Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: May 5, 2020 by: Balzer + Bray
Rating: 5/5 stars
CW: transphobia, homophobia, deadnaming, catfishing
Felix Love has always struggled with falling in love. He has some very supportive friends, but Felix is beginning to question how he would like to identify. He is Black, queer and transgender, but he also still has a lot of growing to do in terms of discovering himself. But, these internal questions become even more complicated when an anonymous student begins posting photos of Felix before he transitioned, and his deadname is posted publicly. Felix seeks revenge through catfishing. However one problem leads to another, and soon Felix lands himself in a quasi love-triangle, and a support group, all while grappling his relationship with himself.
This was definitely one of my favourite books that I read in 2020. I just love books where the characters are so well developed and so beautifully flawed. But what I loved most about Felix Ever After was that I could relate to it. This book touches on issues of self-discovery, identity, allyship, and so much more. I guarantee, something will resonate with you when reading this book.
First off, I loved how every character grew in this book. You've got Felix, a transgender teen who seeks revenge after anonymous transphobic attacks are posted against him, and he turns to catfishing. Now, this may seem like fighting fire with fire, however Felix really comes into his own through this book. He makes mistakes, which is understandable because he is a teen. What's important is that he recognizes these mistakes, and these mistakes only make him stronger. Felix is beautifully flawed, just like we all are. I commend Callender's ability to make a flawed character just so damn likable.
This book touches on so many topics facing Black teens, transgender teens, queer teens, even allies (and fake allies). Issues such as labelling, toxic masculinity, the affects of social media, and the attending of pride events were brought up. I loved how Callender was able to show multiple sides of arguments through these issues. For example, some characters in this novel loved going to pride events, and some found them to be overwhelming. Callender even explains in this novel how straight people often corrupt pride events, which I really found to be important. In the explanation of these topics, Callender demonstrates that there is no one size fits all queer person. All the characters in this novel are diverse not only in identity, but also in their thought process. And I can appreciate that.
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this novel, you will be able to take something away from this novel. I learnt so much about allyship and identity from this book. I learnt so much about myself from this book, so much so that I almost wrote an essay for an English course on it. You will root for Felix, and you will be satisfied with where the story ends. I cannot say enough positive things about this book. All I can say is that you have to read it.
Have you read Felix Ever After? What did you think?
Emily @ Paperback Princess