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.from Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
What’s the last book to make you cringe and feel giddy at the same time; to make you laugh and cry? For me, that’s Felix Ever After📚
Felix is a transmasc teen, trying to figure shit out like we all have to at that age. He wants to find love, he wants to create great art. So when someone at his school outs his dead name and starts sending transphobic and harassing messages, he’s determined to get to the bottom of it, to get whoever it is out of his way. The journey to get there means some sleuthing, some difficult conversations with enemies and friends alike, oh and a little catfishing 🧑🏽💻
Following Felix as he grapples with the transphobic abuser, fighting for acceptance from his family, having anxious thoughts about life, love and identity made for such a human, genuine story. Do I think Felix is some unflawed perfect cinnamon bun? No. Should he have catfished his suspected enemy for so long? Probably not, but that’s dumb teenagers for you. It just adds to the reality, for me. (The cringe part) But I could also put myself in Felix’s shoes with the late night flirty texts, with the excruciating pause when one party reveals their true feelings. It’s rare that a YA book actually makes me nostalgic for my less-than-stellar high school years. (The giddy part)
This story weighs everything at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and class, all without spoon feeding you its message AND without losing the point of the story: Felix himself. There are no B, C or D plot lines that feel out of place. So when you see scenes with Felix and a friend, or Felix and his dad or Felix at a community center, it all builds the world and his character. It can be a hard line for a YA story to walk, and Kacen Callender does it well. And it importantly shows how OK it is to have figured a “part” of your identity out and yet its still OK to take your time really finding where you fit. Felix is a character that will be so valuable for queer/trans kids to read.
While the story in the end is a hopeful, joyful one, there are difficult situations so trigger warnings for outting, racism, transphobia, homophobia, bullying etc.