Book Review | The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

girl he used to knowAnnika Rose likes being alone.
She feels lost in social situations, saying the wrong thing or acting the wrong way – she just can’t read people. She prefers the quiet solitude of books or playing chess to being around others.
Apart from Jonathan. She liked being around him, but she hasn’t seen him for ten years. Until now that is. And she’s not sure he’ll want to see her again after what happened all those years ago.

Annika Rose likes being alone.
Except that, actually, she doesn’t like being alone at all.







5++ Stars

“A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water”
Eleanor Roosevelt

Every now and then you read a book that feels like it changes your perspective on life. This is one of those books. This story made me FEEL SO MUCH and I got completely lost in these characters and their journey. Viewing the world from Annika’s eyes was so eye opening.

This is a second chance romance that goes back and forth between the past and the present. The transitions are smooth and seamless and told in alternate POV. Annika knows she’s different. It’s hard for her to read other people’s emotions/intentions and is awkward in social settings. Seeing things from her perspective was so heartbreaking at times. She had such a kind heart and was such a good soul and the effort it took for her to navigate this world was exhausting. She was mistreated by petty people and her behaviour was often misinterpreteded as being less intelligent to others.

There are few people in Annika’s world who took the time to get to know her. Her college roommate Janice turned best friend and Jonathan, the new guy who transferred in senior year of college.Jonathan absolutely stole my heart! He was so patient and protective of Annika. He took the time to understand her apparent quirky behaviour and made an effort to make her as comfortable as possible while also challenging her to step outside her boundaries. My heart was absolutely bursting and I loved experiencing and watching their young love grow!

Annika never thought she would experience love like this, especially with someone as handsome as Jonathan. Unfortunate circumstances separate them and they incidentally run into each other 10 years later. They rekindle their old flame but the mystery of why they separate in the first place was not revealed to us until almost the end of the book. During this time we see so much character growth, especially with Annika. Her journey to ‘adulthood’ was so inspiring given her challenges. She was determined to gain her independence and prove she was able to live without constantly relying on others. Older Jonathan made me fall even more in love with him. While some people would have been embarassed by Annika’s behaviour, rather he was proud to have her on his arm.

The last 15% or so of this book came as a bit of a shock. The events were so unexpected and it took this book to another level for me. The level of emotion I felt almost became too much. I have no words. My heart is so full and I am so proud of Annika. What a strong heroine. My only complaint is that I wish the ending was less abrupt. Although I’m not sure how else you could have ended this perfect love story. This book is definitely going on my top favorites of all time!

5++ Stars
Contemporary Romance
Heat Level: Mild to Moderate
POV: Dual



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