Felix Every After
Author: Kacen Callender
Genre: YA | LGBTQ+ | Romance
Publication Date: May 18th 2020
Preorder the Book (affiliate link): Amazon UK
Hello everyone, happy Thursday! I’ve had a bit of time off from blogging so I could enjoy my birthday and finally see some friends and family. I’m back and kicking off with a book review for Felix Ever After. This quickly became one of my favourite books of the year so everybody has to read it.
Thank you so much to Bethany from Faber Books and the author for this beautiful proof copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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.
What I Loved
“It’s easier, sometimes, to love when you know it’s a love you can’t have.”
This is my first time reading a book by Callender and it definitely won’t be my last. I was blown away by how emotional yet fun Felix Ever After is. I loved the characters, especially Felix and I was instantly drawn into his story which certainly leaves a lasting impression of happiness and sadness. This book is extremely informative as well as entertaining. So many issues that the LGBTQ face are tackled extremely well, but it is still heartbreaking to read at times.
“What does it feel like, to love someone so much that you’re willing to publicly bare your heart and soul with a black Sharpie?”
There are a couple of layers to this story and they all make the book extremely hard to put down once you have started reading. The first layer of the story is Felix finding and accepting his true self. Dealing with unsupportive friends and even family. Choosing who to keep in his life or who to let go of when they don’t value the real him. Following Felix’s journey of gender identity really helps you connect with him as a character and a person. The more backstory and information we find out about him makes it extremely emotional and heartbreaking to see him go through all of the hard decisions and personal attacks.
Callender doesn’t shy away from the brutal comments or actions of others. But as upsetting as it was, the message really gets across and it does make you think about everything in this book. The transphobia, personal attacks and even the inner thoughts of Felix.
The other side of Felix’s story is the sweet romance he so desperately wants. It’s so uplifting to see him start to fall in love and I couldn’t help but smile to myself at his messages and late-night phone calls. I am a sucker for romance and I immediately got tangled up in Felix’s love life because I desperately wanted him to fall in love and be happy. Along with relationships we also get to see Felix and Ezra’s beautiful friendship. I loved them both every step of the way, mostly how supportive and protective they both were of each other. I couldn’t help but feel every emotion they felt through the ups and downs of their friendship.
“Yeah. I don’t know, I always feel like I can’t figure out how to just stop watching and actually join.”
Felix is a black – queer – and transgender artist, currently working his way through a summer Art programme hoping this is his way to the Brown University scholarship. I love that we see his cocky, laid back attitude and sense of humour but also his insecurities and doubt of his thoughts. He is extremely loving and caring towards his dad and his best friend Ezra which I mentioned earlier. It’s very easy to like his character and feel for him in so many ways. I really wish I could’ve been there to support him through everything as well.
Declan was a favourite for me as we saw a completely different side to him once he found someone worth speaking too. However, there are so many other characters that we get to know and connect with on a deeper level. So much detail has gone into these characters which made it extremely enjoyable for me.
“It’s easier to accept hurt and pain, sometimes, than love and acceptance. It’s the real, loving relationships that can be the scariest.”
Overall, Felix Ever After is a beautiful story about finding your true identity, love and forgiveness. Felix’s story is one that will stay with you for a while. If you are going through something similar or like me just want to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community this is the perfect book to help you through.
About the Author
Born and raised in St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, Kacen Callender is a bestselling and award-winning author of the middle-grade novels Hurricane Child and King and the Dragonflies, the young-adult novels This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story and Felix Ever After, and the adult novel Queen of the Conquered and its forthcoming sequel King of the Rising. They enjoy playing RPG video games in their free time. Kacen currently resides in Philadelphia, PA.
Preorder the Book (affiliate link): Amazon UK