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None of the Above Hardcover – April 7, 2015

4.4 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Kristin Lattimer embodies the all-American teenage girl. She's sporty, well-liked, cool but humble enough to be shocked when elected Homecoming Queen, with two loyal best friends and a loving boyfriend. Even in the wake of her mom's death from cervical cancer, Kristin's future is looking pretty bright. Until her first time having sex with Sam goes painfully awry, leading to a doctor's appointment that reveals she is intersex. Suddenly, Kristin's life is thrown wildly off-kilter as she struggles with her condition and its impact on her self-esteem, academic life, and most important relationships. The novel is engaging and well paced, with smart young characters. However, their witty banter and sage insights don't always seem to capture a youthful voice—the novel;s pedagogical intent threatens to overwhelm the natural rhythm of speech, making these 17 and 18 year olds sound like medical mouthpieces from time to time. Gregorio's helpful author's note explains that numerous AIS perspectives and sources were consulted in the writing process; it is evident that research was done to give this fictional account realism and nuance. Links and resources about being intersex are provided for further reading. While the text occasionally reads like a fictionalized medical record, this book serves as a useful introduction to the discussion around intersexuality, particularly from a youth viewpoint.—Ashleigh Williams, School Library Journal

Review

“None of the Above is a powerful story of discovering one’s true identity. This book will open hearts and change minds.” (Stephen Chbosky, bestselling author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower)

“[A] provocative and enlightening first novel...will strike a familiar chord with any reader who has felt estranged.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“I couldn’t put this book down—it opened my mind in ways that few books have done before.” (Jacqueline Woodson, award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming)

“Noble, daring and necessary—IW Gregorio’s groundbreaking debut is a bittersweet, painful and ultimately life-affirming voyage of identity.” (Elizabeth Wein, award-winning & NYT bestselling author of Code Name Verity)

“Like the beloved physician she is, I. W. Gregorio brings rare knowledge and acute empathy to the illumination of an anatomical difference—and to the teens who discover, in the nick of time, the saving grace of knowing and being one’s truest self. A book unlike any other.” (Beth Kephart, award-winning author of Going Over and Small Damages)

“None of the Above is a sensitive, beautifully written story, told with heart (break) and humor. Gregorio deftly explores the isolation of being ‘other’ in a highly relatable way. Bravo!” (Kristin Elizabeth Clark, author of FREAKBOY)

“Engaging and well paced, with smart young characters…a useful introduction to…intersexuality.” (School Library Journal)

“Sensitive, informative and a valuable resource” (Kirkus Reviews)

“None of the Above rises above most young adult fiction because it has potential to evoke significant change...[A] compelling and touching narrative.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))

“[A] remarkable novel...Eye-opening and important.” (Booklist)

“Kristin’s struggle with her identity is wrenching and authentically conveyed.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray (April 7, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062335316
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062335319
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I really struggled with this book. And I am going to come out and say that there's no way for me to review it without a bias. Because I've lived through a situation similar to a portion of Krissy's.

I was born without a uterus. I am not intersex, so my situation was different than the MC's, but this book touched on many things I lived through as a teenager.

There were so many things Gregorio got right. She did a wonderful job translating the medical jargon into English. She nailed the emotions of finding out that instead of being normal, you are "other." I loved that she showed doctors as human who occasionally stuck their feet in their mouths. The fact that Krissy's friends didn't know what to say or how to help was realistic. I loved all those aspects of the book.

I didn't love the characters themselves. Everyone from Krissy to her friends to her family fell a little flat. Had the book been about anything other than an intersex girl, I would have gotten bored by the lack of characterization and put it aside unfinished.

What I wanted to scream about while I read was the response to Krissy's infertility. I don't think a teenager can really process what being infertile will mean for her when she reaches adulthood (I certainly didn't), but I was infuriated that when Krissy told other characters that adoption wasn't the same as having a child of your own, her feelings weren't validated. Adoption is a wonderful way to become a parent, but it's not the same. And it is 100% ok to grieve the loss of not being able to get pregnant and mother a child with your own genes.

I was also a little confused by all the discussion of sexual orientation in the book, at least in regards to Krissy.
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Format: Kindle Edition
There are books that get a lot of attention. There are books you see on every social media platform you’re a part of literally all the time, books that perfect strangers are always excited to talk about. Out of those books, very few of them actually live up to the hype for me, because I’m grouchy and slowly outgrowing the suspension of disbelief. However, every now and then, one of those books not only lives up to the hype, it actually blows my mind – None of the Above, the striking debut novel of I.W. Gregorio, was one of those books.

From the very first page, our heroine, Kristin, has a voice that demands to be heard. I was immediately drawn in by the way she seemed to jump right out of my Kindle and into my head. When we meet her, she’s head over heels in love with her boyfriend, snug and happy in the middle of a trio, close to her father, driven by her ambitions and athleticism, and she already has her future figured out. Having read the summary, I was very close to putting the book down at around 10%, because Kristin’s life was so stable, and everything about it made sense, and I felt a strong sense of dread over what I knew was inevitably coming: the fallout.

But I decided not to let myself be a wimp. I decided that I would put my heart in the hands of the uncannily talented I.W. Gregorio and allow it to be broken – and wow, am I glad I did.

Full disclosure: this book made me feel things. I felt things I don’t think I’ve ever felt before. It calls to light some of the ugliest parts of people: homophobia, transphobia, intolerance, bigotry, cruelty, relentlessness. The subject matter sounds heavy because it is. Hidden within the simplistic prose of this book is a powerful message about the silent suffering of human beings across the world. This book is powerful.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher at a book conference. The following is still my honest opinion.

Here's the thing about this book. It is is amazing, and it isn't just amazing because it has a diverse character. It is amazing because of it's writing and storyline. This book gave me an education essentially on what "intersex" means, yet it flowed so well and read like a well put together novel. It wasn't preachy and didn't read like a book that was trying to teach, yet through it's storyline and the character of Kristin it did just that. None of the Above opened my eyes to what the term intersex means and gave insight into what it would mean to be living as intersex in the world today.

I wanted to come through the pages and hug Kristin and found myself just constantly rooting for Kristin. The issues of bullies is also dealt with and that is an issue any person can relate to, whether we are going through the things Kristin is or not. A school full of teenagers finding out that there is an intersex student in the midst is sure to lead to bullying and drama and that it does. It was heartbreaking because with more education and knowledge people could realize that intersex people are still just people that deserve love and respect.

There is romance in this book and let me get this off my chest... SAM WHY?!?!?! UGH SAM!!! I was SO angered by the character of Sam and how he treats Kristin. He is absolutely horrible to her and I was just like NO!!! However, there is still romance in this novel and it comes through and is absolutely sweet and perfect for a high school romance.

I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to ALL readers. It's a must read book people. So many different feels and emotions from this book. Experience it all for yourself.

Anna @ Lostbraincell's Bookish Blog
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