The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora ReyesThe Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes is a hilarious and heart-tugging coming of age novel that focuses on religion, friendship, family dynamics and self-acceptance.

Sixteen-year-old Yamilet Flores wants to be known as the girl with the flawless makeup. She doesn’t want to be singled out just because she is one of the few Mexican kids at her new, predominantly white, affluent Catholic school. Even though her new school is far from perfect, Yami is thanking her lucky stars that no one knows she is a lesbian and she intends to keep that part of her identity hidden until she graduates and moves out of her mom’s house.

Yami has a lot of trust issues after she was outed by her first crush and ex-best friend before she transferred to Slayton Catholic. She’s starting over from scratch and she has a new set of priorities now: earn good grades and make her parents proud, keep an eye on her brother and help him succeed in school, and above all else, she can’t let her guard down and fall in love. And to be perfectly honest, she’s never done any of those things well, but she will leave those problems for her future self to solve.

It’s really hard for Yami because she has to live a double life and fake being straight but she only has eyes for Bo, the only out and proud queer girl at school and she is perfect in every sense of the word. Even though Bo is Yami’s dream girl, she can’t afford to slip up again. If her mom finds out that she is gay, she could end up losing everything that is dear to her heart.

Will Yami spend the rest of her life asking, what would a straight girl do? Or will she find the courage to live her truth and accept herself in all her messy glory?

Pros And My Favourite Parts

The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School is one of the best sapphic young adult novels that I’ve read for 2022. Whenever I come across awesome stories like this one, I’m always reminded about my love for reading and reviewing because I get to hang out with endearing characters like Yamilet, Cesar and Bo and I can tell everyone about how much I adore them! Sonora Reyes deserves the highest of fives because their witty and captivating writing took me down memory lane to my own turbulent teenage years. Plus, this story gave me all the feels and I just wanted to give Yamilet the mushiest hugs ever because I could easily relate to some of her struggles and fears about coming out while she’s attending a strict and homophobic Catholic school. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this story because it deals with racism/stereotypes in educational institutions, self-discovery, culture, identity and what it’s really like for queer people of color when they’re trying to come to terms with their sexuality.

Cons And Heads Up

There were graphic descriptions of homophobia, lesbophobia, religious trauma, racism, disownment, mentions of suicidal thoughts, mental health issues, cultural appropriation, hospitalization, outing and deportation.

The Conclusion

aprils favourite booksIf you’re in the mood to devour an engrossing, poignant and uplifting young adult novel, then look no further because this story is filled with so much hope and love—love for friends and family and most importantly, love for yourself. After reading this literary gem, I’m not ashamed to admit that Sonora Reyes has become one of my new favorite authors and I can’t wait to see what they do next!

Excerpt from The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes

I told myself I would be super straight at this school, but I can’t help it. Bo has a cute butt. I look away and ask myself my new motto, WWSGD? What Would a Straight Girl Do? I can acknowledge a cute butt straightly, right? Maybe I’m looking out of jealousy, and not attraction—maybe I just want to know her workout regimen. I want to be friends. I should talk to her. She’s right in front of us. I should just…

“Bo, right?” I say. I don’t know what it is, but I’m feeling bold today. Bo turns around and smiles when she sees me. Up close, her lips are way smoochier than Hunter’s.

“Yeah, hey! I like you.” She likes me. “Sorry, I don’t know your first name, though, Ms. Flores.” She says “Ms. Flores” in what I assume is an exaggeration of Mrs. Havens’s voice, but it sounds flirty and it makes my cheeks get hot.

“Yamilet.” I smooth out my skirt so she doesn’t notice my blush. When I look back up, her friendly dark brown eyes meet mine. She tucks a strand of her messy black shoulder-length hair behind her ear.

“Bo,” she says, cheeks pink and round. “Oh, I mean—you already knew that.”

I laugh. “I liked your presentation. It was super ballsy. I thought you were gonna get paddled or something.”

I’m ballsy? You practically had Mrs. Havens in the fetal position! And as much as they wish they could paddle us, they can’t do that anymore.” She grins. “Best way to piss them off is by protesting their shitty views while still getting an A. It’s my only talent.”

I snort-giggle and my hand shoots over my mouth. Cesar laughs at me.

I introduce Cesar and Hunter to Bo to get her mind off the fact that I just honest-to-God snorted.

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 978-1460761229

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Sonora Reyes Online

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