None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio

None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio

Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss

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?

Before reading None of the Above, I had a very limited understanding of what it meant to be intersex. I've only seen an intersex character represented on MTV's Faking It and in Laura Lam's Pantomime, and that's about it. I wasn't too sure of what exactly it entailed, and I was curious to know more. This book contained so much information, and I'm so glad about that. For instance, I had no idea that hermaphrodite was an outdated term (see, reading can teach you things)! Anyway, like with most books that concern gender and sexuality, I knew that Gregorio's debut was going to be a profound read.

Krissy was a great protagonist. It was so sad how she was tormented and judged by the people around her that she thought she was friends with. I'm glad that her character was pretty strong throughout it all, but also had some more vulnerable moments now and then. I loved the relationship she had with her dad–it was so sweet how he was supportive and tries to learn everything there is to know, and goes above and beyond (as a parent should!) to help her out. That's also how you find out a lot of the information–Krissy and her dad often try to understand more about being intersex, and there's a whole bunch of interesting facts and real-life figures that are present. It's inspiring to know that there are people who have overcome the barriers that society has thrown at them for being intersex, and you definitely see that shape the way Krissy's character develops.

The romance, however, felt a little off for me. It's not the main focus of the story, and I like that it was there but didn't take over the plot completely. But but butttt... it just felt a little rushed at the end. Darren was super adorable though, so ALL IS FORGIVEN. Amidst all the name-calling and bullying that is directed at Krissy, you need someone who's on her team and helps her out (and, y'know, it doesn't hurt if he's cute too!).

None of the Above was a provoking read, and a truly inspiring novel. I learned so much, and really enjoyed reading this one. I. W. Gregorio is a wonderful writer, and as she is a practicing surgeon, with her first novel you can see both her medical world and her writing world bridging together to create a moving story. I can't wait to see what comes next!

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