Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: 04 Apr 2017
Received From: Netgalley
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?
GENDER: intersex, cisgender
SEXUALITY: heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual
TROPES: friends to lovers, childhood friends
TAGS: School life, romance, drama, identity crisis, support groups
WARNINGS: slurs, violence, attempted rape, forced outing
I saw the cover and thought, “This looks cute,” and it turned out to be more than cute- amazing and heart warming with just the right blend of drama and fluff.
The beginning was a bit slow until we reached the moment Kristen’s life crashed down around her. Then the plot picked up and we got to witness both the negative reactions and positive reactions of her peers and family. Her boyfriend breaks up with her, she thinks her best friend spread bad rumors, and almost the whole school berates her. But then we have her friends Darren and Faith who reach out to her, we have her dad who is all too supportive, and her aunt who is always there for her.
I cried when her dad urged her to reach out to a local support group and she did- it’s a sweet reaction that not many parents give their kids in some situations like finding out she has male gonads. Her dad was amazing throughout the whole book- he was strong and willing to do anything for her to make her feel better.
As a sucker for inner struggles, seeing Kristen come to terms with both her identity and what she was going to do with her life was pleasing. Seeing her go from doubtful to hopeful and then repeat a few times was a bit tiring but it felt necessary to impact the story and the eventual ending.
That ending was amazing. It was well written and deserved for all the parties involved. Kristen got her old friends back and made new ones, got a cute, nerdy boyfriend, came to terms with herself, and got to keep her track scholarship.
My only real problem was on how quick Kristen was to accept the surgery. Maybe another chapter or two of her debating it would have empathized the outcome.
I am definitely looking forward to reading more books from I.W. Gregorio.
I. W. Gregorio is a practicing surgeon by day, masked avenging YA writer by night. After getting her MD, she did her residency at Stanford, where she met the intersex patient who inspired her debut novel, None of the Above (Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins), which is finalist for the 2016 Lambda Literary Award, a Spring 2015 Publishers Weekly Flying Start, an ALA Booklist Top Ten Sports Book for Youth, and a 2015 ABC Children’s Group Best Book for Young Readers. It was also named to the 2016 American Library Association Rainbow List and is under development as a TV series by Lifetime. She is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books and its former VP of Development. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News and Journal of General Internal Medicine. A recovering ice hockey player, she lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.