Tuesday, May 30, 2017

YA Pick Things I Should Have Known

Things I Should Have Known *
by Claire LaZabnik
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
2017
311 pages
ISBN: 9780544829695


What a breath of fresh air! Things I Should Have Known is that rare YA novel that stands out among all the dystopian novels, magical realism (?) novels, urban fiction, vampire/zombie/werewolf/witch paranormal novels, and sweet romantic tales. This novel has not only heart but SOUL, strength and brains!

From the outside looking in, Chloe Mitchell has it all. She's blond, pretty, popular, smart and dating the most handsome jock in school. Girls want to be her, boys want to date her. Chloe's sister Ivy is twenty and is on the autism spectrum. The girls' mother is remarried to Ron, a guy Chloe tries to "tolerate." Chloe's mother tries hard at pleasing everyone which quite simply pleases no one.

When Ivy begins to show an interest in finding a boyfriend of her own, Chloe thinks it is a fine idea and even gives Ivy a makeover. Chloe drives Ivy to her date with Ethan, a boy in her class. Ethan's brother David drove him to the date. Chloe sees DAVID and realizes that she is stuck making small talk with him while her sister and Ethan have their date. Chloe knows David from high school and hates him. He is rude and mean to her. He belittles her for dating James. David' s dry wit and sarcasm will win readers over early on.

Stuck together over several dates, Chloe begins to realize how adorable David truly is. He is sensitive, sweet, smart and a great brother to Ethan. Chloe starts to see all of her boyfriend James's shortcomings.

Things I Should Have Known is a sweet book about friendship, romance and sisters. Chloe, David, Ethan and Ivy are characters that readers will fall in love with. LaZebnik handles the subject of autism with grace, wit, and intelligence. It will open readers' eyes and hearts (I hope) to kids and adults like Ivy and Ethan. Cover art is mind blowing! The play on the title words is nothing short of brilliant. Kudos to the marketing design team.

If you read one YA novel this summer, Things I Should Have Known should be that novel!

Highly, highly recommended grade 9-up. Some mature content (heavy petting, innuendo) and mild profanity by today's standards.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.
*I hope I have not offended anyone by using the term autism or autism spectrum. This is an honest and helpful review that I hope shows my love of this book. No offense was intended.

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