Cover Image: The Girl He Used to Know

The Girl He Used to Know

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Member Reviews

Such a beautifully written book. Some books come and go, but this one will stay with you forever. Tracey outdid herself with this book.
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Readers of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Light We Lost will find The Girl He Used to Know equally enthralling and somewhat heart-breaking.
Annika has never felt she is what other people would call "normal." Most  of the times she struggles to just have a conversation and not freak people out with her "weirdness." But when she meets Jonathan at a college chess club meeting, they instantly connect. Jonathan seems to understand some if not all of her personality and she learns that someone can really love her for who she  is.
But then an unexpected event forces Jonathan and Annika apart, putting them on very different paths. Years later, they meet again and instantly feel that same undeniable connection. But Jonathan is still hurt and Annika knows she drove him away all those years ago, and it's not clear whether they can both let go of the past and move towards the future together.
Tracey Garvis Greaves weaves a tender love story between two very different and complex characters, with whom the readers will be cheering for every step of the way.
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I really loved this book!! I really job the author's writing style of giving the two main characters history with alternative characters of past and present. I enjoyed seeing Annika's character development and her learning how to accept herself. I also really loved Jonathan, and how supportive and loving he was with Annika. I definitely want to recommend this to my customers when I get the chance to go back to work. I love what the author did with this story and how she raised awareness for certain disabilities and mental illnesses.
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Satisfying and emotional. Annika’s character arch and development was best part of the story. Towards the end I kept thinking HEA or GTFO so was thankfully and happily sated
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Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this titles. Unfortunately this book archived before I was able to download it and I will not be able to submit a review at this time.
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I slept on this book and really wish I would have picked it up sooner. This is not the type of story I normally gravitate towards but once I started I didn't want to stop. It was really compelling and deeper than just a romance.
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This book really did live up to the hype that has surrounded it. The story was amazing. I loved every detail and all the feels it created. Could definitely see myself reading this again. This is a must read book.
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OH MY GOODNESS. I started this on audio last year and the narration didn’t engage me right away so I abandoned it. And then the publisher surprised me with a paperback copy and I decided to give it another shot. And then I inhaled it. And LOVED IT. I’m so happy I knew almost NOTHING about the story before reading it - the last 50 pages had me in tears and screaming at my kids to be quiet and JUST LET ME FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS. I won’t forget this book.
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Wonderful, wonderful. This book has stuck with me since I first read it, and I love it so much. Tracey is an auto-buy author for me and I've loved everything she'd written. I love the treatment of the spectrum, and the representation it gets. I also love some of the spoilery twists that I don't want to mention here. Highly recommended! I share my thoughts on it wherever I can!
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Too excited to wait until the summer to start your fluffy beach reads? Pick up The Girl He Used to Know for a page-turning romance in the vein of Me Before You and The Rosie Project. Charting the tender love story between Annika and Jonathan, the novel alternates between their first meeting in 1991 and their unexpected reunion in 2001 after a misunderstanding drives a wedge between them in college. And, when tragedy threatens to tear them apart a second time, it forces the young couple to confront just how much the other has changed over the last ten years.
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I loved reading The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves.  The characters were well-developed, and the characterizations were dynamic. Annika Rose meets Jonathan Hoffman at the chess club at The University of Illinois. Annika, who has a hard time navigating social interactions, and Jonathan, who just wants to spend time with her, develops a connection that is shattered by tragedy.  Does a chance meeting decades later rekindled old feelings or provide a tragic reminder of the past?

Told from the points of view of both Annika and Jonathan, over two timelines, the pacing was perfect.  This book had me at the end of my seat wondering what would happen next.  I’ve been thinking about the characters well after finishing the book. A fantastic read that gave me all the feels!

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Synopsis from NetGalley/Publisher
Annika 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.
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St. Martin's Press and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of The Girl He Used to Know. I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

Jonathan and Annika met while attending the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana's Chess Club. Annika lived a sheltered life before college, homeschooled by her mother, and mostly unable to use social cues to figure out how she should act in certain situations. With the help of her roommate Janice, Annika is able to navigate a blossoming relationship with Jonathan. When a situation pulls them apart, the pair do not see each other for around ten years. Will Annika always be the girl he used to know, or can they rekindle the love they had?

