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  • Writer's pictureO'Daniels

Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik

What do you do when your sister needs help with dating? She’s older than you, but you have more experience in this department. She also doesn’t like to go outside, brush her hair, flaps her arms when she gets anxious or mad, and her social skills are a bit to be desired, but that’s what one would expect of a person with autism. But, like the amazing sister Chloe is, she’s determined to help Ivy in any way possible. Even if that means she has to double “date” with classmate, David. Too bad he’s irascible on a good day, anti-social, and seems to find fault with everything she does. But, David’s brother Ethan is who Ivy has agreed to go out with, and so the four embark on some social experiments. Chloe’s boyfriend, Jules, doesn’t quite understand why she’s trying to set up her sister nor why she has to spend so much time with David because of it. His jealousy is normal but he also doesn’t do a very good job of trying to understand, and that’s weighing on Chloe, too.

As the dates progress, it’s clear that Ethan likes Ivy more than she likes him. His fascination with television is tolerable for her, but she doesn’t like it when he tries to hold her hand or kiss her cheek. David and Chloe have a bit of a truce happening and like that they can talk about their sibling with someone who knows what they are going through. Both take their caretaker roles very seriously and would do anything for their sibling. When things take a turn for the worse with Ivy and Ethan, and he runs away, Ethan’s dad and stepmom decide that he needs to be in a boarding school for kids like him and David is devastated. Any trust that he and Chloe built up is gone, and her guilt for having a role in this is eating away at her.

Things I Should Have Known is a satisfying read revealing teens who have a different life than most. They don’t spend their time complaining about tests and gossip but who deal with real life situations that can affect their family quicker than ordering a pizza. Both David and Chloe are exceptional siblings, even when they realize they have to let go. For fans of Cammie McGovern and any book that cause smiling.

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