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Heretics Anonymous~ Katie Henry

January 19, 2019

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Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

ISBN: 9780062698872

336 pages

Source: Barnes and Noble

I grew up in a very Catholic town, just outside of Boston.

I was definitely not Catholic.

I was raised Jewish and Unitarian Universalist. They are two faiths that still heavily shape my life, now, and faiths that are in so many ways, on the opposite end of the spectrum from Catholicism.

The only Mass I have ever attended was Easter Sunday, my freshman year of high school. I was brought by a boyfriend and his family and I was prepped for weeks, beforehand by my mother who is a UU minister and Harvard Divinity School grad (she knows all of the right things to do).

But. Catholicism is still a part of my life.

There have been good moments (I absolutely love listening to my friends talk about the love and magic of their faith) and there have been some bad moments (I was in fourth grade when a bunch of my “friends” cornered me at recess, herded me over to a corner by the gym and discussed their “concerns” with me that I didn’t go to church and didn’t believe in god and, as a result, they were quite worried about my soul).

Flash forward to Heretics Anonymous.

I wasn’t sure what I’d get with the book but it ended with me in tears (good ones). There are moments of the story that resemble Saved (if you were not born in very specific time period, like 1983-1988, it’s unlikely you’ve seen it so linked to it) in a sort of distorted, dark perkiness.

But there are more moments that pull out the questioning, evolving, loving aspects of faith. There is a lot to do with Catholicism’s deep history of rebellion and change. And even more to do with faiths in general and the universal focus on forgiveness.

The book is funny and smart and delightfully relevant to so many aspects of human existence. I’m glad I stopped dragging my feet (Monster at the End of This Book style) and dove in.

If you haven’t read Heretics Anonymous, I highly recommend it.

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