Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Books I've Read: Things I Should Have Known

There were a lot of things I enjoyed about this book, but also a few things that really didn't work for me.

It's a story about family and primarily the relationships between siblings.  Chloe is younger than Ivy, but has always felt responsible for her because Ivy is on the autism spectrum and can't always understand what is going around her.  When Chloe realizes Ivy might be lonely, she is determined to help her sister find a boyfriend.

Ethan seems like a perfect candidate.  He goes to Ivy's school and she seems to like him.  A date is arranged, but Ivy won't go alone - she needs Chloe to come too.  When they arrive at the designated place, Ethan has brough his brother along for support too.  His brother who turns out to be the guy Chole finds the most annoying person at school, David.

But the two siblings seem to get along well, so David and Chloe continue to accompany their siblings on dates to frozen yoghurt shops, bowling alleys, movie theatres and movie nights at home.  Ivy and Ethan don't seem to be advancing their relationship in any hurry, but as they get to know each other better, things thaw between David and Chloe.

I really liked the relationship between the siblings in this book.  It was perfectly drawn, from the frustrations to the moments of tenderness.  The author clearly has experience with people on the spectrum and the actions and words of the autistic characters felt entirely authentic.

What I didn't like so much was the relationship between David and Chloe.  I usually like hate to love stories, but this didn't ring true to me.  It felt very one-sided, like Chloe became obsessed with him, but not in a good or healthy way.

Apart from that, it was a very good book with some surprising twists I did not see coming.  I'd definitely still recommend it, but with a warning about the ill-advised romance.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

Things Chloe knew: Her sister, Ivy, was lonely. Ethan was a perfect match. Ethan’s brother, David, was an arrogant jerk.

Things Chloe should have known: Setups are complicated. Ivy can make her own decisions. David may be the only person who really gets Chloe.

Meet Chloe Mitchell, a popular Los Angeles girl who’s decided that her older sister, Ivy, who’s on the autism spectrum, could use a boyfriend. Chloe already has someone in mind: Ethan Fields, a sweet, movie-obsessed boy from Ivy’s special needs class.

Chloe would like to ignore Ethan’s brother, David, but she can’t—Ivy and Ethan aren’t comfortable going out on their own, so Chloe and David have to tag along. Soon Chloe, Ivy, David, and Ethan form a quirky and wholly lovable circle. And as the group bonds over frozen-yogurt dates and movie nights, Chloe is forced to confront her own romantic choices—and the realization that it’s okay to be a different kind of normal.

1 comment:

  1. I find I have a lot of problems with the way teenage girls and their relationships are written.