Published: April 7th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Number of Pages: 352 Pages (Hardcover)
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?
“Love isn’t a choice. You fall for the person, not their chromosomes.”
This book was literally none of the above. It was like no other book I have read before. It dealt with topics such as intersex (which I've heard about for the first time in this book), gender and gender identity and many other topics which are definitely on the list of topics that should be discussed more, especially in YA books. None of the Above is an important book, easy as that.
“Did anyone ever mention anything to you about something
called androgen insensitivity syndrome or AIS?”
None of the Above follows Kristin who has a boyfriend, a full college scholarship and two best friends. But, everything suddenly changes when she finds out she is intersex. The story sets of from there and shows us not only many different information’s about this topic of what it means to be intersex, but also uses this opportunity have a discussion about what it actually means to be a man or a woman, beyond the most obvious aspects. It also dealt with the most basic thoughts we all would have in this situation, like "will my friends support me?" or "how will my boyfriend react to this?".
One of the aspects of this book which I enjoyed most was how true to the teenage nature her classmates and fellow students in general reacted when they found out and how being uninformed can cause a great deal of damage, which most people (especially bullies) don't take into account. I liked the way Kristin dealt with everything that was happening and how true to her character and to the way an actual girl might react in such a situation.
Speaking of which, I liked Kristin a lot and I enjoyed reading from her perspective. Her voice seemed very raw, real and honest. I liked following her thought process of how she wanted to deal with things, or sometimes not deal with them at all. And I really liked how her father tried to dig up every information the internet would offer on the topic to inform himself, and subsequently also help Kristin deal with the situation. He reminded me a lot of my mother, who each time I'm sick finds any and all possible ways to cure it that she can get.
I also enjoyed the romance aspect in None of the Above, which luckily wasn't the center piece of the story, but rather something that happened quietly in the background and really played a role later on in the story.
All in all, None of the Above was a wonderful YA novel which is unique in many ways and shines light on many topics which should be discussed way more, especially in school so that cases of 'uninformed, quick to judge bullying' could be prevented or at least toned down a bit.
Genres like fantasy or paranormal might be full of action and sizzling romances which intrigue, but, I think it's important to sometimes read a contemporary like this which deals with real life issues in all the right ways in which schools or movies are not quite able to (yet).