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Felix Ever After: 06/13/20

Felix Ever After

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender is set in New York, primarily on Manhattan island. Felix Love has never been in love. He's too focused on his art and getting into Brown. He needs a killer portfolio but now his efforts are being sabotaged by someone at school who has deadnamed him and hung pre-surgery photos from his locked Instagram account.

I'm going to be upfront and say I don't know what high school life is like in New York City beyond knowing they have a bunch of specialized schools that are similar to the colleges Australia has in that they are specialized. I also don't know what rules, laws, guidelines etc, New York has for minors who wish to transition. I also don't know what New York's marijuana laws are.

Keep all of this in mind as the book features a seventeen year old main character who has already had top surgery. He routinely skips class to do drugs with his best friend.

Here, the top surgery for minors isn't a thing. Transitioning takes time and there are steps built into the process (for better or worse) that wouldn't make it possible for Felix to have had top surgery already. What would be available would be hormone blockers and a binder.

If things are significantly different in New York, that's not addressed in the narrative. One line to explain how lucky he is to live where he does would be sufficient. As it is, the book reads like a New Adult story crammed into a Young Adult book. Felix would be a believable twenty-something. As a seventeen year old, I'm having trouble believing the amount of agency he already has.

Quibbles aside, Felix is an engaging character. Felix lives in a diverse New York that mirrors the real world. While he's the only trans kid among his circle of friends, he's not the only queer one. His story is refreshing compared to the usual story where the character is still at the point of having to out themselves to their friends and family to move onto the process of living with their gender identity rather than their assigned gender.

Four stars

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