Read for: Recent Purchase
Synopsis: "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."
My Review: After seeing Sam from Sassenach the Book Wizard on Youtube talk about it, I knew I had to get a copy. I really enjoyed this book and found it to be so much more than expected. Not only do we get to see how Michael and his friends deal with the religious aspects, but also so many other prejudices seen in schools. We also learn the fine balance schools have to keep to maintain a learning environment. I really like how the views of many different religions were presented in a non-confrontational manner in much of the book. I also really appreciate how much it makes the reader think about their own beliefs along with the characters. Though going in, you need to have a bit of a sense of humor and an open mind. This is definitely not a book to pick up if you don't like hearing negative aspects of religion. In addition to all the religion and school dynamics, this book also had a lot of family dynamics. I was not really a fan of the romance in this one, it felt a little forced and unnecessary. I am finding it a little difficult to discuss this book without spoilers, but lets just say I appreciate the way the ending was formulated in regards to religion, especially from Michael.
My Rating: I did really enjoy many aspects of this book and I hope that others are able to read it with an open mind, but I know that it will not be for everyone. I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.
So I feel like I need to explain a bit about why this book attracted me so much, my husband and I were both raised in very religious households (mine was Lutheran and his was Catholic) but neither of us really felt that faith or had our questions answered. As adults we have come across far to many hypocrites who are super religious but clearly do not do as they preach. We have raised Munchkin to make his own decisions, answer his questions as he has them, but in order to provide him with the education and the learning environment he needs, we were left with few choices and the best suited was a private Catholic school. We do not agree with the religion but will allow him to make his own choice, we also make it very clear that he is allowed to believe what he wants to believe, currently that does not jive with what he is being taught at school. So I felt like this would be a great book to read with an open mind.