None of the Above: guest post + box of Harper ARCs giveaway

March 31, 2015 2015, guest post, lgbtq, realistic fiction, TMG tours, Wendy 93

none of the above tour button 1I’m asked to host a fair number of blog tours, and I almost always turn them down. It’s truly a labor of love, because it takes so much time and effort if you want to do justice to the book that’s being featured.

When None of the Above came across my desk, however, I couldn’t say no. It’s a compelling story about a girl named Kristin whose life is like any other teenager’s, until one night as she and her boyfriend are becoming intimate, she discovers that something doesn’t feel right. When she goes to the doctor, she finds out that she is intersex, a condition that so many people seem to know so little about–myself included. In telling us Kristin’s story, I.W. Gregorio puts a spotlight on underrepresented members of our society; as Kristin learns about intersex, we do too. It’s important to understand the physical and psychological nuances of this condition, and I’m honored to have the author as our guest today to tell us more about it, especially since her medical background and research are so prominent in the book.

I hope you’ll follow along the rest of this fantastic one-week tour as well. Intersex is often misunderstood, and the only way to clear up the stigma that’s often attached to it is to educate ourselves…and to talk about it.

vine-divider-finalWhat is intersex, why should I be interested in it, and why now?

by I.W. Gregorio

The term intersex refers to a constellation of naturally occurring variations of internal and/or external sex anatomy, and you should be interested in it because it is proof positive that the gender binary does not exist.

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It’s really hard to pinpoint what caused it, but in the past couple of years there’s been a huge increase in the mainstream acceptance of gender diversity. Last year I was thrilled when the #IAmNotBinary hashtag found its way into my Twitter feed, and since then it’s seems like win after win for LGBTQIA+ folks: Laverne Cox became the first transgender woman ever to grace Time magazine’s cover. MTV’s Faking It had mainstream TV’s first ever recurring character who was intersex. Transparent won a slew of Golden Globes. And Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt proved that they really are the world’s coolest parents by embracing Shiloh’s desire to be called “John.” Recently, Fusion’s Massive Millenial Poll shows that 50% of millennials (people aged 18-34) feel that gender is actually a spectrum.

Even with all this, though, life can be tough for kids whose sexual or gender identity falls outside the normal categories: Suicide attempt rates in the transgender population range from 30% to over 50%. There is no good data for these rates within the intersex community, but what I am certain of is that increased awareness will go a huge way toward preventing unnecessary surgery on children.

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For more reading on why intersex is not something that needs to be fixed, read this article in The Atlantic. And to learn more about how intersex conditions break open the gender binary, read this excellent article in Everyday Feminism, brought to you by the amazing people of Inter/Act Youth.

About the Author

I. W. Gregorio is a practicing surgeon by day, masked avenging YA writer by night. After getting her MD, she did her residency at Stanford, where she met the intersex patient who inspired her debut novel, None of the Above (Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins). She is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books™ and serves as its VP of Development. A recovering ice hockey player, she lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. Visit her on her website, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and GoodReads for her latest news.

None of the Above will be available in stores and online on April 7, 2015.

Our thanks to the fantastic bloggers who are hosting this tour over the next week.

NONE OF THE ABOVE Tour

The Midnight Garden             Tuesday 3/31      What is Intersex?
YA Romantics                       Wednesday 4/1    5 Ways Writing is Way Harder Than Medicine
The Reading Date                 Thursday 4/2        5 Inspiring LGBTQI Books That Can, and Will, Change Lives
Supernatural Snark               Friday 4/3            Writing What You Don’t Know

The Irish Banana                   Monday 4/6         Interview with Lianne Simon, intersex author

Here is Hannah’s review for None of the Above, by the way, which expresses so well the way most readers will be coming into this reading experience.

Did you know? The author is helping us debunk one myth about intersex every day. Follow along the rest of the None of the Above Tour for more fascinating facts and insights!

Intersex Myth #1
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Mystery Box of 4 Harper Teen ARCs!

Thanks to our friends at Balzer + Bray, we’re celebrating the release of None of the Above with a giveaway for 4 hot upcoming Harper Collins YA titles! We can’t tell you what they are just yet, but Harper has so many great books coming out this year that the winner’s certainly going to enjoy the surprise.

All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form and leave a thoughtful comment below telling us what sparks your curiosity about intersex and None of the Above. Open to US and Canadian residents aged 18 and older, or 13 and older with parental permission. See entry form for complete details. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Harper Teen mystery box

Giveaway and review copies were provided by the publisher. Photos were provided by the author.

vine-divider-finalI learned a lot about intersex in reading None of the Above, and I’ve learned a lot from reading the author’s posts for this tour. I hope you’ll follow along and educate yourself about this important and timely topic.

