A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist: None of the Above, by IW Gregorio (YA LGBTQ+): Krissy is a popular girl, the homecoming queen, with a super hot boyfriend. When she finds out she’s intersex, her world changes.
Overall, I liked this book, but I didn’t love it, and I could have. I’m going to keep this review spoiler-free, so read on, if you’re interested.
What I liked: The book was written by a doctor and was inspired by what she imagined it would be like to find out you’re intersex, after meeting an intersex teen girl. That means that the doctor parts are probably accurate. I didn’t know anything about being intersex before reading this book, other than information I peripherally heard from the Olympian who was challenged as being female based on her chromosomes. I thought it was just about chromosomes and didn’t realize that there can also be internal male sex organs, which just complicates the issue more. I thought it was well done as far as imagining some of the emotions that someone, on finding out their diagnosis, would go through.
What I didn’t like: When Krissy’s secret gets out, she’s bullied. (That’s on the back cover, so it’s not a spoiler.) And that was fine. We all know kids bully anyone different. What I didn’t like was how some of her other relationships changed because of her diagnosis and reaction to it. It felt written just to create drama. I also thought her romantic relationship was way too convenient and predictible. I definitely wanted her to find love because I think that books should set a good example, and positive relationships are part of that. And her romantic interest was great. But it all came together too conveniently for me. (My full review with spoilers is on Goodreads, so if you’re curious about what I’m specifically talking about, feel free to check it out.)
What I’m not sure of: I read the reviews on Goodreads, and though I didn’t see a review from anyone identifying as intersex, many members of the LGBTQ+ community didn’t like it. In my mind, that’s not a reason to skip it. Some of their reasons didn’t resonate with me, but others did. I just wish that when the author talked about her expereience writing the book, she had mentioned if she had anyone who actually was intersex read the book. I wish I knew how close the experience is to the story of someone who’s been through it.
While I Was Reading Challenge
(4/12)- No progress this week
The Unread Shelf
Running Total: 14
5 Classic Books
The Stand, by Stephen King (horror): I read the uncut version, which clocked in at 1153 pages. Though I enjoyed it, there were times I honestly started to wonder if I was ever going to get through it. Why is it that reading one 1200 page book takes so much longer than four 300 page books?
This book never got boring, to me, but it did drag on a bit in spots. It was great getting to know all the major characters in such a deep way, but I don’t know if I would have missed it if some of that had been cut out. I probably would have liked the original version better because for most of his books, I think Stephen King’s editor is asleep at the wheel. I still love his books, but I’d like them more if there were less of them.
Even though I knew good had to triumph over evil, this book still kept me on the edge of my seat, and I was desperate to know who’d live and who’d die, if Frannie’s baby would live, and what would happen to Tom. I can tell you that the ending was one of the most satisfying ones I’ve ever read.
I’m so glad I read this and irritated with myself for putting it off as long as I did, but it was an endeavor. It took me almost a month to get through, though I did take breaks and read other books in between. I love to read, so usually, when I’m done, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished any particular thing. With this book though, I’m totally giving myself a pat on the back!
The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins (YA dystopia/ fantasy): I was traveling, and I needed a good audiobook. Since I do best with rereads, The Hunger Games seemed like the perfect travel book. It really was great to relive it on audio, though I didn’t love the narrator at first. She had an English accent, and I kept thinking, “Wasn’t Katniss from what used to be the US?” Eventually, the narrator grew on me because she differentiated voices so well. She slurred Haymitch just enough to show he was drunk, but not so much that I coudln’t understand him.
The only thing that annoyed me with The Hunger Games on audio is that I didn’t like the present tense narration. I never even noticed it when I was reading the books, but on audio, it stuck out in a bad way.
I did enjoy the reread though, so much that I came home and read the other two. The books are just as fun as I remembered.
None this week.
2018 Running Total: 66
Have you made any progress on your TBR or book challenges? What’s the longest book you’ve ever read?