Hi everyone! I was really looking forward to this book for a few reasons: I love the cover, the title grabbed my attention right away, and the premise sounded interesting. I liked the book… but that’s about as strong as my feelings go.
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.
I really loved how religion was treated in this book, but everything else seemed to fall into the “average” category for me. The character depth was okay, the plot seemed to move at a strange pace, and the character development was either very sudden or non-existent. That being said, there wasn’t anything in this book that I actively disliked.
Believe me, I wanted to love this book. I read the first couple of chapters and really wanted to read the rest when I had finished the sample. Maybe I just went into it with too high of expectations, but it just felt flat to me.
Starting with the positives:
- Religion was handled really well in this book. The characters had some great discussions without judgement (and sometimes with, but they grew and learned from it) and various religions were explored. Tolerance and understanding were the goal, and I think that was reached in a way that discussed with rather than preached to the reader. The way the characters call out the hypocrisy of their school and what they are being taught was really interesting to read, and I loved their revolutionary minds and ways.
I want to say there was more that I liked, but that’s all I can think of. I couldn’t tell you much about the characters or major plot points because I didn’t find them that memorable. I can say that overall I did like the characters and the plot while I was reading the book, but it isn’t one that I’m going to be recommending to many people or rereading. I would say that you should read this if you are looking to expand your knowledge about religions and religious tolerance, but not so much if you are looking for a great character- or plot-driven book.