None of the Above
I. W. Gregorio
Published: 7th April, 2015
Balzer + Bray
Age: Young Adult
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?
Content warning: very undescriptive sex scenes (2); underage drinking; bullying
What I liked: This is a big, eye-opening novel about the struggles someone who is intersex can go through. It was touching, and at times an emotional read for me because of what Kristin was going through when she found out that she isn’t who she thought she was biologically. This book even showed how having boxes to check “male” and “female” can be hurtful to the person because they’re simply “none of the above” (which was an actual line a couple of times in the book and I applaud that). Yet it also showed how someone views their gender can be different. That what gender you identify as is not always the same as your biological gender. Honestly I think that was a great thing to put in this book since it is part of Kristin’s journey to understand who she really is. The way the school reacted to the news about her being intersex also showed how not knowing the facts about something that sounds bad on the surface can have a huge negative backlash. It made me think of one thing when I was reading each part where she was getting negative backlash about her “real biological gender” since she was intersex, and that was “ignorance breeds hate” because a lot of the time it does. It was really important to see that too, because for each person we saw accept her for who she was it was a really touching thing. I also loved her father, he was the most supportive and was really there for her and did his best in trying to help her in the only way he knew how. One of the most touching parts in the novel to me, came from her dad and one of the things he learned while researching what it meant for his only daughter to be intersex.
What I didn’t like: I don’t think we really saw Kristin truly accept who she is before the end of the novel. Yes, we get that in a way she accepts her AIS (Androgen Insufficiency Syndrome) but at the same time, I don’t think we really saw her accept herself as who she is, a chromosomal male but a physical female. However, given the circumstances and how far she still has to go, I think just coming to terms with who she is and not yet fully accepting who she is is good.
Overall Review: This is not just an honest tale of what life for someone who is intersex deals with, but a brutally honest one that shows just how hard it can be to come to terms with who you really are when you’re intersex. Over the course of the novel Kristin questions what it really means in this day in age to be male or female, or even none of the above. Her conclusion? Well, that is something you’ll have to find out when you read the book. Its a powerful story that shows how far we still have to go to become more accepting of people just because they don’t fit the social “norm.” This is a story about learning to come to terms with who you really are, and I think I speak for some people when I say that coming to terms with who you really are is harder than it sounds, much less fully accepting something you never expected about yourself.
Recommend?: I highly recommend everyone read this book. Its very informative and realistic about what something like this can do to a person, but its a fantastic read and one that I will undoubtedly read again in the future!
My Rating: 4.6/5
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