Posted in 2022 Books, Book Reviews, ProjectLitBookClub

Felix Ever After

This was my first book by Kacen Callender which is weird because I have followed them on Twitter for a while. But I checked to make sure, and I haven’t read anything else on their publication list. I think I started following them after watching BookCon back in 2020 when it was all virtual.

This story is about Felix (bet you couldn’t tell that by the cover) who is a trans boy living in New York City. Now, I listened to the audiobook on this one, and I tend to listen very fast, so I’m sure there are things along the way that I missed. But Felix and his best friend Ezra have a very sweet, close relationship. Although, it was a little weird to me that Ezra had his own place, and Felix’s dad was always okay with Felix just leaving the house and staying with Ezra for days at a time. I get it, kids in New York City grow up differently, and then Ezra is super rich, and they go to this private school, so all things I don’t understand. As a parent, it was just weird to me that Felix was able to do his own thing all the time.

Felix struggles a lot throughout the book, and honestly, he did get on my nerves just a little when he would complain about his dad, but again, I think that comes from my vantage point of being a parent and not a teenager while reading this book.

Felix also has no relationship with his mom. She left ‘a while ago.’ I don’t think it’s clearly stated how long Felix and his dad have been on their own, but Felix writes her emails, a lot, but never sends them. So he’s just got an inbox of 400+ drafted emails. This part kinda broke my heart. He does eventually send one, but I’ll leave what happens out to avoid spoilers.

What I liked about this book was that it had a transgender main character. Representation matters in life, and more so in books. I liked that Felix struggled with his identity. The book shows him reaching out for help, doing research, asking questions, and discovering himself. I think it definitely got the point that it’s okay not to know all the answers across really well.

I also enjoy Felix’s journey figuring out love. If anyone can ever figure it out. It was a very sweet story, and I think it was nice that he figured himself out first.

All that to say, if you’re looking for a well-written book with a trans main character, this is definitely a good one.

If you’re looking for a book about finding yourself and finding love, again, this is a good one.

Posted in 2022 Books, Book Reviews, Gateways 2022-23


Gateway Nominee for 2022-23 School Year

If you like the sea and all sorts of talk about the water, boats, storms, dredging, and sea trading, then you will like this book. It took me most of the the book to get into it. I get that with every fantasy book there is a lot of world building that takes place, and this book is no exception.

Fable, the main character, is alone on Jeval making her own way as a dredger. You know what a dredger is right, everyone does? No? Oh, me either. Had to look that one up. I’ve heard the word used as a cooking term, but apparently, as it is used in this book, it means a person who searches underwater for things. You learn early on that she doesn’t have many, if any, friends, and her whole purpose in life is to make enough money to get off Jeval and make it back to Saint. Her one ally, if you can even call him that, is West who consistently buys findings from dredging.

I have to admit, I was pretty bored with this book until about page 200 (of 353). I’m not too interested in sea-life, so all the world-building and back stories that are needed in a fantasy book were pretty uninteresting to me. This isn’t to say that the book was written poorly. It absolutely wasn’t. I was just not interested.

Now, after Fable reunites with this Saint guy, that’s when it picks up and gets interesting. I will read the follow up book Namesake because the book ended on a cliffhanger (of course), and now I do want to know what happens. I may even come back and read Fable again after I finish Namesake, because the beginning may make more sense to me. All in all I would recommend the book for my fantasy-loving students and friends.

Posted in 2022 Books, Book Reviews

Obsession – Review

This year I made a list of 125 books that I wanted to read by the end of the year. Frankly, it was silly of me to make such a list because I’m constantly being suckered in to read other books by friends, bookstagram, or when my favorite authors put out new books. Eventually I’ll get through those 125 books.

This book was NOT on my original list. It was published last year, but I hadn’t heard of it until a friend of mine from work posted about it on social media. I decided to get it from her and read it myself. It was such a quick read. I finished it within a day just picking it up from time to time and reading while my summer school classes worked on independent work.

The basic premise is captured on the cover of the book. Boy meets girl, boy stalks girl, girl gets revenge. However, there are two sub-plots that I would have loved if more time had been given to them. The book is told from dual narrators Logan and Delilah (called “Dee” most of the time). We learn that Delilah is not the first girl Logan becomes obsessed with pretty early on, and we also see that he has some major problems as our first scene with him is in the guidance counselor’s office.

Dee is meant to seem innocent, but as the book plays out, you see that’s not completely true. In fact, I left the book wondering who the true victim/villain really was.

While I did like this book there were a few things I wish the author would have spent more time on:

  • The Logan/Sophie story – we get to know a little about this, but I still feel that the author could have given us more details. Maybe from conversations between Dee and Logan’s friends.
  • Dee’s dad. Like he had an accident and the town hates him. I didn’t get why. Maybe a skim read over that explanation.
  • The whole Brandon/abuse/cop story. I feel like a little more explanation would have been great here.
  • The drug selling. Everything here was vague.

All in all, I would definitely recommend this. I think it would be good for struggling readers too as the pace moves very quickly. Definitely a high school book.

Also trigger warnings of physical/mental abuse, drug use, and stalking.

Posted in 2022 Books, Book Reviews, ProjectLitBookClub

Sadie – Review

This book has been on my TBR list for over a year. Everyone I knew who had read it really liked it. So one day this past semester, I was down in our school library chatting with our media specialist, and I saw it. I went to grab it and she stopped me, “Don’t do it,” she said. My initial thought was that I had heard such good things, what was her problem with the book. She went on to tell me that the audio book was SO GOOD that I would probably enjoy that much more than the physical copy.

At that time I had about 4 other audio books on my Libby app, so I put off checking it out. It wasn’t until about 2 weeks ago that I added it and started listening to it, and within minutes, I was hooked! The book is told from a dual narrative perspective, so when Sadie is telling her story, it is a narrative, but when its West McCray’s turn, it is like listening to a podcast. There is even intro music for the show. I definitely enjoyed the audio of the book.

The basic premise of this one is that Sadie is a teenage girl whose younger sister, Mattie, is found dead and now Sadie is missing as well. You find out pretty early on that Sadie believes she knows who is responsible and has taken up on a search to find him and kill him.

As the story unravels from the two perspectives, we learn a lot about Sadie and Mattie’s past and the trauma they endured. We learn that the man Sadie is after has a much more troublesome past (and present) than Sadie even realizes as she sets off on her journey.

I feel like this book was very well put together. I haven’t read anything else by Courtney Summers, but once I make a dent in my TBR, I’ll be sure to check more of hers out.