The Girl He Used to Know

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

Thank you to St Martin's Press and NetGalley for the advanced read in exchange for this review.

I LOVED this book. Annika is anxious socially and has a hard time reading people's behaviors. She meets Jonathan and feels like she can finally be herself. They are supposed to be together, and they are. It's a beautiful love story until something rips them apart. Now 10 years later, they reunite.

Annika is the star of this book. Learning about her and how she navigates the world made the story for me. Tracey Garvis Graves writes about Annika with such sensitivity, and it's about what Annika can do, not what she can't. Jonathan is swoon worthy and you can feel how much he cares and loves Annika on each page.

I felt the plot twist at the end was unnecessary and really took away from the essence of the story. It's not enough to feel like it ruins the story, but it felt like too much. I suppose it's not really a plot twist if you read the dates, but I was surprised and a little disappointing when I came to that part. Also, I wanted an epilogue after all of that!

All in all, it's a heartwarming and touching story where you learn something about people and feel something good.
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I was looking forward to this story and had hoped to fall in love with it because I like this author, but I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. Annika is insecure and the flashbacks to her college years explain why so her insecurities aren’t annoying. But I thought her reason for breaking up with Jonathan all those years ago was a bit cliche and not strong enough. It’s great when they stumble upon each other, but then when tragedy strikes again on that very dreaded date that will forever be in every American’s mind, I just couldn’t. I guess I should’ve seen it coming but I didn’t realize it until it was too late. Overall, fans of this author will enjoy this book.
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“The Girl He Used to Know” by Tracey Garvis-Graves is an incredibly interesting and unusual book. It is about a romance between Annika, who is socially awkward and has difficulty reading people, and Jonathan, who is outgoing and friendly. I felt the strength of the book—and what interested me most—was the author’s ability to describe Annika’s struggles in coping with other people, and managing social situations. Ms. Garvis-Graves’ writing allows the reader to see into Annika’s behavior and understand how she views the world. 

This story alternates between the characters’ senior year of college, and ten years later when they meet again. The author uses this to gradually fill in the back story. The book is compelling and sweet, but most importantly a lesson on how we should treat others, and that we are stronger than we know. 

Thank you to NetGalley for the advance copy! I look forward to reading more by Tracey Garvis-Graves.
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Once again, Ms. Graves writing skills transports you to an alternate universe of uniqueness. Honest to goodness, if you are looking for a romance which is a far cry from the usual, this author fills the bill. I couldn’t have been more engrossed if I tried.
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I’d never read anything by Tracey Gervis Graves before I downloaded the digital galley of The Girl He Used to Know, but you can bet that I’ll be picking up her other works before long. 

It was refreshing to read a love story written by an author who didn’t feel the need to make either of her protagonists self-destructive, cruel, or tormented. Neither did Graves bombard readers with pointless plot twists or over-the-top drama. Instead, we get to follow along as two uniquely kind people find love, comfort, and understanding in one another.

Jonathan and Annika meet in college and fall in love, though they struggle to keep their relationship together in the face of tragedy. Ten years after their breakup, having had a decade to grow up and gain the wisdom that only comes with time and experience, they fall back in love and make another attempt at building a life together. The challenges they face along the way are realistic, relatable, and endearing. Annika, who falls somewhere along the autism spectrum, and Jonathan are two genuinely good people, and their love story is filled with compassion, thoughtfulness, and devotion.

The bulk of the character and plot development is relayed through Jonathan and Annika via internal monologues, which offer commentary on both the past and the present. I enjoyed getting to read both perspectives throughout the book and I can see why Graves made that choice—it allows us a glimpse at the inner-workings of Annika’s mind and convinces us of Jonathan’s sincerity. Nevertheless, it means that the majority of the book does more 'telling' than 'showing,' and I tend to prefer the latter. I’m also torn over the final events of the story. Jonathan and Annika are forced to endure another, much larger, tragedy after they reconnect in their early thirties. The choice of tragedy felt a little trope-ish to me—I think there were more creative choices available—but that may just be a matter of personal taste.

If you’re a fan of realistic loves stories that swing more towards happy endings and hope than drama and cynicism, The Girl He Used to Know is a lovely and compelling read. I fell in love with just about every character and finished the book quite quickly, eager to find out how Jonathan and Annika’s story ended.
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I LOVED this book. I wish I could give it 10 stars!!!  I honestly did not even know what it was about before diving in but I have read all of Tracey Garvis Graves books and have loved all of her writing so I was confident I would adore this one as well and I was not wrong. 
This might be my favorite book of her...but then again, I say that about all her books! 
The main character Annika was the key to the success of this story. She was not only a unique character but the way the author incorporated the autism into her character was so true to life- I was deeply impressed. 
The character of Jonathan was also beautifully developed- the way he cared for her so deeply and really saw the incredible person who she was,  had me in tears. 
The ending of the book made me nervous. I did not know how this book was going to end and I found myself holding my breath. Graves did an incredible job completing this journey of the characters and it had one of the best endings I have read.  I highly recommend this book (and all of Graves' books!)  Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.
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Initially, I was reluctant about this heroine. Television's Sheldon Cooper has seemingly launched a whole wave of 'quirky' characters who may or may not be on the spectrum, and while it's great to see a wider range of humanity represented in storytelling, it often feels forced or gimmicky. But I fell in love with Annika and Jonathan, and their love story. I was not ready for the book to end, and was sad when I turned the last page; I wanted to stay longer.  Fans of second chance romance will not be disappointed.
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Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for the ARC!

