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There Goes Sunday School

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  800 ratings  ·  116 reviews
In sixteen-year-old Mike Hernandez’s life, only one thing is clear: Gay is NOT okay. His family’s life revolves around the church, a church run by the vocally intolerant Pastor Myers, so Mike has resolved to spend his life in the closet. His only escape—besides the occasional, anonymous gay make-out session—is his art. He pours his complicated emotions into risqué drawings ...more
Kindle Edition, 392 pages
Published June 4th 2018 by 7 Sisters Publishing LLC
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  800 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I did really like this book but I'm not a fan of the ending at all ugh ...more
Alexander Eberhart
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ulysses Dietz
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There Goes Sunday School
By Alexander C. Eberhart
Seven Sisters Publishing, 2018
Five stars

“The flowers are in bright contrast to the dark background.”

This line brought tears to my eyes when I read it, and to understand why, you need to read this beautiful novel about a teen boy’s coming out in a conservative Christian community in today’s America. By the time I got to this line, which could seem to be a random bit of description of a hipster coffee shop in Atlanta, Alexander Eberhart’s careful, de
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
While I don’t read a lot of young adult stories, every now and then one will come along with a blurb enticing enough to pique my interest. That was the case with There Goes Sunday School—something I was surprised by since I tend to keep away from books where religion plays a significant part. But the premise of this story, and the thought that with the pastor’s son involved someone might get their due, I didn’t want to pass this one up.

If you like books that really show the conflict and confusio
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay-themed
A solid coming out story set in the south which is really a testament to the strengths and failings of family and friendship. Mike and Chris are unlikely to find happiness in their very religious families and in the Christian school they go to, but they won’t let that stop them, will they?

It is well written, with great characters people can relate to and care about. I wanted to see novels written about Jackie and Tanner, the best friends, and of Davy the swimmer/barista.

This takes a potentially
Bob S.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-ya-m-m
This is a true but tragic depiction of how gay kids, even today, face bigotry and hatred, especially from the so-called ‘Christian’ community for being who they are and who they love, and how it affects their mental well-being. In the story, Mike sums up the Christian hypocrisy in his face-off with his Christian school principal when he says, “I’m referring to the very same book that condemns homosexuality in the Bible. They go on to say a whole lot of things are ‘abominations’ including, eating ...more
Ishaan B
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Though the ending was not exactly ideal nor expected, it was nonetheless an artfully crafted example of Eberhart’s genius when it comes to evoking the most feeling from the reader. The narration is hilarious and relatable while also tackling huge questions and problems about acceptance and religion and the way the two ideas of sexuality and faith are viewed dangerously when put together. It was an excellent book that perused these issues with an element of care and humor that is unique to this a ...more
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
A touching -- and somewhat heart-rending -- story about a closeted gay teen and his struggles to survive in a deeply homophobic religious environment. When the startling possibility of love makes its way into his life, his carefully constructed disguise begins to crumble, and he realizes that he can't remain in the closet forever. The protagonist's confusion and fear are all too believable, but so too is his growth as a character, and the story is ultimately one of hope. ...more
Laura  Hernandez (TheVoluptuousBkDiva/YABkDivas)
This read about coming to terms with one's sexuality had me laughing at times and crying at others and boy did I cry!!! The author's writing style had me relating to the storyline and the beautiful characters as the struggles were realistic.

{I requested a copy for reviewing purposes and made no guarantee of a favorable review. The opinions expressed herein are unbiased and my own.}
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Powerful coming of age story set in Georgia in the context of some ridiculously oppressive "church". Nicely written I think this book went a long way in faithfully portraying the struggle of young LGBTQ people in usian society burdened not only by (perceived and non) parental expectations but also by yet another made up usian "church".
I believe this is an important book and I do hope it makes its way into the hands of as many young people as possible. My issue, and I mean it is all me - nothing
Jun 30, 2020 added it
i refuse to rate this bc i don’t think it’s fair to give a book one star due to the epilogue making me want to throw myself off of a bridge
Ash Rocketship
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
This was a charming enough read with fun, if not particularly complex characters. I think this is probably a book written for the kids and young adults who really need it -- ones who are dealing with similar religious and sexuality conflict -- and is maybe just a little too heavy-handed for the ones that don't. I never had any of that conflict (I mean never, none, absolutely zero) so while I understood and empathized with Mike and Chris' pain and anxiety, it didn't resonate the way I think Eberh ...more
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
4,5 stars.
Roberta Blablanski
What a sweet read! I loved that the ending didn't wrap everything up in a nice, big bow. ...more
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Pffffffff. Where to start.

The language
It felt like the author tried too hard to relate. Parents were never parents, but rather "parental units" or "parental situations". The characters talked in expressions like they were 50 year-olds.

"I guess that happens when you catch the feels" - SERIOUSLY?!

Also I found the use of language weirdly harsh at times, and even a bit homophobic (Mike yelling "yes, I'm a fag!" at the counselor, or Jackie exclaiming "she's a carpet muncher" in regards to a girl ge
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I should have hated this book.

I've been known to lament long and loud about books that drag you through all the angst and drama, then fail to reward you with an appropriately solid HEA. And There Goes Sunday School's ending would best be described as hopeful, rather than happily ever after.

And, if the name didn't make it clear, it's about growing up gay in a conservative religious home and community, and my previous experiences in this particular reading sphere have left me wary of dull, heavy h
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m
You know it’s a good book when you got the feels after finishing it.

