My Rating ~ Five stars
RELEASED: 7 August 2018
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Michael is an atheist. So as he walks through the doors at St. Clare’s—a strict Catholic school—sporting a plaid tie, things can’t get much worse. His dad has just made the family move again, and Michael needs a friend. When a girl challenges their teacher in class, Michael thinks he might have found one, and a fellow nonbeliever at that. Only this girl, Lucy, is not just Catholic . . . she wants to be a priest.
But Lucy introduces Michael to other St. Clare’s outcasts, and he officially joins Heretics Anonymous, where he can be an atheist, Lucy can be an outspoken feminist, Avi can be Jewish and gay, Max can wear whatever he wants, and Eden can practice paganism. After an incident in theology class, Michael encourages the Heretics to go from secret society to rebels intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies. When Michael takes one mission too far—putting the other Heretics at risk—he must decide whether to fight for his own freedom, or rely on faith, whatever that means, in God, his friends, or himself.
Throws all the stars at the screen. I’m here to say I loved this book. I LOVED IT. The characters were amazing and I snorted with laughter SO many times. I went into this story expecting a few laughs, and I definitely got that and more, but what I didn’t expect was the incredible way the author would craft each of the characters so that no matter what your beliefs, you would find yourself relating to their feelings and thoughts. When Michael hears Lucy challenge their teacher on parts of theology, he immediately assumes she’s an atheist too. But she’s a catholic who isn’t afraid to challenge the parts of her faith she sees as unjust. There were a lot of moments that really showed religion, or non religion, doesn’t have to be an ‘all in’ situation and we don’t have to understand why people believe what they do to respect their beliefs.
Michael’s sarcasm was brilliant and relatable and Lucy was such a lovely and complex character. I’m not at all religious myself, but I really admired the way Lucy managed to be an outspoken, intelligent feminist (and challenge the parts of her faith she felt were wrong or outdated) while still remaining loyal to that faith. As for Max, I wanted to pull him and his fabulous cloaks out of the book and make him be my friend in real life. Honestly, I find it so rare to come across a YA novel that is both hilarious and thought provoking and Heretics Anonymous had it all.
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