Genres: General/Issue, Young Adult
Published by Harper Collins on April 7th 2015
Format: Audiobook (328 pages) • Source: Scribd
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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?
I think this book is so incredibly important and, a lot of the time, super powerful. I’ve never read a book about an intersex character and I don’t know of any others that exist. The only time I’ve even heard of the term is in the show Faking It. I’m always happy to learn more about the letters across the QUILTBAG spectrum, so this was great for that purpose.
Before I get into the characters and plot events aside from the intersex aspect, I’ll just say that this book is really interesting throughout. I wanted to see how Kristin would react to the hand she was dealt and she didn’t often disappoint me. I think it was a super realistic chain of events (unfortunately) that could happen to anyone in her situation. Learning more about AIS was great and for that reason, I’m glad I read this one. It was super informative, without feeling too forced.
I think my biggest issue was with the audiobook narrator? While she had a great voice that I liked listening to, she felt really detached from the story emotionally… This made me feel like the MC didn’t have a lot of emotional reaction at times. That’s why I say it didn’t feel TOO forced or clinical, but at times it did.
There was one thing that Kristin did that REALLY annoyed me towards the end of the book and I can’t get it out of my head. It involves her friends and determining who spilled the beans to the school about her being intersex. I saw this coming, but her reaction bothered me. View Spoiler »Kristin assumed it was her friend Vanessa because of the ~drama~ surrounding homecoming at the beginning of the book. However, we find out later that it was her friend Faith. I predicted that this was the case, but, as I said, Kristin’s reaction is what bothered me! She was planning on not speaking to Vanessa and giving her the cold shoulder throughout the foreseeable future. BUT, the minute she finds out it was Faith instead, she completely forgives her! Right away basically! Vanessa didn’t even seemed bothered by this somehow and just encouraged the two of them to make up? I don’t get how that went down. Why would you penalize one friend for what you thought they did, but immediately be okay because it’s a different friend. She even says that it’s “impossible to be mad at Faith” so she basically let it slide. « Hide Spoiler I honestly can’t decide if it’s sloppy writing in that particular section, or if Kristin really is just that hypocritical.
Many aspects of Kristin’s story were heartbreaking – the reaction from her school, ~something~ that happens later in the book, and her boyfriend at the time, Sam, refusing to hear her out. I know it’s a difficult situation for everyone, but I would like to think that I would be more forgiving and understanding in his shoes. Aside from the terrible people though, there were some great side characters. I loved when she met Gretchen and her friends. Her thoughts on gender norms were so perfectly explained and just really important.
I loved the very end of the book and am so happy it ended on that note. I would truly recommend this book to everyone, especially those who need to learn more about being intersex.
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