Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik

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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.

*I did read an ARC version of this – thanks so much to HMH Teen for giving away a free copy of these a while (like, a longggggggggg while ago)!!*

I said to myself, goodness, Mandy, you keep getting really early to work, so it’s a perfect time to just read a few minutes of that ebook that you’ve had chilling on your Netgalley dashboard for a while. You can take your time with it and just fill your time during lunches and those early moments – and then next thing you know, I’ve devoured this book in two days. This was the rush and excitement that I’ve been missing in the past few months of books that I’ve been reading. Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing the rush back.

I found this book so light-hearted but so moving at the same time. These people are crushingly realistic. It’s human and feeling and felt so real. You go through the highs and the lows with these characters and it was brilliant. I enjoyed this so much, but there were a few things that I wish that could have been done a little bit better.

I can’t speak about the accuracy of the autism rep, but from many of the reviews that I have read, it seems that it was pretty well on. It was treated with a lot of respect, and the author has a child with autism as well. This story brings autism to a new light and it definitely shows just how people can have microaggressions toward people on the autism spectrum that might not be as blatant. It was tough reading it at parts just to see how mean people can really be, but I think it’s such an important read.

The characters were great as well. I don’t think there was a main character that I didn’t love. I loved Chloe, David, Ivy, and Ethan. They were so realistic and so endearing. Chloe was a fantastic heroine, and you felt everything with her. I loved reading her voice, and from the moment she stepped on the page, I knew I was going to love her. While the parents were mostly book crap (although they were around!!! PARENTS THAT ARE AROUND!!!), the sibling relationship was amazinggggggggggggggggg. They cared so much for one another, and they showed the true dynamics of siblings. I LOVED IT I LOVED IT I LOVED IT.

The romance/ship was adorable as well. I will admit that the change in ship was kind of totally abrupt when it could have been a bit smoother. The change happened so suddenly, I was just blinking at it, going, wait, this is happening now? Oh, well, okay. But I did love the ship and knew it was totally endgame. They brought out the best of each other, and it was great.

ariel tag
Ariel is in love with her adorable, fluffy goodness reads.

The plot was interesting. For the most part, I loved it. I thought the whole matchmaking and deep characterization time was great. However, I kind of thought that some parts dragged out longer than necessary. I mean, I totally thought that the story ended a few times and then I looked down and realized I still had 15% to go? I get we were finishing up loose ends and I was still enjoying the story, but I kind of just wanted to be finished at the same time? But it was fun and all the twists and turns were great.

Overall, this was a super fun and endearing novel. It had me smiling and just gave me a happy feeling when reading it. It’s super addicting, too, and the characters, ship, and plot were interesting and love. There were a few small bumps in the road, but overall, it was such a delight while also bringing to light some important topics. 4 super high crowns and an Ariel rating!

four stars

What do you think? What was the last book that gave you a rush of excitement? What was the last great contemporary you read? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

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9 thoughts on “Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik

  1. I really enjoyed this book when I read it. Like you, I loved the relationships between the siblings. I was surprised, because I went into this thinking it would be all romance, but it was so much more. LaZebnik did such a good job helping us understand ASD from both sides, as the person on the spectrum and someone who loves them, and I really appreciated the honesty with which she did it. Yes, like you said, fun and endearing and smile inducing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh this book sounds so precious. I haven’t read any books with characters on the autism spectrum before, but this sounds really interesting. And you know how much I love sibling relationships so that is always a great hook!! Lovely review, Mandy!

    Liked by 1 person

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