By Heather A.
4 out of 5 stars ★★★★☆
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?
None of the Above is informative, clever, and passionate. The author takes the readers on an emotional journey through Kristin’s (Krissy) diagnosis and partial healing process. Everything that happens to her, a fall from grace, bullying, her anxiety, happens so quickly. It’s as if a freight train smashed into her life. And it didn’t help that her friends were never really her friends after all. It was a subtle, but effective way for the author to say, be careful who you trust. High schoolers are notoriously petty and when something so adult as an intersex diagnosis comes along, their reaction is never positive.
After the bullying and name calling, it’s barely a week after her diagnosis and she already decides to tempt fate and walk in front of a moving vehicle. That’s wildly dangerous and seemed completely reactionary. Another thing that was reactionary was her gonadectomy, though I felt a little less torn on the subject. It’s one of the areas of the intersex community that I didn’t really “get,” but I can see why it would be controversial.
I’m glad that Darren was the silent hero through all this, being there when she felt alone, helping her when she stayed home from school, and generally being a good friend.
Like I said before, this book had opened my eyes to an issue that I knew little, to nothing about. Kristin’s journey is just one of the thousands that happen all around us. She was brave. For the events to happen as quickly as they did, she seemed to handle it pretty well. It’s good that she had a strong support system to help her. I would recommend this for anyone who is interested in learning more about the complexity of being diagnosed as Intersex.