*I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has not influenced my review.*
The book was very gritty, grungy, and dirty (literally dirty, like with dirt and sweat and other bodily fluids). The main character lived in the slums. The book was filled with drug addiction and lots of mentions of prostitution and rape (though no explicit scenes—well, except one scene in which Andi and some others were touched without consent). There were graphic descriptions of various sorts of disgusting things, including injuries and dead bodies. Every other word in Andi’s head or out of her mouth was some sort of guttermouth slang. So basically, it is not a book for the easily offended or weak-stomached.
Speaking of Andi’s voice though, it was very different from the usual that you find in books, which was refreshing. It was full of slang and completely colored by her life and situation. I can’t really explain it, but I recommend reading a preview of the book on Amazon (or somewhere) to get a feel for it if you’re unsure about whether you’ll like it or not. (Reading a preview will also show you how gritty the book is.)
There was also a great message in this book not just about being intersex but about being who you are and letting people be who they are. The main characters didn’t want to be assigned a binary gender, they were happy just being themselves with the bodies they were given, and all they wanted was to be given the option to keep those bodies.
The plot/pacing was where I think the book lost me though. I didn’t understand/believe/see the point of some things (for example, I felt like there was no way Andi wouldn’t have died of infection after everything her body went through), and I just wasn’t gripped. Also, the timeline for how their society came to be the way it was didn’t make sense, unless I just misunderstood (which is possible because I was confused). And to be honest, I think the language and Andi’s voice got to be a little bit too much for me after a while.
However, overall, it had a somewhat unique premise, it included representation of a part of the LGBTQIA+ community that you don’t see often in books, and the writing had a deep POV with a unique voice.
Anyone who likes dystopian, gritty books, unique character voices, and non-binary characters.