Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik
Publisher: HMH Children’s Book Group
Expected publication: March 27th, 2017
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*
From the author of Epic Fail comes the story of Chloe Mitchell, a Los Angeles girl on a quest to find love for her autistic sister Ivy. Ethan, from Ivy’s class, seems like the perfect match. It’s unfortunate that his older brother, David, is one of Chloe’s least favorite people, but Chloe can deal, especially when she realizes that David is just as devoted to Ethan as she is to Ivy. Uncommonly honest and refreshingly funny, this is a story about sisterhood, autism, and first love. Chloe, Ivy, David, and Ethan, who form a quirky and lovable circle, will steal readers’ hearts and remind us all that it’s okay to be a different kind of normal.
Chloe is seventeen and although she always seems good with everything and shows that she has a perfect life, her life at home is not that easy. And many may not know that her older sister Ivy is autistic, and Chloe has spent most of her life protecting and caring for her.
One day, Chloe thinks that her sister might be feeling lonely and that she wants a boyfriend. She tries to help, and starts checking who she thinks would be perfect for her, when she finds Ethan. But he happens to be the younger brother of David, a guy from her English class that she can’t stand.
Chloe and David accompany their siblings on all of their dates to help them express themselves, but a lot happens after that, that no one was expecting.
I absolutely LOVED this! I just couldn’t put the book down! If it wasn’t for getting up early for school I would have read it in one sitting easily. This was such an amazingly sweet book! But at the same time, it was incredibly realistic, which is what made me love it so much.
I’ve never read a book that portrays autism before – are there any? – and I am thrilled that I got to read this one. We all know what autism is and much probably we know or knew someone in our life that is autistic. But to be more precise, according to Wikipedia, “Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior.”
The author herself has a child that is autistic, and I thought that was very interesting and wondered if that helped make the characters so realistic.
I loved the characters incredibly much. Chloe is a strong and amazing person, everyone loves her but she does have her flaws. I thought she was incredible as a sister and although she loves Ivy, she sometimes also gets mad or frustrated with her. I loved her sarcasm and how positive and confident she was!
David is very different from her, he is much more closed and he basically lived taking care of his brother Ethan. He doesn’t socialize whatsoever and he may pass as an idiot to everybody that doesn’t bother to take a second look. But deep inside he is an amazingly selfless person. I LOVE HIM.
Ivy and Ethan are the most adorable persons ever. They are similar in some terms but very different in others. They are both very sweet persons and they would never hurt anyone. It’s impossible not to love them!
Every principal character in this book was truly fantastic and I felt that all the other characters represented something. And that’s how the author chose to represent a lot of important things. Like loneliness, family and teenage drama, loss, homophobia, love, fear… And it really worked. If we pay enough attention, all of that is somewhere represented, but in a unique way.
And that’s why although it talks about so many heavy things, the author made it quite light to read. It was funny, warm-hearted and realistic in every possible way. And I want to say so much more about it but I can’t without spoiling it!
I loved the writing and the only thing I didn’t particularly enjoy were the last pages, that were a bit rushed. I just wanted more… I NEED MORE. I loved this book and I would strongly recommend it!
Really, just go read it!