Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

None of the Above

Rate this book
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?

328 pages, Hardcover

First published April 7, 2015

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

I.W. Gregorio

7 books374 followers
My reviews:
As Julie Ann Peters says: "Writers have enough critics in the world. I don't want to be a critic. I support writers in whatever way I can." As such, I have a very simple rating system:
*5-star reviews are for books that I LOVED and would buy for someone as a gift.
*4-star reviews are for books that I liked/admired and would recommend to someone else.

I. W. Gregorio is a practicing surgeon by day, masked avenging YA writer by night. A graduate of the Yale School of Medicine, she studied creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University. While a surgical resident, she published in the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News and Washington Post. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. NONE OF THE ABOVE (Balzer & Bray / HarperCollins, Fall of 2015) is her first novel. She is represented by Jessica Regel of Foundry + Media.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
4,096 (29%)
4 stars
5,164 (37%)
3 stars
3,302 (23%)
2 stars
825 (5%)
1 star
377 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 29 of 1,984 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,946 reviews292k followers
March 16, 2015
I tried to hold things together, but I could feel pieces of myself crumbling, turning to dust.
“It’s not fair. I’m a girl.” My voice came out in a whisper.

2015 so far seems to be an excellent year for YA contemporary. I'm always the kind of person who finds myself attracted to books that promise breathtaking fantasy, magic, prophecies and fast-paced action, and yet so many of those books feel like carbon copies of older works lately. Contemporary has been kicking fantasy's ass with powerful and important tales that need to be told. All the Rage and Little Peach are two others that come to mind.

Do you remember the controversy over Caster Semenya at the World Championships in 2009? Gender testing had found she had four times the normal amount of testosterone for a woman and "might be part-man". There were those who demanded that it was unfair to allow a woman with male parts to compete in female races. And there were those who were outraged at the way Caster was humiliated and paraded before the press when she was, in fact, a woman but has Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS).

Well, this book is about a teenage girl called Kristin who has a full college scholarship, two best friends and a boyfriend who loves her. Until one night she tries to have sex with her boyfriend and something seems to be not quite right. A visit to the doctor reveals that she has AIS, will never get her period or have children, and has testicles inside her body. Having to come to terms with this would be hard enough, but when her secret is leaked to the whole school, she has to deal with all the bullying that follows.

Will her friends still support her? Can her boyfriend still love someone who has male parts? It's hard not to become so caught up in this story and feel sorry for Kristin at every turn. Kids are so ignorant and quick to judge, and Kristin is finding that out at the hardest time of her life.

The author doesn't miss this interesting opportunity to have a discussion about gender, identity and what it truly means to be either male or female. Is there any difference between men and women, beyond the way we treat them? It's an incredibly important book. Both informative and emotional, balanced between educating its readers and drawing them into the personal turmoil of Kristin's life.

There have been a couple of contemporary YA books lately that have made me emotional, but I've managed to hold off on any actual crying right until the end... and then I read the author's note about their reasons for writing this particular story and the tears just start to come. Fantasy might be full of fast-paced nastiness that has your eyes glued to the page but, believe me, real life does too.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr
Profile Image for Kelsey.
118 reviews31 followers
November 1, 2015
None of the Above is a standard YA “issue book” about a girl named Krissy who discovers, shortly after her 18th birthday, that she’s intersex. She has androgen insensitivity syndrome and although she’s been raised her entire life as a girl, her chromosomes are, in fact, XY. From there it’s a basic “issue book” plot about finding yourself and how boyfriends are super important or whatever.

And I hated it.

Disclaimer: I’m not intersex. I’m not an authority on what is or isn’t offensive to intersex individuals. Several of the problems I had with this book, however, are related to things I am qualified to speak about or are general-knowledge sort of issues.

To start, I fully believe that I.W. Gregorio had good intentions when she wrote this book. Her author’s disclaimer at the end makes that clear. However, like the character Faith in the book and like many dyadic cishet authors before her, her intentions failed. Because I was an English major and the 3-point paper is basically a part of my soul by now, I have 3 main points:

1) The slurs. Oh. My. God. The slurs. Every LGBT slur I can think of but one is in this book. There is a time and place for slur usage, namely when the narrative expressly points out that they are, in fact, pejorative slurs. That is the only acceptable way for an author to use a slur that doesn’t apply to themself directly. This book doesn’t do that. Multiple f-slurs, q-slurs, t-slurs (I’ll get into h-slurs in a minute) abound in this book and never, in any capacity, does the author or the narrator call them out for what they are: slurs. At one point, her “sensitive” dyadic cishet hero uses them in a conversation in such a casually offensive way, I almost DNF’d the book on that passage alone. (DNF means Did Not Finish, for those who may not know.)
I can’t even find the proper words to explain how incredibly offensive this passage is. He’s literally trying to explain the concept of slurs to the protagonist while using them against her himself (on the previous page a school bully had referred to her as both the f- and t-slurs). In addition, “qu**r sounds kind of cute”??? “QU**R SOUNDS KIND OF CUTE”????????????????? Are you KIDDING ME? SLURS ARE NOT CUTE. THAT’S THE WHOLE REASON THEY’RE SLURS.

