Monday, April 06, 2015

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

From Goodreads: 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?

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Although its plot wasn’t really that remarkable, None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio was a book that I think YA needs more of due to its frank discussion about gender diversity. Since I’ve kind of been in a review slump lately though, I’m just going to list what I liked and disliked about None of the Above:

  • Kristin was very easy to relate to, and the range of emotions she experienced once she learned about her diagnosis were all very understandable. 
  • I really liked how Gregorio used her own experiences as a surgeon as well as the situation of Caster Semenya to show what it means, in reality, to not fall neatly into the gender binary.
  • I also liked how informative None of the Above was. Despite knowing the difference between sex and gender, for example, I still learned quite a lot from the book. 
  • I thought that Kristin was a bit too hasty in getting gonadectomy. It felt more like an emotional decision than a calculated decision to me, and I would have preferred it if she had thought a little more about the risks associated with surgery.
  • I didn’t really see a process to self-acceptance; Kristin just seemed to become okay about her body quite suddenly. 
  • I wasn’t really a fan of the romance. It felt like Gregorio needed a reason for the guy Kristin became interested in to dump his girlfriend so that he could get together with Kristin, and so Gregorio came up with a lame excuse for why things weren’t working out between them. I don’t understand why authors think a girl in a YA novel must have a boyfriend!  
None of the Above will be released tomorrow by Balzer + Bray! 

Comments About the Cover: It’s cute, and I like the use of blue and pink because they're the colours that society has come to think of as for a 'boy' and a 'girl'.  

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via Edelweiss. 


  1. Sometimes it's hard to prioritize: there are books that are really amazing plot and character-wise and then there are books we desperately need as a society. Ideally we'd have both at the same, but sometimes wee need to overlook one in favor of the other. I'm glad this brings much needed diversity into YA, but I wish it were better written.

  2. I'm definitely happy that this book will add some much needed diversity in YA. I just wished it addressed self acceptance in the character's journey and I would think that someone would need to think long and hard about doing an important surgery.

  3. I love seeing books tackling topics that haven't typically been a part of mainstream YA fiction, and I think it's so important for these books to be out there. Since I'm a romance girl, I think I'm going to be good with the romance aspect, even though I agree that a YA girl doesn't always need a romantic partner. It makes me happy when they have one though, I can't help it Z!


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