I had heard nothing but praise about The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School. And it’s entirely all warranted. I took this out from my library and ended up finishing a whole week before it was due. That’s how invested I was! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Sixteen-year-old Yamilet Flores prefers to be known for her killer eyeliner, not for being one of the only Mexican kids at her new, mostly white, very rich Catholic school. But at least here no one knows she’s gay, and Yami intends to keep it that way.
After being outed by her crush and ex-best friend before transferring to Slayton Catholic, Yami has new priorities: keep her brother out of trouble, make her mom proud, and, most importantly, don’t fall in love. Granted, she’s never been great at any of those things, but that’s a problem for Future Yami.
The thing is, it’s hard to fake being straight when Bo, the only openly queer girl at school, is so annoyingly perfect. And smart. And talented. And cute. So cute. Either way, Yami isn’t going to make the same mistake again. If word got back to her mom, she could face a lot worse than rejection. So she’ll have to start asking, WWSGD: What would a straight girl do?
TW: suicidal ideation, depression (SC), suicide attempt, homophobia, religious bigotry, racism
The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School has it all. With a core of endearing, complex, and detailed characters, you can’t help but instantly root for Yamilet. For how her poverty compared to her classmates and the open racism and sexism wears her down. The ways in which it taxes mental health and relationships. After being outted by her best friend in her old school, Yami is painfully alone in this new school trying to be strong for her brother.
But not only is she dealing with the weight of their finances also on her shoulders, but also her being in the closet. Afraid she’ll be kicked out, this adds a very real fear for her and the pressure for her to have a safety net – one she has to construct herself – even more real. My heart instantly went out to her. How parents are supposed to only want what’s best for us, to love us unconditionally, and how far away from the truth that can be. Or even how they can, but it is occluded by layers of misunderstanding or fears.
(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)
The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School portrays the spectrum of emotions. I can easily see why so many people were raving about this book. Dealing with conversations about being closeted – how it’s more about fear, but also about loss, security, and safety – and family, this book will make you cry. I did, multiple times. It explores the (un)conditional loves in our life, the ways we can be vulnerable – or not – and how we, as individuals, fight against systematic oppression, all while existing. Find The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org, & The Book Depository.