2) The h-slur. Like I said, I’m not intersex, so I’m not an authority on h-slur appropriation/usage. But being super gay, if a cishet author wrote a book casually slinging slurs about me around like it was nothing, even though at least 2 characters in said book told the protag it was an offensive term, I’d be super pissed. I also have an issue with this:
This is from the author’s note at the end of the book and I have 2 things to say about it. Firstly, as a dyadic person, it is not Gregorio’s right to reclaim anything and it doesn’t even make sense to use the word, since in Krissy’s first meeting with her gynecologist, the doctor explains to her that intersex is the proper term. There’s literally no reason at all to keep using the h-word after that when you just explained to any not-in-the-know readers what intersex is!!! Secondly and less relevantly, I do not at all appreciate the insinuation that “qu**r” is free from stigma (it’s not), that it has been fully reclaimed (it hasn’t), or that all gay men and women (where are the B and T?) are cool with the term (there’s a reason I star it out).

3) The ending. This is where the spoilers are gonna start. At the end of the book, Krissy goes clubbing with some friends of hers. While there, she runs into a man named Josh who was in a previous scene. She and Josh flirt, then he recognizes her as the local intersex track star and decides this would be a prime time to let his inner rapist out. Krissy and Sensitive Hero Boy fight him off and in the end she’s unhurt. BUT. Then there’s this gem:
This assault is the catalyst that flings Krissy back from her post-diagnosis depression. After this, she kisses the guy, makes up with her old friends, goes back to school, emotional high-fives her dad, and finally learns to love herself as the girl she is. All because being sexually assaulted at a club taught her the meaning of life or whatever. Not only is this using rape/assault as a plot device (a blanket no-no), but I do not appreciate the insinuation that Krissy had to go through her “worst case scenario” in order to fully accept herself as intersex. Hate crimes are not a rite of passage you go through to earn your minority credibility. Krissy could so easily have learned to accept her diagnosis without having to be assaulted.

Bonus point 4, because I’ve always been an overachiever: the transmisogynistic jokes gotta go. Even after another character explains to the protag how intersex and trans are different, Krissy and others (and by extension the author) still make jokes at the expense of trans women. There comes a point where Krissy almost insinuates that violence against her as an intersex girl is wrong, but would be okay if she were a trans girl. Not quite, but almost.

tl;dr: having diversity in your books is gr9, but it’s a fine line to walk if it’s a type of diversity you yourself don’t experience. I’m not saying don’t put diverse characters in your book. But if you’re going to write a book about being diverse in a way that you are not…. maybe just don’t.
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,014 reviews1,051 followers
July 29, 2015

You know how when you take a multiple choice exam and there’s a none of the above option, you’d assume that it’s a very easy question but in truth it’s actually one of the most difficult ones because you’ll have to consider the validity of each of the other choices before finally choosing the none of the above option (in the case that it is the right answer)? Well, that is what has become of Kristin’s life in this story when at 18, she belatedly discovers that her biological sexual category is technically “none of the above.”

Kristin or Krissy, a smart, pretty and popular young woman after her first time to uhm you know, her first time…(Oh, jeez, please don’t make me say it) with her boyfriend Sam after their homecoming party, experienced severe pain and discomfort and decided to go visit the OB. That’s when she was diagnosed to have an AIS-DSD (Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome-Disorder of Sex Development) also called intersex or more commonly known as a case of hermaphrodite.

She IS a girl born without a uterus and apparently with almost imperceptible male parts, those gonads or uh… testicle thingies. (Why can medical people say these things without being awkward?!)

Even though nothing has changed about Krissy, people’s perception and ignorance about her physical condition however turned her life upside down. One moment she was homecoming queen, the next she’s bullied, laughed at and worse, easily rejected by her a-hole of a boyfriend whose head I gravely want to drown in the toilet bowl or maybe simply kick.

The cruelty of the people at her school and even outside made me so furious and made me feel so protective of Krissi that I couldn’t stop reading to find out how she’ll survive this challenging phase of her life. This reminded me that our most difficult life experience would truly determine which people are genuine, kind and open-minded and these are the people we should stick to no matter what.

I admire the author (who at the time she wrote the book was a fifth-year surgical resident and had an intersex patient) for feeling responsible in enlightening and educating readers not only about intersex but about gender sensitivity in general as well. I like how her writing flows easily through the genuine voice of an 18 year old teen going through the shock of her diagnosis and even though I feel like the resolution could use a little more elaboration, the story ended in an inspiring and assuring note.

This story is very original. I haven’t read quite anything like this before. It is also very eye-opening and in my strong honest opinion, readers should read this and authors should write more books like this.
Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
April 10, 2015
... Love isn't a choice. You fall for the person, not their chromosomes.

I love walking away from a book learning so much more about people and the world around me. It allows me to peep into the others' lives and backgrounds, understand their struggles and fears. I'm very appreciative of authors who set out to bring awareness to topics such as this one: intersex. I've learned a great deal from Kristen's story and I'm left encouraged by the strength she showed. The biggest con for me was the writing style. At times it just felt too simple for my tastes, but that's my quirk, not None of the Above's.

I'd recommend picking this one up, if for nothing other than broadening your understanding of intersex persons and challenging/exploring any pre-existing thoughts of what it truly means to be a woman.

More thoughts to come soon.

