Tuesday, May 26, 2015

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

Title: None of the Above
Author: I.W. Gregorio
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

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?
Review by Nara

While YA has been pretty instrumental in my understanding of a lot of minorities, what it means to be intersex wasn't really something I was familiar with. With my medical background, I'd had sort of an idea about gender fluid illnesses, but AIS wasn't one that I'd heard of before.

While this was an important issue to be told, it seemed like the story overall seemed a bit generic. I mean, you could really exchange any YA big secret/issue with the fact that Kristin is intersex and the story would be quite similar to a lot of contemporaries out there. There's the protagonist's discovery of the secret, then there's the protagonist trying to accept it, and then while s/he's trying to accept it, the whole school somehow finds out and the protagonist then has to deal with that. Rather predictable, to be honest, although that didn't necessarily make the book too much less enjoyable.

The characters were very realistic, and I feel like the way that Kristin reacted to her diagnosis is something I could see any teenage girl doing. The romance was perhaps a little unexpected, but I thought it was acceptable overall because the two start off as friends before it moves into a romantic relationship.

I feel like None of the Above was certainly an important book in the world of YA. Despite it being slightly generic in terms of plot, I'm glad I read it.

Really liked it
Overall: 7/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3.5/5