“I believe in love. I believe in the love Lucy shows me, the kind I’ll try hard to give back to her in full. I believe in things I can’t put into words, but things I know to be true.
I believe in us. I believe in this.
Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry follows 17 year old Michael who begins at a catholic school as an atheist. His father’s job made his family relocate, moving again, and Michael desperately needs friends. So when a girl named Lucy in his theology class stands up against their teacher, he thinks she might be the perfect no-catholic friend. However,, Lucy isn’t an athirst, she’s an aspiring priest. Instead, she introduces Michael to the outcasts of St.Clare, and together they can all be themselves, forming a secret (vigilante-ish) club they call Heretics Anonymous.
This book was unexpectedly funny. While listening to the audiobook, I found myself laughing out loud multiple times. Michael was snarky and sarcastic, but the book was still respectful of other’s religion. While the topic of religion was consistently challenged, it wasn’t anti religion, and the underlying theme and core message was acceptance and tolerance. It shows that everyone’s beliefs can be (and are) different, but we should all be able to coexist peacefully and respect others beliefs. Michael, the main character has many flaws, like being extremely stubborn, a bit obnoxious, and impulsive , but it adds to the overall narrative when you see how much he grows from the beginning to the end. His relationship with his father is very strained, as he blames his fathers job for moving for moving their family around so much and uprooting him from friends that he continues to make over and over again. As they tiptoe around each other until Michael has enough and drama ensues. Their relationship grows so much by the end, and it made me really happy to see them understand and eventually forgive one another.
In addition, I loved the whole Heretics Anonymous gang! Lucy is a fierce feminist, aspiring to be a priest, and who does not take shit from anyone, including Michael. She challenges unjust and prejudiced aspects of her religion, but still learns a great deal from Heretics Anonymous, especially Eden. Lucy is a loyal Catholic that recognizes its faults, yet still remains adamant in her faith. Ari was so fun to read about, and was fiercely protective of his friends. Max was super quirky and so damn precious, and Eden was totally badass!
All together, the group enlightened one another and introduced them to new perspectives, creating an amazing, healthy friendship that was an absolute pleasure to read! 4 stars, I recommend this book to anyone looking to learn, laugh, or just read about really good friends 🙂
“I don’t believe in God, but that doesn’t mean I believe in nothing.”