Felix Ever After
Felix Ever After

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Annotation: Felix Love, a transgender seventeen-year-old, attempts to get revenge by catfishing his anonymous bully, but lands in a quasi-love triangle with his former enemy and his best friend.
Catalog Number: #218567
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 354 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-282025-7 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8275-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-282025-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8275-3
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2020003451
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
At seventeen, Felix Love feels marginalized as a Black teen, an aspiring artist, and a trans male. His mom left the family when he was ten, and although his dad tries hard to be supportive, he still calls Felix by his deadname and struggles to "understand" his child. Felix is attending his prestigious prep school's summer program to better his chances of winning a coveted art scholarship to Brown University, but he has difficulty focusing on his all-important portfolio. When someone hacks archived pre-transition images of him from Instagram and mounts them in the school's gallery, Felix's already fragile self-image is shaken to the core. His initial thirst for revenge leads him to dig deep, open himself to others, and learn to accept and affirm who he really is as a person (a demiboy) and an artist. Meanwhile, his safe friendship with classmate Ezra Patel becomes a source of conflict -- and then a new relationship altogether. The writing is smart and engaging, and #OwnVoices author Callender includes sound information and responsible psychological guidance without bogging down the storytelling. Felix does ultimately find love in this sweet and tender trans romance, but his hardest-won victory is in the fight to validate his self-worth. Luann Toth
Kirkus Reviews
Jealousies and deceit resolve into affirmation and artistic self-love.Seventeen-year-old black trans boy narrator Felix Love wants romance but lacks self-understanding. No longer a girl, he thinks “boy” doesn’t always fit either. Felix’s dad deadnames him despite supporting his top surgery and hormone therapy, and he hates his mom for leaving when he was 10. Felix’s self-image shatters when his pre-transition photos and name appear in the school gallery—followed by relentless transphobic texts. A talented visual artist, Felix dreams of an art scholarship to Brown. His uber-rich, down-to-earth best friend, Ezra Patel, helps him navigate contentious relationships at their private art school’s summer intensive and shares copious pot and booze with Felix. But this friendship falters when Ezra starts dating Austin, and Felix thinks he likes Declan—Ezra’s ex and Felix’s rival for the art scholarship. Felix's ethnicity seems to have no cultural richness, surfacing primarily when he’s being marginalized for his race, poverty, and gender. Keeping up with his devastating episodes of self-doubt and anxiety along with the story’s complicated plot details make this an exhausting read, and although Felix ultimately overcomes some oppressive transphobia, the barrage of blatant ignorance and bigotry he faces might haunt readers despite the book's ebullient ending.A trauma- and drama-filled demiboy’s story that’s not for the faint of heart. (author’s note, resources) (Fiction. 14-18)
Publishers Weekly
Black trans artist Felix Love, 17, has never been in love. His mostly supportive single father still struggles to call him by his name and pronouns, and Felix is convinced that nobody except his ride-or-die bestie, wealthy Ezra Patel, can appreciate him for who he is. Felix is attending an ultracompetitive arts summer program to have a better shot at a full scholarship to Brown when someone posts Felix-s dead name beside photos of him, pre-transition, in the school-s lobby. As Ezra begins dating a new guy and the competition for Brown heats up, Felix-s plot to get revenge throws him onto the path of love and self-discovery-concepts he-s been anxious about for as long as he can remember. Callender (King and the Dragonflies) excels, producing an exhilarating cast of queer characters, many of whom are people of color, who are as relatable as they are realistic, and a whodunit that will keep readers guessing to the last twist. Protagonist Felix is like the story itself-boldly empathic, hopeful, and full of love. This top-notch depiction of a messy, complicated, romantic young artist navigating the bumpy road to self-love and self-determination sticks its landing at every turn. Ages 14-up. Agent: Beth Phelan, Gallt & Zacker Literary. (May)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 9 Up-Black, queer, and trans Felix explores love, friendship, and possibly retribution in this powerful nVoices story of identity and self-worth. Seventeen-year-old Felix Love hopes the summer art program he's attending will help raise his grades and increase his chances of getting a full scholarship to attend Brown. Surrounded by a diverse and mostly queer group of artist friends, Felix navigates complicated relationships, including transphobia and harassment from his own friends, from his loving but still learning father, and from an anonymous bully. Bent on revenge, Felix begins catfishing his top suspect, only to encounter some uncomfortable and surprising revelations about not just his potential tormentor, but his own feelings. Coping with the abandonment of his mother and feeling like he isn't worthy of love, Felix also grapples with the unsettling feeling that his identity still isn't the best fit. It's only after a lot of research that he discovers the label "demiboy" and begins to feel a sense of comfort that extends to how he works through and untangles his various complex relationships, both romantic and platonic. Immensely readable, the narration and the dialogue are honest, smart, and at times, bitingly vicious. Felix and friends are complicated characters, constantly fighting, messing up, and making up. Felix is achingly relatable, both vulnerable and guarded, often on the sidelines but wanting so much more. His explorations address privilege, marginalization, and intersectionality while he learns about what and who get to define a person. VERDICT Full of warmth, love, and support, this is an important story and an essential purchase. Amanda MacGregor, Parkview Elementary School, Rosemount, MN
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Seventeen-year-old Felix is Black, queer, and trans. He's had a rough start to the new semester, between feeling neglected by his best friend and being targeted by a transphobic bully who has deadnamed him and hung up old photos from his childhood in the lobby of the school for all to see. In the process of pursuing revenge, Felix also questions whether or not he feels comfortable identifying as a boy, searching for a label that better suits him. And to top it all off, he's still processing feelings of abandonment from when his mother left him and his father. With each passing day, Felix makes new discoveries about himself nding the descriptor demiboy is a game-changer, for instance d the people closest to him, including one or two he never thought he'd ever get close to. Callender (This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story, 2018) populates Felix's world with a cast of queer, trans, and racially diverse individuals, genuinely reflecting the lives of many who work hard to build a supportive chosen family. From its stunning cover art to the rich, messy, nuanced narrative at its heart, this is an unforgettable story of friendship, heartbreak, forgiveness, and self-discovery, crafted by an author whose obvious respect for teen readers radiates from every page.
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: 9-12

From Stonewall and Lambda Award-winning author Kacen Callender comes a revelatory YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time. 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 marginalization 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 recognizing the love you deserve.

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