April - theme: Young Adult

So, there's a bit of a change in the billed material this month. I did say that I would be reading Brent's suggestion of "Modern Slavery" and I am working on that. That particular book was borrowed from the library and we've been on an epic railtrip this month. I don't want to risk losing a library book in West Texas so I switched!


Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

I shy away from YA romantic fiction usually. I can do the distopias like Hunger Games and The Program but otherwise the likes of Gossip Girls et al. make me sneer at the 14 year old I once was who read them in all seriousness. Exceptions: Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert and They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. They weren't bad.

Anyway back to the book in hand. This was great. I read it in 3 days. I also wasn't sure whether to catagorize this as YA or LGBTQA+. Eventually I came down on the side of YA as I think the feelings explored in this book are universal whether you identify as Trans or Cis.

When I tried to explain the plot to my husband.. this person falls in love with this person who has a crush on this person who might like this person but is going out with this person. All the while our protagonist is trying to find out who uncovered his dead name and posted a gallery of pre-transition pictures on the school wall.

The first sentence sounds like gossip girl crap... the second is more interesting but really it's more like a narrative device than the main point of the book. I think the author has done an amazing job of making the trans part of their character nuanced. The love story overtakes the hideous gallery event towards the beginning and this feels important.

Somehow it is written in such a way that I am suddenly 17 again. All those small microagression's cut so deep. I'm not trans but Kacen has written this in such a way that I think everyone can relate to Felix. The first love feels so important. The way his Dad speaks to him and pronouns him is so important. I'm there with him every step of the way. That's impressive as a I am really a cis gender white woman from the UK!

For the 3 days it took me to read this, I felt like I was a teenager again. It didn't just suck me into a world, it made me relive what being a young adult was all about. Thanks Kacen. 8/10

Staging Outcome: If I had not been on vacation and needing to unload I would have kept it