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Felix Ever After
Cover of Felix Ever After
Felix Ever After
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A Stonewall Honor BookA Time Magazine Best YA Book Of All TimeFrom Stonewall and Lambda Award–winning author Kacen Callender comes a revelatory YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with...
A Stonewall Honor BookA Time Magazine Best YA Book Of All TimeFrom Stonewall and Lambda Award–winning author Kacen Callender comes a revelatory YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with...
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Description-

  • A Stonewall Honor Book

    A Time Magazine Best YA Book Of All Time

    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.

    "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. Felix's plot to get revenge throws him onto the path of love and self-discovery." (Publishers Weekly, "An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List")

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Kacen Callender is originally from Saint Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands. Kacen has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA from the New School's writing for children program. They are also the author of the young adult novel This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story and the middle grade novel Hurricane Child, winner of the Stonewall Book Award and Lambda Literary Award.

    They can be found online at www.kacencallender.com.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from March 1, 2020

    Gr 9 Up-Black, queer, and trans Felix explores love, friendship, and possibly retribution in this powerful #OwnVoices 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

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 30, 2020
    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.

  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2020
    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)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from May 15, 2020
    Grades 8-12 *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?finding the descriptor demiboy is a game-changer, for instance?and 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.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "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."
  • ALA Booklist (starred review) "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."
  • School Library Journal (starred review) "Felix explores love, friendship, and possibly retribution in this powerful #OwnVoices story of identity and self-worth... Full of warmth, love, and support, this is an important story and an essential purchase."
  • Horn Book Magazine "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."
  • CNN Underscored "An intricate love story for the ages."
  • Mason Deaver, bestselling author of I Wish You All the Best "This is a story about friendships, finding first loves, and continuing to discover yourself even after you thought you had all the answers. I can't talk about my love for this book enough—it's going to change lives."
  • Jackson Bird, author of Sorted: Growing Up, Coming Out, and Finding My Place "From effervescent characters that I still can't get out of my head to the sizzling backdrop of a New York City summer, Callender brings vibrance to a story that desperately needed to be told."
  • justin a. reynolds, author of Opposite of Always
    "There are stories that are vital and there are stories that are brilliantly crafted. Callender delivers both in this beautiful exploration of friendship, new love, and self."
  • Casey McQuiston, bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue "A firecracker of a book from an author with a powerful point of view, Felix Ever After is refreshingly real—full of queer kids who live and breathe and swear and love and make messy mistakes. Teens need this one."
  • Nic Stone, bestselling author of Dear Martin "I've never read a book that more perfectly balances hardship, hope and happiness. This story shines a spotlight on the one thing that transcends all differences: a desire to be loved and to love in return."
  • Becky Albertalli, bestselling author of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda "Felix Ever After never shies away from the beautiful, messy complexity of love in all its forms. This book is a gift, from start to finish."

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