Today I have a review of The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves. It’s official! I have a new author to L-O-V-E! I buddy read this book with the lovely Ashley at Ashley’s Books and Bobs. Ashley and I had the best time reading this emotional and uplifting book together. Please make sure to check out her phenomenal review. The Girl He Used To Know is available tomorrow, April 2, 2019, from St. Martin’s Press!
This is one of those reviews where I want to be succinct, but I’m worried I’ll blather on. There’s so much to love here.
Annika’s story is told in two timelines- both set in the past, ten years apart. She’s an English major at the University of Illinois. Right away, the reader can tell Annika is anxious and quirky. Maybe a bit confusing? Mostly, she prefers books and chess to people.
Jonathan recently joined the chess club where he meets Annika and completely falls for her. He finds Annika smart, stunning, and a touch awkward. When their relationship forms, he is up for every challenge Annika’s quirks throw at him. The two are inseparable until a tragedy happens, at which time they slowly grow apart.
Years later, they bump into each other in Chicago. Annika is now a librarian. Jonathan is recently divorced and starting over. The bond between the two is still there, and as they reunite, they work through their past relationship and face several obstacles to their happiness.
I am not a traditional romance reader, and this book is absolutely not a traditional romance (nothing whatsoever against traditional romances). The gist of what I want to say is don’t be worried about the genre. This is a book about a beautiful, loving, steadfast relationship. It’s about characters with hearts as big as you’ve known. It’s about love and sacrifice, understanding and sensitivity. Tracey Garvis Graves draws her characters with such love and care, you can feel the respect she shows them.
Overall, The Girl He Used To Know is about who Annika AND Jonathan have grown together to be. It’s a sensitive, compelling, and inspiring love story for all.
Thank you to my friend, Ashley, for the amazing buddy read. I’ll never forget the experience of reading this with you!
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.
Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game–and his heart–to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.
Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.
Have you read The Girl He Used to Know, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR