ARC Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

March 20, 2015 Review 34 ★★★½

ARC Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 352
Release Date: April 7th 2015
Genres: Bullying, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Social Issues, Young Adult
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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?
This book may be unsuitable for younger readers due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence. Note that this review itself does not contain any inappropriate material.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

alise

My feelings are all over the place on this one but I know one thing: I really did enjoy it. NONE OF THE ABOVE tells a story that needs to be read, and Kristin’s journey held my attention for its entirety. However, I did have some minor issues with it.

There were a few bumps in the road plot-wise, I thought some events seemed thrown-in and too convenient, one being the romance that was predictable and yet still managed to come in out of nowhere. View Spoiler » The ending itself was resolved quickly, neatly, and therefore, a little unrealistically.

NONE OF THE ABOVE hits home for me because of the cruelty the main character Kristin experienced-it reminded me of my own high school where two people committed suicide in one year because of the same issue. It’s heartbreaking how she is treated, teased, and bullied.

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Although Kristin and I have very different personalities, I could relate to her and feel for her so much, which, I think, is the very definition of awesome writing.  So much depth is given to her character she doesn’t even seem like a fictional character anymore.

I was also glad to see that this book did not pull any punches when it came to talking about intersexuality, it was honest and truly refreshing. A lot of research obviously went into the book and you can tell, it is very informational but not overly so. It was very well written, but there were a few comments about “hermaphrodites” and Catholics that did bother me.

Overall, I loved the message of this book and I think it has the ability to really help, or at least educate, a lot of people, which is no light task for a young adult fiction novel.

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Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Romance
Overall: 3.5

34 Responses to “ARC Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio”

  1. Kirsty-Marie

    I really want to read this, but I think I need to be in the right frame of mind for it, otherwise I’ll get really, really angry at the bullying. You know there’s going to be some, but I honestly don’t get why someone would bully someone over something they can’t control, and that goes for everything. :( But agree, the ending being wrapped up nice and quickly is realistic.
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: Half Wild

    • Alise

      I can understand that. It made me really upset emotionally rather than mad but yeah, it was hard. Tell me about it.

  2. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    It’s good to see that YA fiction is finally moving in a more diverse direction! Intersexuality isn’t something most authors would approach so kudos to the author here for taking that risk! It is unfortunate though that this one had an unrealistic ending and that the romance resolution was a bit iffy. I do think that books about bullying are so important though, especially in those high-school years. I wish our required readings in high school would have included books like this to be honest,that would have been the best time to read them, since I think everyone gets bullied in school in some way or form. I’m happy that the MC was relatable, despite being quite different from you – that’s always a plus! Lovely review as always Alise^^ ♥
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue

    • Alise

      I completely agree! There aren’t many books out there that talk about these topics so I think this is immensely important. It really is a shame but I guess since it wasn’t THE main point of the narrative it was kind of excused. Still wish it had been more developed though. Oh my gosh, yes, I totally agree, especially in that age range! Thank you :)

  3. Zoe @ Stories on Stage

    I’m with Jeann. I think it’s so great that authors are willing to write about such topics. It really sends a great message, and gives teens who are in the situations of the protagonist a lot of hope with the feeling that they’re not alone. Despite the abrupt ending and the few off-hand comments, this sounds like a really unique and interesting read unlike anything I’ve heard of before. You’ve definitely got me intrigued Alise – thank you for sharing!
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…Extraction Review Swap

    • Alise

      Exactly! Especially since there is a lack of books that talk about the subject in general, it’s great that this is available. It really is, I would still recommend it! Sure :D

    • Alise

      Totally agree! I kind of became okay with it because the romance wasn’t the focus on the narrative so *shrug* Yay, thank you! :D

    • Alise

      Couldn’t agree more! I hope this book finds its way into the hands of some people that will make them more comfortable with themselves, as well as help others become more accepting! Thank you!

  4. Lola @ Hit or Miss Books

    It does seem like an important book to read. I will for sure. It will be my first with an intersex character (I’m not even 100% sure of what it means?) so I’m looking very forward to learning more on the subject. Fantastic honest review!!
    Lola @ Hit or Miss Books recently posted…Who Am I, Really?

    • Alise

      I’ll let you go into the book not knowing so you can experience it with the main character, I think it will be better that way! :D I really hope you like it! Thank you!

  5. Romi

    Glad to read your review and hear that this was a book that you enjoyed and could connect with the protagonist in! I love it when you find a book where a character, main or otherwise, is so real, or has elements of yourself in them. For me, it’s Meg Murray in A Wrinkle in Time, and it’s such a fantastic feeling.
    I’m really looking forward to reading this one! It sounds really wonderful, though I always struggle with the bullying that tends to accompany novels where the characters are facing changes, difficult experiences or questioning/changing/living their sexuality. It’s honest and that’s important, but it’s also painful. Lovely review, Alise. Xx
    Romi recently posted…A Feature of Pictures (and books!) No. 9

    • Alise

      Yes, exactly! When characters begin to feel like real people it is one of the best experiences when reading, I totally agree. It definitely is tough, but worth reading for sure! Thank you :)

  6. Faye M.

    Bullying sucks! I hate that until now it’s still rampant in certain places. For goodness sake, it’s already 2015 and some parents just don’t know how to teach their children to be kind and compassionate and understanding of others. It breaks my heart to know that you’ve had schoolmates who decided to end their lives because of rampant teasing and bullying. I’m so sorry :( This world we live in sucks sometimes and I cry for those who feel there’s no way out but death :(

    Going back to the book, Aimee loved this one, too, and I’m intrigued by the intersexuality shown here. She said it was handled very well and sensitively and I want to see it for myself.
    Faye M. recently posted…ARC Review: 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

    • Alise

      I completely agree with you, and sadly it seems to be getting worse. Oh my gosh, it was terrible. The story just sticks with you, especially when it hits that close to home.

      It really was handled well! I was worried that it wasn’t going to be but I was overall pretty happy with it.

    • Alise

      It really was. You could tell a lot of research went into this and I loved how the subject matter was treated. Yay, I’m glad!

  7. Silvia @ Darkest Sins

    This book sounds intense and quite unique. So far I’ve never encountered a YA talking about intersexuality, I think it’s refreshing and it just makes the story a very interesting one. Although I’m not a fan of endings like the one you described, I would definitely read the book.
    Loved your review, Alise!
    Silvia @ Darkest Sins recently posted…“Out of the Bright” by Jules Hedger

    • Alise

      It is unique, which is a shame because there definitely should be more books like this out there! Thank you :)

  8. Valerie

    This definitely seems like something worth checking out! I’m glad to see that YA has extended to sexualities and gender. I feel like a couple years ago it would be hard to spot two or three books on the topic.

    I’m glad you enjoyed it, even though there were some gripes! Awesome review Alise!
    Valerie recently posted…ARC Review: Seeker

    • Alise

      Oh, me too! Exactly! I’m so glad to be seeing a more diverse group of books in the genre. Thank you! :D

    • Alise

      Open endings used to be the bane of my existence, I hated them with a passion. I think since they are becoming more common I kind of had to get used to them so this one wasn’t TOO bad, I suppose.

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