I loved this book and I inhaled it like the golden girls eats cheesecake.


I have to point this out:
As much as I was hoping that they would end up together I’m glad it turned out the way it did. I mean they are 16 and they have a whole life ahead of them, and I’m just glad the author made it more REAL. Than just “and they lived happily ever after”.
Apr 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Spoilers for There Goes Sunday School

I’m fond of saying that reviewing is not an exact science, and I had this one at various stages throughout my reading, between 3-4 stars. I ended giving it four stars, thought about for a minute, didn’t feel right, and gave it the extra star. That usually doesn’t happen.

There were parts of this book that were a bit too optimistic, I don’t doubt. Wall to wall, characters find hope, no matter how bad things get, and that’s okay and seems to be the author’s styl
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
WOW, this book was soooo much more than I expected. It was so full of emotion I was laughing one minute and a sobbing mess the next. This really was a beautiful story of young first love, teenagers trying to be teenagers within a very religiously strict community. The storyline is focused on the emotions of the characters, their psychological challenges, their feels, the result is an amazing book.

Coming to terms with your sexuality is hard for everyone but being gay in a community that refers to
Jenn (not Lily)
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ku, young-adult
Excellent YA novel without getting too bogged down in being overwhelmingly YA -- nice! The struggle of both boys with when and how to come out both to themselves and everyone around them was heartbreaking. In some ways, this was typical of how religious families react, which I know from the inside out. And in other ways, it was refreshingly hopeful, which I also hope to reflect in my own life. And as a personal aside, for anyone who cares, (view spoiler) ...more
Feb 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book. Man this book. What a rollercoaster. Definitely a 4 ⭐️ read there were some issues I had but this story was. Is. An important story. I cried, I laughed, I blushed and most importantly I left the book feeling happy and hopeful. Some reviews say the ending was not what they hoped and they didn’t like the ending but I thought it was a great ending to leave you feeling hopeful. I think all should give this book a try.
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A pleasant surprise! I had no expectations going into this little gem and I am very thankful that I was able to read it!
Peter Wright
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a wonderful book to read. I grew up in a very Christian household, expected to attend church every weekend. I was the one that hid the latest novel I was reading inside the leather cover I bought for my bible and read it while hiding up in the balcony of my church during the service. I then went to a Christian college where I struggled with what my faith says about my sexuality. So yeah... this book really felt like a look at my life. Except I'm not a great visual artist like Mike (I'm ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, so much more than I thought I would. I mean, the blurb was intriguing enough that I knew I would enjoy it, but I wasn't prepared for the easy connection and the emotional roller coaster. I don't often literally LOL when reading many books, but this one definitely had me laughing out loud. I even got choked up at times. I felt the anger and frustration. And I could share in the joys.

Clearly I am not a closeted male teenager, but I have many friends who are LGBT and vividly reme
This book was awesome.
It's such a wonderful coming of age story, dealing with a lot of insecurities and questioning for a 16 year old gay boy who comes from a religious background. Hearing his pastor preach about hell and doom every Sunday when he sits in church with his parents makes him crave for being 'normal'.
He's decided there is no way he can ever come out of the closet, risking the chance of losing the life he leads, risking everything his life has been up till that day. Then he falls i
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Compelling! The characters are breathing and, while sometimes annoying (Mike I wanted to strangle in more than a few chapters), redeemable. I finished this is one day and savored each time I returned to it (between football games in playoff season, no less).

The heart of this book is in the right place without it being homilistic. The lessons it teaches flow naturally from the narrative; nothing feels tagged on or plugged in. It deserves the attention it has received. And I want to read more of
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Chris and Mike have my heart

Reading this book was so healing for me. Coming from an uber religious family and having faced that level of anxiety, I could feel exactly what Mike was feeling. I loved how the author didn’t shy away from the internal struggles that come with coming to turns with your sexuality in an environment that condemns who you are to your very core. I loved every minute of this book. 4 stars instead of 5 because I am a hopeless romantic who desires happy endings even in the m
Marieke du Pré
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This book has so much to offer. It’s funny and heartbreaking while it deals with coming out in a world that you can’t imagine nowadays. Believing being gay is a sin, WTF? I’m Dutch and even in the Netherlands (for a long time believed to be one of the most gay friendly countries in the world) a number of people still condemn people who are not straight.

By the way, am I the only one who sees references to ‘Call me by your name’ about being gay? ‘Are you saying what I think you’re saying?’, ‘...
Martina McAtee
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books ever. Even though the book was about a boy coming to terms with his sexuality and faith it was actually so weirdly relat
able. I laughed out loud and sobbed during some points. Such a great book!
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The Backlot Gay B...: There Goes Sunday School, by Alexander C. Eberhart 1 9 Aug 14, 2018 04:20AM  

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ALEXANDER grew up in the Metro Atlanta Area his entire life, moving from suburb to suburb, just on the outskirts of the city. He’s always had a passion for writing, even from a young age. He still lives on the cusp of Atlanta, inching his way ever closer to finally becoming the City Dweller he’s always wanted to be.

In the meantime, he spends his days writing stories with queer characters and drin

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“Then what’s there to discuss?” He shrugs. “You know yourself better than anyone else. Who are we to tell you who you’re supposed to love?” You could blow me over with a whisper.” 1 likes
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