Thursday, April 16, 2015

REVIEW - NONE OF THE ABOVE BY I.W. GREGORIO

pic and description taken from Goodreads

 

DESCRIPTION:

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?


MY REVIEW / THOUGHTS:

WOW....I mean WOW.  This story was so heart wrenching.  I don't even really know how to explain the feeling that I have right now regarding this book.  I was so enraged, and sad, and disgusted with human indecency during this book.   I was also totally and fully overwhelmed by the compassion I felt for the MC.  She was so "real" to me in this book.

Being a teenager is hard enough.  I cannot even grasp how hard it would be to find out that you were intersex and that the whole school found out about it.  Why is it when people are so threatened by what they don't know.  Why can't teenagers grasp that when someone finds out something so devastating to them it would be easier to just accept and support them, rather than to discard and ridicule them.  This is where the human indecency was just too much for me to handle sometimes.  

Kristen's whole world was turned upside down.  As if her life hadn't been hard enough loosing her mother to cancer, but then she finds out that she is intersex.  She has some male chromosomes.  Her boyfriends first reaction is to throw her to the curb....Because he thinks it makes HIM looks bad.  Seriously.  That is the first time I cried in this book.  I knew that this girls life was going to be put under a microscope, and torn apart by here peers.  

Thankfully there are a few who stand by her and try to help her though it.  This book made me realize that I hope I am teaching my kids that no matter what people matter.  Their sex, their sexual preference, their color, race, religion anything, doesn't matter.  They are human beings.  A child of  God.  Nothing else should ever matter.  Love is accepting all people no matter their circumstance.  

Kristen's struggle through this book felt so raw, and so real.  My heart ached during this book.  Until a few people...not very many, but a few people finally made Kristen realize she is still loved no matter what.  It helped redeem some of the human indecency in this book.  She wanted to be accepted and loved.  Just like ever other teenager in the world.  I am not saying all teenagers are easy to love...hehe.  Kristen was though.  She had a great heart, was a loyal friend, and just so happened to be dealt a different card than her peers.

Her struggle to accept who she was made my tears flow freely.  I think there are so many great lessons to be learned from this book.  Awareness, being the most important.  When people understand things they fear them a lot less.  Even so,  it is never okay to make another human feel as though they don't belong.  Ever.

I think that every child and parent should read this book.  It does have some language in it, and I never condone teenage sex, so it totally would have been a 6 star book for me if there wasn't, but even with that I think it is an important book to read.  It's a work of fiction, but it doesn't matter.  There is such a gripping message to this story, in my opinion.  Even the authors notes, and suggestions at the end of the book were so fantastic.  Touched me more than I can even explain in words.

Source:  I bought this book for myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL feelings about the book.

Content:  There is a little descriptive sex scenes, but not too graphic, and there is language.

MY RATING:



WHERE TO BUY:

   


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I.W. Gregorio
pic and bio taken from Goodreads

I. W. Gregorio is a practicing surgeon by day, masked avenging YA writer by night. A graduate of the Yale School of Medicine, she studied creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University. While a surgical resident, she published in the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News and Washington Post. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. NONE OF THE ABOVE (Balzer & Bray / HarperCollins, Fall of 2015) is her first novel. She is represented by Jessica Regel of Foundry + Media.