For the most part, I liked the story and the romance between Jonathan and Annika. I was bothered by the way that Annika was portrayed, as some of it did not seem to be in keeping with the character. This was a highly intelligent woman who was well read, but she never got a book about social anxiety or how to deal in certain situations. Her family and friends never believed in her independence, especially evident in the event that occurred late in the book. Considering that Annika lived on her own for almost ten years, this did not seem realistic either. That being said, the overall characterization and story was well developed. I did not necessarily like the tie-in to 9/11, a it has been done countless times in novels throughout the years. I wish the author had chosen a different scenario, as it would have made this book more unique. The Girl He Used to Know is a book I would recommend to others and I look forward to reading more by this author.
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A beautiful love story that had me hooked from the very start. Tracey Garvis Graves does a wonderful job creating full, flawed, and believable characters that stay with you long after the story is finished.
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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to preview this ARC of The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves.

This is a story of two ex-partners who run into each other after their relationship years ago dissolved over a singular incident.  What makes their relationship unique is that one of them is possibly on the spectrum and struggles to understand social cues.  Is it something that will stand in the way of them reconnecting?  Will their past be easily forgotten?

I mean, it was fine.  I've read a lot of book similar to this, where one of the protagonists is on the spectrum, or a disability, or a mental illness, but they're also so very beautiful, so whatever!  There's just something about it that feels vapid and faintly predatory?  I just don't think it was an accurate portrayal of what a relationship such as their would really look like.

BUT, it was sweet, there were struggles that I have no doubt people in those situations would experience.  I don't know, romances have always been a bit harder for me.
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The Girl He Used to Know was an enjoyable read. The story opens with two former college sweethearts who run into each after 10 years.

Jonathan and Annika first meet at a college chess club. It's not love at first sight but there's something about Annika that draws him to her. Jonathan notices she's pretty and seems confident in the way she doesn't seem to need other's approval.

A happenstance meeting in a grocery store after 10 years sparks up their lost friendship. Their rekindling becomes a sweet journey as they learn to work around each other's needs.

Annika has spent her life feeling out of place in social situations and to combat that she has learned to copy those around her on the appropriate responses to a situation. Her life on the spectrum has been about controlling what she can to make her fit in with the rest of the world. On the other hand, Jonathan, has been driven with his life's path. His goals have driven his choices in life on a path that has lead him away from Annika.

The Girl He Used to Know is a standalone book about second chances. Ten years might have passed between Jonathan & Annika but their feelings didn't wane. For lovers of second chance romance, this is the book for them.


**Complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.**
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Annika is a bit different from the other girls, and she’s always been this way.  And by “different,” I mean Annika has trouble understanding social situations and responding appropriately.  Though she’s very smart, she’s set in her ways and definitely has a comfort zone that she doesn’t like to leave.  Until she meets Jonathan, and then stepping outside of her normal routine is all Annika seems to do…with very surprising results!  I don’t know why I sat on this book for so long before reading it, because it was truly one of my favorites for 2019.  The whole book is set in the 90s, which makes a lot more sense when you get to the big climax of the story.  It’s a wonderful book, one that made me feel good and question my own predisposed notions of the different “quirks” I see in people.  I’ve already recommended this one to friends, and I hope they take me up on my recommendation for sure.

NOTE:  A special thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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All. The. Feels! I could not put this one down. Such an amazing and insightful read. Highly recommend.
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This quiet and understated book shot to the top tier of my favorite books of 2019.  I cannot stop thinking about the characters most of all.  In turn amusing, thought-provoking, and emotional, this is a story that will stay with me for a very long time.
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A book about a woman with high functioning autism. Fairly well written, but I didn't really connect with the characters. I didn't dislike them, they just didn't seem super fleshed out to me and the "romance" seemed a little flat. I'm not a huge fan of "second chance at love" in general so maybe I'm not the audience for this book.
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I didn't really know what to expect with this title but I'm glad that I requested it. 

Jonathan and Annika became close while both attended University--as a result of Jonathan pursuing Annika. Annika reluctantly allowed herself to get close to Jonathan after he invaded her Chess time. After a striking separation they don't speak for 10 years until they have both moved into the same city and begin to cross paths more and more. Over the ten years both have grown and (Annika) learned coping skills and they attempt to begin anew. 

We get to see how time and growth really can heal and restore relationships in this story.
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