Friday, June 19, 2015

Review: None of the Above by IW Gregorio

None of the AboveA groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex... and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She's a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she's madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she's decided that she's ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin's first time isn't the perfect moment she's planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy "parts."

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin's entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?

My Review:

None of the Above was a powerful and emotional read about a girl dealing with finding out that she is intersex.  It is the first book that I have ever read with an intersex character, so I'm glad that this book exists, because it helped to shed light on a topic that I knew almost nothing about.  This book was both a good read, and an educational experience.


Before reading this book, I knew just about nothing about what intersex really was.  This book really shed light on it and helped me to understand better what it meant.  I thought this book did a good job of being informative on the topic while also telling a story about a character.  The character had to learn what being intersex meant, so the reader got to learn right along with her.  I really liked this, because I think it was good that it explained being intersex, since a lot of readers weren't going to know what that meant and entailed.

There was a lot of bullying in this book that was awful to read about, and a lot of it is because of ignorance.  The people in Kristin's school don't know what being intersex means so they say she's really a man, and other things like that.  I didn't like that people reacted so horribly instead of showing human kindness and decency to Kristin when she was going through a tough time, but I thought that it was very realistic.  Maybe in some very progressive areas, no one would react badly to that, but in a lot of areas, people will react with ignorance to something that they don't understand.

Darren was a great character, because he was someone who liked Kristin because she was who she was, and he didn't care what chromosomes she had.  This was truly such a stark contrast to the reaction of the boy who was Kristin's boyfriend, Sam.  Darren was a genuinely good guy, and I was rooting for him to have a relationship with Kristin, or I would have been fine with it remaining a friendship, too.  I just wanted him to continue to be in Kristin's life in some way.  I was a fan of the way that their story arc ended.

I liked Kristin's father, and how he was doing the best he could do with things that were difficult for him.  He wasn't upset that Kristin was intersex, but he knew she wasn't happy about it, and he wanted to be there for her, but sometimes he struggled with knowing the best way to support her through her difficult times.  Also, she didn't always let him know everything that was going on, so he didn't know how tough things really were for her.

If you like YA contemporary and want to read a book with an intersex main character, read this book.


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