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Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Felix Ever After is exceptional. A story everyone should read.

Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink

The Story

Felix Love is a talented artist vying for a scholarship to attend Brown University. With the weight of that task on his shoulders along with the painful reminder of his absent mother, who left him and his dad for another life, and his best friend on the verge of dating a classmate, Felix is anything, but fine.

And when someone decides to target Felix in a transphobic way, displaying his dead name and images of him prior to his transition, Felix is ready to find out who did it.

At any cost.

My Review

Do you ever feel an emotion more prominnatly over another while reading a book?

Where you find yourself so entrenched in that feeling that you’re unsure if you’ll be able to escape?

For me, I felt angry as I read Felix Ever After.

I wasn’t angry at the book. I was so disgusted, appalled, and just sick of the bigotry, prejudice and transphobia. That anger, it’s one that builds over time, where you can’t numb the pain or easily extract the cause of it. Similarly a toothache that turns into something beyond Novocain and a filling.

It came down to the brutal way another student in Felix’s class actively and continually traumatized him over and over again. It felt like a root canal without the help of a sedative.

More Thoughts

Felix Ever After, though touches on painful topics, it is a book that will have readers feel seen. Where the contours of the narrative fit perfectly as though it were like a second skin. Creating a mirror image, a reflection readers have been longing to see. And a knowing comfort in that understanding. An image that says you matter. You are beautiful.

As mentioned, Felix is a difficult book to read. It held so many emotions and the loudest in the competing feelings was anger and fear.

Like a riptide dragging swimmers away from the shore, those crippling moments of anger and fear seem to cement into Felix Love’s day-to-day life. Where he struggles and questions his identity and choices, causing this gnawing effect of fear.

However, Felix perseveres, and it’s the journey of self-discovery that makes this book arrestingly absorbing.

A Few More Thoughts

There’s also the insurmountable pressure building as Felix navigates his last year of high school. Piecing together his unknown future, wondering if his own mother loves him, and his friendship with his best friend Ezra, a friendship that feels like a one-on-a-lifetime kind of friendship, becoming strained as Ezra decides to date a classmate.

But nothing can brace Felix from the magnitude of humiliating horror inflicted upon him by a fellow classmate. Showcasing Felix’s dead name and images of him prior to his transitioning.

The pain each of these causes feels like little earthquakes. The cracks and fissures building. Confidence disintegrating. Fear settling in like a festering wound.

As readers follow Felix on his path for vengeance, we find ourselves in an equally profound and moving narrative of identity, self-discovery, revenge (and its cost) and love that tangled my emotions into a snarl of yarn tended by a toddlers hand. But all those red emotions bleed away with an ending that dear readers is simply put: pure joy!

One Last Thought

Felix Ever After is a story that will resonate. It holds beautifully queer characters who will have readers laugh, cry, and embrace.

A gift of a book to teen readers and adult readers alike.

Read this book.

Happy Reading  ̴ Cece

RATING: ink blotink blotink blotink blot – Exceptionally Inked

Author: Kacen Callender

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: May, 2020

Pages: 368

ISBN-10: 0062820257

ISBN-13: 978-0062820259

Audience: 14+

Cover Design: Chris Kwon

Jacket Art: Alex Cabal

You can find Felix Ever After at HarperCollins Publishing

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