Heretics Anonymous was one of those books that creeps up on you. You slowly start falling for it, seeing all its inner beauty, and the way it explores the nature of belief itself.
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.
The cover line, ‘a divine comedy’ says it all. Heretics Anonymous is hilarious, heart-warming, and heaps of fun. While you may be expecting something that rips a whole in (dis)belief, Henry allows us to make our own mind up. We are able to witness Michael’s journey. From the very beginning the narrative voice of Michael makes you laugh. And if it doesn’t, you can certainly tell it’s him. There’s a distinct flair to his personality. Michael is super sassy and he says it all without a filter.
(There were so many lines I loved. Whether it be because they were hilarious, or just downright endearing, this book can make you laugh and think at the same time).
This isn’t a conversion story, neither is it one about dis-proving. Instead it’s about a series of friends who all feel like misfits in some way who try to band together. This whole process is one of learning. We learn who we want to be, who we are, and who we shouldn’t be. At the same time, Michael’s perspectives are opened when he learns more about his friend’s beliefs. (I have no clue how accurate some of the descriptions are). All in all this is a book about discovery. We discover what makes a believer and if we can ever truly prove it. Check out Heretics Anonymous on Goodreads.