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None of the Above Hardcover – April 7, 2015
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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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
“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)
Top customer reviews
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Like this one which I've been wanting to read since I first heard about it, and have been waiting and waiting for the library to stock. When they didn't, I bit the bullet and bought a copy of my own.
It is the story of a girl called Kristin who is elected Homecoming Queen, is a rising track star and has a wonderful boyfriend. But when she and Sam decide to take their relationship to the next level, sex isn't the wonderful, pleasurable expression of love she was expecting. A second attempt isn't much better, so Kristin decides to go and see a doctor.
What she discovers about herself is frightening: she's intersex. While outwardly she looks like a girl, she doesn't have a womb. Oh, and she does have testes, she's just never noticed them because they're inside her.
The book explores how Kristin navigates this new discovery about herself and how it changes her preception of herself. It also explores the reactions of the people around her as they struggle to understand (and largely fail) what it means to be intersex.
I really enjoyed this book and hope it becomes widely read in schools and beyond so people can get a better understanding of what being intersex is, and how painful it can be to discover something like that about yourself at a time when you're already fighting to find your true identity on so many other levels.
I.W. Gregorio has researched the subject exhaustively after encountering a patient with AIS as a doctor. The basics of AIS, gender identity, sexual orientation, and controversies within the intersex community are covered in the course of the book without coming off as textbook-y. Gregorio has also cited her sources in the back of the book and listed additional websites for readers wishing to learn more to visit, a wonderful touch. Knowing beforehand that Gregorio is a doctor didn't make me question too much about what I read while I read it, but it was nice to see her research included all the same to fact-check and go beyond AIS.
"None of the Above" follows not only Krissy in the aftermath of her diagnosis, but it touches on a subject YA books frequently shy away from: sex! This is not wank material by any means, but it's realistic. Krissy only ever goes to the OB-GYN because sex had hurt her so much.
There's a lot of scary moments after the community finds out about Krissy's diagnosis. Her protests for still being a girl fall to deaf ears, save a select few. She spirals into depression, another important topic delicately handled.
Not everything is so dark though. She finds friendship in some people who understand or are willing to understand as she teeter-totters with her best friends she's unable to effectively communicate with. Her relationship with her dad is tender - there is a moment where her dad is researching the internet to understand what is going on with her body that almost brought a tear to my eye.
Still. Horrific stuff happens from the people who don't understand and don't want to understand. Towards the end of the book, I almost threw my Kindle and ran out to start a protest. But it was 3 A.M. and I didn't know what exactly I was protesting. I was just angry. While the book itself is fictional, I'm no fool to think the stuff that happened hasn't happened to several people in real life. Ignorance breeds brutality.
"None of the Above" is a must read. I don't care if you're 14 or 104. Those who don't know anything about the letter "I" will learn something, and I suspect those who are intersexed will find solace in their respectful representation in the literary world.
So I actually bought an ebook copy of this book for a diverse book event several months ago, but I wanted to read a hardcover copy instead of using my Kindle, due to eye strain. I reserved a library copy when I saw this book on the list for #ReadProud. It’s been on my TBR list for way too long, so I had to rectify that situation.
Kristin was such a great main character. I learned a lot about what it means to be intersex because of this book, so yay for that! I love being able to open my eyes to new things, to be able to understand things more, to keep my mind open/accepting of everyone. My heart hurt for some of the things Kristin had to endure. People, especially teens, can be so cruel.
I’m glad she had a great support system built of family and friends to turn to. I definitely cried during emotional parts in the book. So fair warning, you might cry too. I just know Kristin is going to be okay, especially because her support circle got bigger as the book continued. It really goes to show you that some people are actually good.
There was some romance in the beginning of the book, and then some at the very end. I like the romance at the end better. The ending was perfection. I was beyond happy that Kristin was in a better place emotionally, and that things were starting to look up for her all around.
I can’t say for certain, but I think Darren will be an addition to my book boyfriend list. He was super sweet, but I feel like I didn’t get to see enough of him. I wanted more! I also really loved his mom. Kristin’s dad was another great character; he’s kind of intense after what happened with Kristin’s mom (no spoilers), but he’s so accepting/supportive after Kristin received her diagnosis. More parents should be like him. In addition to these characters, I loved Gretchen, Jessica, and a few others.
I didn’t make many status updates on Goodreads while devouring this book in two days, but here’s a quote I loved: “One day I would find my own place. I couldn’t run there, though, because it didn’t exist yet; I had to build it myself, out of forgiveness, truth, and terrifying gestures of friendship.”
Final note: An amazing book! I’m so glad I picked this book for the final #ReadProud weekly challenge. Get yourself a copy of this book ASAP. It’ll open your eyes and your heart.
Most recent customer reviews
This book was informative and resonated with me. I really felt with Krissy who one day learns that she's intersex and has to deal with the hurtful rumours as...Read more
When I started None of the Above, I went in blindly, because I couldn't for the life of me remember what the book was about.Read more