Heart-Warming, Thoughtful and Full of Life | Review: Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

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Felix Ever After is the novel we all need in our lives. It's the young adult contemporary we've been waiting for! Needless to say, Kacen Callender did it AGAIN and delivered one of the best books of the year. Felix Ever After is must-read material and an instant classic. (Sorry in advanced if this post shows up weirdly formatted--no matter what I do, the new Blogger interface fails me.)


 

by Kacen Callender 

 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 worsis 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 by Kacen Callender
Rating: ★★★★★

Kacen Callender strikes emotional gold once more with the vibrant coming of age gem that is Felix Ever After. Callender never fails to aim straight for our hearts, making sure we feel every pulse of life in the characters and stories they tell. Felix Ever After is their best work yet; heartfelt and poignant, warm and fuzzy but still utterly honest, in its exploration of youth. Not only is it Callender's best work to date, it is amongst the year's most shining releases. 

To set the tone: Felix Ever After is every bit of representation readers have been seeking for years. Within moments of cracking open its pages, you are hit with this rush of emotions that all but scream, "AT LAST" right into your ears. Reading it feels like a jolt of electricity straight to your heart due--something that has been long overdo in the YA world. 

Beautifully written, heartbreaking and heart-warming, Felix Ever After is everything readers want--and need--from stories of coming of age. The first thing you should know about Felix Ever After is that it is one of the most realistic and diverse books I've read in a long time. It is the type of book that, once you finish, you find it hard to turn to that last page because finishing it feels a lot like saying goodbye to your dearest friends. 

(And believe me when I say this: Felix feels like one of my dearest friends, now.)

Felix Ever After shines brightly in so many ways. From its flawed and beautifully developed characters to the central romance(s) and friendships, there's never a slow moment in Callender's magnificent story. I won't soon forget this story--and neither will the many readers who'll find a home within its pages. This is essential reading for 2020. 

(And for years to come.)

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