Informative But Maybe a Little PSA: None of the Above by IW Gregorio

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?

Source: GoodReads

I recieved a DRC from Edelweiss this did not effect my opinion of the book.

When I received a DRC of this one I literally downloaded and started reading.  That’s how excited I was for this book.  That’s sort of a bad way to start a book, because unless the book is just spectacular it’s probably not going to give you the book-gasm you expected.

None of the Above wasn’t the book-asm I was expecting, but it wasn’t bad.  It had a lot of good things going for it.  I really liked how Gregorio explained what intersex is and that’s it’s a medical condition.  Lots of people aren’t aware of it.  The discussion on gender and the various dimensions it has, was probably my favorite part of the book.  All the factual information.

 

However, the problem was that the book borderline-d on PSA on a lot of levels.  While the intersex information was great and while I appreciated Gregorio going into what a gynecological exam entails (because let’s face it most sex ed programs DON’T do that) sometimes I wanted the book to feel a little bit more real with its emotions.  Also, there was a remark about Catholics and their views on family planning that was just a little ill placed.  While I have my own issues with the church’s family planning guidelines, I really don’t think the book was a place to drop disdain about it.  Even if it was as small as a remark Gregorio made it.

For the most part, I liked the main character.  Her reaction was pretty realistic given her situation.  The confusion, self revulsion, were pretty natural.  What I didn’t like was that Kristin never really seemed to accept herself.  Everything seems to be resolved within the last few pages, but I didn’t really think we saw Kristin come okay with being who she was.  It just sort of happened.

I also didnt’ get the ship.  I think it was because dude had a girlfriend for what my Kindle said was roughly about 92% of the book before he dumped her for Krissy.  I mean, a little out of left field, don’t you think?

The other love interest could’ve came out of Alex As Well.  Yeah, his reaction was that deplorable.  I couldn’t believe a lot of Krissy’s classmates reactions to be honest.  But at the same time, kids are horrible.  What I really couldn’t believe was Kristin not going to a gyno sooner when certain life events-i.e. getting her period-didn’t happen when she was eighteen.

I get that her mother passed away, but they usually ask you when you have a head cold when the last time you menstruated was.  Plus, you have to watch that horrible movie when you’re like ten that tells you that if you don’t get your period by your late teens you should probably see a gyno.

So, that part was a little unrealistic.

And that was the thing about this one, the intersex stuff.  Beautifully done.  I thought it did a nice job explaining Kristin’s medical condition and I lacked how it depicted support groups.

I liked Kristin’s reactions and her dad being supportive.

Completely realistic.

Her friends…not so much.

Their betrayal was awful.  Both of her best friends are bitches.  Her new friends…meh.  I liked Gretchen.  She had her act together.  But as I said before, the Love Interest seemed almost underdeveloped and a little meh at that.

I think the best thing about None of the Above  is that it open the gate to a discussion on intersex issues in YA.  I learned a lot from Kristin’s story.  One of the reasons I requested it is because I love to support diverse reads like None of the Above, I think they have something to offer about life that we would otherwise not know.  And learning about how gender isn’t exactly a binary was fascinating.

Overall Rating: B.  Good on the actual issue, but rough around the edges.  I do think Gregorio’s writing could mature with future books though.

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One thought on “Informative But Maybe a Little PSA: None of the Above by IW Gregorio

  1. Pingback: The Almost Quaterly Report: Seriously, That Time Again | Howdy YAL!

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