book reviews

A book everyone should read by Kacen Callender aka a review of Felix Ever After

Hello everyone!! I hope everyone is doing well. I FINALLY read Felix Ever After (I had been waiting to read it for Read Your Gays, believe me, the wait almost killed me). But… the wait was so worth it. This book, THIS BOOK YOU GUYS. urhgboeurg let’s just get into the review, shall we?

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: Felix Ever After

Author: Kacen Callender

Genre: YA Contemporary, LGBTQ+

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Date published: May 5th 2020

Rep: Main character is a Black, Trans, Queer teen, most (all?) side characters are LGBTQ+, other Black and POC rep

Length: 368

Content warning: transphobia (I can’t think of anything else, but please comment if you do!)

Find this book on Goodreads

Summary:

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.


I would like to start by saying this review will never do justice to how much I loved this book. No kidding, this was one of the best books I have ever read, and one of the most important ones. I am so, so grateful that as a non-black and cis person, I can read books like this one and further educate myself not only on trans people, but on Black trans people. And also simply to read stories about Black transgender characters, because I mean that’s the kind of rep we need in the world.

First of all, this book did, multiple times, make me want to punch a wall. Especially because I read it during the whole JKR thing, and because if you follow me on instagram, I read it during that time where that girl came into my DMs to both defend JKR but also to try to share transphobic af views. And that made me want to punch a wall too. So, all in all, I either read this book at a terrible time, or (instead) at the perfect time. Depends on how you look at it? But I hated that I could see the similarities between the characters and real life people, that some of what the characters said was similar to what irl people said. But that’s such a naive way to look at it, because as much as I wish racism and transphobia didn’t exist in the real world, I know they do, and that makes me so angry. UGH

Anyway, to talk about the actual book, I have literally nothing bad to say. The writing was great, the pacing was great. There is kind of a bit of a love triangle there – something I’m usually not a fan of – but in this case it was really well done so I didn’t mind. I actually ended up shipping Felix with both characters lol so really however it ended up I would have been happy. And I completely understand why it didn’t work out with the one character, it wasn’t out of nowhere, which I’m happy about because I hate whenever characters make decisions that make no sense (and this wasn’t the case).

Recurrent themes in the book are questioning your sexuality/gender and the theme of self worth. In a way, I could relate a bit to both themes – the self worth one, I think we all do at least a little bit, and that’s a part of the book I really loved. The character development, YES *insert the elmo gif with the flames* – although definitely not to the extent to which Felix was feeling it (for my part at least). It was a part of the story I thought was so, so important, and truly sent the message that it is okay to keep questioning even when you thought you were sure, and that whatever your sexuality is, however you choose to identify yourself, you are worth all the love in the world. It’s never too late to discover another part of yourself. And let’s be real, this entire book is so important in so many different ways.

Felix and all the characters felt very real to me – but especially Felix (can we talk about his name??? Felix Love???? sjfhrEIRrut I love it so much). He’s not perfect, he does mess up, but hey we’re all human and I definitely prefer characters who mess up to perfect characters. I didn’t even think he messed up that mad, but apparently some people thought he was rather unlikeable after that? Huh. I don’t get it but ok.

In the end I just really don’t have much to say except that holy guacamole this is a book you have to read. Like you have to read. No joke. If not to educate yourself or to read books by a Black Transgender author about a Black Transgender teen, then to read about this incredible and incredibly well-written story about a great teenager that is just trying to figure himself out and a cute af love story in and of itself.

Have you read this book? If yes, I’d love to hear your thoughts! If not, what are you waiting for?



Stay safe everyone!! Sending you lots of love!!! ❤️

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4 thoughts on “A book everyone should read by Kacen Callender aka a review of Felix Ever After

  1. Aah I recently bought Kacen Callender’s other book, Queen of the Conquered, so I’ll be reading that soon but I can’t wait to read Felix either. This is a great review, I wholeheartedly agree on all the JKR mess but it gives me hope that there are authors like Kacen out there telling their stories because they always matter, no matter what a TERF or a racist says.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First and foremost, this was one hell of a great review! Second, your sentence: that’s the kind of representation ‘they’ need. Your wording suggest you’re Trans yourself. But I can also see how it reads as we all need more Trans Rep out there. Just a person nitpick. I loved how much you went into depth with Felix, though I’m puzzled as to why the supporting characters didn’t deserve to be named? Is it a spoiler to know their names? Just forgot? 😀 Still a great review that allowed me to add this book to my TBR. Thank you Sofia!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! I definitely meant the world in general haha. And that’s definitely a good question! I think it’s just because I didn’t have any particularly relevant thoughts to add about them. Nothing that would change my opinion about the book anyway!

      Like

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