ARC was provided by the publisher for an honest review.
497 reviews2,420 followers
April 26, 2015

Ever heard of the term intersex? Before coming across this book, I already knew that there were people who outwardly looked like a true male/female, but had other parts, but I never really knew anything about this condition other than that. None of the Above opened my eyes to this concept, and I believe everyone should at least give this book a shot. It may be a heavy topic to center the book around, but it was important and meaningful.

Kristin was such a realistic narrator. She questioned the universe for her condition, which I believe we would all do if we were in her shoes. But she always put up a brave face for her dad, and I really respected her for that. Sometimes she also dealt with her situation by making jokes out of it, which is what a lot of people do when they're faced with something they know they can't defeat. She was also passionate about running, and when they tried to stop her from what she loved doing most? Sure, she was disheartened and hurt as hell (who wouldn't be?), but in the end, she fought for her right to be a part of the women's team.

“Love isn’t a choice. You fall for the person, not their chromosomes.”

The relationships in this book were absolutely gorgeous. Kristin had the most supportive father who did everything in his power to try to cheer Kristin up and to show her that he still loves her despite her condition. He was an awkward sort of supportive and I found him to be really endearing.

There was also a very tame romance presented in this book, and I appreciated that the author made it so that Kristin's condition was still the star of the book rather than the (super adorable) romance. But I'll talk about it since it was so cute. Darren was such a sweet love interest, and I loved how he was first Kristin's friend and supporter before they got together. You can never go wrong with this kind of romantic development.

This book was proof that while there are people who will judge you for things that weren't your fault, there will still be a handful of people who will try to brighten your day. We may all fall down, but we'll get back up with the help of the people who love us.
Profile Image for Hannah McBride.
Author 13 books832 followers
October 27, 2014
I’m ashamed to admit I almost wrote this book off before I ever touched it, mostly because I didn’t understand intersex and what it meant. Not until Steph, from Cuddlebuggery, set me straight on our way to NYCC14.

Steph: Awesome! NONE OF THE ABOVE will be available at the Harper booth if we ask for it!
Me: Huh? What book is that?
Steph *pulls up Goodreads*: This one.
Me: Oh, right. Yeah, not my thing.
Steph: Really?
Me: Yeah … I’m just not into transgender books or books about exploring sexuality. It’s not my thing.
Steph: But that’s not what this is about.
Me *frowns and grabs her phone to read the synopsis*: But she’s intersex.
Steph: Exactly. Not transgender.
Me: There’s a difference?

Cue Steph educating me and piquing my curiosity enough that I followed her to the HarperCollins booth and requested a copy to read for myself.


Kristin is a very average girl, maybe a little more popular than most of us were in high school, but a normal girl who is dealing with life and boys and sex. When she decides to take the plunge with her high school boyfriend, things don’t go as planned. So she visits the doctor and is told her diagnosis.

What I loved is I felt like I truly got to experience this journey with Kristin. I understand her shock and shame and confusion because I felt it, too. Having doctors explain to Kristin what her condition meant was like having doctors explaining it to me. Rarely have a learned so much in a novel without feeling preached to or like I just finished a text book.

This truly a book about journey and self-discovery and I.W. Gregorio handles is with delicate strength, showcasing the doubt and triumph with incredible grace. I hope this book finds a home in classrooms and libraries across the countries to educate people like Kristin’s classmates. And yes, people like me.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,083 reviews17.3k followers
September 19, 2017
2.5 stars. Yes, here I am again, shitting all over books everyone else finds incredible.

This book IS important. Intersex issues deserve more recognition and the author is clearly trying to give these topics exactly the recognition they deserve. But first of all, it's kind of mediocre, and second of all, the rep isn't really all that fantastic?


Here's the thing: this reads like an issues book where the "issue" is her being intersex. And that just feels... uh. I don't know, I really do not like issue books. I think there's a fundamental flaw in the idea of trying to write a book "about" some issue. No book can sum up all experiences, and I feel like books of this type are trying.

I also somewhat disliked how the main character builds friendship. Everything feels very... I don't know, false? It doesn't come close to any experiences I've had as a marginalized person; in fact, it kind of feels like it's being written to appeal to people without any of these experiences. I'm not judging the author here, but this is... totally how I felt. There's a weird event with a hate crime that I've seen a lot of people discussing as a negative, and I have to say I don't necessarily find it quite so inauthentic, but it's also... kind of gross. "Doesn't misgender you" is not a good standard for a relationship or friendship.

And there's also the huge overuse of slurs for shock value. Here is a longer review with examples of the overuse of slurs. Most of these are considered negative, but I honestly wish some of it had just been cut?


Okay, beyond the rep issues: let's talk mediocrity. Despite some important discussions of gender issues, what does this book offer to the genre of ya contemporaries? Beneath all the good, important conversations, there's a protagonist who's hard to relate to - even when you feel sympathy for her situation, you feel one step removed from the book. There's also one of the most cookie-cutter romances I've read. Yes, here is a boy. He fell for this girl. He actually thinks of her as a girl. How kind. Is that it? Is that all their relationship is based off of? Because it felt that way to me.

There's also a dissatisfying ending. It's happy, which is sadly kind of unexpected, but it's far too abrupt. Kristin isn't given the full time to recover and get back into her life.

VERDICT: Again, the topics of gender and intersex issues are executed somewhat well. But that's the only thing about this book I genuinely liked. It's full to the brim of slurs, super formulaic-issues-book type, and everything was very... meh.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,689 reviews1,267 followers
April 28, 2015
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Could I please schedule surgery as soon as possible to remove my testicles?”

