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Heretics Anonymous

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  7,903 ratings  ·  1,673 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 329 pages
Published August 7th 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Katie Henry Hi, Rachel! The author (that's me) has a complicated religious identity. I don't want to give too much away, but no, this is definitely not a conversi…moreHi, Rachel! The author (that's me) has a complicated religious identity. I don't want to give too much away, but no, this is definitely not a conversion story. It's a book about both faith and skepticism, and I did my best to treat all characters' beliefs (or non-beliefs) with respect. (less)
Katie Henry Hi, Susan! I don't have a UU background other than attending services with friends, but I'm very glad to hear the jokes were accurate to your experien…moreHi, Susan! I don't have a UU background other than attending services with friends, but I'm very glad to hear the jokes were accurate to your experience!(less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  7,903 ratings  ·  1,673 reviews

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Emma Giordano
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Heretics Anonymous
6/5 Stars. Heretics Anonymous is a fascinating and humorous examination of faith and tolerance. This novel has quickly become an all-time favorite of mine.

Check out my non-spoiler video review!:

CW: slut shaming, homophobia (both challenged in text), various jokes about religion

The humor in this book is UNREAL. I was crying of laughter almost from the first page. I feel that young adult books have been recently focusing on contemporary novels featuring d
Emily May
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
It’s first period and only one person definitely wants me dead. Things are going better than expected.

Heretics Anonymous is one of the few (actually the only one I can recall) YA books that talks specifically about a lack of religion. The protagonist - Michael - is an atheist who is forced to attend a Catholic high school and he, along with some new friends, attempts an amusing challenge of religious hypocrisy and inadequate sex education (read: outright lies).

As an atheist who attended my o
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I looked for other symbols from old heretical Christian groups, but I liked the meaning of the five-fold. We're all in this together. Catholicism never felt like that, for me. It always seemed like I had to squeeze myself in, leave parts of me behind. Now, I feel like my religion wants all of me, because everything and everyone is connected—no matter what we believe.

First and foremost, I'll start off by saying that there are some personal things I decided to write on this review.

destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
First of all, I’ll preface this review by saying I think that I get to look at this one from a pretty unique angle. I was raised in an extremely religious and strict Christian household, and though it wasn’t Catholicism, there was SO MUCH in this book that I could relate to 100% from my childhood. On the other hand, I don’t follow an organized religion at all now (if anything, I’d say I’m somewhere along the lines of pagan and pantheist), but my journey to get here took me through several years ...more
C.G. Drews
I knew I'd like this book before I even started, so here I AM, saying GOOD BOOK. It's such a call-out to hypocrisy, mixed in with messy and loveable characters and enough weird and gruesome facts about history and saints to make me think fondly of my childhood of reading those Horrible History books. I read so, so many of them. What a throwback.

So yes this book is heavily religious! It's set in a Catholic school + Michael is an atheist + there's Jewish and Wiccan characters featured + and it ver
Cristina Monica
3.5 stars.

One of my favourite things is reading about experiences I’m not familiar with so I can participate in them vicariously through the characters.

For example, I never attended a Catholic private school. And even if my middle school had a ‘‘Religion’’ class, I was placed in the ‘‘Moral’’ one with the other students who weren’t Catholic. I liked it. We talked about what it means to have morals and be a decent human being.

But Michael is now attending such a school, because his father uproot
Larry H
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Michael has tried to stay positive. But after his family moves for the fourth time in 10 years—and a month and a half into his junior year of high school, no less—he's starting to lose himself. Especially this time, when his parents have enrolled him at St. Clare's, a prestigious Catholic prep school. Because Michael, you see, is an atheist.

"I didn't lose my faith or anything. I never had it in the first place. I never believed in any kind of God, just like I never believed in werewolves, or gho
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
I didn’t hate this, but it definitely did not live up to the hype for me. Mega womp ☹️
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
3 Stars

”I didn’t lose my faith or anything, I just never had it in the first place. I never believed in any kind of God.”

I want to start this review with a bit of a disclaimer. Though I wasn’t sent to Catholic school, I was raised in a very religious environment. I was homeschooled, meaning most of my education and activities growing up revolved around church. I have experienced first hand growing up queer and non-religious in a church environment. Because of this, this book felt very perso
✨    jamieson   ✨
“You can decide you were wrong about something, and it doesn’t mean you were stupid. You just know more now. If I still thought the same as I did in seventh grade, I’d be worried.”

I've never read a book as intensely relatable as this one the only thing it needed was for the school to be forced to sing shout to the lord (which is an actual bop) or john 3:16 to be a perfect imitation of my own high school experience. SO THAT WAS FUN. I'm convinced Katie Henry went to school with me because she
Elyse  Walters
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Audiobook narrated by Michael Crouch
Every once in a while I listen to a voice that I think is so darn good I have to look up the person. Michael Crouch was terrific AS WAS THIS BOOK!

A few words about Michael Crouch first ( he is the narrator for the character named Michael, too, in “Heretics Anonymous”).
Michael Crouch -specializes in narration that requires youthful sound - (pre-teens to early 30s) — predominately literary fiction, young adult, and middle school. Boy....the guy is a natural!!!
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Blasphemy Stephen ASmith GIF - Blasphemy StephenASmith GIFs

I'm not the biggest fan of YA but when I saw this book, I knew I had to read it. Its concept is different from any other YA book I've read, and I think an important one, especially in today's world where we're all interconnected and people of many faiths or no faith must live and get along together. Our hero Michael is an atheist who is newly attending a Catholic school. Believing (ha, ha!) he will be alone in not accepting the Catholic faith, he is pleasantly surprised to meet a group of self-d
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read and very enjoyable.

