C.G. Drews's Reviews > Things I Should Have Known

Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
11375137
's review

really liked it
bookshelves: 4-star, autism, contemporary, read-2017, young-adult

This is simply an EXCELLENT novel. It's all about friendship, love, sibling relationships, and the absolute decisive fact that if you don't have ice cream in your life at regular intervals than wut r u doing mate because ice cream is life. But I guess the book actually does focus more on, like, LOVE and SIBLINGS. (*whispers* ice cream tho...) And I'm endlessly pleased that it had such a lovely representation of Autism! The author has an ASD child and you can really tell they know things. Bless books with accurate rep.

I'm such trash for sibling stories, I AM. I absolutely adored Chloe and Ivy's relationship! Chloe is 17 and Ivy is nearly 21, but Chloe functions in more of the "big sister" role, with Ivy's Autism making her struggle with communication and relating to people. She really struggles to express her emotions/feelings and she isn't very independent at all...although honestly her parents are more like "she's too sweet and it's too hard to figure out what to do so we're just going to let her stay quietly at home". And like I'M OKAY WITH THAT TOO. But I also feel like the parents were a bit neglectful of Ivy??? They didn't seem to even try to connect with her. Chloe was almost Ivy's #1 carer. She was making sure Ivy had a chance to find love and make connections. Like why wasn't her mother making an effort??? IT MADE ME SO FRUSTRATED.

Basically ALL the parents in this book = The Actual Worsts.

And plus there are also two brothers in the story too!! AND I LOVE BROTHER STORIES SO EXCUSE ME WHILE I HUG THIS BOOK IMMENSELY. When Chloe sets Ivy up on a "date" with a boy from her school, they kind of get the package deal of Ethan (who has ASD) and his older brother David. Chloe also knows David from school and he's basically what would happen if an intelligent lemon grew teeth and bit you. David = no liking of the peoples. #relatable Honestly I think David was on the spectrum too??? It's not stated, but he has low social skills and is bluntly honest and super smart. Basically I just looooved the contrast of the sisters vs the brothers and how their relationships all developed. Can we say A+ for all the character development here? I'm gonna say it. No wait. Belay that, my friend. I'm going to shout it.

EXCELLENT CHARACTERS. EXCELLENT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. EXCELLENT OF IT ALL.

Chloe and David were ajfdkslad the biggest ship. She was so complex and loving but SASSY and spiky. And David was a bitter mushroom but also absolutely devoted to taking care of his brother since his parents were excellent at being tHE WORST. Their banter was the best. Honestly can dialogue get any better than this?!??

And like I said: most magnificent ASD representation too. And Ivy and Ethan were so sweet too and I loved that the book showed SO many positive sides of Autism!! Like thank you?!??

I have to admit: the ableism is pretty heavy and hard to handle. I was swallowing RAGE a lot. And obviously that isn't a negative to the story...because this is real life. Ivy's stepdad was constantly micromanaging her weight, with little comments that he "loves her" and "just wants what's best for her" so she should really not "get too fat so she'll still be attractive". LIKE WFT MATE. And her mother was just such a wet mop she never did anything. Chloe DID a lot of speaking up (YAS) but also she let things go a lot like with everyday-ableism amongst her friends. There's a lot of instances where Autism is dehumanised and I think the book was making a really good point. It had some lines that were just soooo amazing: like why Autism makes so many people uncomfortable and how grossly unfair it is.

"You know, if we were pushing our 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. And it makes them uncomfortable. And when people are uncomfortable, they act like jerks."


The book is STUFFED with incredible thought provoking and accurate realisations like this. And I just...ajfkdslad I loved it.

So, okay, some parts weren't the best. Some things were a little cliche. Some were a little toooo obvious. (view spoiler) And I think there was a lot of "too fast forgiveness" at the end. Like, dude, just being NICE a few times does NOT equal cancelling out being an ableist freak frittata salad. No.

