8.3Empowering, Raw, Hopeful
Title: Felix Ever After
Author: Kacen Callender
TW: Transphobia, Misgendering, Deadnaming, Catfishing, Cyberbullying, Death, Abandonment from a Parent, Forced Outing, Drugs, Alcohol. Homophobia
Felix Ever After centres on Felix Love, a trans teenager who is desperate to find and feel love. In his final year of school before college, Felix is struggling somewhat with his identity – as a trans, Black, queer boy he worries he’s too complicated to find love. Then someone publicly deadnames him at school, and at the same time he begins to receive transphobic messages on Instagram. With a suspicion he knows who it is, Felix puts a plan into action for revenge, but the universe doesn’t quite give him what he wants, and this plan which started out with a lot of hate, may just find him his path to love.
With a complicated relationship with his dad, a messy relationship with his friends, and an identity he’s still contemplating, this book is a thunderclap of imperfection and yet it’s so perfect in its ability to represent. A mishmash of art, self-expression, self-exploration, and most importantly love, this is a beautiful, hopeful explosion and I think it’s a must-read for everyone.
The book’s portray of love and friendship is also one of its allures; Felix and Ezra’s relationship is both comforting and reassuring, and despite the book’s darker moments, their light is a powerful element throughout. Even Felix’s relationship with Declan, though more complicated, is a great example of how teenagers are still so young and most certainly will not always make good choices – it’s honest and real.