The Girl He Used to Know

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 09 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

This was a beautiful and poignant piece that captured my heart in every way. The story took me on a stunning journey with characters that moved me beyond all measure. The writing was powerfully poetic and I was pulled into the narrative from the opening pages and I loved each and every moment.

Tracey certainly knows how to create vivid and wonderful characters that jump off the pages and straight into your heart. I fell in love with Annika from the word go. Her differences and struggles were endearing and brought a whole new quality to what is required from a leading lady. Her relationship with Jonathan was poignant and beautiful and I fully bought into their relationship as their chemistry wove it's way through the narrative with charm and passion. It truly was stunning.

The writing was warm and wonderful and I was welcomed in with open arms like an old friend. The poetic language spoke loud and clear of passion and love and I fell under its charm with a spellbinding quality. The Girl He Used to Know is eloquent and profound with a beauty and love shinning forth from each and every page.
Was this review helpful?
4☆ A Compelling, Powerful yet Poignant Second Chance Romance!

The GIRL HE USED TO KNOW is a heart warming story of Second Chances, Relationships and Love.

Annika and Jonathan are very different, yet they fit together perfectly.

Annika finds it very hard to socialise, she's very shy, timid, naive, and has anxieties.
Jonathan is patient, kind and has a heart of gold.
They quickly fall in love with each other. Jonathan is drawn by Annika's quirky traits and the two just compliment each other perfectly.

But life has a way of throwing curve balls and the two split up. I believe everything happens for a reason.
In this case it makes Annika stronger and more independent as she navigates life and the trials and tribulations of growing up and dealing with difficult situations.

But as i said everything happens for a reason, and fate brings the two back together ten years later, each grown up and with different life experiences. But can they rekindle their passion and Love for each other or is it too late?

It's fair to say that I adored both Annika and Jonathan, they melted my heart. 
If they were a puzzle they would fit together perfectly!

The GIRL HE USED TO KNOW is such a warm and compelling, feel good read.
It's a beautiful story about a second chance at romance, the ups and downs and social anxieties.
It's told between the two timelines, of when they first met to present day. Which I loved as you really get to understand Annika and why they part and how she grows and blossoms in strength.
The Characters are strong, beautifully created, relatable, quirky and loveable. 

So if you are looking for a beautifully Authentic, Compelling, Powerful yet Poignant Read, with Memorable Characters that will melt your heart and stay with you after you have read it, then I highly recommend reading The GIRL HE USED TO KNOW.

Thank you to Tracy at Compulsive Readers Tours and Trapeze Books for this copy which I reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
Was this review helpful?
This is a great slow paced read that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish and I couldn't put down. 
First you meet Annika Rose. She feels she is not the same as everybody else. She doesn't like being in social situations and very much prefers be alone reading. She does have a best friend, Janice who does give her a push at times to encourage her to do some different thing and try some new experiences. It is here that you see her meet Jonathan at chess club, a club that Annika has really enjoyed being part of. 
Annika and Jonathan build up relationship between them and Annika is happy to let him into her life as she feels he understands her. 
Ten years later Annika is out shopping and bumps into Jonathan again. They have not seen each other for ten years and Annika is not sure that Jonathan will want to see her again after what happened between them both all those years ago. 
What follows as you read the book is watching the two of them reconnect and will Annika realise that maybe she does not want to be alone after all. 
Really enjoyed reading this book. I loved how there were two time lines so you could read about the past of the two as well as what is currently happening between them both. The story is also told between both Jonathan and Annika so you get to see the story from both sides and see how each of them is feeling. 
I found Annika to be very relatable as we all have our own insecurities. 
I am looking forward to reading more books from Tracey Garvis Graves.
Was this review helpful?
What a fantastic book!!

Annika is living her life but still thinks about her ex Jonathan…..and then one day they bump in to each other and reconnect.  The story flits between the present day and when they met back in college.  We learn all about Annika’s uniqueness and how she struggles with social situations, how she’s treated by others and how amazing Jonathan is.  But what we don’t know early in the book is what happened.  Why did they break up in the first place? Has too much happened in their lives for them to make another go at it?  And what might face them in the future?You’ll have to read to find out!

I absolutely loved this.  I love Annika – she’s so lovely and unique.  She has her own quirks and watching how she has grown from her college days is heartwarming.  Jonathan has always been a great guy and I totally fell in love with him.  I was completely hooked, discovering how they had met and got together and what happened to them…..and hoping massively that they would get back together!  Janice is also a fabulous character – everyone needs a friend like Janice that is kind, thoughtful and will help to turn your life around.