This was an emotional story about a girl dealing with bullying, and trying to come to terms with an intersex diagnosis.

“Did anyone ever mention anything to you about something called androgen insensitivity syndrome or AIS?”

I really liked Kristin, she was such a sweet girl, and I really felt for her as her life just seemed to get worse and worse. The way people started to treat her was just awful, and the way her friends and boyfriend turned on her was just so sad.

“Vinnie McNab, the guy who had the locker next to mine, was going to be pissed because they’d gotten some of the spray paint on his door, too.


The storyline in this was really good, and I thought the author did well to portray the fear and confusion that Kristin felt, other people’s reactions and their bullying of Kristin, as well as Kristin’s slow progression back to a place where she felt a little happier with herself.

"At least two of the other teams in our division have already filed complaints with the athletic board, accusing me of cheating and demanding an investigation,” she told me. “I know that probably nothing will come out of it, but I’m sorry to say that we can’t allow you to run until we get things straightened out.”

There was romance in this one, and I didn’t really like Sam all that much. He seemed to just be with Kristin because she was pretty and popular, and seemed like he was pretty desperate to have sex! I much preferred the slower hint of a romance that we got later in the book.

“Get away from me,” he said without even looking up.
“Sam,” I whispered, even though it hurt so hard to say his name that I wanted to scream. “Can we please talk?”
“I’ve got nothing to say to you, you homo.”

The ending to this was pretty good, and while Kristin was likely to have more hurdles in her future, I liked where the book ended. Kristin seemed to be really making steps in the right direction, and I was happy that she was going to cope with her diagnosis, and really get her life back on track.
7.5 out of 10

“Love isn’t a choice. You fall for the person, not their chromosomes.”

Profile Image for Dahlia.
Author 18 books2,332 followers
May 22, 2015
Sometimes, when I read older QUILTBAG books, I get sad thinking of how long queer kids have gone with those books being their only options - books that seem to have sacrificed writing style or believability or realism just so that there would *be* queer books on shelves. Books that could totally destroy a spirit, or make it impossible to believe in happy endings, or gloss over difficulties or sex.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the only YA-marketed Intersex book, and it is so, so heartening to be in love with it; to know that if this is the only book Intersex kids ever discover (though the author does kindly direct to both MIDDLESEX and GOLDEN BOY in the back), they will have found a phenomenal one.

This book is real. It is fun, and funny, and sad, and painful, and entertaining, and educational, and supportive. The characters feel like teenagers, the dialogue's spot on, and the information coming from medical professionals is interspersed in a natural way that books about largely untapped issues rarely manage. If I could make this mandatory reading for teens and adults alike, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
Profile Image for Alex (Pucksandpaperbacks).
441 reviews155 followers
July 10, 2019
TW: Outting, transphobia, homophobia, bullying

This book was highly offensive to trans people. As a trans person, I was so uncomfortable reading the main character use derogatory slurs and not learning from her mistakes. As well as the side characters and no one learned from their mistakes? They were forgiven for outting her to the whole school and I'm sure that it wouldn't have been so dramatic. Also, the main character met a lesbian character, who is also intersex and told her that she was scared that she would turn gay from being intersex and told the lesbian character that girls would be more understanding, so it would be easier to just be gay and she didn't learn from that either!!!!!!!!

I just couldn't believe some of the things I had to read in this book and that the author thought it was okay to use them?? Also, after reading her authors note I was appalled to read that she was inspired to write this because of an intersex patient she had who's story HAUNTED HER? And she was still curious how she was living her life and having sex which shouldn't be any of her damn business.

Ugh, this book should've been executed so much better. I saw what the author was going for, but she shouldn't have wasted her time.

I wish I could say the only thing I liked was that it had hockey incorporated yet, one of the characters insulted the Rangers goalie, one of the best goalies in the NHL.
Profile Image for Shannon (It Starts At Midnight).
1,115 reviews1,010 followers
April 6, 2015
None of the Above is one of those rare books that is not only important for its subject matter, but is a genuinely high quality entertaining book with a character I couldn't help but adore and root for. I fear that nothing I say can do it much justice, because it was just lovely, and necessary, and so incredibly well done.

When we meet Krissy, things are going pretty great. She's doing great in sports and school, has a close group of friends, and a boyfriend who she is thrilled with. So thrilled, in fact, that she is thinking she's ready for some sexy time. But that's where things start to unwind for Krissy, because things don't really go as planned. I have to say, before moving on, that this was handled incredibly well. The author could have glossed over it, and then had Krissy end up at the gynecologist, but she didn't. And that is one of the things that makes this book so incredible: It is honest, and it is real.

Of course, as we know by the synopsis, it turns out that Krissy is intersex, due to a condition that causes her to have male chromosomes, but a mainly female appearance. Her whole life she has identified as female, and her doctor assures her that she is female, because that is how she identifies. Between the doctor and her incredibly supportive father, Krissy is able to find a group of women with the same diagnosis.

