Book Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

Posted April 29, 2015 by Lori in Books, Reviews / 2 Comments Tags:

NoneoftheAbovebyIWGregorio

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: None of the Above by I.W. GregorioNone of the Above by I. W. Gregorio
Published by HarperCollins on 2015-04-07
Genres: Bullying, Dating & Sex, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
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four-stars

A 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?

This book was really good! It wasn’t the best written book I’ve ever read but it was engaging, informative, and I couldn’t put it down!

The only thing I knew about this book going into it was that the main character was an intersex teen. I fully admit that I didn’t know what that was. I also didn’t realize (again, because I rarely read summaries) that she finds out about her condition during the book. I thought she knew the whole time. But being with her while she found out and seeing how she dealt with it it definitely gave this book the emotional connection with the readers that it needed.

None of the Above is a great addition to the YA genre and it fills in a gap that I didn’t even know was missing. We all want diverse books and usually we know what that means, but I didn’t really know before I read this book about this whole group of people. None of the Above is a great book for teens dealing with being intersex as well as anyone who doesn’t know what that means. The condition, especially Krissy’s specific diagnosis, is explained really well, down to treatments, long-term issues, and side-effects. It was really eye-opening and extremely informative. I’m glad this book was written, I’m glad I had the chance to read it, and I really hope this book gets into the hands of those who need it.

One of the best parts of this book, besides being so informative, is how realistically Krissy dealt with her diagnosis. She freaked out at about the same parts I would and went through a whole range of other emotions along the way. I felt like this was what really made the book. I haven’t dealt with a situation like her’s but I felt like I would have gone through many of the same emotions that Krissy did and I think that’s what made me feel connected to her in a way I otherwise wouldn’t have because I didn’t immediately like Krissy.

The characters were just okay. I liked a few of the side characters enough, especially Krissy’s dad, who was my favorite and in one of the most emotional scenes for me. If you want a book with a supportive family situation, this is a good one. There were a few characters I didn’t like, though I wasn’t suppose to, and a couple that I’m still not sure how to feel about. But overall, the characters were interesting enough but not great or hugely developed.

While I really liked getting to know Krissy and learning about her diagnosis, this isn’t a book I’d recommend to everyone. It stands out because it deals with intersex teens and we haven’t really seen much of that yet. It’s great at what it is, an informative story with characters who work great at sharing their experiences with her diagnosis, but it isn’t a great book just on its own. It gets a little preachy and there are a lot of doctors who talk like doctors trying to talk to teens. It’s realistic, and that makes it great for what it is, but not the best general fiction book.

I’m not sure if I’m saying anything that makes sense here right now but my thoughts really come down to two things: I really loved that I learned so much through this novel and I don’t think this is a book I would give to someone who wasn’t looking for a book about diversity. This book isn’t offensive in any way but there was just a lot of medical discussions for someone who isn’t looking for that.

I really hope you will read this book if it sounds at all interesting to you. This book deals with many things besides an intersex diagnosis. It also deals with bullying, gender identity, self-acceptance, friendships, and relationships. I’m very glad books like this are being published and I hope teens will read this with an open mind and realize that while there are things that make us different, in the end we’re all just humans who want to be happy and loved.

 

2 Responses to “Book Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio”

  1. You’re right, this normal wouldn’t be the type of book I read but it is good to learn about different serious issues like this. Many teens go through this type of thing all of the time so it’s good to see what they experience. I’m super happy you got the chance to get in the character’a head and see exactly what she was experiencing. 🙂

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