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93 Responses to “None of the Above: guest post + box of Harper ARCs giveaway”

  1. Desiree

    I am really excited to read this. I have not read nearly enough YA books with extremely controversial diversity. I hope that more books like this get published!

  2. Michella

    I’m so excited to read this book. Faking It on MTV has an intersex character named Lauren and I recently found out she’s the first intersex character on tv. She’s one of my favorites. I love watching her come to terms with how to tell others about her biology.

  3. Melody

    Wonderful, wonderful use of this novel to kickstart some important conversation and thoughts here! Great work! I can’t wait to see how this novel expands my worldview and knowledge base in how to talk about these kinds of things.

  4. Christine

    This is such an intriguing topic! I love that books like this are raising awareness. So excited about the mystery box :D

  5. Mandy K

    Wow, I never even considered the possibility that physically there isn’t a distinct line between male and female. I’ve always that mentally a person con feel one or the other or a bit of both, and that how they feel didn’t always match what they are born with. But it makes sense. The human body is such a diverse and complex thing. So, why would we think that all 7 billion of us would squarely fit into one or the other?
    Mandy K recently posted…Review:Talon by Julie Kagawa

  6. L Lesko

    Biologically speaking we are born with specific parts, it is society that tells us – women are “weaker” than men and are only able to perform certain tasks, while men are capable of so much more in certain societies– I mean, even today, one can see the boundaries placed on individuals of different cultures based solely on the “appearance” of their sex.. so how messed up is that!?

  7. Meredith Miller

    I’m excited to find out what’s in the box! Love new surprises!

  8. Kelly Peterson

    What sparks my interest is always a need to understand what I don’t know. I’m not familiar with intersex, nor am I a person who refers to myself in that manner. So, my curiosity is always based on wanting to understand so that I don’t hurt other people or judge other people, especially if I I have no idea why. Thank you for the giveaway!! And for helping to bring awareness to those, like me, who are new to this term and understanding those who use it.
    Kelly Peterson recently posted…Sunday Street Team: Review – Alice in Wonderland High by Rachel Shane + GIVEAWAY

  9. Caroline Vos

    I’ve been trying to be more diverse in my reading selections lately, and None of the Above seems like a perfect book to fit into that category. It will also be interesting to read about someone who is intersex, as it is not something I’ve ever read or heard about. Regardless of whether or not I win, I will definitely read be reading None of the Above!

  10. ashley

    I haven’t really heard much of this book. Seen it around the internet though. This giveaway is unique and different from others.

  11. Emily Beaver

    This is such a cool and unique idea for a giveaway! I’m a huge fan of Harper books and I cannot wait to see what they bring out in the future!

  12. Cindy

    I am ridiculously excited to read None of the Above and for the mystery box! Before reading this post and discovering None of the Above, I had never heard of intersex. I am definitely curious to read more, and discover more about this misunderstood topic. Also, I had never thought of a person’s gender to be an idea of how someone wishes to present themself. Learning about this has definitely opened my eyes to the world, and show me that those myths that I previously believed to be true, might not be.

  13. Diandra

    None of the above seems to be a very different story which I,m very eager to read. It’s on a rather delicate subject and I’m very curious to where this story can go. thanks a lot for the great review!

  14. Cynthia

    I’ve been reading lots of LGBTQIA novels recently, but it’s pretty hard to find centered around intersex characters. In fact, I don’t think I’ve read a single book with an intersex character. This will be my first.

  15. Summer

    What a great post! To be honest, I never heard of intersex until I saw this book. Immediately I added it to my TBR, I’m excited to read it though!

  16. Sarah J.

    I’ve honestly never given much thought to intersex. It seems like a topic I should know more about. I’m really interested in this novel because it sounds so diverse from normal YA reads.
    Sarah J. recently posted…Radiant by Karina Sumner-Smith

  17. Charlotte

    “None of the Above” sounds like a very unique and generally interesting book. It interests me in particular, because I feel that I know less about intersex means than I should. It’s something that’s important to a lot of people, and so I most definitely need to understand it, at least a little bit better.
    Charlotte recently posted…The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

  18. Natasha

    I am very excited to read None of the Above. It sounds amazing!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  19. Paige

    I really like the concept of books about intersex. I have met many, and have one in the family. Its interesting learning about their DNA, and to hear them talk about themselves. I love how much courage they have to talk about it.

