I was browsing through Netgalley as I hadn’t looked in absolutely aaggeeesss, and I stumbled across None of the Above, read the description and I was immediately intrigued. I had never read a book that had an intersex character as the protagonist before and the premise of the book sounded really interesting.
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 beginning of this book nearly put me off. The main characters name is similar to mine and her boyfriend’s name is the same as my ex… So it just felt waaayyy too real and I thought I wouldn’t be able to read it because of the similarities but I ignored my stupid, emotional brain and carried on. At first, everything was a bit strange, their romance was too sweet and I felt like hurling but then when she finds out that she’s intersex, everything changed. Sam turned into a right monster and I wanted to slap him. He showed a completely different side to himself, and he started acting almost inhuman towards Kristin which really annoyed me. YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE THERE FOR HER! But no. He turned his back on her when she needed him the most.
“The world around you may have shifted, seen you in a different light. But the Mona Lisa is a masterpiece whether it’s in a pitch-black room, under a strobe light or in the sun.”
– I.W Gregorio, None of the Above
I felt so bad for Kristin to be honest. Everything was just collapsing around her. Her Dad was pretty much the only stable element in her life. I can’t really say much because of spoilers but her friends really annoyed me as well. Especially at the end when you find out something about her friends. I felt like shouting and screaming at them. Yeah… There were a lot of times where I wanted to slap the characters because they just made stupid decisions. However, during that whole friend thing at the end, Kristin also annoyed me because she conveyed the idea that it was ok for one friend to do something but then not ok for another one of her friends to do it and it just really confused me.
I do think that this is a really important book to read though. It was really really informative about being intersex without sounding like a leaflet that you would find in the doctors or hospital. I especially learnt a lot through Kristin’s doctor because she explained what intersex meant to Kristin in such a helpful way, which also educated me at the same time. Gregorio definitely didn’t pull any punches when she was describing intersexuality. She described it in a raw, emotional way that made you really connect with Kristin and cry for her when the whole school pretty much turned on her. How can people be so heartless and cruel?! They all turned into monsters and I really really don’t know how Kristin managed to cope with it all. She was so brave, and I was glad when she sought out an intersex community where people going through the same thing (or had gone through the same thing) could help each other.
“You fall for the person, not their chromosomes”
– I.W Gregorio, None of the Above
Another thing that really annoyed me about this book was the love interest. I just thought that it was really sudden and rushed. The same goes for the very end, it seemed to end very quickly. I would have liked to see the events after the ending and how Kristin started to grow and feel more comfortable in her own skin.
Overall, this was an ok book. I loved how educational it was and how it featured an intersex main character. However, there were those little things that let it down and stopped this book from being a 4/5 star novel. BUT! None of the Above IS Gregorio’s debut novel and I’m quite looking forward to what she writes next!
Disclaimer: this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review