Monday, 6 April 2015

{Review} None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

22864477Posted by Donna
Release Date: April 7th, 2015
Finished Date: March 23rd, 2015
Publishers: Balzar & Bry
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 352
A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she's 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?

The Review: None of the Above is a moving and emotional read that gives awareness to readers about people who are intersex. 

Kristin has a good life. She has a good boyfriend. She was voted homecoming Queen and has the best friends a girl could ask for. She has all the normal issues any teenage girl would have especially when it involves sex with her boyfriend. But when Kristin finally decides it’s the right time, her first time isn’t what she expected. Being a mature teenager, she decides to go to the doctors and it’s there they reveal that she is intersex. Kristin’s life suddenly changes when someone lets slip about her secret and soon, Kristin has to deal with more than one serious issue.

Before heading into None of the Above it’s safe to say I was fairly uneducated in regards to intersex people. I didn’t know the correct terms, or much about it, so for me this was quite an educational read. For those that don’t know, intersex is when a person has both female and male parts. So Kristin - the lead in the story - is a girl but she also has male chromosomes. 

I really sympathised for Kristin because of how hard she took the diagnosis. She went through so many different emotions and as a reader that really tugged on my heartstrings because it made me realise that there are people in the world going through the same thing as her. Not only did she have to come to terms with her diagnosis but she had her whole school bullying her, calling her horrible names because they didn’t really understand what was happening to her. We see Kristin lose apart of herself and it was so sad. 

What stood out for me during this book was the support system that Kristin got from people going through the same thing. These people were more there for her than her so-called best friends. It’s not until the midway point of the story that we see that Kristin has more people willing to support her than she realises and I loved these characters. They didn’t judge. They were open-minded. And they were the perfect friends for her. 

The romance to the story was an added bonus, although I do wish there had been a little more. I wasn’t a fan of Sam – Kristin’s boyfriend before the diagnosis. Even though Kristin was happy, I didn’t like him. I felt as though she could have done better.  And I was right because Darren was a guy Kristin could depend on and help her discover herself, but I just wish we’d seen more from them. 

In all, None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio is definitely a book I’d recommend if you’re looking for a story that tackles real-life issues and if you’re looking for something similar, I’d recommend Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler and My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi.  

Thank you to Balzar & Bray for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

1 comment:

Jess Watkins said...

This sounds like a really interesting and emotional book. I haven't read anything with an intersex protagonist before.
Great review!