Cross-country runner Kristin Lattimer is devastated when an OB-GYN diagnoses her with androgen insensitivity syndrome, an intersex condition.
Exuberant after being voted queen at the homecoming dance, Kristin decides she's finally ready to have sex with her boyfriend, Sam. Their attempt at intercourse, however, turns out to be prohibitively painful, and Kristin promptly schedules an appointment with her best friend's gynecologist. Her pelvic exam and a series of follow-ups reveal that Kristin has AIS. After she confides in two friends at a party, rumors about Kristin's condition spread, and she is ostracized. The particulars of AIS are explained in matter-of-fact detail and filtered effectively through Kristin's point of view. Kristin and her bullies use the word “hermaphrodite,” but the author is careful to note that the term is widely considered derogatory and that “intersex” and “disorder of sex development,” or DSD, are preferred. Discussions of Kristin's gender strike an equally appropriate balance: Kristin worries that her diagnosis means she's "not exactly a girl," and Sam rejects her as a "faggot," but other voices express kinder views. A supportive and warmly drawn group of side characters rounds out the story, and the figure of Caster Semenya, a runner speculated to have AIS herself, serves as a role model and figure of hope.
Sensitive, informative and a valuable resource for teens in Kristin's shoes. (Fiction. 14-18)