  20. Kalani

    I so want to read this! It looks so cool! Can’t wait!

  21. Kaitlyn

    This book looks like such an interesting read! And I would love to win a box full of mystery books!

  22. Tanya (Read. Run. Study.)

    I have never read anything like this, but the concept sounds really interesting. I’m glad it seems to be getting a good reception so far. It makes me even more interested in picking it up!
    Tanya (Read. Run. Study.) recently posted…Sunday Review #51

  23. Danielle D.

    I can’t wait to read this! I’m so glad that you took the time to research gender too, and that you really seem to care about portraying the issue correctly.

  24. Montgomery

    So excited to read this regardless if I win a copy or not. Can’t wait to read a first account on what intersex is for this character. I know about intersexuality but you can never read too much about a topic that you don’t identify as. Congrats to I.W. on this novel!

  25. Alecia

    I’m really excited about the release of this book! When I discovered it through WeNeedDiversity, I was so disappointed to find out it hadn’t come out yet! I’ll be reading this right away, for sure. :)

  26. Elizabeth

    I know exactly 0 things about intersex, and I’m super excited that I’m coming to this post late because now I can go read ALL THE THINGS. It’s so awesome that 1. There’s a book with an intersex MC (and now hopefully I’m going to learn how one says that. Someone who is intersex…ual? An intersex person?) and 2. That there’s this whole tour that’s going to educate me :)
    Elizabeth recently posted…I’ve Been Reading A Book With A Transgender MC And I Never Knew It: Or The Famous Five by Enid Blyton

  27. Elizabeth

    This seems like an interesting story, that I could learn a lot from.
    Thanks for the giveaway :)

  28. Hayden

    I’m stoked to check out this book because there’s so little out there on intersex, and it would help expand my mind and knowledge on the intersex community and perspective. Thanks for hosting this!

  29. Krystianna

    I love how this book is focusing on aspects that aren’t focused on a lot in young adult lit today, perhaps even all books written today. I’m definitely interested in reading it and I’m so glad that it comes out this week. I’m going to rush to the store and buy a copy as soon as it comes out!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian
    Krystianna recently posted…Book Blast: Summer on the Short Bus!

  30. Carol

    I think this is one of the greatest things about reading: you get to jump in someone else’s shoes and live life through his/her eyes…And in doing this, you open your mind and try not to be prejudiced against others! Books like this one are really important because they help both those who feel different to understand that they’re not alone and the other people to be less judgimental!

  31. Kimberly

    This sounds like a very different read. Something I’ve definitely never read before. I’m very curious to learn what the mystery picks are.

  32. Jacklin Updegraft

    I really am excited to read this one. I think that it’s so important to have diverse books and to have kids know that they are not alone. And maybe give them a platform to stand on. I think this is a very real issue for a lot of kids and they feel alone in this. I love the idea of this novel and I can’t wait to read it!

  33. Alejandra Corbella

    What a great giveaway, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like surprises. I am so excited for the new books and I hope I can read them

  34. Amanda

    I am really looking forward to this book. There are so few written on this subject, and I think this could be an eye-opener for many people. I think intersex people even feel out of place in the broad LGBTQ community.

  35. Caryn Caldwell

    I love that this is being discussed, not only in blog posts like this but in books like NONE OF THE ABOVE — not to mention on places like Tumblr and other social networks. I think it’s one of the first steps in helping people who don’t understand to, well, understand and become more accepting.
    Caryn Caldwell recently posted…Inspiration from Author Lori M. Lee + Giveaway

  36. Summer

    Books like this are so important, the more we read about different experiances, the less different they’ll feel, and the less different we’re likely to treat them. I love that books and TV are becoming more diverse by the minute, maybe, at some point, people won’t feel so alone in whatever they’re going through. Thanks for the giveaway!

  37. Sandy Steckler

    I’ve read a couple other books about this subject and I haven’t seen this one. I had to add it to my TBR pile. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I really enjoy reading about different individuals, it is what makes our world so unique. Thanks for the giveaway!! Think spring

  38. Carina Olsen

    Goooorgeous post Wendy. <3 I think this book sounds so different. Yet also so exciting too. I'm curious about it. I might have to check it out more, hih. <3 Thank you so much for sharing about it sweetie :) You are awesome.
    Carina Olsen recently posted…The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

  39. Jillyn

    Intersex is something close to my heart, as I work closely with my college’s LGBT group. I’m excited to read a book where this is something that is talked about.

