Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
When Felix, a Black trans boy, starts receiving anonymous transphobic messages, he becomes determined to seek revenge on the person that did it. Little does he know that this will lead him into a complicated catfishing mess that makes him questions his precious assumptions about people. At the same time, he’s questioning his identity. He knows he’s not a girl, but being a boy all the time just doesn’t feel right either.
Queer, young adult, contemporary
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.
This is an important book in the move toward diversity in the publishing industry. The intersectionality of being both Black and trans is something rarely explored. The transphobia may be too much for some people, as it’s a large part of the story, but Felix’s self-exploration is the focus.
I disliked the catfishing plot line, as it made Felix less likeable and is never fully addressed as the harmful action it was. However, overall the book was very enjoyable. I was thrilled that not only does it have a trans protagonist, but this protagonist is still questioning his identity. The binary between being a boy or a girl is questioned and explored, and it shows how trans people can be valid without being fully one or the other.
In a lot of ways it’s a classic YA story, as Felix deals with his relationship with his dad, an interest in finding romance, and navigating friendships. Felix just also happens to be trans, which adds a whole other layer to his self-exploration.
A very cute and important book which is a great step for trans literature.