Thursday, August 10, 2017
REVIEW: None of the Above by IW Gregorio
There is a note at the back of my copy of the book from the author that states that the author does not have AIS that this isn't an #ownvoices novel but that they have had interactions with intersex people through their work.
None of the Above is about Kristin, a teenager who after having a very painful experience attempting sex with her boyfriend, visits a doctor and is informed, at the age of 18, that she is in fact intersex. She really struggles throughout the course of the book ...on edge about who she is, her own identity and where she fits into the world again when she had no questions before. Before she was an ordinary teenager with friends, family, a boyfriend and is on her way to university. Now she's left wondering if her boyfriend will still love her, if her friends will stick by her, if her dad will cope.
There was also several interesting actual intersex people brought up within the book, notably Caster Semenya, who like Kristin are involved in athletics and have had similar issues raised against their gender. But also positive role models who have helped pave the way for more intersex awareness and education.
I found it really difficult to read Kristin's story in parts, particularly in the beginning. The beginning half of the book feels very much like a Mean Girls sort of story as Kristin's condition is leaked to the school, bullying occurs, people in Kristin's life turn away from her. But ultimately this book is very much a hopeful story of identity and acceptance.
I very much enjoyed Kristin's journey. I love that she finds a community to where she fits in and belongs as well as finding support within her family and friendship circles. None of the Above isn't always an easy book to read but I found it enlightening and an important book to read.