Review of Felix Ever After

Felix Ever After
by Kacen Callender
High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    357 pp.    g
5/20    978-0-06-282025-9    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-0-06-282027-3    $10.99

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.

From the July/August 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Luann Toth
Luann Toth

Luann Toth is a former reviews editor at School Library Journal. She holds an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh.

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