Book Review: Heretics Anonymous
Heretics Anonymous was a refreshing book to read. It had all the hallmarks of a great young adult book, but was also any like any other YA book I have read. It’s heartwarming, full of charming characters, and a quick read about religion, new friendships, young love, and family tensions.
For Fans of:
Autoboyography by Christina Lauren; Dumplin by Julie Murphy, Tell Me 3 Things by Julie Buxbaum.
RATING: 4 / 5
The story centers around Michael, a high school Junior, who, much to his dismay, is the newest student at St. Claire’s Catholic School. As an atheist in a sea of saint statues and plaid, he feels isolated until he meets 4 other students who make up the secret club Heretics Anonymous. The group comes together to support one another as fellow outsiders, and eventually to protest the school’s rules and traditions they find unacceptable.
At the heart of Heretics Anonymous is young people grappling with religion, spirituality, morality, and belief systems. Throughout the whole story I was surprised by how much it made me think about my own experiences with religion. This story was a great picture of what it felt like to be a teen in an environment (family, school, community) whose values are at odds with your own. I found the characters to be authentic and interesting, and despite the subject matter, they all genuinely felt like high schoolers.
However, this book is more than just a story about teenagers and religion, it is also funny, clever, and charming. There is a cute romance, and although it is not the center of the story it does play a significant role book.
My biggest issue with this book is that I was left wanting more. I felt like the ending was a little abrupt and was hoping for more closure. But, maybe that just means that I really loved reading it? I was sad to leave that world, and definitely connected with each of the characters. It made me wish I could go back to my Christian high school and find my own group of heretics.