  40. Rashika

    This is the year for Diversity, Wendy and it makes me so so happy that we have SO MANY DIVERSE BOOKS COMING OUT. Seriously! Can I get a hell yeah because yes! 2015 is the year! Okay my weird fangirling about this year aside, I am just so happy! I only recently found out that None of the Above features an Intersex main character and I got ridiculously excited about that.

    I feel like there is so little known about what it means to be intersex- I know I don’t know nearly enough and that even this post has been such an eye opener- and it’s so important to just spread knowledge of these things so people are more aware and can understand better what is happening around them and take care to not be offensive.

    Thank you for hosting this awesome blog tour and for featuring this fabulous guest post, Wendy! <3
    Rashika recently posted…ARC Review: The Diamond Conspiracy by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris

  41. Camille

    It’s great to see so much diversity in YA and honestly intersex is not something I knew much about either.

  42. Kelly

    Though I’m familiar with intersex as a concept, I know very little about the challenges intersex individuals face. I’d seen the cover of None of the Above around online before, but I had no idea what it was about until now, so thanks for this post!
    Kelly recently posted…Re-read Challenge: March Re-read Recap

  43. Christy @ Novel Ink

    Before reading None of the Above, I was kind of ignorant as to what exactly Intersex meant. I like to think I’m more informed now, after reading Krissy’s story. I really like the Myths with each post!
    Christy @ Novel Ink recently posted…Novel Finds (1)

  44. Alex

    This post actually gave me a further insight in sex, gender and the gender spectrum. I already know a little bit about intersex and gender terms and stuff, mainly from Tumblr, but I think a book like this is definitely very important to bring foreword intersex, gender fluid, transgender and all others who don’t necessarily fit into “male” and “female”, into pop culture. I’ve been seeing a great number of books coming out recently based on the LGBTQ+ community and think thats a very good thing as it makes it common, and it makes the book talking point within conversations which can then lead to conversations about intersex and trans/fluid genders, which can lead to more educated people about the topic. Veyr excited about this book! And i’m also very excited about the giveaway!

  45. Shannelle C.

    It sounds so interesting, as well as a painful read, because I can only imagine the horrible reception of such a thing. I’m glad that the author is a surgeon, because it means that this subject would be treated well! It deserves the proper treatment.

  46. Mia

    Well hello! Earlier this year I had the chance to read about transgenders that was called Gracefully Grayson. I also had the chance to meet the author who was a very nice woman. Although I have always been accepting and supporting of transgender people, the book helped me understand more about how they feel. To be honest, I don’t know a lot about intersex. But I hope I could learn more. I would love to be able to understand and support them more than I do now. Anyway, have a good day and please consider me. Thank you!

  47. Kelly G.

    I hope None of the Above is in there. :) I’ve been looking forward to it for months; I can’t think of another book about an intersex teen off the top of my head. Now that I know the author is a surgeon, I’m even more intrigued.

  48. Denisa

    When I heard of None of The Above, my interest was piqued, then I read the synopsis and that interest sky rocketed.

  49. Brenda

    Interesting topic on a subject I know very little about, have to add it to the TBR to explore more later, thank you for the info.

  50. Alicia

    I’m really interested in this because not only does it sound good, but I don’t know a lot about intersex people, and this will help me learn more.

  51. Zoey @ Uncreatively Zoey

    I actually just found out about this book yesterday, and I’m so, so happy that it exists. There’s so much about the world that I think we all need to learn, and this is definitely one of them. I barely know anything about this topic at all, so I’ll definitely have to read None of the Above. I think it’s so incredible that the author herself is a surgeon, so I think the most important thing is how true to real life this book is going to be.
    Zoey @ Uncreatively Zoey recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Recently Added to TBR

  52. Jenny Chou

    I’m always interested in learning about new subjects which is why I’m a voracious reader! I’m excited to read NONE OF THE ABOVE and would be thrilled to open a mystery box of books from Harper. Thank you so much for the opportunity.

  53. Karla

    This sounds like such an interesting book. I’m excited for all the diverse books popping up!

  54. Lia

    Wow. Immediately went to GoodReads after reading the post to learn more. The premise is heartbreaking – not only does she have to come to terms with the fact that what she held to be self evident isn’t, she’s also being bullied for it?!?! Some humans are obnoxious. I put it on hold at the library. And go millenials! Some might say we use up money like air, but we’re accepting! And the giveaway seems fantastic. B&B’s my fave.

