Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik

Young Adult Genre320 pages
Published in 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Summary:

Things Chloe knew: Her sister, Ivy, was lonely. Ethan was a perfect match. Ethan’s brother, David, was an arrogant jerk.

Things Chloe should have known: Setups are complicated. Ivy can make her own decisions. David may be the only person who really gets Chloe.

Meet Chloe Mitchell, a popular Los Angeles girl who’s decided that her older sister, Ivy, who’s on the autism spectrum, could use a boyfriend. Chloe already has someone in mind: Ethan Fields, a sweet, movie-obsessed boy from Ivy’s special needs class.

Chloe would like to ignore Ethan’s brother, David, but she can’t—Ivy and Ethan aren’t comfortable going out on their own, so Chloe and David have to tag along. Soon Chloe, Ivy, David, and Ethan form a quirky and wholly lovable circle. And as the group bonds over frozen-yogurt dates and movie nights, Chloe is forced to confront her own romantic choices—and the realization that it’s okay to be a different kind of normal.



Did I mention I loved this book? The story follows Chloe and her autistic sister Ivy while they pretty much go on double dates with David and his autistic brother, Ethan.

Chloe and David go to school together and often bump heads. Chloe has a rich jock boyfriend and David is a standoffish arrogant guy. Ivy and Ethan are in a special class for people with autism. Ivy is a hesitant girl who wants to do the things her younger sister gets to do and Ethan is a movie buff wanting a girlfriend.

Being someone with sisters, I completely understand Chloe. I understand wanting freedom from being a caretaker and just wanting to live life. It was amazing seeing her love and dedication to Ivy. You also see it between David and Ethan. With David, you’re supposed to kind of dislike him and think he’s a jerk, but really he’s just a teen with a hard life, but still has a lot to give; and he gives it all to his brother.

It was great seeing what it’s like for families living with someone on the autism spectrum. You actually get to see two sides. Chloe’s family definitely differs from David’s when dealing with their autistic child. You really get to see that towards the end.

You get to see Chloe make a lot of different choices, many that aren’t really the right ones. She judges David without really getting to know him; she stays with a boyfriend that might not be right for her; and she pushes Ivy into a relationship that maybe isn’t right for her. Chloe makes a lot of assumptions and quite a few mistakes. She’s a typical teen girl, and her character is completely relatable.

Chloe tries to push Ivy and Ethan closer together, but then there’s a huge revelation. Maybe they’re not right for each other. Perhaps their relationship is one sided. When the big secret is revealed, it sends both families into a tail-spin and everything changes; we see changes with Ivy, Ethan, David, Chloe’s step-dad, and the relationship between Chloe and David.

I HIGHLY recommend this book. It makes you feel something, something real. If for some reason you struggle in the beginning and you think you might not want to finish, KEEP READING! This story has everything: sisterhood; brotherhood; LBGTQ recognition; and family struggles. Seriously, give this book a try!

Rating: 4.7/5


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