Krissy is obviously nervous about the aftermath of her diagnosis, and when word gets out around school, her greatest fears come to life. Most people in school are completely ignorant about what it all means, and are also very hateful toward Krissy. I won't lie, this is hard to read. The author does such a tremendous job connecting the reader to Krissy, that my heart was absolutely breaking for her as she was rejected by her jerk of a boyfriend, and all the people she had thought were her closest friends. And these aren't just rumors, or talking behind her back, etc. We're talking straight forward hate and nastiness, and it is so hard to swallow.

Of course, as much as Krissy wants to go to her room and hide, she must eventually go on. There are so many questions brought up along the way, from whether she should be allowed to compete in sports as a female (and some really amazing examples of Olympians and high level athletes who've been through this), to how she will go about navigating her romantic life in the future.

The thing about this story that absolutely gutted me was that I don't think there was a single bit of it that was exaggerated for the benefit of the story. I do think that a lot of people would act like Sam and the rest of the school did. I do think that opposing teams would try to get Krissy banned from competing. I do think that the aftermath would be incredibly psychologically damaging, because how could it not be when not only has your whole identity been uprooted, but a majority of the people who you thought were on your side simply are not?

None of the Above manages to do several things with a ton of grace and class:

It sheds a light on what being intersex actually entails. The author is a doctor, and it shows. But it also shows that she is a tremendously skilled author, because she is able to really define the condition in a way that absolutely everyone can understand. In a way that Krissy can understand. To be able to explain the condition from the point of view of the person who has it? That is pretty fantastic.
It also really delves into how bullying can affect someone, not just an intersex person, but anyone perceived as "different". I find it so frustrating that this stuff still even happens, but sadly, it does. And while in this case, it is Krissy's intersex diagnosis that takes the brunt of the bullies, for so many young people, anything perceived as "not normal" can be fodder for bullies. Since we are getting an inside view of Krissy's thoughts, it's so very clear how hard the bullying is on her. It should make anyone stop and think about how they would behave toward someone who was going through a life changing event.
There's a very uplifting message for anyone who has been through a traumatic experience: life will go on. Krissy's journey doesn't end with her diagnosis. She has choices to make, things about herself to uncover, lessons to learn. She finds people both inside and outside the intersex community who love her because she is Krissy, regardless of her DNA.

Bottom Line: Read. This. Book. I cannot really say it enough. It's more than just a great story (though it is that indeed): it's the absolute epitome of what a book about diversity should entail.

*Copy received for review*
This review was originally posted on It Starts at Midnight
Profile Image for Jeann (Happy Indulgence) .
1,003 reviews3,298 followers
August 18, 2015
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

Looking for a diverse book? None of the Above ticks all of the boxes - feminism, sexuality, gender identity, and what it means to be a hermaphrodite. Now I thought being a transsexual and hermaphrodite were the same thing, but this book surely opened my eyes to what it meant to be intersex - or a female, with male reproductive organs.

It starts off quite deceivingly, with Kristin being crowned the Homecoming Queen with her popular boyfriend. Soon after, Kristin finds out she has male testicles - that she's intersex. I'm not quite sure why it took her so long to find out - along with other bodily irregularities - she never had her period, which would definitely be a cause for concern. Kristin's doctor is pretty straightforward about her diagnosis, and refers her to support groups. She was a bit questionable though and later in the book, talks about another teenager's problems vividly. What happened to doctor-patient confidentiality?

Now it was really great to see Kristin's dad being supportive, searching for groups and doing research online. It was quite graphic in the anatomical and medical areas but it also dealt with the topic really sensitively, and definitely portrayed an intersex diagnosis realistically.

Psychologically, Kristin dealt with it in the best way she could - with absolute shock and confusion for what that means about her gender identity. She slowly explored what being an intersex person meant - identifying what it means to be female and finding out that she's not transsexual (which is when you're in the body of the opposite gender which you identify with).

The bullying in this book really broke my heart. People were afraid of what they didn't know, and they conveniently fell back on stigma to try and come to terms with it. Every single person who Kristin knew at school was completely and utterly mean. They called her names, they bullied her, they posted mean photos of her on Facebook and they doled out hate. It was terrible. Even worse was Kristin's 'best friends' who isolated her in her time of need, and her boyfriend who pretty much broke up with her and publicly humiliated her after finding out about her status.

Throughout all of this, Kristin managed to stay strong in the best way you could. Now imagine someone telling you the most life shattering news, that all of your hopes and dreams would fade away with a single diagnosis. With all that considering, she did a pretty good job and dealt with it in a realistic and enviable manner.

None of the Above is an incredibly diverse book that opened my eyes to the intersex population and what it meant to be one. It showed how cruel people could be when they didn't understand, but that you also need the right support network to help you get through it. While the bullying, isolation and hate in the book was pretty terrible, it does a good job of educating us without prejudice. Definitely a great diverse read.

The author is actually one of the main drivers behind the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign and she's done wonderfully with spreading the word and writing a relatable diverse story.
Profile Image for murphy ✌ (daydreamofalife).
228 reviews98 followers
March 28, 2018
2 / 5

Short review because I'm afraid I'll lower the rating if I think too much on this one.

So! First and foremost this book wasn't bad. It really wasn't. If I'd read this book 5-10 years ago, I would've been tempted to give it 5 stars for subject matter alone. I mean, books with main characters who don't fit into the 'binary/cis/white/hetero' box are super important. And we definitely need more of them, whether in the YA field or not.

