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.
It’s prom night and Krissy knows it’s the perfect night to go all the way with her boyfriend, and the day after she books an appointment at the clinic, because everything hurt a lot more than she thought. At the clinic, what the doctor first says are two hernias actually turn out to be testes. Kris is intersex and she never knew. The book then follows Krissy after her diagnosis when she makes decisions about surgery and body image, whilst her father is super anxious because there is an increased risk of cancer is Krissy keeps the testes, and cancer is a risky subject since Krissy’s mother died of cervical cancer.
The second half of the book deals more with other people’s reactions, develops a romance, and focuses on the community service Krissy’s required to do as part of her senior year requirements. I loved both sides of the story and was with Krissy 100% of the way.
I immediately fell in the love with Krissy’s voice, it was perfectly on the border of functioning teenager and in-the-middle-of-a-crisis teenager. The vibe of the whole thing is very ‘summer contemporary’ even though Krissy is dealing with an incredibly complex subject. I admired Krissy’s optimism, but loved her vulnerability even more. When everyone else finds out about Krissy being intersex, everything she loves is taken away from her for various reasons, and while this was heartbreaking (I was completely disgusted with the way her friends treated her!) Krissy was such a rational person, her voice never descended into melodrama.
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 of the plot 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.
The long and short of it is: EVERYONE needs to read this book, and I’ll be shouting about it all year.