none of the above

Title: None of the Above
Author: I.W. Gregorio
Release Date: 4/7/15
Reviewed by: Emily

 None of the Above is an in-depth look at one girl’s journey to find what it means to be a woman. Kristin Lattimer had a group of popular friends, a scholarship for her competitive hurdling, and a boyfriend she loved. At a gynecologist appointment, she discovers that she is intersex. She was born with XY chromosomes, but her androgen insensitivity syndrome meant she was assigned female at birth. Sure, Kristin had wondered why she had never gotten her period, but her world was turned completely upside down with her diagnosis. When her high school finds out about her intersex diagnosis, Kristin’s world falls to pieces.

Books featuring intersex characters are almost nonexistent, but people who are intersex are not. This novel is a really great step towards intersex representation in literature, and I hope readers find comfort and solidarity in Kristin.

None of the Above also takes a lens to gender, and specifically what it means to be a woman in the world in which we now live. Kristin’s struggle to make sense of her identity leads her to discover that there’s not just one way to be a woman. What matters is that she feels, concretely, a woman. Being intersex alters her worldview, but it doesn’t change who she is and who she has always been. I’m glad Gretchen, a lesbian with AIS, was included because a) attraction to women doesn’t preclude identifying as a woman and b) intersex lesbians should get to see themselves in literature.

Over the course of the novel, Kristin finds a community, new friends, and herself. None of the Above is emotional, informative, and compelling. I excitedly shared it with my school’s GSA last week, because anyone interested in contemporary fiction would enjoy this novel.

*The one thing that bothered me was the use of “being feminine” as synonymous with “being a woman”, because those two don’t always go together. A woman who isn’t feminine is still a woman.

Advertisements