Where do I even start with this book?
None of the Above was one of many books I added to my Goodreads TBR immediately after finishing Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. The mention of an intersex main character piqued my interest, so I was beyond thrilled to find it at the library. I read it in a day, and it’s a new favorite of mine. I love this book so much, and I honestly cannot praise it enough. ❤
I’ll admit: I almost didn’t finish it. The first three or four chapters had me slightly uncomfortable with talk of sex and feminine doctors, but I pushed through. I was determined to finish it, or at least give a better effort, since I had wanted to read it so badly. And it worked. Once I hit chapter five, roughly, I was hooked and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. So if you decide to read it, I recommend trying a similar method, as the story is very much worth it.* 😉
* As long as it doesn’t bother you extremely, or affect you negatively in other ways. Don’t push yourself. 🙂
As you might know, reading more diverse books, LGBTQ+ included, was one of my 2017 reading goals. This book was the first I’d read to feature an intersex character, and as you can probably tell, I absolutely loved it. It was a raw, realistic, emotional story, and I couldn’t help but become immersed. On top of that, it was very informative. I knew intersex people existed, but not much of anything beyond that. So while I was tagging along on Kristin’s crazy ride, I also learned a lot.
I know the synopsis might not sound interesting in its basic form: a secret leaked to the school and the character has to cope with the ridicule that follows. But this story is so much more. You don’t find out who let it slip until the end, and it isn’t who you expect. It’s hard to describe, especially without giving away significant details, but it’s just a great ride. 😉
Kristin was a great main character. I’m not a track runner or any sort of athlete, so I couldn’t relate to her in that aspect, but I could in other ways. I felt so bad for her when her diagnosis was leaked, and I think her reaction was totally realistic.** I could empathize with her depression (well, not in a literal sense) and I admired her steps forward to recovery, big or small. And even with the setbacks she faced, I think Kristin faced the situation pretty well. I loved reading her story, and if there was more I’d read it in a heartbeat. 🙂
** It’s also a sadly accurate portrayal of how high school students would react upon hearing news like Kristin’s, but let’s not focus on that. I mean, it would be unrealistic if they accepted it easily. Even though it’s sad, it’s true. So it’s good and bad? Let’s just move on.
I loved the other characters too. I had some issues with some of them, like Vee and Sam, but I still thought they were well-rounded side characters. I liked Faith, and Darren was really sweet. I loved Gretchen’s humor and confidence, and the support she and the other adults offered Kristin. I also liked how present her dad was, and that he wanted to do everything he could to help. All the research he did was real dedication, and I loved seeing an active parent (and aunt) in such a complicated situation. ❤
For the sake of time and length I won’t go into detail on my feelings about Kristin’s treatment at school, particularly by the jocks. As for Sam, he can… well. Let’s just say I would love to shout colorful words at him, and that he and his friends made me so mad. I don’t even care that there wasn’t much closure about his character in the end, because I was done with him 50-60% through. >.<
Also, the end was perfect. The three musketeers and a new (much better, in my humble opinion) addition. 🙂
I liked that relationships weren’t the focal point, and that Kristin didn’t get a new boyfriend as a cure-all. I haven’t read a ton of books where that happened and I don’t think there are too many, but I’ve heard of some. It’s about friendships and romances rising and sinking, the ups and downs, and all of that is more of a side story. It’s present, yes, but doesn’t take away from the main story: Kristin dealing with her intersex diagnosis.
I know this review was kind of all over the place, but I’m just trying to condense my thoughts into something coherent. I don’t think my words can do this book justice, honestly. None of the Above is such a raw, important, and riveting read, and I know I’ll be recommending it for a long time. It’s a new favorite, and if you’re even slightly intrigued I think you should pick this up. *heart eyes* ❤
I would recommend this to you if you’re at all interested in LGBTQ+ reads! But to be honest, I recommend it to everyone! 🙂
my rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR? If you have read it, what did you think? I’d love to know! Tell me in the comments! 🙂
I’m off to play Super Mario 3D World and end my weekend on a good note. 😛 I hope you all have a fabulous day/night! ❤
Until next time…