Thursday, April 6, 2017

[Book Review] None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio book review

I picked up this book after seeing that The Rainbow Library picked it as their first book of the month. So shout out to their channel for steering me in this books direction! It was such an incredible read! Definitely another must read for all.

None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio


None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio book image


Summary:
None of the Above is about a girl named Kristen Lattimer. Kristen is a senior in high school who is living a typical teenage life. She has two very close best friends and a boyfriend that seems lovely. She is a champion hurdler who is on track to receive a scholarship to college. She was even voted homecoming queen at prom, much to her surprise. But her life is about to throw her for a loop.

When Kristen tries to have sex with her boyfriend for the first time, it hurts her so much that they have to stop. Kristen is still in major pain a day later and decides to make a doctors appointment. There, she learns that she is intersex; she does not have a uterus and she has gonads up in her abdomen. Her diagnosis sends her into a downward spiral of confusion and denial. Before she has even had time to fully comprehend what this all means, her entire school finds out. She is immediately faced with an incredible amount of hate that makes everything much more difficult for her to deal with.

As the story continues, we see more hatred, but we also see lots of love and positivity.


My thoughts:
I don't think I had even heard the word "intersex" before reading this book, let alone read a book with a character that identified as intersex. So this book was very informative.

First of all, I have to say that I love that this book was written by a surgeon. Her knowledge about the subject and experience with intersex patients really strengthened the storyline.

The storyline flowed in a straightforward manner and the pacing was pretty quick, but not at all rushed. I loved that the story was character driven as well because it really gave more depth to the various plot points.

I thought the main character, Kristen, was so incredible. She just seemed so real to me! The way that she reacted to everything that was thrown her way was totally understandable and very believable to me. There weren't too many teenage angsty situations, but she was indeed a teen, so there were some. Most of the time though, she seemed a bit older because of her maturity level.

My heart truly ached for Kristen when she was faced with hate, but it also soared when she was happy.

In a lot of YA Contemporary, I have trouble relating or empathizing with the characters. But in this book, I really related to so many things! Like the fear of a first ob-gyn visit for example. Or telling your friends something that you would really rather keep secret.

The supporting characters were also lovely. Of course I really loved all of the characters that were a positive influence in her life, and absolutely despised all of the negative and mean characters.


Beware, the negatives. 
There were a few bits that seemed a bit repetitive to me. Like when Kristen thought about her Mom rolling over in her grave... But the repetition that really stood out the most was the same idea with these two passages:

The next day, the world was the same. Nothing about me had changed, either. Yet everything was different. 

Nothing in my room had changed. Yet everything was different. I don't really ever felt that way one time before: the day after mom died.

Other than that, I struggled slightly with all of the strict gender stereotypes that were included. I understand that the author included this to show Kristen's struggle with her identity as intersex. But there were a few times that I think could have been left out because they really didn't add anything.


My favorite passages:
As long as we had ground under our feet and the wind at our backs, things were going to be okay.

The ob-gyn's office smelled like an unholy marriage of baby powder and Listerine.

The pink thing the nurse gave me ended up being some kind of doctor's gown. I undressed, wincing as my bare feet touched the ice-cold linoleum. When I put the gown on and tried to tie it up, the little paper strap tore a bit. I felt like a really badly wrapped birthday present.

The next day, the world was the same. Nothing about me had changed, either. Yet everything was different.

Sooner stop a steamroller than halt Aunt Carla once she got the wheels of hospitality going.


My final thoughts:
I would highly very recommend this book! It is definitely a must read for all. It's another book that I would love to see on required reading lists, but unfortunately with the content (sex, underage drinking, etc) I know that's unrealistic... I gave this book four stars.
SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

2 comments:

  1. I really want to read this! Every time you bring it up it sparks my desire to read it even more. Great review!

    ReplyDelete