354 pages | Balzer + Bray | Contemporary | Release Date: 5/5/2020
Felix’s last name is Love but he’s never been in it. And he desperately wants to be. Even though society makes him feel unworthy of love because he is queer, trans and Black.
When a transphobic art gallery targeting Felix goes up at his prestigious NYC art school he thinks he knows exactly who did it—his best friend’s ex, Declan Keane. Taking revenge into his own hands, Felix initiates a catfishing scheme and…nothing goes as planned.
Callender delivers an irreverent coming-of-age story about identity, acceptance, and love in all its forms. There is some emotional trauma but this is ultimately a story of joy and acceptance. I know Callender is busy winning every award in every genre ever but I would love if this was a series and the other boys in Felix’s life got a book.
The only thing I didn’t fully buy is the catfishing thing. I know they needed it for the story to happen but I’m not sure you can catfish Gen Z in 2020 ? Felix basically creates an Instagram account with no face pictures and starts commenting and at no point does Declan get suspicious? Even when they start talking on the phone Declan doesn’t recognize his voice ?
I started this book on audio and transgender actor Logan Rosoz does an amazing job with the narration. I looked him up and while I can’t tell exactly how old he is, I hope he gets first dibs on the role in the Amazon show!
For a long time, I was annoyed with how often YA used the the Jerk!Dad trope but I’d now like to submit Abandonment!Mom. This is the third book I’ve read where the mom walked away from the protagonist and their dad, started a new family, and doesn’t talk to her old one.
I’m a lifelong reader who started blogging about YA books in 2011 but now I read in just about every genre! I love YA coming of age stories, compelling memoirs and genre bending SFF. You can find me talking all things romance at Romance and Sensibility.