Title: Felix Ever After
Author: Kacen Callender
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQ+
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone
This book has been recommended a LOT on Twitter and Instagram, especially since it has both a Black and Transgender main character. And we’re in Pride month, so that’s an extra incentive to read it right now!
I was drawn to this book because of the cover. I won’t lie. It’s so beautiful?? This book wasn’t available on Kindle but it was available as an audiobook with my Storytel subscription. That allowed me to read this book and I’m so glad.
Content warnings: transphobia, queer phobia, bullying, racism, parental abuse and neglect, frequent drug and alcohol use, ableist language.
There’s also a lot of cursing, which I was actually taken aback by? I’m not used to this much cursing in a YA book.
Felix Love is an art student who is hoping to get into Brown. It might be because he really wants to go there, but also because he wants to prove that he can even though he is part of multiple marginalized groups—Black, queer, and transgender.
When an anonymous transphobe hacks into his account and puts up a gallery of his old photos (from before he transitioned) along with his dead name, he is devastated.
He’s quite sure of who did it, though. Declan, the boy who hates him. Although his best friend Ezra doesn’t fully agree with the plan, he starts to catfish Declan but it unexpectedly leads to feelings.
The book is about Felix’s journey of self-growth, introspection, and falling in love for the first time.
This book is beautiful.
The story, the characters, the representation, the relationships… all of it grabbed my heart.
- Once I started, I was hooked.
It was the fastest I finished an audiobook yet. I think I finished it in about two days. I took out time whenever I could and lost myself in the book.
The writing is great but since I listened to it, I have to say that the narration was also really good. And since the book is in first person POV, it was very easy to fall into it with the narration.
- Felix ❤
What a great character. He is definitely not a perfect character. He is not a 100% smart or sure of himself. But those qualities are what made me like him.
Although Felix is trans, this book was not only about that. His identity and questioning was definitely a major part, but we also saw him struggle with his art, his relationship with his dad, and his friendships. I really liked that.
Felix does go through a journey in this book, one with lots of ups and downs. But he grows through it and finds himself. It was lovely how he used his art to express himself and his art helped him gain confidence.
“I’m not flaunting anything. I’m just existing. This is me. I can’t hide myself. I can’t disappear. And even if I could, I don’t fucking want to. I have the same right to be here. I have the same right to exist.”
He also finds love, and he was so cute when he was crushing. I could not stop smiling whenever he had feelings.
- I learnt through this book.
Since I’m not trans, I can’t speak for the accuracy or relatability of the representation in this book.
But what I can say is that I learnt about trans lives and experiences. And I through Felix and his friends, I learnt a little bit about how to be supportive and accepting.
- The relationships.
There were several kinds of relationships explored in this book.
There were so many kinds friendships shown—good and bad ones. If you know me, you’d know that complex relationships and relationship is one of my favourite things in a book, or anywhere else. This book had a lot of that.
Plus, Felix’s friend group was completely queer. That was awesome.
My favourite was definitely Felix’s friendship with Ezra. Their friendship have me joy.
We also see Felix’s relationship with his dad. That was quite insightful and also made me emotional.
- It’s okay to question.
Through Felix, this book really drove the point home that it is okay to question.
There are a ton of identities and sexualities. If you feel unsure, there are several forums and discussion boards online. Usually, you can research and find a label that you feel is right for you. And even if you don’t want to go by labels, that’s okay too.
- It’s set in Pride month!
And we’re currently in Pride month so.. GO PICK IT UP!
A damn good book that I highly recommend.
Have you read this book yet? Do you have any other recommendations for Pride month?