Wednesday, March 22, 2017

ARC Review : Things I Should've Known by Claire LaZebnik

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Title : Things I Should've Known
Author : Claire LaZebnik
Genre : YA contemporary
Release Date : March 28th, 2017
Publisher : HMH Books


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 receive this book via Netgalley in exchange of honest review. Thank you HMH Books for the book!

When I saw this book in Netgalley, I requested it on a whim because a) it sounds great and I never read books with autistic characters, b) it's by Claire LaZebnik, whose books I've read and loved, and c) the cover is so pretty! some people might think it's too simple but I live for minimalist.

This book follows Chloe Mitchell, your average high schoolers who has an older, autistic sister, Ivy. One day, she decides to play matchmaking and set her sister up with one of Ivy's friends, who turns out to be David's (aka Chloe arch-nemesis) brother. David dislikes Chloe's because of her "perfect life" and Chloe dislikes David for being too rude and too antisocial. But hey, for her sister's sake, she spends much time with David while their siblings are on a date.

To be frank, I don't see any personalities that stood up from both Chloe and David. They both are just like a regular teenager, except they happen to have an autistic sibling. But that doesn't mean this book is boring, on the contrary, I like it. I think that's why I enjoy reading this book, because they're just like most teenagers in this world, like me. No special snowflakes or Mary Sue tropes here. Also, I love how they treated their siblings. Having an autistic sibling is definitely not easy, since you have to be extra patient and all. Both Chloe and David have their own (good) way while dealing with their siblings, and I like both ways.

Another thing that I love from this book is the autism aspect. Like I said before, I don't know many about autism. In fact, up until now I only know one autistic people, and this quote pretty much sums up how I act around them :
"You know, if we were pushing out siblings in wheelchairs, people would be nice to them and to us. They'd be like, Oh, the poor handicapped people and their wonderful siblings! Let's hold doors for them! But Ivy and Ethan...they basically look like everyone else, with just these tiny differences in how they behave and move. And that bugs people. They don't know what to do with that. It's like people have a place in their brain for normal, and they have a place in their brain for something obviously wrong, but they can't deal with something just a little bit different"
Yes, I'm ashamed to say that I tend to stay away from autistic people. Not because I hate or dislike them, but more because I don't know what to do or to say to them. I've seen the autistic guy that I know got angry over small things (and by angry I mean, kicking everywhere and won't stop shouting that he had to be carried away by teachers because it cause quite a commotion). But thanks to this book, at least now I know a little about autism--that they're basically us, just a little bit different--and I hope to change my attitude toward them.

In conclusion, I definitely recommend this book! If the reasons above isn't enough, here's another thing why you should read this book : Chloe and David's hate-to-love relationship, Chloe and Ivy's not-absent parents (eventhough sometimes the mom irritate me, but hey, at least the parents is there, and they're supportive), and oh! The little 'surprise' about Ivy! I promise it's a good one 😊


  1. One of my favorite tropes are hate-to-love romances, so I'm looking forward to adding this to my TBR! I also love that this story has an autistic character, definitely I hope too more of in YA! Lovely review :)

    1. I love hate-to-romance too! Thanks Kristin <33


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