“Felix Ever After” is an Offering to Queer Youth of Color

Adri
Felix Love has never been in love, and as a Black, queer, trans boy who’s still questioning himself post-transition, he fears people might seem him as “too much work.” When he’s publicly outed and dead-named at school, Felix immediately starts plotting his revenge. One fake instagram account and a half-baked catfish revenge campaign later and Felix accidentally finds himself in the middle of a quasi-love triangle—as if he didn’t have enough problems already.

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Published by HarperCollins on May 5th, 2020

Genre(s): Contemporary, LGBT, Own Voices, Romance, Coming of Age, Trans Fiction

Potential Triggers: Instances of homophobia and transphobia, public outing, deadnaming and misgendering (both intentional and unintentional, and without ever using Felix’s deadname), online harassment/bullying, confronting TERF ideologies in supporting characters, underage drinking and drug use, experiences with absentee parent

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“Felix Ever After” is a triumphant story of self-discovery, hard-won hope, and embracing the ever-transitory state of our lives. It’s a story that’s hard to read at times because it addresses the macro/microaggressions Black trans folx face on a daily basis. The story fully displays all the violences and traumas in Felix’s life, and it does so frankly. It’s a worthwhile read because it doesn’t shy away from those realities, and more importantly because it also gives readers reasons to hope for Felix.

Felix is a character who makes so many mistakes, who leans into his anger and pain, and who often acts rashly. While this would be reason enough for him to be cast as “the villain” in any other story, this book shows us that people are not unloveable just because they make mistakes, and that everyone deserves the chance to grow from their mistakes. It’s also valuable to have stories where QTPOC characters are given space to be messy and complicated, especially because we’re so often taught how to connect with our pain over our joy. Felix lives in his self-doubt, and acting from that place of insecurity is only natural, especially for a teenager.

The story also challenges the way we understand identity. For Felix (and really, for all of us) identity is not a switch someone decides to flip one day; it’s a complicated process of filtering out what society projects onto you and questioning what feels true to you. Identity can have many iterations across our lifetimes, and “Felix Ever After” shows us there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Overall, this is a powerful, affirming story about reclaiming yourself, loving yourself, giving yourself grace, and recognizing the importance of found family and community. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Adri (they/them) is a queer, trans, and non-binary Mexican-American book reviewer. They’ve been creating BookTube content for over six years on perpetualpages and remain interested in creating content that celebrates and centers marginalized voices, intersectional viewpoints, and inclusive ideologies. When they’re not re-watching RWBY or Avatar: The Last Airbender, they can be found writing, laughing out loud while listening to podcasts in public, playing video games, and wearing geeky graphic tees to telegraph their interests to other people.

You can find them on their Youtube channel, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram as @_perpetualpages_.

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