The problem was I didn't like our main character Kristin at all. I felt sorry for her, sure. And I felt disgust at the pigheadedness of the people around her. But she had a lot of internal gender expectations to work through and I was beyond annoyed with all of it. Near the beginning, when she's just found out that she's intersex, she remembers being like seven years old and crying because she wanted blue shoes, not pink shoes. She thinks something along the lines of how she should've known she was a boy all along since she preferred blue.

It's 2018 y'all. I'm tired. I'm completely past the point of putting stock into gender bullshit. Colors, along with countless other things, do not have a gender. I get that Kristin just found out about being intersex and she's super overwhelmed, but I just couldn't empathize enough with her to not be annoyed. Also - she's not a boy just because she happens to have traditionally male chromosomes.

I have to stop here because - as stated at the beginning of this supposedly short review - I don't want to lower the rating anymore. I think that this book is a great stepping-stone for people who don't know anything about being intersex and want to start learning more, but it just wasn't for me.

I feel obligated to say that I am not intersex and therefore can't judge the accuracy of Kristin's experience. I'm sympathetic to a certain point since I'm nonbinary and I don't identify as female or male, but in the end I can't fully understand her situation.

If you'd like to learn more about being intersex, I would recommend:
▸The Intersex Society of North America's page answering What is Intersex?
▸This youtube video called What It's Like to Be Intersex
▸Emily Quinn's entire channel @Emilord on youtube, she has a few videos and links on her channel to other intersex youtubers
▸literally just typing 'intersex' into youtube or google and beginning your educational adventure
Profile Image for Sarah.
394 reviews134 followers
February 9, 2017
Books like this are SO important. It raises awareness and that's important because not a lot of people in this book knew what being intersex meant and I think that's true in real life too. I didn't know what it meant until about 2 years ago (ish) when I watched a TV show called Faking It and I'm almost 22 now! People didn't just bully Kirsten because they were mean bullies, they bullied her because they didn't understand. She was called names like "man-whore", "faggot", "hermaphrodite" and "tranny". All of those labels were extremely hurtful to her because she was trying to come to term with things herself and she had to deal with bullying too. She considered herself to be a girl and yet there were people calling her a man. The book raises a lot of questions about what it means to call yourself a girl or a boy and what it means to be feminine or manly and I liked that.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I liked Kirsten and the rest of the characters too. I liked the writing. Gregorio was really informed and I felt like she knew absolutely everything about intersex, surgeries etc. I liked the friendship dynamic and the family dynamic, they were sweet.

This was a good book. I would recommend it to everyone and I would read another book by Gregorio in the future.
May 14, 2017
I was so disappointed. I read this book, as I am a social worker who has spent almost 29 years working with the population of patients who are intersex or living with a DSD. I had plans for recommending it to my patients, with a similar diagnosis. I am highly unlikely to recommend it to many , if any at all.
There were some good points. Most of the population has not heard of intersex, and it is good for them to be educated. The inclusion of encouraging Kristin to connect with the support group was wonderful, but the author appears to have added it as she was most likely advised to. Her lack of understanding of what really happens with support groups is glaring as their inclusion has a few "feel good moments" without the meat of what they bring to the table. ie real life suggestions on handling disclosure to friends, direction to health care teams and information that is evidence based and helpful.
If you are going to include bullying in a book, and want a scenario where it works out, have bullies who really get what they did was wrong and harmful, and that they fully understand the impact they had and actually demonstrate this, as opposed to the "real Housewives" type of "apology" that was given.
The inclusion of myths about intersex, the constant reuse of hurtful terms (once it is explained the term is not in use anymore,and it is hurtful, stop using it!) The trans-phobic language used over and over which is highly likely to make young impressionable readers think it's ok to use it. One particular horrifying part for me, was the author's (who is a health care provider as her day job) use of a real life athlete, repeating tabloid comments about her and making comments that the person has never agreed to have released to the public. I guess it is worse, as I see that the author did her medical training at Standford, where one of the world's foremost experts on gender testing in athletes and who has been highly critical of media's treatment of this athlete, resides. One would think she would have consulted her before , strategizing how to include this person in the book. If you are going to include someone who is intersex, but may not have the same intersex characteristics, then explain the differing variations. If you are going to have the first doctor refer to someone with experience, have them refer the character to a team, not to a stand alone surgeon, who is not going to provide the "whole person and whole family" approach that is necessary. With this rendition, she has set up a pathologizing scenario, where Kristen must see a therapist, or a psychiatrist immediately.
Another strong negative reaction I had was that a "guy will make it all better in the end". As long as you find someone who will find you appealing , your life will be ok. What a wasted chance to have a strong female character, find a way to figure things out for herself with help, and then start to choose the friends around her.
I wish the author had done more research before she wrote this book, because it is a niche that needs to be filled
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,543 reviews33.9k followers
March 1, 2015
3.5 stars Informative and excellent in many ways, and well worth reading. I wish some of the emotional stuff and plot points were smoothed out a bit, but it's definitely a book I'd recommend.

Profile Image for Renée Ahdieh.
Author 26 books17.3k followers
July 22, 2014
Read this book, not BECAUSE you've never read anything like it, but because it's a beautiful, beautiful story that anyone and everyone will relate to--

A story about finding out who we all are, beneath the surface.

