This is an incredible advancement in Catholic fiction! I thoroughly enjoyed reading Catholic Reluctantly, and I can’t wait to read the rest in the series.
Catholic Reluctantly tells the humorous but inspiring tale of 15 year old Allie, who is sent to a tiny, dilapidated Catholic school called John Paul 2 High. She was threatened in a gun scare at her old school, so her mom decides it is best for her to try this new school. It tells Allie’s story of making new friendships, discovering her Christian identity, and her struggle with issues that every teen faces.
While keeping a realistic feel, the book covers tough issues such as hazing, pornography, purity, choosing the right friends, racism, and abusive relationships. It is not overly preachy, but includes lots of Catholic “innuendo”, which is quite humorous at points.
The book can be a tad bit corny at times, but it always keeps a positive message. The plot is entertaining and demonstrates how a few high school kids learn to live out their faith in everyday life. It shows that it’s not always fun or easy to defend Christ, but it’s always worth it in the end. It is authentic and real, which is what teens need.
One subplot that I particularly enjoyed involved the wrestling team. One of the main characters, George, becomes a wrestling mentor for a younger and “easy to pick on” homeschooler named Brian. He teaches Brian to wrestle and to stand up to the temptations and hazing brought on by older wrestlers.
The book has a mysterious ending that makes the reader wanting to read more and more. Christian M. Frank does an incredible job of making you feel like you’re a part of the lovable John Paul 2 community. Although quirky at points, Catholic Reluctantly presents strong Catholic morals, a lively and entertaining story, and a phenomenal approach at Catholic fiction. I would recommend it for high school kids and parents alike. I honestly can’t wait to read the rest of the series!
You can purchase this book here.