Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry
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.
First, I have to state that I’m not religious at all. I heard good things about this book, so I requested it needing something light to read. It was so much better than I expected it to be!
I really liked Michael. He doesn’t believe in God, but his family moved again and they enrolled him into a Catholic school. I knew right away that Michael would be a stand out character for me. There were so many times that I laughed out loud. But I also loved his growth throughout the book. Michael definitely had a lot of anger at his father for moving them all the time. He found a group at this school that he fit into, but he made a lot of mistakes along the way.
“It’s first period and only one person definitely wants me dead. Things are going better than expected.”
I also like Lucy, Avi, Eden, and Max. They were all so different, but they found ways to bond. Not because they hated their school or religion, but because there were things that made them outcasts or made them question things. Eden believed in multiple Gods. Avi was gay and Jewish. Max broke the dress code often because he wanted to wear a cloak. And Lucy was a feminist and wanted more progression for women in the church. Lucy wanted to be a priest.
The kids all decided to take their group a bit further. To try to change things. My favorite part was the sex video. I thought it was perfect and I laughed a lot.
“Before Father Peter’s even finished with the introduction, Purity Paul bursts through the center of the curtains, carrying a mic in his hand and wearing a smile that could only be caused by Jesus or LSD.”
Michael takes things too far on his own and has to deal with the consequences. He work on his relationship with his dad and tries to find ways to make it up to Lucy. He starts to understand things from other perspectives, even if he doesn’t agree with them.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and gave it 4 1/2 stars (rounded up to 5). There were quite a few parts that I related to and it made me laugh a lot.
Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for giving me a copy for review. All quotes are taken from an ARC and could change before final printing.
If you enjoyed this book, I highly recommend checking out the movie Saved! that came out in 2004. I loved this one and this book reminded me that I need to watch it again soon.
When a girl attending a Christian high school becomes pregnant, she finds herself ostracized and demonized, as all of her former friends turn on her.
Hilary Faye: Mary, turn away from Satan. Jesus, he loves you.
Mary: You don’t know the first thing about love.
Hilary Faye: [throws a Bible at Mary] I am FILLED with Christ’s love! You are just jealous of my success in the Lord.
Mary: [Mary holds up the Bible] This is not a weapon! You idiot.
(Quote taken from IMDB)
Have you read Heretics Anonymous yet? Have you seen the movie Saved!? What did you think?