Just read it.
Profile Image for Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd).
332 reviews7,311 followers
April 3, 2017
I apologize for anyone I hurt with my original review of this book. All I can say is that I read it before I was aware enough in my reading to look for harm, and I will do better in the future. Thank you to those reviewers who have called out the extremely negative aspects of this story and helped me to learn.

While this is good at introducing the basic terminology and bare scientific basics of what it means to be intersex, the book itself is full of transphobia and harm. The main character is self-hating and the story shows an overall lack of exploring gender and the meanings we ascribe to it. Beyond the very serious representation issues, this is a fairly by-the-numbers YA contemporary that does not elevate the story in any way.
Profile Image for Lea.
146 reviews85 followers
April 5, 2015
Maybe Shakespeare was preaching that it shouldn't matter if you were a man or a woman. But what if you were something in between ?

One of my teacher used to say that there were three absolute truths in life: we have a mother and a father, we're a boy or a girl, and we're born and going to die.
Although I hated him, and after a lot of time spent trying to prove him wrong, I realized he was right.

It's terrifying, really, to know that you can only be sure of three things in your life. So what if you only had two ? What if you didn't know if you were a boy or a girl ?

None of the above tells the story of Kristin, a teenager who finds out she is intersex. In the span of one second, her whole life has changed.

The next day, the world was the same. Nothing about me had changed, really. Yet everything was different.

None of the above is a truly wonderful read that, under the pretense of discussing intersex, talks about fenimism, feminity, gender indentity, self-awareness and acceptance.

At the beginning of the novel, Kristin is lost. And who could blame her ?

That was when I realized that life was a multiple-choice test with two answers: Male or Female. And I was None of the Above.

What do you do when you don't fit in ? What do you do when you don't fully belong to a certain category ? What do you do when you're neither gay nor hetero, what do you do when you're neither black nor white, what do you do when you're neither female nor male ?

We've all felt like this at least once. Felt like we didn't fit in anywhere. This is one of the reasons why None of the Above should be read by everybody. Not just to educate people on what intersex is, but because you might find a part of yourself in Kristin and her story.

Little by little, she comes to realize that her chromosomes aren't what makes her a woman.

Why aren't we real women- because we don't have uteruses? What about women who have hysterectomies? Or mastectomies?

She comes to realize there's no real diffenrence between a girl and a boy.

The biggest difference between boys and girls is how people treat them- what color parents think their children should wear, what kind of activities they sign their kids up in for kindergarten.

She comes to realize it doesn't matter what people think.

Screw that gender essentialism bullshit. Men have as much of a right to care about clothes as women. Girls can like sports and cars and guns too. So why does it even matter if you identify as a girl, a boy, or as neither ?


Guess who got an ARC ?

Profile Image for Hazel (Stay Bookish).
635 reviews1,618 followers
August 16, 2015
Actual rating: 4.5

So fantastically informative and eye-opening. I just want to book-push this to everyone. I hope Ilene writes more wonderfully diverse books like this one. Full review tk.
Profile Image for Chelsea slytherink.
288 reviews409 followers
December 30, 2015
I've wanted to read this book for a while, and it didn't disappoint! I've read this in one sitting, and I don't do that often.

The main character in this book finds out she is intersex. She struggles with the diagnosis, and soon, the whole school finds out.

First of all, the author is a surgeon, so she knew what she was talking about. I'm active on Tumblr and I'm a feminist, so I am familiar with LGBTQA, but this is the first time I've read about intersex, so I loved the doctor appointments, where we got to know more about it. I love reading contemporary about serious themes, so None of the Above was definitely my cup of tea. Because the author was informed, I had no issues with how the character handled her diagnosis.

It broke my heart when two characters were having sex and the girl started crying because it hurt, but she turned her head so her boyfriend wouldn't see it. I think this happens a lot in real life as well and I think it is important that girls are taught sex isn't supposed to hurt, not even the first time. I found that absolutely heartbreaking, probably because I could relate to it as well and it's not okay that girls should suffer to please there partner.

Kristen struggles with accepting her diagnosis, and the reaction of others doesn't help. I'm glad that she didn't excuse their shitty behaviour.

It was immediately clear to me who would be her love interest and who would never be mean to her. It was so obvious and that's one of my main "cons", but I still liked them together, even though it was borderline cheating at one point, which is a big turnoff for me.

I have two issues with this. It were single sentences, yet they bothered me.
1) “What I had done for Sam.” - Don't EVER make important decisions because of someone else! This is such a serious topic and I didn't like that someone else was her thriving force to make that choice.
2) “Dad! You run like a girl!” I shouted after him, because it had always been a point of pride for me that I didn’t” - These kind of negative references to women always bother me, so I didn't expect to see it in a book dealing with gender roles and issues at all!

Conclusion: This book was pretty predictable, but I loved how the author handled this topic, it was very professional. I liked the main character, which is rare! I felt emotionally attached to her and my heart broke when something bad happened to her! I'm a sucker for contemporary that deals with serious topics, so I really liked it. I definitely would recommend it, I learned a lot, it's such a quick read and just check it out yourself :)
Profile Image for Gisbelle.
770 reviews218 followers
April 29, 2015
I've never quoted any lines from any advance copies I read, but this one is just too special not to share.

You fall for the person, not their chromosomes.

