Skip to main content

Spotlight Review: Heretics Anonymous

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry (August 7)
Overview: Micheal has moved four times in ten years. This time, the move has landed him at a prestigious Catholic school instead of the local public school. This does not go well with his atheist beliefs. On his first day, he meets Lucy, an outspoken Catholic girl who's frustrated that she can't change anything about the flaws she sees in the church she loves. She introduces him to the underground club, Heretics Anonymous where students of other faiths come to vent about the unfair policies of the school. Spurred into action by Micheal's fire, the atheist, gay, Jewish boy, pagan girl, Unitarian boy, and Catholic leader make changes in the school that no one will forget. Overall: 5+++

Characters: 5 This book carries a deeply complex narrative that is driven by the amazing detail put into each characters. One of the great tenants of writing is understanding that every character has their own wants and motivations. This is one of the few books where that truly shines through. Henry allows us to understand this extremely diverse cast of characters and stand in everyone's shoes even when we look at the world from Micheal's biased prospective.
Beyond the antics at school, there's so much wonderful family content. Lucy is holding her family together, caring for her brothers, living with her stepfather after her mother left over a year ago. She deals with parental abandonment and being torn between believing her mother will come back and letting her go.
Micheal has a super touching storyline with his father that made me tear up a bit at the end of the book. There's a lot of tension between the two because his dad's job constantly uproots his life, and his dad is never around to help him cope because he's always gone on work trips. This creates a residual resentment that starts to bubble over. On the other side, his father is always working to provide the money he didn't have as a child to support his family and give them everything. His father misses that the kids need him there emotionally too. Watching them find understanding with one another created one of the best parental scenes I've ever read in YA.

Plot: 5 The action is constant in the book. Whether it's a crazy stunt to point out the hypocrisy of St. Claire's, an unsupervised slumber party, or an argument, something is always happening. One thing that I rarely find in books is that every single little scene gives Micheal a little piece of the puzzle he needs to start understanding the world clearly. There's not a single dead moment, which makes the masterpiece of an ending even more beautiful.

Writing: 5 I will read anything Henry writes. The book is totally immersive because every little detail is colored in. Everyone in Micheal's world is a real person. No one exists to just further the story. And, somehow, with all the detail, the story never gets bogged down. She balances some of the toughest topics to tackle in YA perfectly. This was the best book I could have asked for to pull me out of my reading slump.

*Note* Some of the details in the book made me laugh so hard and scream "I've said that." Reading this was quite the cathartic experience for someone who spent a long time at a religious school. Especially the uniform take down. That was my favorite part, and I'm jealous I didn't think of it first.

Links of Interest:
Starry Eyes: Review Here
So Glad To Meet You: Review Here
The History of Jane Doe: Review Here
Letting Go Of Gravity: Review Here


Popular posts from this blog

Spotlight Review: All Out Of Pretty

All Out Of Pretty by Ingrid Palmer (April 3)
Overview: Palmer tells the story of Andrea "Bones" and her mother as they deal with the terrifying world of drug dealing and domestic abuse. Andrea is the child Ayla, her mother, never wanted. Until her Gram's death, she'd barely spent any time with Ayla. But after Andrea finds Gram lying dead on the kitchen floor, she's sucked into Ayla's world bouncing from town to town as Ayla squanders the little money they have left. Andrea tries to use school and her status as an honors student as a bright spot in her life, though even that is threatened by their turbulent, migrant lives. Until they settle in with Judd who's worse than any scary motel. While Ayla is too drug dependent to work to break the cycle of abuse Judd inflicts on them, Andrea must formulate a plan for their escape before it's too late. Can she get them out of danger while hiding their life from prying onlookers. Overall: 5 

Characters: 5 I though…

Upcoming Spotlight Reviews

Hello, everyone! I haven't done one of these update posts about the month ahead or what's going on with the blog in a while, so I thought I'd take a minute today to share a bit about what's coming up. There are so many amazing things, but, first, I wanted to thank all of you for helping grow the blog. It means so much to me that I am reaching my largest audience yet. Remember to click the subscribe button on the main page to get email updates about new posts and to follow on Instagram (@readingwritingandme), Twitter (@readwriteandme), and Facebook which I'll link below!
One of the major things I'm focusing on going forward is giving you guys three amazing posts per week. Sundays will always be for Weekly Reviews and Recommendations while Wednesdays and Fridays will feature different reviews and articles. With Teen Book Con coming up, I'll be running a special series of reviews for all the books whose wonderful authors I get to meet!
And, of course, there a…

New Release: America Panda

America Panda by Gloria Chao (306 pages)
Overview: Mei is starting MIT a year early, skipping senior year, pushed forward by her parents who always demanded she push herself past extremes. They've also dictated that she's at MIT to become a doctor and that she will marry Eugene. Mei doesn't know how to cope with her parents rigid views and traditions that come from their Chinese culture. She doesn't feel like she can belong anywhere due to the conflicting expectations, and she knows she must sort out her feelings if she ever wants to be happy. Overall: 4.5

Characters: 5 I loved Mei. I related to her so much. We both need glasses (and don't wear them often), have a thing with avoiding germs, and are graduating early (something I never thought I'd see in a book). Watching Mei struggle between what she wants to do and what her parents want her to do. It's amazing to see how the college experience and the people around her help her sort out her feelings and carry…