Book Review: Heathens by Jonah Bergan

“I get it. In my own work, I often talk with students who feel like they are pushed down and pushed down by life. This is often a manifestation of the power and oppression dynamics that exist in our own world.” -From the Gaming For Justice review of Heathens.

Reading and Gaming for Justice

Heathens Banner3

TW: death, oppression and violence based on sexual orientation

Can one angry boy save the world?

I have not read a more accurate tagline in a very long time. Heathens by Jonah Bergan follows Holden, an extremely angry teenager in the aftermath of the fall of civilization as we know it. This is a ‘young adult’ low fantasy, dystopian novel, but is definitely more on the violent and explicit side of young adult novels.

The book follows a teen Holden as he bands with others in a dystopian world in order to survive. The United States fractured over the polarized fight for LGBTQ+ rights. Once the government fell, Texas took most of the Midwest, creating the Republic of Texas, and a Christian based faction took over the Northeast. The United States retained some land in the south. And for Holden and other members of the LGBTQ+ community it is all…

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