  55. Aila

    I got an ARC of this book from Edelweiss, and absolutely LOVED it! Kristin’s experience throughout discovering she was intersex and the effects it had on her social life was so realistic and sometimes heartbreaking. Can’t wait to see what book are in the mystery package, thanks so much for the giveaway!
    Aila recently posted…Betsy Schow – Spelled

  56. Sam

    This is one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I am so so so thankful that the author is using her knowledge and her passion to allow the world to hear this story. I think that books are one of the greatest ways of opening up minds, and as we see in the chart in the post, it is clear that a lot of us are in the dark about gender and its complexities. I cannot wait to get my hands on this book and then get it in the hands of the teens at my library! I think that this is going to be a game-changer!

  57. anne

    An intriguing and unique book which sounds great. Thanks for this post and feature.

  58. Kayla

    This sounds like an interesting book. I’d like to learn more about intersex, since I’m really not familiar with the concept.
    The box of ARCs also sounds awesome!

  59. Jennifer

    Hi. I’ve been following your blog for awhile now, and have gotten so many great recommendations for books from it. I love to see more awareness about sexual and gender identity, particularly for teens. I also like that this book is written by a doctor, which I’m sure provides both accurate facts and a different perspective on the topic. In terms of gender identity, I recently read Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman and was really intrigued by her inclusion of a country where people ask what pronoun you would like to be called by and a language that has many pronoun options. I’d look forward to reading None of the Above too.
    Jennifer recently posted…IN WHICH The Girl Needs a Man

    • Layla

      Re: Shadow Scale – yes yes yes, this exactly! I was just having this conversation with Kim yesterday when I finished the book. I think it’s definitely one of the more queer-friendly fantasies I’ve read in the past few years. (Seraphina is challenged to rethink her assumptions about sex, gender, race – her own sexuality – what a relationship looks like – the list goes on. But I really appreciated the conversation around pronouns in particular – that you never make assumptions about what a stranger’s pronouns are – as well as that on the power of naming that follows later in the book). In any case, sorry to jump in on this, but I thought that aspect of Shadow Scale was all kinds of wonderful.
      Layla recently posted…None of the Above: guest post + box of Harper ARCs giveaway

  60. Lucy

    I love that the author is debunking myths for each spot of the blog tour! The only other intersex book I’ve read before this one is Golden Boy and I’m glad to see more books explore the topic. I hope this book gets into libraries and into the hands of teens. I know gender diversity is of big interest to my teen’s generation and I’m glad to see more books talking about gender.
    Lucy recently posted…Top Ten Books Recently Added to my TBR

  61. Layla

    I do think this book is interesting and valuable – and hopefully, it’ll be the first of many books that feature intersex characters and enable teen readers to rethink their assumptions about sex and gender. I’m also really interested in following the blog tour – it’ll be cool to read Gregorio’s thoughts about what it’s like to write about something you don’t know. (I do think she does this much more responsibly than other authors who’ve written fictionalized accounts of intersex characters.) Anyway, glad we’re hosting the tour! Woo!
    Layla recently posted…None of the Above: guest post + box of Harper ARCs giveaway

  62. Max Baker

    I’m so excited for None of the Above. The only other book I’ve read with an intersex character is Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin and that book was amazing. I’m hoping this one will be just as good.

  63. Hilary

    I think it’s wonderful that the author wrote this. Nobody really knows what intersex is and that has been the cause of so much social stigma, because nobody knows anything so it’s hard to emphasize and so easy to dehumanize.
    Hilary recently posted…Review: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

  64. Nikki

    I think it’s great to see these subjects starting to be recognized in our literature, especially YA. I’ve read many studies on the subject for my psychology schooling and it truly is sad how little we understand the physical, mental, and emotional affects of these types of sex/gender roles. These types of “outliers” occur way more often than anyone thinks and unfortunately it’s because people are so scared to talk about it. I’m excited to read something that tackles some of these issues.

  65. Sarah

    I’m very excited to have a protagonist in this group of people that is so seldom depicted – what a lifesaver this book could be for any teen struggling with being different from his or her peers!

  1. None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio Guest Post and Giveaway - The Reading Date

    […] The Midnight Garden             Tuesday 3/31      What is Intersex? YA Romantics                       Wednesday 4/1    5 Ways Writing is Way Harder Than Medicine The Reading Date                 Thursday 4/2        5 Inspiring LGBTQI Books That Can, and Will, Change Lives Supernatural Snark               Friday 4/3            Writing What You Don’t Know The Irish Banana                   Monday 4/6         Interview with Lianne Simon, intersex author […]