My thanks to Balzer + Bray

Point of View: Single (Kristin)
Writing: First Person | Past Tense
Setting: New York
Genre: Young Adult | GLBT

My first time reading a book with a intersex character, and it blew me away by how emotional this one was.

I started reading this book without any expectations whatsoever. As I usually do (or do not) with most of the book I've read, I didn't read the synopsis. Besides the title, the cover was another thing that attracted me. It amazed me that the book was this good. I was completely in love with just almost everything about it.

The writing was exceptional. That's the least I can say about it. I felt the hurt Krissy was feeling and what she had to go through was just excruciating. Everything was on point. The pace and the flow were so wonderful it was a breeze reading it, except that the topic wasn't that breezy. At times it was really frustrating that so many people had to react the way they did, but that was somehow a beauty of this book; the ugly truth.

I loved the ending. It was heartwarming, and after all the emotional, gut-wrenching, cruel scenes, I was so grateful for that.

The characters were all well-written. It was just some stood out than others, but in general I loved them all, even the ones I wish I could slap around a few times for being so mean. Krissy was an awesome character. She might not have been the kind of character I normally like, since I love my heroines fierce and all that, but I understood why she did what she had done when all hell broke lose. In order not to spoil the book for anyone, I think I'll just stop here and say other characters such as Sam, Vee, Faith and Darren, added more dimensions to the story with their different character traits.

In short, I truly enjoyed this book and am going to read more from this author in the future for sure. I think a lot of people will find this book a real good read.
Profile Image for Lauren  (TheBookishTwins) .
447 reviews204 followers
December 17, 2017
I received a free copy to review via Edelweiss

When I saw None of the Above, I was excited because I had never heard of a book with an intersex protagonist, and therefore I feel that None of the Above has made a giant leap in the diverse books movement. When I read it, I found it was a moving, raw and emotionally driven novel that tries its very best to stay authentic and provide a relatable intersex character struggling with her identity.

I knew very little about being intersex before starting this book and knew a lot more after finishing it. Whilst also being informative and discussing the prejudice of being intersex, it also discussing the psychological impact and decisions that come with a diagnosis.

When Kristin discovers she's intersex, she feels that her whole world has fallen down around her as she struggles with her diagnosis and her identity, and when the whole school finds out Kristin, faces disgusting behaviour and prejudice from her classmates, and even her boyfriend.

I thoroughly enjoyed Kristin as our protagonist and I loved watching her progress throughout the story.

I.W. Gregorio handles the topic in a delicate and informative way, but also honestly and emotionally.

It's a book that I cannot recommend enough.
Profile Image for Bee.
430 reviews860 followers
May 20, 2017
This is undoubtedly one of the best books I've read this year. Although 'None of the Above' isn't an own voices intersex story, Gregorio is a medical professional who has dealt with intersex patients and the amount of research and sensitivity reading that has gone into this book shows in the way it's informative, sensitive and, most importantly, a delight to read.

I immediately fell in the love with Krissy's voice, it was the perfectly on the border of functioning teenager and in-the-middle-of-a-crisis teenager. I thought the plot moved well, even though the first half is very much 'the discovery' and the second feels more episodic.

I feel like I know so much more about intersex and I thought they way the terminology was handled and explained wasn't in your face. It's the most natural doctor-patient dialogue I've ever read. I also LOVED that Krissy did what felt right for her, she handled things very healthily and cut toxic people out of her life. (Thank goodness!) I would've wanted more word count to be dedicated to the friendship side of things, because while the romance was lovely, closure was lacking on some of Krissy's other relationships.
Profile Image for jasmine.
102 reviews5 followers
May 31, 2015
Things that are flawless: this book. The author knows her stuff, and she actually cares about what she's writing. Her passion is palpable, and even if you can't relate to the heroine's specific struggle, the message resonates and makes itself relevant to anyone: it's okay to fall apart, it's okay to need help, the ones you truly need will never leave.

Fans of More Happy Than Not, Not Otherwise Specified, The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley, Simon vs. the Homo Sapien’s Agenda, or Down from the Mountain, this book is for you. It deals with the same themes as the majority of those books, and the same life-changing whirlwind as others. Honestly though, if you like human beings and heartfelt stories about how they work, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this. I feel all warm and fuzzy!

See my full review here.
Profile Image for Abigail Wen.
Author 7 books599 followers
September 10, 2014
BRILLIANT. I had the honor of watching this beautiful and honest book evolve from conception, to landing multiple agent offers with just a partial, to signing with a dream (multiple award-winning) editor at Harper Collins, to its gorgeous (yet to be revealed!) cover.

A surgeon in her other life, I.W. Gregorio writes with a keen knowledge of her subject matter as well as deep empathy for her characters. Kristin's compelling voice rings true from the first to last words.

I.W. Gregorio is amazing at everything she takes on, as a doctor, mother and founding member of the WeNeedDiverseBooks movement. I can't wait for her awards to roll in and look forward to her future conquests!
Profile Image for Ylenia.
1,046 reviews389 followers
April 7, 2016
*3.5 stars*

I feel like None of the Above is so important for so many reasons.
I've never read about intersex in books, which is a shame because it is something that exist and we should be more educated about this and so many other things.
At the same time the plot and the characters are lacking of depth and even if I enjoyed my time reading this book I wished these aspects were done better.
Displaying 1 - 29 of 1,984 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.