Monday 17 September 2018

Review: Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry

When Michael walks through the doors of Catholic school, 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 atheist at that. Only this girl, Lucy, isn’t just Catholic . . . she wants to be a priest.
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.
Michael encourages the Heretics to go from secret society to rebels intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies one stunt at a time. But 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.

Review: I loved this book so much, I absolutely flew through it because it was easy to read but also because I was so invested in these characters and the story! Michael is a great character to carry this book, he has the same thoughts and fears of most teenagers and now he has been thrust in a new school, a school where Catholicism, a religion which he doesn't believe in is front and centre. He has issues with his family and the fact that he has moved so much to deal with at the same time and I liked watching the way he dealt with things that were thrown his way. It was also refreshing to have a contemporary young adult novel from a male point of view. I know there are plenty out there but there still aren't enough and I enjoyed having this different perspective!

Lucy is also a wonderful character to read about, she is a devout catholic and wants to be a priest but she is also a feminist and believes in the fair treatment for everyone. She has some skeletons hiding in her closet and I just loved how strong she was. The rest of the cast is made up with a diverse group of teenagers, all of whom bring something different to heretics anonymous, and I love how unique and interesting this author has made her characters. 

For a book based in a religious school, this book definitely doesn't side with one religion or another, which I was really relieved about. This author obviously has a deep knowledge and understanding of the catholic faith and the catholic school system because I have taught in a catholic school and a lot of it was exactly the same. There is also a lot of reference to teachings of the church that have been proven to be questionable or those which are open to interpretation and all in all, this side of the novel felt very well balanced. 

My takeaway from this book was that my teenage self would have loved it, a book set in a private school with a secret room where a special club meets to try and challenge the institution, its a winner for me. This noel was well-balanced with a great group of likable diverse characters and a strong message, It was a quick read and a really enjoyable one!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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