Callender, Kacen. Felix Ever After. Fiction. Balzer & Bray, 05/2020. 354pp. $18.99. 978-0-06-282025-9. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 9-12.
Felix is a queer black trans teen who is still struggling with identity. Though certain he is not female, he doesn’t always feel 100 percent male. Felix arrives at his art school one day to find someone has posted a gallery of his pre-transition self, complete with deadname. Felix is devastated, and in going after the person he believes is responsible, he has to face some truths about the target and his own relationships. This powerful #ownvoices story does not shy away from the harassment and misconceptions trans teens face. The narrative deftly explores the idea of continuing to question identity and looking for the right language to describe a shifting and layered experience of gender (“demiboy” is one of the labels that ultimately resonates the most strongly with Felix). The characters vary in culture, gender identity and gender expression, and have depth. The resolution of the mystery and of Felix’s personal journey is satisfying. Review based on an ARC.
Carla Riemer, Albany High School