So I’ve been putting off writing this review and honestly I don’t know why. Actually, that’s a lie. I think I do know why, but I didn’t want to confront it and it’s why I couldn’t give this book more than 3.5 stars. The problem wasn’t that I had high expectations. I just had normal expectations that weren’t really met, but I also couldn’t deny the message of self acceptance that this book delivered without it feeling overly clunky.
The whole story is about Krissy, a senior, an athlete dating the hottest boy in school, surrounded by her best friends and then she learns that she is intersex. Her whole life seems to crash around her as she comes to terms with the full reality of who she is and how little and how much that changes the way people interact with her.
Let’s start the the characters aside from Krissy. She has two best friends Vee and Faith. One is sweet one is a bitch. It’s not something that is really original for a YA book. It creates interesting dynamics especially as the friendship inevitably becomes strained. The problem is the blow up that occurs is brash and filled with pride. It felt that ultimately the blow up that did occur was unnecessary and ultimately it put Krissy in a negative light because of the way she handled it in the long run. It fell into the standard trap that if they had just spoken with words it would have been resolved. That said, the reactions did feel natural so I’m not completely mad at it.
There were two main guys in Krissy’s life, other than her father (who I’ll get to). The first was Sam her star of the football team dreamy, sweet boyfriend. In the early chapters there was a strong sense that he really did care for her. The evolution and arc that his character went through with the information about Krissy was heartbreaking, but felt very realistic. The other main guy was Darren Kowalski. He was a delightful treat in the novel. I’m not going to say anything about him. Just enjoy.
Krissy is going through the shock of her diagnosis. Learning that she has AIS shortly after her 18th birthday is one of those things that’s hard to shake. Her entire world is changing, while it isn’t at the same time. Watching Krissy going through this journey of accepting who she is was interesting. Now, taking into account that before she had time to process the new information she was bullied to the point that she retreated from school. Honestly, I found this aspect of Krissy different from what we’d come to know of her. It was a quick swerve and I’m still not sure how I felt about it, but going along with her felt like it needed to happen. And I have to mention that Krissy has the most supportive family ever. Her dad and Aunt were by her side every step of the way, but not without their own flaws and that was refreshing. I felt like I could relate to her dad who was constantly seeking information while Krissy sought to shut it all out. And her Aunt never batted an eyelash.
The plot of the novel felt a little too basic for me. As a result, it didn’t feel like anything of importance happened. There were a few big moments, and the rest felt like Krissy just living her life in a bubble. I wanted to see more of Krissy beyond the stage of her reaching a state of acceptance toward herself. It was an important journey to see, but I almost wish there was a part two because there really is so much more story and possiblity as to the rest of the changes that she will face. Plus seeing krissy comfortable in her skin ready to tackle the challenges in front of her was so satisfying that I feel we didn’t get enough of it. The plot just ultimately felt a little too light and didn’t give Krissy the chance to really explore herself, but just enough to watch her crawl out of her hole.
Ultimately, I feel like this was one of those books that was important. It forces you to see that things aren’t always clean cut, but it also shows you that the person some one isn’t contingent upon DNA. There’s a lot going on and while I really enjoyed it I was left longing for more and not necessarily in a good way, but not in an entirely bad way either.