None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
Published April 28, 2015 by Balzer & Bray
Kristin Lattimer, in her senior year in high school, is the star of her track team, soon-to-be Homecoming Queen, and loved by her friends and football-playing boyfriend. When Homecoming night doesn’t go quite as planned, Kristin makes an appointment with an ob-gyn, and discovers something about herself that she never could have expected: Kristin is intersex.
While she has developed as a girl, Kristin has male chromosomes, a wealth of testosterone in her body, and embarrassing “boy parts.” Shocked and disgusted by the diagnosis, Kristin works up the courage to tell her best friends about it – only to have the entire school, including her boyfriend, find out the very next day.
Kristin must cope with bullying and harassment at school, her own confusion about being intersex, handle a possible surgery and new medication, and try to find a support system for herself, in debut author I.W. Gregorio’s powerhouse of a contemporary novel, NONE OF THE ABOVE.
I was really impressed by the wealth of medical information that was portrayed in a casual and easy-to-understand way. Gregorio shows off her skill as a physician throughout the novel, and it’s apparent that she is very good at explaining things in a way that everyone can understand. I came away from the novel knowing so much more about the intersex experience, both from a psychological and anatomical standpoint, and I trust that knowledge gained because of Gregorio’s medical and research background.
I also loved the blossoming romance between Kristin and Darren. As soon as they start spending more time together it becomes apparent that they have feelings for each other. They develop a nice friendship, and while sparks fly, they don’t ignite in the way that you’d expect. The relationship did progress in a predictable way, but it felt very natural and wholesome. Darren is a well-rounded character that readers will come to love, and he adds a lot of unexpected depth to the story.
Initially I was hoping for some additional resources at the end of the novel, and there they were! Suggested resources, additional reading, websites and support groups – it’s all there. The author shows the reader where she went to do research, and where the reader can go to find out more.
NONE OF THE ABOVE is a fantastic contemporary debut novel by a strong writer and expert in the medical field. Gregorio is a force to be reckoned with – her seemingly effortless prose will capture readers’ attention and keep them enthralled all the way to the last page.