By: Celine | April 6, 2015 | (13) Comments

Review: None of the Above by I. W. GregorioNone of the Above by I. W. Gregorio
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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’ll just start off with the thing I want to say most: None of the Above is such an important book. I myself have always been lucky, in the sense that if I want to see myself reflected in fiction, I don’t have to look far. There are plenty of girl protagonists, there are plenty of white protagonists – so many books on my shelf reflect me in that way. But there are also people who have to look very, very hard to see themselves in fiction, if at all. People who don’t fit into the typical mold.

That’s why None of the Above is so important. Because its protagonist is Kristin, and she is intersex. None of the Above portrays the struggles she has to go through, mentally and otherwise, while also honestly portraying a teen’s life and all that comes with it. There is drama, there is romance, there are friends, but most importantly, there is Kristin. The book follows her as she finds out she’s intersex, the initial denial and shock and all that comes afterwards.

Kristin doesn’t have it easy. She has many questions about herself, her identity, and worries whether she can still be seen as a girl if she has an Y chromosome. I am no expert on what’s it like being intersex (in fact, I knew pretty much nothing about it before None of the Above), but what the book shows us feels honest and real. Kristin’s journey never felt forced to me, and it broke my heart to see her have to deal with all these confusing emotions, worries and questions.

Though of course None of the Above mostly focuses on how Kristin deals with finding out she’s intersex, there’s also a storyline and underlying themes I approved of. Though for Kristin it seems her life has changed in an instant, it also goes on and Gregorio portrayed that really well. Her personal life doesn’t suddenly stop, and she has to deal with others as well as herself. None of the Above also has themes of friendship, finding out who you are, and acceptance.

There is also a romance in here, but it’s very light. The love interest is very sweet and is mostly Kristin’s friend rather than her boyfriend. He shows her that even though she believes otherwise, people really do accept her and see her for who she is. The romance was cute, though it didn’t set my heart aflame. But really, it didn’t have to – it’s not the point of this book.

In all, I think None of the Above is just very important, both for intersex teens out there and people like me, who didn’t really know about it but wish to be educated. Kristin’s journey was raw and real, and the underlying themes of love and acceptance made for a hopeful but realistic read overall.

~Thank you Balzer + Bray for the review copy!~

4 Stars
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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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13 Responses to Review: None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio

  1. I definitely agree with you! None of the Above is such an important book. To me, it seems quite easy to find characters to relate to as well, because I’m also a girl, and white. I really adored this book and I loved that while it has a romance, it is very much so in the background.

    Great review!
    Jolien @ The Fictional Reader recently posted…Review: Sunbolt (Sunbolt Chronicles #1) by Intisar KhananiMy Profile

  2. I’m really looking forward to reading None of the Above. I dig books with serious issues and difficult topics, because they’re inspiring and try to convey important messages to the readers. Nice review, Celine! Glad to know you liked this. 🙂
    Julie @ Books and Insomnia recently posted…Flavor of the Month: April 2015My Profile

  3. I consider myself privileged to the point where I’m almost completely ignorant about these kinds of things. And while that’s true, I feel like I would be able to connect to Kristin. Until recently, I had no idea what intersex was. And since this book is what made me open my eyes to what people don’t want to talk about, I HAVE to read this book. I mean, what kind of person would I be if I didn’t?

    Amazing review <3
    Nova @ Out of Time recently posted…ARC Review: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things – Ann AguirreMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      I really feel you on that 🙂 Like you, I know I’m extremely privileged and I didn’t even know about intersexuality. And beautifully said 🙂 This book is just so important because it raises awareness.

      Thank you Nova <33

  4. Cynthia says:

    I am so excited to read this one. The premise is so interesting and different than what is out there. I am glad you enjoyed it.
    Cynthia recently posted…Musing Mondays – Book HangoverMy Profile

  5. Love, love, LOVE this review Celine. ♥ Being a teenager and going through high school and trying to fit in is hard enough, but I can’t imagine having to experience high school in Kristin’s shoes. Hopefully the teens that do have to go through something like this on a daily basis can find this book and realize they’re not alone, you know? Definitely going to give this a try. Thanks for the heartfelt and beautifully written review!
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…ExtractionMy Profile

  6. I have never heard of this book, but you are so right. This is a very important book. I’ve heard about intersex people before but have never seen a book about them. I love your review. It sounds like such a great book and I can’t wait to read it. I’ve added it to my Goodreads.
    Rochelle Sharpe recently posted…Blog Tour + Giveaway: We All Looked Up By Tommy WallachMy Profile

  7. Ksenia says:

    Great review, Celine! It looks like 2015 would be the year of diversity; so many good books
    Ksenia recently posted…Review: The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn HolmesMy Profile

  8. I agree with everything you said, Celine! This is definitely an important book, and I also love how Darren was more of a friend than a lover. I didn’t know anything at all about intersex people until I read this.
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Blog Tour: Push by Claire Wallis / This Book is Crazy! / Review + GiveawayMy Profile

  9. Lily says:

    I love how None of the Above has gotten so much attention lately. I look forward to reading it and really understanding the topic of Intersex so much more. Fabulous review Celine!
    Lily recently posted…The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass 0.1-0.5)My Profile

  10. Melanie says:

    I haven’t read a book where the MC is intersex so I really want to pick this one up! I have a classmate who came out as transgender this year, and you’d be shocked to know how many people went “huh?” when they found out because they didn’t know what transgender even meant. Heck, I’m sure I’d be one of those people who went “huh?” if it weren’t for reading so many books with GLBT themes.

    Excellent review, Celine <33

    • Celine says:

      Ooh yes same! I have to say that if it weren’t for books I’d probably be an extremely ignorant person. I like to think that fiction has made me more open-minded 🙂 Also that’s brave of your classmate! A friend of a friend of mine is also transgender, and I know a lot of people had no idea what it meant.

      Thank youu Mel <33

  11. Benish says:

    I thought this was a unique book in YA, the plot is a bit ordinary but I did really like the novel about intersex – I do love how diverse YA is being this year, lovely review overall <3
    Benish recently posted…ARC Review: All The Rage by Courtney Summers + Giveaway[U.S/CAN]!My Profile

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