Book Review

The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes

Genre | YA Contemporary Fiction
Page #s | 400
Publishing Date | May 2022

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?

Told in a captivating voice that is by turns hilarious, vulnerable, and searingly honest, The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School explores the joys and heartaches of living your full truth out loud.

Goodreads

The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School hit me with my exact preferred mix of YA lightness and drama. Yami is a teen who’s been burned by coming out to her best friend and has the chance to start over at a new school…only there’s a hot girl who’s out and making it really hard for Yami to pretend to be straight. Silly shenanigans! Yami’s brother is bisexual and dating a boy, and she pretends to date him so their parents won’t find out about either of their sexualities. More silly shenanigans!

But there are also truly deep themes here of religious trauma, mental illness and self-harm, class comparisons, and a family’s homophobic conditional love. Each is handled seriously and deftly, creating a story that is truly multi-faceted and realistic. There are happy endings, but not A Happy Ending in which everything works out in every way for everyone.

The romance at the center of the book is very good, but the true marker of a good YA book to me is if there are equally important relationships to the main character. This is definitely the case here, as Yami deals with a former best friend, her beloved brother, her overworked mother, her deported father, her new friends at a new school, and Bo, her new crush. Each relationship shapes Yami and has its own resolution. I loved it!

Who Do I Recommend This Book To?

The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School is the YA book to give to your friend who says they’re over YA books.

Check out our Queer Lil Library for more book recommendations and reviews!

1 comment on “The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes

  1. I quite liked this, especially the twists and turns I definitely was not expecting from Yami’s brother, father and mother!

    Liked by 1 person

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