This amazing book and its characters have completely captured my heart! Felix Ever After is one of the most beautiful, thought-provoking, heartfelt and raw coming-of-age stories I’ve ever read. It’s so educational and deals with so many important topics, but it’s also such a light, captivating and enjoyable read.
“I’m not flaunting anything. I’m just existing. This is me. I can’t hide myself. I can’t disappear. And even if I could, I don’t fucking want to. I have the same right to be here, I have the same right to exist.”
The story follows seventeen-year-old black trans boy Felix Love, who despite his surname has never been in love and who is afraid that he might be one marginalization too many to ever get his own happily-ever-after. Felix lives with his single dad, after his mother abandoned them when he was younger, and is feeling a lot of pressure to get a scholarship to get into Brown University. To gain extra credits he’s doing a summer art program at a posh Manhattan school together with his best friend Ezra. But this summer will not only be about managing the pressure to create a college application worthy portfolio but about managing life on a wider level and navigating homophobia, his dad’s incomprehension, his own feelings towards a classmate and his best friend, as well as the constant nagging feeling in his chest making him questioning himself and his own identity and the labels attributed to him.
When Felix first could put words on what he was feeling, after reading the book “I am J” by Cris Beam, it was such an epiphany for him:
“Reading about J, it was like... I don’t know, not only did a lightbulb go off in me, but the sun itself came out from behind these eternal clouds, and everything inside me blazed with the realization: I’m a guy.”
But now, a few years in his transition, he’s still on his journey to self-discovery and to feeling at home in his gender identity. I really, really appreciated the part with Felix being happy for the transition and for being a trans boy, but still actively questioning the gender binary. The book was so educational, open and honest, and I got so many insights from the discussions Felix had with himself, his friends and the support group. I also appreciated all open-minded discussions about labels and how they can be useful for some and even offer protection and be a means to understanding and acceptance, while others might find them limiting and difficult, not wanting to use them at all. As Felix’s friend Ezra put it:
“I honestly don’t care that much about labels. I mean, I know they’re important to a lot of people, and I can see why - I’m not knocking them. It’s just... I kind of wish we could exist without having to worry about putting ourselves into categories. If there were no straight people, no violence or abuse or homophobia or anything, would we even need labels, or would we just be?”
Overall, this is one of my favorite books ever! I stayed up all night to read it in one sitting, so invested in Felix and Ezra and the others, and so captivated by the beautiful, honest and wonderful story. Felix Ever After is the perfect mix of important insights, first love, self-discovery, fear, hope and happiness and wonderful friendships. I rooted almost as much for Ezra as I did for Felix, and their friendship is one of the most supportive and wonderful ones I’ve seen in literature. This is also a story that is soaked in diversity and representation in such a refreshing way, giving so many positive examples of queer identities. Honestly, it’s such an insightful and important book that everyone should read! I know it will stay with me for a very long time.
I just have one tiny, tiny complaint and that is that I would have liked to know more about Felix’s mother. For an ending going full circle she would have at least responded to his last email, preferably with an understandable explanation, but at least with some kind of acceptance of Felix as her son. But who knows, if we are lucky, maybe we will get a sequel with Felix being accepted at Brown, following him at college and when he gets in touch with his mother again? One can always hope…
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton A. Meredith Walters Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.G. Drews Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elizabeth Acevedo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray John Green Julianne Donaldson Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Williamson Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve River Braun Roan Parrish Roseanne A. Brown Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Saundra Mitchell Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophie Gonzales Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Teagan Hunter Tiffany D. Jackson T.J. Klune Tomi Adeyemi Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez