July 2021 BOTM: Felix Ever After
Author: Kacen Callender
Genre: YA Contemporary
Page Count: 368
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Date Published: May 5, 2020
You can find it here: Bookshop.org
YA Contemporary is typically a genre I dislike. But I’ve found hard-hitting contemporary, stories that take a strong look at important socio-political topics, hit the right balance for me – the lightness/heaviness is in perfect harmony.
So enters Felix Ever After. This story about a transgender male teen finding love and acceptance during a hot summer in a New York City arts school, in that tricky time in-between teen and adulthood, is gritty, raw, and so very messy and real. Written with honesty, passion and vulnerability I truly loved this gem of a story that perfectly balances sweetness and gravitas.
Felix Love, gifted artist and high school senior, has two major life goals: snag a scholarship to Brown University and fall in love. Being Black, queer, and transgender means his path is anything but easy or straight forward.
Enrolled in summer classes at St. Catherine’s Art School in New York, Felix is struggling to come up with his submission project to Brown, grappling with his identity, and trying to get his well meaning father to stop dead-naming him. When a fellow student exposes pictures of him before his transition to the whole school and begins sending anonymous hateful, transphobic messages – Felix is determined to get revenge.
But he didn’t count on his revenge plan landing him in a love triangle. As Felix navigates all the swirling, conflicting emotions in his external relationships, he finds that it is his relationship with himself that will prove most difficult.
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