Goodreads: Felix Ever After
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Published: 18 May 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
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 marginalisation 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 an honest and layered story about identity, falling in love, and recognising the love you deserve.
TL;DR: I 100% get the hype surrounding Felix Ever After and I’m so annoyed that I kept putting this read off until now. This was such a wonderfully written and heartfelt story! Felix and his friends are perfectly imperfect young adults who are simply trying to figure this thing called life out. Felix’s story infuriated me and filled me with hope—it broke my heart to see how easily other people can inflict hurt on another person simply because who they are is something they choose to not understand or accept. The exploration of identity, acceptance and experiencing first love was done so beautifully and it made me a weepy mess by the end!
I’m not quite sure how to put into words how I feel about this book. This book was written for LGBTQIA+ readers and it is so heartfelt and emotional and raw and so REAL. I understand why everyone was raving about this book when it first came out and I’m annoyed that I didn’t read it before now but I’m glad that I finally picked it up cos I would definitely recommend it to everyone!
“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.”
It’s about love—finding love, being in love, loving oneself and loving others. It’s about identity—understanding and accepting and finding what feels right to you in your skin. It’s about acceptance and art and family and friendship. The story is told solely from Felix’s perspective and I think Callender captured the teenage character and experience so well through him. These characters were young and imperfect. They made stupid decisions and silly mistakes and they were so realistic in their complexities and flaws even though I admit that sometimes they frustrated me! Felix really grew on me as the story progressed but I also enjoyed reading about the side characters, although I will say that the side characters came across as mostly two-dimensional compared to Felix’s very well-rounded one.
Maybe this makes me sound lame or whatever but I feel so privileged to follow Felix’s journey and to witness the hardships and painful rage-filled moments he experiences, but to also follow his journey to understanding and accepting himself and to finally finding and embracing the love he absolutely deserves. Oof, honestly, just thinking about what he goes through, the terrible things people can say and do to others, makes me so emotional and angry and weepy. This story made me hate people more (lol, kidding, sort of) but it was also healing and heartwarming and hopeful. It will surprise absolutely no one that this book made me cry.
This story encompasses so much that I feel like it would be impossible for me to try and include everything in a review. Honestly, I know any review I write would pale in comparison to the beauty that is Felix’s story and Callender’s writing so the best thing you can do for yourself is to read this gem!
Have you read Felix Ever After or is it on your TBR?