This novel offers a cornucopia of queer identities and was just so moving, beginning to end.
I had to take a time out before I could even consider writing a review.
This novel is everything right now. It is everything I needed in this moment. It is certainly everything the world needs.
I’ve been trying to figure out why this one touched me so deeply and all I can say is, Felix Love. Felix Love who wants to know love, but first needs to learn he is worthy of love.
Felix Ever After is told, as you may expect, completely from Felix’s perspective. Getting to read his deepest inner thoughts, particularly the thoughts he would probably never admit to anyone, was so raw and real.
Felix is busy attending a summer arts program at his high school. While the school has a lot of diversity, he still faces personal attacks and acts of transphobia from the very beginning of the story.
I will say, Callender does not shy away from how brutal and painful such acts are, so if you think this may effect your mental health and wellness, tread carefully.
It hurts to read, but I think it is so important for people to face it. So important. This whole book is so damn important.
After a fellow student creates a gallery listing Felix’s deadname, along with photos of him before his transition, he is rightly shattered. How could someone do this?
He vows to find the person responsible and make them pay. Along with his best friend, Ezrah, he sets out to do just that. For a while, Ez is on board, but eventually Felix goes rogue and continues his revenge plot on his own.
There were times when I wanted to scream at Felix, to stop him from making hurtful choices, but he is a teen, acting out of anger and in a way, fear. I also wanted to hug him super tight, but that’s a whole other story.
I had to remember, oh yeah, I was a teen once and I totally would have plotted revenge day and night if someone did to me what was done to him.
In addition to all of the stressful things happening to him at school, and via social media, Felix is also still questioning his identity.
He utilizes local resources to learn more about himself and his feelings. I thought that was such an important detail, showing him reaching out to others in the community that may help him, or provide illumination, on the questions he has.
I think for Felix, it lifted a huge weight off of him, when he realized he wasn’t alone. No matter what he was going through personally, he was connected to many others who were, at the end of the day, fighting very similar battles.
I feel like I could babble on about the minutiae of this story for decades, but I wouldn’t do that to you. In short, READ THIS FREAKING BOOK!!
Oh, also, gender fluidity. Chef’s kiss. So well done.
Okay, okay, that’s it.
P.S. READ IT!!!