cover image Things I Should Have Known

Things I Should Have Known

Claire LaZebnik. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-544-82969-5

High school senior Chloe is well liked, gets good grades, and has a nearly perfect boyfriend, but she worries about her older sister, Ivy, who has autism. When it dawns on Chloe that Ivy might be lonely, she arranges a date for her with Ethan, a boy in Ivy’s special needs class. But Ethan’s brother (and chaperone) turns out to be Chloe’s despicable classmate, David, who “only talks in class to attack what someone else has said.” In this insightful account of misconceptions, family conflict, and the ironies of love, LaZebnik (Wrong About the Guy) examines the evolution of several relationships, including the foundering romance between Ivy and Ethan, and the unexpected bond that forms between Chloe and David. During the weeks that follow, Chloe is happily surprised to discover a greater depth to her stepfather’s devotion to Ivy but saddened to realize that her boyfriend and closest girlfriend will never truly understand her complicated home life. Writing with honesty and wit, LaZebnik offers a thought-provoking portrayal of how people can come together despite, or perhaps because of, their differences. Ages 12–up. Agent: Alexis Hurley, Inkwell Management. (Mar.)