Friday, April 24, 2015

Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

None of the Above by I.W. 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?
None of the Above
Publishes in US: April 7th 2015 by Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Genre: ya contemp
Source: Balzer + Bray via edelweiss aka harper teen
Series? no

Buy it: Powell’s | Indiebound | B&N | Amazon

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter

    I wanted to read None of the Above because it was a unique mix of medical issues and the emotional impacts that I crave. I haven't read much about intersex main character so was hoping to get a new experience and a portion of what someone dealing with these intense and huge personal identity crisis might be feeling like.

   Kristin aka Krissy seems like an every day teenager for the first part when we get to know her. She has some family emotional issues since her mother passed away from cervical cancer, but she's for the most part let time heal that pain. She has two best friends, and a boyfriend who seems sweet and attentive to her. But I knew what was looming over her head from the synopsis, so it was nice to get a feel of who she was inside before everything was thrown into question. It is definitely in the category of things that you never expect to hear from your doctor. 

   When things went upside down on her they really got bad quickly. It really seemed like it separated who was actually her friends from everything else. I felt bad for her because she was so confused and torn up over her diagnosis that she had a hard time even wanting or feeling like she should defend herself. It really broke my heart even seeing one of her best friends having such a hard time with it and turning against her and as well as the boyfriend that had seemed so attentive and not being on her side.  Of course, there are some misunderstanding about who said or did what, and what was perceived as ill intent that really just was lies that covered up mistakes that should have came out in the open sooner. But that showed more growth in Krissy. She had to figure out who she was, who she wanted to be and how being intersex fit into that.

      Maybe it is just that I am so far removed from high school but I really don't see how its such a big deal to others. then again maybe I also understand what the condition involves and I am emotionally connected to the character but I mean as a boyfriend I can understand why he would freak out at first but I mean I don't think it's really any reason to turn your back on someone. But I guess if you aren't secure with who you are, then you can't be with someone that isn't cut and dry and that is part of the male immaturity.

    I did like that Krissy realized people who have been friendly even before the diagnosis but maybe she was just too busy and caught up in track, her friends, her school work that she didn't even notice the opportunities for other bonds and friendships to be made. 

   I like that even though she was in shock and depressed for a while, and made some decisions hastily, that she still considered what others told her. Even if it took a while for her to follow through. She eventually went to some counseling sessions that helped her sort things out a bit from an unbiased person as well as realizing she couldn't just keep hiding from the world. That it was okay to try new things, or go out and be with a new set of people. That she had to look around and see who was still on her side and not push them away.

    I liked the subtle romance that forms in it but that it never took a front seat, that the issues as well as the family and friendships had to get worked on, as well as her character growth. I enjoyed the way that it ended and I would read another book with Krissy or by Gregario.

Bottom Line: Timely topic that explores the life of an intersex teen and the issues of gender.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever been in a circumstance to question everything you think you know about your identity or family?

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