Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Beautiful, Unputdownable, Worth Every Tear | Mini Review: None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio

None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 7th, 2015
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 cried so much while reading this, but every tear was worth it."

I've been eyeing this book for some time now, so I'm grateful for Dahlia's Book Club for giving me that extra push. This is a fabulous novel and is so important. It's so important for people to learn more about those who are intersex and what that is like, and this book hopefully provides some more visibility on the topic. So much of the focus of LGBTQ+ discussions leaves out intersex, leaving most people very unaware of what that actually means. This is manifested in the majority of Kristen's school.

This story broke my heart and then slowly healed it again. I learned so much along the way, and it was just an emotional rollercoaster. The characters really add such a depth to the story and to the conflicts. I feel like there might be criticism about some of Kristen's friendships, but oh my gosh did I see my own middle/high school friend dynamics in there (minus the partying). And I would hate to think about how non-tolerant those in Kristen's school were, but to be honest, I don't find it surprising. High school can be so ruthless and terrible, and teens can be so quick to tear one another down. But I think another important experience and lesson to be learned here is that despite all the terrible people (or the good people who make bad decisions), there are also really decent and amazing people who don't care and will stick up for you. And seeing that in this book was such a treasure. I cried so much while reading this, but every tear was worth it.

But before I forget or get sidetracked, I want to bring it back to this being about a girl who just founds out she's intersex and is struggling to figure out her identity when she feels it's being taken away. It is just so powerful, but it's also so impactful for anyone who goes through a time where they feel they're losing/they have lost their identity, even when it's something that doesn't truly define you or your personality. I just think this story was beautiful, and I couldn't put it down.

That being said, there were large parts of the story that were pretty predictable, including that ending. And there were a few other things, but I think they are far outweighed. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and while it wasn't my favorite, it sure is amazing and definitely needs to be read by all.
None of the Above: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
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