Published by Balzer + Bray on May 5, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
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When transgender teen Felix decides to catfish a rival classmate for revenge, he unexpectedly begins to fall in love with his nemesis online, while also struggling with an anonymous troll sending transphobic messages.
I’m so so glad there’s a book like Felix Ever After that covers intersectional identities in such a layered way! It’s important to have stories with queer POC that are not only celebrated, but to also represent teens and people out there. This has turned out to be one of my favourites of the year, and judging from the Goodreads reviews – it looks like I’m not alone!
Why I loved Felix Ever After
1. It is told from the perspective of a trans boy who is also Black & queer
Felix Ever After is told from the perspective of Felix, a teenage trans boy, who is also Black and queer. It’s so so important, not just for those who can identify with some or all of the marginalisations – but even more for those who don’t and want to be allies. Felix’s insecurities, thoughts and feelings when it came to his mum who has left him, and for being bullied for who he is were honest, heartfelt and raw. Although he’s a bit of a mess at times, and he makes mistakes, it was easy to root for him as a character and I only wanted the best for him.
2. It shows you that not everyone is as they seem
When Felix starts “catfishing” Declan, his bully on social media, determined to find out his secrets, I wasn’t so sure about the direction of the story. However, things didn’t turn out the way I expected, and I loved how crucial this plot line was to the story. Felix is frustrated at people who bully him for who he is – and rightly so, but he also holds some prejudices about popular/white people who are wealthy and privileged. I loved getting to know Declan through their text messages, even though I immediately hated him from the start.
3. It celebrates queerness in so many ways
Felix and his group of friends are all queer in one way or another. While they faced lots of bullying and horrible, transphobic comments, it was nice to see Ezra and Felix band together in such a supportive way. One thing that Felix Ever After does is also explore the ways that bullying and harrassment can happen – even from within the queer community itself – and how Black, POC and trans people can even suffer from it. That’s something I definitely haven’t seen from a book before.
4. It features a soft, supportive friendship
I loved the friendship between Ezra and Felix, because it felt like they just “got” each other on another level. When their lives got messy and complicated due to family, exes and their life goals, they were the one lights in each other’s lives. I loved how they could talk about anything and everything, and that they could delve into their deeper most thoughts and feelings that one would only share with someone they completely trusted.
“It’s easier to accept hurt and pain, sometimes, than love and acceptance.”
I’m so so glad that this book exists for teens and those who are questioning their identities – and for others who want to be allies, or understand more about what its like as a trans person. With so many intersectional identities and queerness, a blooming romance and a best friend who you may or may not have feelings for – this book is such a joy to read. It’s a wonderful read about love, acceptance, understanding and questioning your identity even after you think you’ve got it all worked out.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Trigger warnings: transphobia, homophobia, parental abandonment