Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Felix Ever After

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender. Grades 8+ 368 pages. Balzer + Bray, 2020. Review copy provided by publisher. 

How do I love Felix? Let me count the ways. This is one of my favorite books of the year and I keep pressing it on readers at any opportunity. Felix Love has never been in love (ironic, huh?) and he's desperate to know what it feels like and why it seems to happen so easily for everyone but him. Black, queer, and trans, Felix worries that he doesn't fit anywhere and that he'll never find love. After an anonymous person starts sending him transphobic messages, Felix is convinced he knows who's doing it and comes up with a plan to get revenge. The one thing he's not prepared for his catfishing scheme to land him in a quasi love triangle.

This is a wonderful queer teen love story about finding yourself and really embracing your identity and declaring yourself worthy of love just as you are. Felix is trans, but still questioning his identity, even after transitioning and top surgery. Something about "boy" just doesn't always fit. He's obsessed with applying to Brown University and just as obsessed with the idea that he might not get in. His home life is okay, but his mom left and left behind some big scars. Felix starts out the book believing that he's unworthy of love. He's desperate to fall in love and be loved in return, but he's equally afraid of even trying.

I just loved Felix so much. He felt so real to me in that he was not always making the best choices and couldn't always see things that were right in front of his face. And this is a book written for all kinds of readers. Readers who may not be super familiar with the queer community will definitely get an education, but it mostly feels organic, written through the lens of Felix still questioning his own identity and learning about his community. And readers looking for trans stories should definitely pick up this own voices book.