Thursday, December 24, 2015

None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

None of the Above
By: I.W. Gregorio
Released: April 7, 2015
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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? (Goodreads)

I really enjoyed None of the Above a lot. This book was so well done and informative.

None of the Above is the story of Kristin who goes to the doctor after her first time with her boyfriend goes all wrong and learns that she is intersex. Kristin hasn't even had the chance to come to terms with it herself when the entire school finds out.

Kristin was a well developed protagonist who learns so much about herself over the course of the book. I liked how the story began before her diagnosis because it provided this interesting contrast between before she knew and after. After her diagnosis though, her whole life is flipped upside down. Kristin is questioning her identity and learning all about what being intersex means. She doesn't know what to label herself as anymore. Then when the whole school finds out, things get even more difficult for Kristin. Her anxiety about who she really is just worsens.

There were plenty of interesting side characters, including Faith, Vee, and Darren. One of my favorite aspects of this story though was the relationship that Kristin shared with her father. Kristin's mother died from cancer a few years ago and her dad is so worried for Kristin. It was clear how much he loved his daughter.

The plot was captivating and I read this book all in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. I was really invested in Kristin's story. Some of my favorite moments were from when she was volunteering at the clinic. I did feel like the pacing was moving a bit too fast though and wanted things to slow down, especially at certain moments. I also felt like at times the dialogue between Kristin and her friends didn't sound like teenagers. Other than that though, I really enjoyed this book.

Gregorio did a fantastic job with presenting gender, sex, and intersex in this book. She presents the difference between each in a very clear and informative way. I minored in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in college, so this is all something that I'm very passionate about. I think this a great book for teens that teaches a lot without becoming preachy. It forces you to put yourself in the shoes of someone who is labelled as "different" just because they don't fit into society's standards of the "norm".

Overall I really enjoyed None of the Above. It was a well written story about acceptance and not letting a label define who you are. I strongly recommend picking this one up!

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