I wasn't sure I would enjoy this book, but it sucked me in and proved me wrong. The character of Annika made the book great. We get to meet her and flash between her time at college and ten years later. I was about a quarter of the way into the book when it hit me what year the ten years later meant. If you're paying attention as you read then you see what's coming. It speaks to the author's character development that I didn't walk away from the book when I put it together. There was a lot of angst in this book and the ending just added to it. Yet, I wanted to keep reading to see what happened with Annika and Jonathan. This was a romance, but not in the usual sense and I enjoyed the story. This was my first book by Tracey Garvis-Graves and I will be checking out her other novels.
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With a heroine that I can relate to in almost every situation, this is probably going to be one of my favorite books of 2019. I have read only a few of the authors previous novels and really liked them, but this one spoke to me in so many ways. It's a beautiful and complicated story, one that will touch upon many hearts in the months and year to come. I very much recommend it, even if you are unfamiliar with the authors work.
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At the very surface, this is a second chance love story. But for me this story was more than that because of the Annika the main character. I really liked her! She is such an interesting character and not your typical female protagonist. I appreciated getting to know her. 

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an advance copy of this book.
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Love this author's books, and this one did not disappoint. This is a book you won't easily forget. 
You won't be able to out it down.
Thanks to author,publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free,it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
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I loved this book! The heroine, Annika, is refreshingly different from every other character I've ever read.  I'm so glad that I was able to read her story. The book was told in alternating between past and present. I'm impressed with the Annika's character growth in every aspect of the story.  I also loved how Tracey Garvis Graves wrote such a patient and understanding hero. The way he loved Annika was beautiful. This book was unique and left me feeling hopeful for humanity. I highly recommend it.
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I was given an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review. 

There’s been an outcrop of autism romances, which is good because autistic women can and do find love. But rarely do they find insta-love with gorgeous neurotypical men who accept all facets of their autism unconditionally. So I have to do is this for work or is this just another trend in romance for a mainstream reader, with the required HEA? Or is it for autistic women who want to be seen and have their stories be told- all of whom can’t be as hot as Annika? I don’t think this book would be easy for those girls to read.
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I fell in love with this book from the first chapter forward. The telling of a relationship building and ten years later rebuilding is touching, realistic and captivating. The author does not shy away from the trials suffered by Annika, an autistic spectrum diagnosed woman which enriches the pages and the delicate building of the early relationship between Annika and Jonathan. The details of both Annika’s and Jonathan’s characters are very well written and are woven together to form such an appealing and wonderful story. The Girl I Used to Know is a reread book for sure!
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4.5 stars!!


I just want to say that I love, love, love Tracey Garvis Graves books!!  Her writing is beautiful and sucks me in immediately.

The Girl He Used to Know was heartwarming.  So many times throughout this book I just want to squeeze Annika, although she probably wouldn't have liked it!!  And Jonathan is completely swoon-worthy.  I just love these male characters that love and defend a woman that doesn't fit what society considers a "normal woman or normal behavior".  Because normal is so boring anyway... 

Through all of Annika's quirks, Jonathan stood by and loved her.   Even as the years passed it was so easy for these two to fall right back into sync.  I was honestly rooting for them throughout the entire book.  

And those last couple of chapters had me on the edge of my seat!  It was one of those books you couldn't put down until you absolutely knew how the story would end!

I highly recommend this book, Tracey hit it out of the park again!!
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Five stars! I was immediately captivated by The girl he used to know. I fell a little bit in love with the characters and their love story. I had to pace myself and not read the entire book in one sitting. One of the best stories I’ve read in quite some time. I’ll be mourning the end of the book in the days to come. 

See my review on goodreads.com
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Tracey Garvis Graves is one of those authors who I don't bother to read the blurb for. So I requested this book and went in completely blind. I just knew I had to read it. 
This book was phenomenal! And if any book in the world deserves an epilogue, it's this one!

4 1/2 Stars
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Ten years after their painful break-up, Annika runs into her ex-boyfriend Jonathan at a grocery store, reigniting the strong and immediate attraction she has had yet to experience since their first meeting. However, Jonathan has recently been through an ugly divorce, and after the way things ended with him and Annika ten years ago, he is hesitant to jump back into their relationship. Despite this, Annika knows she is no longer the girl he knew from college, and refuses to walk away from what she know is their second-chance. 

The Girl He Used to Know is my first novel by Tracey Garvis-Graves, and I can easily see how she has amassed the following she has. This book was wonderfully written, with two compelling main characters. I loved how the author alternates between past and present, gradually telling the readers what occurred in their past relationship, while showing Jonathan and Annika's emotional growth in the present. Garvis-Graves did a great job realistically portraying autism, as well as creating a healthy relationship between the two MC's. I'll admit to not being a fan of the plot twist toward the end of the novel, as it doesn't seem to progress the plot all that much, in my opinion, but it's probably more a personal issue. 

Fans of both romance and women's fiction will enjoy this sweet and beautiful story of second-chances, though I would definitely recommend readers invest in some tissues for this heart-wrenching novel!

3.5/5
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