Book Review: Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik


Things I Should Have Known

Release date: March 28th 2017

4 stars

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.

I wasn’t too sure what to expect going into this book but I now know what I ended up getting. I got a great read full of wonderful sibling dynamics, an enemies to friends to more trope that I always find addicting, and a very poignant look at two different families with an autistic child. The author has written a couple of other books on autism and her experience showed in her characters.

Chloe was a very realistic character. She loved her family, especially her sister, but she could still get frustrated with them. Her friends and boyfriend didn’t really understand her determination to find her sister a boyfriend but she found an ally in her annoying classmate David. I loved seeing the dynamic between those two go from getting so annoyed with each other to actually getting along to realizing there was something between them. I also liked seeing Chloe go from planning her life around Ivy and Ivy’s care to thinking about what she actually wanted.

The supporting characters were all great. David was cute and cynical and his opinions echoed a lot of my own thoughts. Ivy and Ethan were their own characters with thoughts and feelings instead of being a device to get Chloe and David together. Chloe’s friends all meant well and I liked that they tried to understand. The adults could be a little frustrating but I found, with Chloe’s mom and stepdad mostly, that they improved as the book went on.

I really liked that, while there was some predictable parts of the plot, there were still others that managed to surprise me. The friendship to romance stayed present through the whole plot but mostly in the background until it needed more focus, which meant the sibling relationships could really shine and develop. I liked the Chloe/David dynamic but what really made the whole book for me was the dynamic between the four characters of Chloe/Ivy/David/Ethan. I would have kept reading if only there had been more pages.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



Filed under book-related, books, reviews, talking books, ya books

2 responses to “Book Review: Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik

  1. Fantastic review! I loved this book as well as I felt like the author really knows what she was talking about when it came to autism. The reality of the voice for each character really struck to me as well. It shined as Chloe’s story to discover herself, but at the same time I love how the author incorporated the other character’s well development as well. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Weekly Reading Recap | Overflowing Bookshelves

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