The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School
May/June 2022 Kids Indie Next List
— Miranda McGowan, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA
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Longlisted for the National Book Award
A National Bestseller
A sharply funny and moving debut novel about a queer Mexican American girl navigating Catholic school, while falling in love and learning to celebrate her true self. Perfect for fans of Erika L. Sánchez, Leah Johnson, and Gabby Rivera.
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.
Praise For The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School…
“Filled with humor and love, this fast-paced novel will have readers immersed in Yamilet’s world, rooting for her and her loved ones all the way.” — School Library Journal
“Reyes’s hopeful debut excels in its honest depiction of family dynamics, highlighting Yami’s sense of responsibility for Cesar and her loving but tense relationship with her mother. As the narrative vulnerably tackles difficult subjects such as intolerant religious institutions and living with mental illness, Yami’s sardonic voice adds levity and heart.” — Publishers Weekly
“Yami’s first-person narration is compelling, as she acknowledges her own flaws freely and saves her best opinions for everyone else. The slow realization that she is also worth admiration and even love is all the more satisfying for the work taken to get there… Reyes doesn’t dismiss harsher realities, but rather tempers them with a steady drumbeat that life does not have to be anywhere near perfect to still be deliriously joyful a lot of the time. ” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The portrayal of found family and the threads of love and acceptance woven into this story make it a satisfying read with a hopeful ending….A textured and gratifying novel.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Debut author Reyes does not shy away from serious issues that teenagers face, approaching them with the utmost respect…. Despite [some weightier themes], Yami learns to find positivity in her life through her family's and friends' encouragement to just be honest. Readers will applaud both Yami's and Caesar’s growth and bravery.” — Booklist
“The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes is a story about bravery, love, and so much more. It’s about discovering what makes you feel most at home within yourself, and the comfort that comes with sharing those parts with the people you love, even when it’s scary. With a sweet sapphic romance and fiercely loyal friends, this book is a warm, protective hug for teens who are fighting to be seen as themselves in a world that wants them to hide.” — Aiden Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Cemetery Boys
"Full of heart, humor, and a swoon-worthy romance, The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School is the recovering Catholic school student’s road to healing. Balancing themes of self-advocacy and self-discovery with comedy and romance tropes, this is a must-read for queer teens growing into their own." — Emery Lee, author of Meet Cute Diary
“Deeply moving, laugh-out-loud funny, and swoony, Reyes packs it all in, in this powerful coming-of-age story about unapologetically loving ourselves—and others.” — J.Elle, New York Times bestselling author of Wings of Ebony
“A bold debut that invites us into a world of cultural specificity and queer love through the voice of a heroine who is impossible to resist. I’m so thrilled for readers to go on this uniquely hilarious and deeply moving journey of self-acceptance." — Abdi Nazemian, author of Stonewall Honor book Like a Love Story
“With off the charts heart and humor, The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School is an immediate favorite. Sonora’s voice is one to watch!” — Julie Murphy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin’
Balzer + Bray, 9780063060234, 400pp.
Publication Date: May 17, 2022
About the Author
Sonora Reyes is a queer second-generation immigrant who attended a Catholic high school. They write fiction full of queer and Latinx characters in a variety of genres. Sonora is also the creator and host of #QPOCChat, a monthly community-building Twitter chat for queer writers of color. They currently live in Arizona, in a multigenerational family home with a small pack of dogs who run the place.