TITLE: Things I should have known
WRITTEN BY: Claire LaZebnik
PUBLISHED BY: HMH Books for Young Readers
VERSION I READ: e-arc from Netgalley
WARNING: realistic fiction about autism and family.
(PLOT BY GR) 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.
Thank you so much to the publisher from grant me an advance copy through Netgalley. (This won’t change in any way my review for this book.)
This is my first Claire LaZebnik’s book and it won’t be my last. “Things I should have known” is a fresh and funny reading but it is also heartbreaking. It illustrates a story about autism by the family’s POW, specifically by the younger sister. “Things I should have known” will win your heart.
Chloe is a Los Angeles girl. She is beautiful and popular, she has the perfect friends and a family who loves her. It looks like she has it all but her big sister Ivy is autistic. Chloe is worried that her sister will never meet someone to love so she decides to make her life purpose to find an autistic boy for Ivy and she finds him in Ivy’s school: Ethan, too bad that Ethan’s brother is David, one of the most hated person on Chloe’s school.
“Things I should have known” is a realistic story about autism — the story will open the reader’s mind on how people who suffer of autism get misjudge and receive a lot of prejudice from strangers. The story highlights the struggles that the families with an autistic member need to face everyday and how a normal actions come become really difficult, like go to the cinema or going out for dinner.
Claire LaZebnik has been able to portrait siblings love through a disease like autism in such a thoughtful way: I loved both Chloe and David, on how much they care about their siblings and how protective and worried they came to be. I loved these characters so much!
This story is so peculiar because most of the time realistic stories about struggling with a disease tend to become really heavy and sometimes even depressing but “Things I should have known” succeed to keep a funny and enjoyable tone. I devoured this book!
As I said my favorite characters are both Chloe and David.
Chloe is so thoughtful with her sister, even if she is the younger ones. Ivy is the priority for Chloe, even before her boyfriend. She never lose patience with her sister even when she needs to talk to her about feelings and emotions but Ivy can’t understand them. She is such a well-build character.
David is the most hated guy of the school. He is rude and uninterested to everybody’s feelings. I mean he is kind of a bully. Until you go beyond his armor and you find out why he acts in this way: a sort of answer to how the world treat his brother.
Instead, I kind of hate James (Chloe’s boyfriend) in more than a few moments: James is the rich guy, that guy who actually has EVERYTHING but he refer to Ivy as a “not normal” and “she has something wrong” a few times and he was also kind of needy. I really didn’t like him in the middle of the story.
If you are looking for a diverse book “Things I should have known” should be on your TBR right now. This book is heartwarming, fresh and funny; it is a story about siblings love and how it is to deal with autism. This book is so important and it should definitely been read.
“You know, if we were pushing our siblings in wheelchairs, people would be nice to them and to us. They’d be like, Oh, the poor handicapped people and their wonderful siblings! Let’s hold doors for them! But Ivy and Ethan… they basically look like everyone else, with these tiny differences in how they behave and move. And that bugs people. They don’t know what to do with that. It’s like they’ve got a place in their brain for normal, and they’ve got a place for something obviously wrong but they can’t deal with something a little bit different. And that makes them uncomfortable. And when people are uncomfortable they act like jerks. ”