Book Review: Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Goodreads: Felix Ever After
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Published: 18 May 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Panda Rating:

(5 pandas)

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?

18 thoughts on “Book Review: Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

  1. I saw this book around everywhere last year but never really looked further into it. It sounds astoundingly lovely and heartfelt, but probably also a little hard to read. (You mentioning it making you hate people more, is what I mean.) Fantastic review, Dini, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, lovely! 💜 Yeah, it was hard to get through at times cos it’s just so emotionally raw and vulnerable. People really can be so so awful and hurtful. Still, definitely worth the read though!

      Liked by 1 person

    • YAY! I’m so glad that this one lived up to the hype for me. It was such a great (albeit emotionally heavy at times) read but I would defo recommend it. I hope you enjoy it whenever you read it 😍

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad we sorta buddy read this together. haha. Stupid Covid! Anyways, this is such a fabulous review. I literally had a draft for so long and just had to go to with a mini-review because I couldn’t do it justice. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I’m sorry I ended up speeding through this so quickly 🙈 It was totally unexpected! I also don’t feel like my review does the book justice but I felt the need to get something out 😂 I’m so glad we finally read this one, Leslie!

      Liked by 1 person

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