Canada Reads·Canadian

When Everything Feels like the Movies

Raziel Reid's controversial debut novel was a finalist for Canada Reads 2015.

Raziel Reid

Raziel Reid's debut novel When Everything Feels like the Movies is the coming-of-age story of a young teen who refuses to be anything other than his flamboyant, fashion-loving self. Jude likes wearing his mother's high heels and imagining that the world around him is part of a film set, and he doesn't have it easy in high school, with its cliques and homophobes. His extravagant fantasies and irrepressible nature make Jude one of the most memorable teen characters in recent CanLit. The book won the 2014 Governor General's Literary Award for for young people's literature (text).

When Everything Feels like the Movies is for readers ages 14 and up.

Elaine "Lainey" Lui championed When Everything Feels like the Movies for Canada Reads 2015.

Read an excerpt | Author interviews | More about this book

From the book

My mother's closet was basically a sex shop. It was full of costumes and shoes, which she wore to work. That's 'work' in the original sense, although she werked for a living.

I'd take a pair of her shoes and wear them down in the basement, pretending the cement floor was covered with a red carpet and the washer and dryer were paparazzi. I hoped the conspiracy theory that the iPhone camera lens is the all-seeing eye was true. Big Brother is watching you. Perfect! I loved an audience.


From When Everything Feels like the Movies by Raziel Reid ©2014. Published by Arsenal Pulp Press.

Author interviews

Raziel Reid talks about "When Everything Feels Like the Movies," his controversial, award-winning book. 10:45
Raziel Reid on The Next Chapter 14:13
Canada Reads starts on Monday, and Vancouver author Raziel Reid's debut novel When Everything Feels Like the Movies is one of five contenders vying for the title. 18:14

More from this book

Author Raziel Reid talks about his life and the controversy over the sexual content of his book, When Everything Feels Like the Movies 11:47
Every year, CBC Books chooses the five novels to break down barriers and gets famous Canadians to champion the books. 8:10
It's got the Governor General's stamp of approval for Children's Literature, but some say the award-winning book "When Everything Feels Like the Movies" feels too "vulgar, graphic and offensive" for the honour. 7:02