Review | Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

“It’s kind of amazing, that there’s a word that explains exactly how I feel, that takes away all of my confusion and questioning and hesitation-a word that let’s me know there are others out there who feel exactly the same way as I do.”

It has been a while since a book made me feel so much. The book was such a range of emotions, ones I was observing as a reader and ones I could relate to so much. What an incredible book. This book was worth more than five stars, as it really left an impression on me.

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 worse is 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 is a story of self-discovery in more than one way. It’s about discovering sexuality, gender, love, your place in society and where all those intersect.

“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.”

This quote is so powerful. Regardless of who you are or how you identify, you have the same right to exist as you as anyone else and this book made that message abundantly clear.

Some books just don’t have plots, they are journeys, and Felix Ever After was a beautiful one to take. The words made me feel, the characters made me think. Some people say contemporary books are lighter reads than other genres, but this was heavy, but in a good way. And after I was done reading, this book left something with me.

I listened to the audiobook and the audiobook narrator was so good. He is a trans man himself and it really added to the experience. The ‘acting’ during narrating felt so genuine, so raw and true to it’s nature. It shows the importance of having Own Voices narrators, beside the obvious of having people tell stories close to their own: they are actors and when actors are connected to their role, the reader will connect more aswell, creating the best experience for everyone.

There are so many more good things to say about this book. The first is that it takes place during Pride Month. I love that so much, especially as it’s currently Pride and we can’t go out to celebrate, because we need to protest for black lives and on top of that there is a pandemic. The second is that practically the entire cast is queer. There are only a few token straight characters and the ratio feels so natural to me. Third, the allyship between the characters. It’s. So. Powerful. There is much more, but I’d suggest to just go and read it to find out.

I really recommend this book. Everyone even remotely interested in LGBTQ+ books should read this. It’s a story of self-discovery with a basically all queer cast and a happy ending. I recommend the audiobook even more, as the narrator just adds so much to the story. Really, check this book out, you will not regret it.
I look forward to read more books by Kacen Callender as their writing style and character depth is just exactly right for me, I really need more of that.

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