Things I Should Have Known

Things I Should Have Known

A Novel

Book - 2017
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A popular Los Angeles teen tries to find love for her older, autistic sister.
Publisher: Boston ; NewYork : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2017].
ISBN: 9780544829695
Characteristics: 314 pages ; 22 cm.


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Sep 30, 2020

Claire Scovell LaZabnik’s Things I Should Have Known is short and endearing read that not only is about romantic relationships but rather sibling relationships. The story follows the at-first-glance typical teen girl, Chloe who has an older sister, named Ivy, that is on the autism spectrum. Chloe tries to fill the gap in her sister’s life and spends her time trying to get her a boyfriend and ends up developing a friendship with the brother of her sister’s crush, Ethan. As she spends more time with the pair, her plans start to unravel, both for herself and Ivy. I enjoyed the storyline, but some parts did feel a little rushed. I also loved Ivy’s and Ethan’s characters, and their dynamic. While the romance was sweet, nothing could compare to the love each sibling duo had for one another. If you are into family-centered stories with teen romance aspects, read Things I Should Have Known.

Sep 25, 2017

Very quick read. I completed this book in 2 days. The storyline is cute and enjoyable, and there is some depth and grit that most lighthearted YA books avoid. I didn't adore this book, but I don't regret reading it either. Solid 3/5 stars!

Aug 09, 2017

Chloe has a perfect life: she gets good grades, has supportive friends, and an amazing boyfriend. But her life is not what meets the eye, in reality Chloe's home life is far from perfect. At home, she is constantly worrying about her autistic sister, Ivy. Through time, she notices that her sister feels lonely so she decides to set her up with Ethan, a boy in Ivy’s special needs class. Unbeknownst to her, Ethan’s brother is David, one of the few people that Chloe cannot stand. They constantly get into heated arguments in English class, and David always berates and mocks her in public.  But as David and Chloe begin to spend more time with one another, they begin to develop an attraction for each other. I don’t really read YA realistic fiction, but this book was my one exception. 
- @Vaseline of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Mar 31, 2017

I have adored Claire LaZebnik's books in the past. They are cheeky, funny, and always full of heart. That's not entirely the case where with Things I Should Have Known. This book is definitely full of heart and it definitely comes from a deeply personal place. I admit I had a bit of a rough start with this book, but it's only because the introduction to Claire and Ivy is a slow burn with a lot of ground to cover. Once I got a few chapters in, I felt the spark from this book.

This book, at it's core, is a book about autism and sisterhood. Ivy is autistic, while Claire is the older sister who becomes in a lot of ways, Ivy's pillar of support. Claire teaches Ivy about dating, integrating with others, and through the story we come to learn that not only is Ivy autistic, but she is also gay. There's a lot of exploration in this story revolving Ivy's sexuality, how her autism affects her, and how she wants to feel like everyone else, despite knowing she is anything but. I really loved the way LaZebnik sheds light on the sister's relationship: it shows a lot of strength and there is a part of me that could really relate the sister's situation. Claire has to sacrifice parts of herself for Ivy, but it's only because she cares so deeply for her sister and her happiness.

I really adored how real this book felt. The large conflicts at play, be it Ethan's plotline or Claire's relationship with David -- there is something in how LaZebnik connects all these people together that just works so well. I also liked how long it took Claire and David to get together, it felt so organic and I found it made a lot of sense as I was reading a long. The only thing I can say in regards to the romance that I disliked was Claire trying to force Ivy into a relationship towards the beginning. I really didn't like that, but I did understand Claire's point of view in this regard (even if it didn't make it right). I appreciate that this gets remedied later on when Claire and Ivy start to undercover Ivy's sexuality more. It's very interesting and thoughtful.

I feel like those who love raw YA novels will definitely love Things I Should Have Known. This is an amazing and well researched book that has really great characters, and it shows a lot of sensitivity. There's a gentleness in this novel that is appreciated as it is thoughtful. If you love tough YA, this book is worth checking out.


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Jul 29, 2019

brown_rat_31 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jun 01, 2017

blue_dog_8329 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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