As someone who is studying a Religion minor, this book was very informative. There were things that I haven't learnt yet but they were discussed in here.

I do highly recommend you read this
Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked)
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: default
This has restored my faith in YA contemporary. Full RTC!
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

This is one of the most heartwarming and delightful books I've read in a long time. It's another shameful episode of "I know I'm going to love this book, but I'll still wait years to pick it up", why do I do this to myself? But I'm glad I read it now.

I know this book is not for everyone, religion is a very controversial and delicate topic, especially if looked at from the perspective of an atheist main character. I'm very lucky to be able to say that for me that's one of the reasons why
Emily B
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Entertaining and engaging from the start! I loved the characters and their relationships and particularly enjoyed the dialogue throughout.

Religion was part of the novel and I learnt a few things. However to me the novel was more about belonging and friendship, which the author portrayed beautifully.
this was SO GOOD that I feel like it’s unfair to any other YA books about religion, you know? because it gets it. it reminds you that educating yourself about religion and understanding it is different than actually believing in it. it pushes this message that we are all capable of loving each other, because that’s the core of every religion.

we *can* get along. and im, this makes so much sense to me. the entire part where he tells Lucy that his church is her? that hit me in such a real
May 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Tatiana by: Kirkus
Shelves: starred-2018, 2, 2018, ya
3.5 stars

A very rare YA novel that dares to talk about religion. It challenges Catholic dogma, while being understanding and respectful of faith in general - not a small fit.

I found the YA part much less compelling, the main characters felt like carriers of traits rather than full personalities, especially the narrator - a 16-year boy of a very bland, self-insert kind who eventually is involved in an equally bland romance, although with a significantly more interesting girl. Which made me quest
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I meant to write this review a day after I read the book, but that didn't happen. However, here is my review!

This book is about Michael, who is a junior in high school and his experience going to a new school. The story mainly focuses on how he adapts to a Catholic school and finding out more about himself.

Overall, this book was...relatively entertaining. I wasn't bored of the story. It was definitely interesting to read about a Catholic high school; Katie definitely hit the nail on the head w
Sara➽ Ink Is My Sword
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Intrigued by this book, since I kept hearing recommendations from Emma Books. So here I am now.💫
Cori Reed
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yes yes yes! Five stars!

I'm an atheist, but I don't look down on religion. This book spoke to my soul! Every person can believe, or not believe, as they wish. As long as you do no harm, carry on!
Matt Carton
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
(Full disclosure, I taught the author for 2-1/2 of her four years in high school. I am mentioned in the acknowledgements. Neither of these factors have determined my rating of this book. It's really really good.)

There is so much to enjoy in this book, whether one is a drifted Catholic such as myself or not. Henry writes a novel about community and friendship and, well, what it means to be Catholic (or to subscribe to any faith) in this day and age. Don't let the YA appellation fool you. HA for e
Tan Markovic
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have a lot of feelings about this book.
RTC :)
Jen Ryland
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it
An atheist at a Catholic school falls in with a group of kids who want to undermine the school's authority -- and also falls in love with a devout Catholic girl.

I love books with religious themes and loved that this tackled issues like whether teachers at a religious school can and should be held to the religion's rules in their private lives. Or how to judge religious beliefs that don't seem politically correct in today's world. Not easy issues!

I liked the overall story, but didn't really conne
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
“It's theology. Were you expecting sex, drugs, and rock and roll?"

"One out of the three would be nice.”


I had heard great things about Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry, and I'm glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised. What a delightful, clever book this was!

Our main character, Michael, and his family move around a lot because of his dad's job. And in their latest move, Michael is enrolled in a strict catholic high school, St. Clare's, for the semester. This is a problem, because, well...h
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book as it’s so different from any other YA novel I’ve yet to read.
I resonates so much with Michael’s fury about moving. Although my experience wasn’t the same and didn’t last into my teens, i moved schools every single year up until 4th grade so as a young child I was always the new kid. I was also GATE identified which meant everyone in every new classroom had been with each other for years and i was the only noob.
So those feelings were harsh on my soul.

I also grew up in
6 stars

I really like the overall question this book asked:

Is it better to leave a religion you disagree with or stay in and hope to change things?

This book is written about Catholicism but my experience with the question is about ,Mormonism, but the problems are the same.

I related more to Lucy than to Michael because I was Lucy at one point in my life.

Winner Shannon's Choice Awards 2018:
Beset 2018 Release
Best YA
Probably 4.5 stars


Will someone please give this humble atheist an ARC of this book where the word atheist is actually mentioned on page instead of glossed over just like in every YA book
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight


Story time! I loved high school. Like, a lot. Which is probably not the typical reaction, but there it is. Also, fun fact: I went to a Catholic high school. I, personally, am not nor ever was Catholic. It was... an experience. The main character in Heretics Anonymous is also not Catholic in a Catholic school, though I feel confident in saying that's where our similarities end. But th
Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
Binge read this book and it was totally worth it. Yes, I'm giving another contemporary five stars! Who knew? The religious diversity was amazing in this book. It also got me thinking on a few things and on biases I have - it was a great book. Highly recommend.

RTC - I promise I will sit down and get my reviews done soon lol
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