ALL IN ALL: this book is just incredible!! The characters are the CUTEST and I'm partially in love with all of them. The dialogue had me pleased. The ice cream had me hungry, which is actually hugely rude of the book because there is NO ice cream in my life and this is why I'm sad and bitter. And I love love looooved the messages it sent and also how it never said Autism was broken or bad or unlovable. And it was full of intelligent people and feminism and diversity and OMG CAIT WHY ARE YOU GUSHING SO MUCH GO SIT IN A BUCKET AND EAT SOME ICE CREAM AND CALM DOWN.

People can have nothing but good intentions and still sometimes make you want to kill them.


...and David brought the entire conversation to an abrupt halt by saying, "A feminist is someone who believes in equal rights for women, so you're either a feminist or you're an idiot."
126 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Things I Should Have Known.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

November 5, 2016 – Shelved
November 5, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
April 15, 2017 – Started Reading
April 15, 2017 –
65.0% "Ohhhhh this is EXCELLENT and some of the best Autism rep I've read in a while!!! *flings confetti*"
April 16, 2017 – Shelved as: 4-star
April 16, 2017 – Shelved as: autism
April 16, 2017 – Shelved as: contemporary
April 16, 2017 – Shelved as: read-2017
April 16, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
April 16, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Evelina | AvalinahsBooks Just posted my review of this one. Gosh I loved it... You should totally read it when you get the chance! Great rep (in my opinion, although I'm no specialist), and just.. so diverse. Very #feels as well!


C.G. Drews @Evelina: Yayy!!! I really need to get onto reading this! *glares at TBR*


Evelina | AvalinahsBooks Do you actually already have a copy?


C.G. Drews @Evelina: Yep! I have a review e-copy from Edelweiss....or netgalley. Haha I can't remember.


Evelina | AvalinahsBooks Yep, mine was also NG. Then you have no excuse :D


C.G. Drews Well...I have busy life as an excuse sadly. :(


Evelina | AvalinahsBooks Haha, so do I. BEST EXCUSE EVER :D I don't even feel guilty, lol.
Looking forward to your review anyway, whenever you end up getting there :)


Cait • A Page with a View Yes!!! So glad you liked this one too. I agree about the parents & the ableism, but thought it felt like t was more there to like call out what not to do. I just adored this one so much!


message 9: by C.G. (last edited Apr 16, 2017 05:38AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

C.G. Drews @Cait: So much agreement! Books talking about bad stuff doesn't equal the book being bad of course. Just made me so sad to read it. BUT OMG THIS WHOLE BOOK WAS SO GOOD and so healthy and so positive. <3


message 10: by Luke (new) - added it

Luke Reynolds This sounds like an excellent book! I definitely should pick it up soon. I always love your reviews because they're so organized and yet always spend time to fangirl or rant, which is always appreciated and makes me super happy. You also read some really good books that I want to read. I'll see if my local library has this or if I can find it at a bookstore.


message 11: by C.G. (new) - rated it 4 stars

C.G. Drews @Luke: Aww, thank you so much!! That really makes my day haha.


Tandie I loved this too! I'm naughty-lazy, it's one of 4 Netgalley reviews I need to write before I forget details.


message 13: by C.G. (new) - rated it 4 stars

C.G. Drews @Tandie: I have to write reviews straight away or I forget EVERYTHING haha. XD


Capri’sBookIsland I've never read a booth with autistic characters, I think i'll start with this one after i finish up this other series :D.


Nina-Tala (JustAddAWord) Shannak OMG Cait we both gave it the same rating and your thoughts mirror mine exactly!


message 16: by C.G. (new) - rated it 4 stars

C.G. Drews @Nina: GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE CLEARLY.


message 17: by Boze (new) - rated it 4 stars

Boze Herrington I’m so excited to start reading this! I read the first three chapters this morning on amazon - twice - and immediately ordered it from the library. I relate to the character of Ivy so, so much already.


message 18: by C.G. (new) - rated it 4 stars

C.G. Drews @Boze: Ahhh!! I can't wait to hear what you think! Ivy is fantastic. <3 I wish she'd narrated a bit too, but it's still such a good book.


back to top