Jennifer's Reviews > Felix Yz

Felix Yz by Lisa Bunker
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it was ok
bookshelves: mg-lgtbq, mg-sci-fi

I'm not sure what to make of this book; it had an interesting premise that was cluttered by too many distracting, unrelated details.

I was intrigued by the main story of 13-year old Felix being fused with Zyx, a being from the 4th dimension, ever since a horrible lab accident when he was 3 that also killed his father. I liked seeing Felix's relationships with his family and with Zyx, and empathized with dealing with a bully, first crush, and his increasing anxiety over the impending Procedure to attempt to separate him and Zyx. However, I felt like there was just too much extraneous stuff going on that took away from the story.

Not only does Felix have an alien inside his head and have a crush on another boy, but his mom is bisexual, his grandparent is gender-fluid (or perhaps non-binary?), and he is befriended by a transgender boy. I have no issue with LGTBQ themes when they are done well and feel like a natural part of the characters and story, but there was just too much going on here. Rather than focusing on Felix's same-sex crush and continuing uncertainty of the relationship, it seems the author felt compelled to include as many LGTBQ representations as possible. I personally found it distracting, annoying, and smacked of tokenism to me. Then there was the whole side bit about playing chess that really added nothing to the story other than to introduce a new love interest and romantic conflict for Felix's mother, and the completely irrelevant "family secret" which were just more distractions.

I really wish the author had just focused on the the main story and developed the relationships between Felix and Zyx and between Felix and Hector further, rather than wasting time going off on all these tangents. It was just way too much crammed into a short middle-grade novel. I'd give the main story a 3.5, but all the distractions drag the book down to a 2.5 for me, and if I had a kid looking for a sci-fi book with LGTBQ characters I would try to find a better one before suggesting this one.
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Reading Progress

January 3, 2018 – Started Reading
January 3, 2018 – Shelved
January 3, 2018 – Shelved as: mg-lgtbq
January 3, 2018 – Shelved as: mg-sci-fi
January 3, 2018 – Finished Reading

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