by I.W. Gregorio
Published by HarperTeen Release date : April 7th, 2015
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Source: The Publisher | Format: eARC
Purchase at: Amazon (Affiliate Link) • Audible • The Book Depository
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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?
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.
None of the Above wasn’t on my radar until a late night tweet from Jessica, asking about it. We discussed at length what it was about and whether or not it was something that we wanted to try, and decided on a buddy read. Honestly – it would have been a book I skipped. I can’t say why exactly – but it just wasn’t something that initially caught my eye until we started talking about it. So, thanks Jess!
The first thing I have to discuss is how much I loved the educational aspect to the novel. It’s very enlightening, and even goes into the details (without info dump) how people develop AIS. Working in the medical field – I saw all kinds of things, but never a patient with AIS. Even though an obstetrician I worked for had concerns about it regarding one patient, I didn’t stay long enough to find out if this was the case.
There is an ethical side to this – when it comes to the surgery that someone with AIS could have and when/if it should be done at all. Also the side of gender identity, that has caused many debates. Both were handled really well, and I applaud her for taking a risk and writing about something that has been cause for many debates.
Medical education aside – Gregoria also did an amazing job capturing Kristen’s confusion, anger, sadness and 101 million other emotions she felt while dealing with her diagnosis and cruel remarks from her peers. It was really difficult to read, because you just know that this isn’t fiction for someone. This is real life and I honestly couldn’t imagine having to live with that amount of cruelty and it boggles my mind HOW cruel people are. Ignorance really ISN’T bliss.
Now. There are quite a few things that I have issues with – plot wise. Although this book is primarily the journey of Kristen coming to terms with her diagnosis, I felt there were added plot devices that were unnecessary. Quite honestly, I don’t want to mention all of them for fear of offending anyone and coming off as insensitive. So if you are curious, you can email me or tweet me. I also thought the ending was quite rushed, leaving a lot left unresolved.
Overall – I really enjoyed None of the Above. I think it’s a book everyone should read – if not only to education themselves and witness the repercussions of bullying & ignorance, but to see the self discovery journey of a girl just trying to find where she belongs.
Tell Me Your Thoughts
Have you read None of the Above? If so, what did you think?