What a wonderful addition to the young adult lit world! Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik does a remarkable job of combining a teen love story with a unique sister relationship. It is a rare book that can convey autism in such a natural way without resorting to stereotyping or turning the family members into unrealistic heroes, and LaZebnik is able to do this easily as a mother of a child with autism. I love that Chloe often does get annoyed with Ivy, as any older sister does with a younger. Chloe’s sense of duty to Ivy is intertwined with the feeling almost every teen has of just wanting to escape, and her relationship with her stepfather just exacerbates both of these. Ivy’s journey is unique in that she has autism, but incredibly similar to that of every young adult experimenting with relationships and discovering that they are truly not one-size-fits-all. I highly recommend this book and will be purchasing it for my middle/high school library.
Official book description:
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 form a quirky and lovable circle that will steal readers’ hearts and remind us all that it’s okay to be a different kind of normal.
I received a digital advance reader copy of this book ~ all opinions are my own.