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

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

Genre: YA, Contemporary, LGBT

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: April 7, 2015

352 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

None of the Above is incredible. I finished reading it more than two weeks ago and I still can’t quite figure out how to properly tell you why you should read this important, incredible, entertaining, beautiful book.

Kristin is in her senior year of high school and she’s the star of her track team and loved by both her friends and her boyfriend. But when Homecoming night doesn’t really go the way it should, she makes an appointment with an ob-gyn and finds out that she’s intersex. Her life, identity, and world are completely turned upside down and she must figure out who she really is while everyone else does too.

Like a lot of people, I didn’t know much about what being intersex meant. I had a general idea, but this book taught me so much (I love when I can learn about something real when reading). This book is so important for that very reason – not only is it a well-written, entertaining, heartbreaking, uplifting story about a fictional character, it’s also a book about a real condition and realistic reactions to it. None of the Above is exactly what a book about diversity should be. Yet another book I wish I could make everyone read.

Something that has come up in conversations recently (I posted about books that feature characters with mental illnesses which sparked conversation in the comments but also with friends) is a certain lack of empathy that some people have, which is disheartening in a lot of ways, but that’s not the point. I’m bringing this up because I am not intersex. Nor do I know anyone that is (as far as I know). But I connected so well with Kristin because of her struggle with identity throughout the book. Her identity (as a woman, as herself) is challenged several times throughout the novel. (Quick note to say how heartbreaking it was to read the sections in which Kristin is bullied, which felt so, so realistic; I hated it, but I’m glad that nothing felt exaggerated nor sugar-coated). Kristin no longer knows who she is (her doctor tells her that she is a woman, but is she when everyone tells her she isn’t? When she has male chromosomes?). Is she Kristin because of her chromosomes? What makes you you?

The bottom line: None of the Above is important, and you really don’t want to miss it, not only because it will teach you more about something you may or may not be familiar with, but because everyone can relate to Kristin’s struggle to figure out how she is. We all deserve to be reminded that we can get through anything.

19 thoughts on “Book Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

  1. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books I’ve Read So Far in 2015 | Caught Read Handed

  2. I, too, have little idea about intersexuality when I read this one. After? I’m happy I requested it on Edelweiss! It’s such a fascinating, sensitive and poignant take on Kristin’s case. And I felt slapped several times, especially those scenes with Sam and Vee.

  3. Pingback: Thursday Thoughts: What I’ve Been Reading aka GIVE ME ALL THE DIVERSE CONTEMPORARY | Caught Read Handed

  4. Great review Stefani. I’m a little hesitant because I don’t really read to be distressed if that makes sense but this still seems like one that is worth checking out.

    • That makes perfect sense. For me, it wasn’t distressing to the point of not wanting to finish it. I related to the character so well because I’ve been bullied and made fun of, so it was easy to connect with her over that. I still think it’s worth reading because of the diversity and because it’s just an amazing book.

  5. I’ve heard some mixed things about this, and as of right now, it hasn’t made it onto my TBR yet. I like the idea and more diversity in YA, but I’m not sure if personally, as a reader, I’m ready for this yet. I’m going to have to carve out some time for it, if I choose to read it.

    • I completely understand and respect that. I’ve been in a certain mood lately: I’ve wanted to read 1. all the contemporary and 2. all the diversity. I’ve just wanted to be in this world but with new people. I’ve been enjoying learning about people who aren’t what I’m used to.

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