family quarters was something deep, the hurt that arose from actions in school nearly did me in, my jaw drop and I felt.

The story was so quintessential age 17 in lots of ways but through the lens of someone experiencing life in a way many of us will not. This isn’t an overtly educational book but it really did educate me about that thing I am most interested in – people’s lived experiences. There were so many lines in this book, often inner monologue that struck me and stayed with me. Here’s a few.

I guess it just feels like I have one marginalisation too many, sometimes.

“The pride march is in a couple of weeks,”
 they say.
“But sometimes, it can be difficult to find pride for ourselves.”

Read. This. Book.

Thank you to Pride Book Tours and Faber Books for the gifted copy.

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