Title: Things I Should Have Known
Author: Claire LaZebnik
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group
Genres: Young adult, contemporary, romance
Disclaimer: I was provided an e-arc of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, all opinions and feelings remain 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.
The Things I should Have Known was a unique and refreshing read reflecting important topics and likeable characters to create an enjoyable read.
First off, let me just say this this is a “read in one sitting” book, the writing is easy to follow along with,the chapters are short and quick and the storyline is in constant motion, resulting in me finishing this book in one afternoon. Also did mention that I adore the cover, so simple yet wonderful!
This book deals with a multitude of important and relevant topics in an uncomplicated and understandable fashion. Some of the issues covered include autism, LGBTQ+, family dynamics, sibling relationships, feminism and mental health. As I have never read a book with autistic characters, nor being familiar with autism myself, I found this book to be informative and enlightening. I loved how when negative portrayals of autism are instantly challenged and the representation seemed to be depicted well.
I enjoyed the main character Chloe, she was confident, had great social skills, but most of all, she had undying love and care for her sister Ivy. It was uplifting seeing Chloe’s efforts in helping Ivy live her life to her fullest. Many times, Chloe put Ivy before herself, and the same can be said about Daniel and his brother Ethan. These strong sibling bonds brought something special to this book.
As much as I adored the characters love for their siblings, I still felt that they were still somewhat undeveloped. I didn’t get to see the characters much as separate people as they were so focused on their siblings. They were either caring for their siblings, talking or thinking about them. It would’ve been nice to see them more as individuals, but as this book is so short and and covers so many topics, this is understandable. Also seeing David act differently depending on the situation and the people he was surrounded with was a bit strange, it seemed like he was two completely different people! It was hard to understand these drastic changes, and I wasn’t a big fan.
Romance played a part in this novel and I will say while I enjoyed some, others felt unnecessary and forced at times. There were a couple of twists in the novel, some of which I predicted and some of which came to a huge surprise! Although the writing didn’t overcomplicated things, I found it to be too simple at times. I wish there were some more descriptive sentences and powerful quotes that could’ve made more of an impact.
Overall, Things I should Of Known was a quick, enjoyable and unique read that reflected important issues in a good manner. However, I did wish I got more from it, I found it to be flat at times and I didn’t find this book incredibly memorable or moving.