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  • A great coming of age YA!

    4.5 stars — This felt like a true coming of age YA novel…just one that brings more diversity and representation. And while I learned a LOT about being trans, and about all the different flavours of queer out there, if you break it down it’s also just about Felix figuring out who he is, coming into his own, and embracing himself. I loved how unique that was — because in some ways Felix doesn’t shy away from embracing who he is and being proud of it. But in other ways he’s insecure about his worth because of all the different flavours of marginalized he is. The story just…man, it just really explored a lot of unique topics. Some very specific to the LGBT community, some having to do with race…but most having to do with feelings that every teenager experiences, every human being for that matter — recognizing our own worth and what we have to bring to the table. So yeah, I appreciated that while this was an amazing LGBT story, it was also just a great coming of age story at its most basic. I enjoyed the narrator for sure, he definitely got Felix’s voice just perfect. I loved the emotions he showcased, and there were a lot of them. He also had Felix’s dry wit down to a tee. He wasn’t the *best* at different voices for different characters though — it was a bit harder to tell who was speaking in some moments. And I also had a hard time distinguishing between Felix’s thoughts and dialogue most of the time…which can be a bit frustrating. But in everything else he was solid. I appreciated how authentically teenagers Felix and Ezra and the crew felt like. They had moments where I could see them pushing boundaries and stretching their wings, and other moments where I could see them thinking and worrying over the future. And then there were the moments where they did/said things that made me cringe…unfortunately realistically teenagery. Basically the author nailed it. I loved watching Felix grow and figure things out, and make mistakes, and test waters. I appreciated that he wasn’t perfect, that none of the characters were. Even the jerks weren’t black and white evil, but more on the gray scale. You know, like real life. I honestly had no idea how the romance plot was going to shake out. I had a lot of mixed feelings on it, but I was happy with how it all turned out. Similarly with the mystery of the gallery — I had a lot of different guesses, though I’m not sure if I ever guessed the actual person in the end…even if it makes sense in hindsight. I really loved the art aspects of the story too, seeing the different styles of the characters, and seeing Felix describe his own work. Yeah, I don’t know what else to say about this one. If you appreciate a YA that may be a bit grittier (kids drinking and doing drugs, but not in unhealthy ways necessarily), but also has a lot of light moments mixed with growth, I think you’d enjoy this one.

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