Monday, April 13, 2015

None of the Above, by I.W. Gregorio

What makes someone male or female? Biological characteristics? Psychological characteristics? How one feels about themself vs. how they appear outwardly to the world? Whether they prefer same or opposite gender?

Think carefully before you answer.

I.W. Gregorio, a practicing MD and Stanford graduate, explores this delicate territory in her debut novel, None of the Above.

Kristin is pretty and popular and smart. She's got the dream boyfriend. She's just been elected Homecoming Queen. She's got a bright and shining future after graduation. She's got a charmed life. But everything crumbles after homecoming when she attempts to have sex with her boyfriend. There's pain. Too much pain. A visit to the GYN to investigate the cause of this pain reveals that Kristin not only has no uterus, but also two small, internal lumps that appear to be male testicles. A specialist confirms that Kristin is intersex, meaning neither male or female, but both. But what does this mean? Kristin looks and feels like a girl, and all her life she thought she was a girl. But... Is she really a girl? Is she a boy? Or something freakish and in-between. Over the next several chapters, Kristin deals with the repercussions of this world-shattering revelation: Not only personally, psychologically, but also with her family. And finally with how her peers and teachers react when her secret is leaked to the school. Can Kristin's life ever be normal again?

I picked up None of the Above after reading several glowing reviews, and it is fantastic! Characters are fully fleshed out and realistic, the story itself is interesting, and I.W. Gregorio handles the ultra-sensitive plot aspects with great care and tact. This one definitely lives up to the hype (if you've heard any hype), you guys. I highly recommend it. --AJB

p.s. Parents: Please keep in mind that, due to mature topics and situations, this one is recommended for older teens only.

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