Just when things start to go right, something seems to get in the way and there is a massive twist in this that I wasn’t expecting – I was literally on the edge of my seat.

Tracey does a brilliant job in covering a number of issues, one of which is close to my heart – another reason why I love Annika so much. Tracey has done an amazing job of really understanding and portraying the condition covered within the book.

I honestly couldn’t give this book any more praise – it’s written so well, easy to follow, gripping, heartwarming and amazing.  This is definitely one that you won’t want to miss!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers, Tracey Garvis Graves and Trapeze for allowing me to take part in this blog tour.
This book caught my eye from the blurb and I am glad that it did.
Annika’s character intrigued me right from the start, and I enjoyed discovering the story through her perspective. Although at the heart of this book it was a love story, there was the underlining story of Annika and it was refreshing for such a story to be told with a different character.
The story switches between the present and the past, 10 years prior, and between Annika and Jonathan. With the story being told like this it felt like it moved quiet quickly and it pulled you along wanting to know how the present circumstances and been effected by the past.
When I read a book I always like to be able to take something away from it that I can reflect into the own life and Annika’s character has certainly allowed me to do that. She has shown me that regardless of what challenges you face in life you can achieve whatever you want to achieve, no matter how big or small.
I definitely enjoyed this book, and would highly recommend it. It is available now in both paperback and eBook.
Was this review helpful?
A Beautiful and Emotional Love StoryThe Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves is a beautiful coming of age love story that is sure to capture to hearts of every reader. I was captivated from the very first page and I finished the book in one sitting. It is definitely one of my top ten books I’ve read this year. 

The story starts in the present day when Annika and Jonathon meet by chance in Chicago where they are now both living. The surprise meeting catches them both off guard but nonetheless, Annika plucks up the courage to ask Jonathon for his number. Could this be fate? Perhaps a second chance at love?

The storyline jumps back and forth from 10 years ago to present day as Jonathan and Annika embark on a journey that might lead them to a second chance at love. Mostly the story is told from Annika’s perspective, but at times we do get an insight into Jonathon’s thoughts and his world.10 years earlier, Annika a quirky, shy and introverted young woman was studying to become a librarian. Annika is socially awkward and has little or no filter when it comes to speaking her mind. She was more at ease with animals then people as she felt she was able to relate to them.  Annika’s room-mate Janice was her only ‘real’ friend. Janice seemed to understand Annika’s quirkiness and helped to ground Annika and find ways to help her cope as she navigated the big wide world of college.

Jonathon had recently transferred to Annika’s college and he was in his final year of study. They met through a mutual love of chess when Jonathon joined one of the weekly chess groups Annika attended. Jonathon was intrigued by his new chess opponent and overtime he managed to break down some of Annika’s self-imposed barriers and love began to blossom.

Unfortunately, just as the beautiful relationship between Annika and Jonathon was becoming serious, tragedy struck, and Annika put the walls back up and isolated herself from the world.

As they rekindle their friendship in Chicago after the freak chance meeting, they begin to spend more time together. Can Jonathon forgive Annika for breaking his heart? Can Annika finally open-up to Jonathon and bare her soul to him?

Annika desperately wants to win Jonathon back. Slowly we start to see and understand how Annika’s character has grown and matured over the 10 years. She has learned to cope with life and her interactions with the big wide world. She has sought the professional help she needed and as a result, has been able to put steps in place to help her be more successful in her life. She is more confident and is able to finally fully engage in the real world.

Will this be enough to help her win Jonathon back?

Graves brilliant writing brings these characters to life and allows the readers to understand just what it is like to be locked in a world where social interaction is just too difficult at times. The reader sees first-hand what the pressure of trying to fit within the realms of society does to people who are unwillingly trapped in their own world.

The Girl He Used to Know is a beautiful and emotional love story the goes far beyond the realms of the kind of love most of us will ever experience – it’s the kind of love we can only dream about.
Was this review helpful?
The protagonist in this book is Annika, a girl that is very different from other people. She sees the world and the people differently than most, her thoughts and her life story really sucked me in. The book was told from multiple perspectives, Annika and Jonathan, they both were sharing their life experiences. The characters in this book were unique, warm, pleasant, and so well written, that I absolutely fell in love with them. 🙂

The narrative keeps changing between present events and the times when both main characters were at university. I really enjoyed their story from the past, it showed how both of these characters grew as personalities, and it was mesmerizing to read about their journey. I really loved Annika’s openness in this novel, she was not scared to share her deepest and the scariest thoughts, and that was admirable. I found Annika quite relatable because I know few people, who are similar to her, so her openness kind of helped me to understand what might be happening in their heads as well. 🙂 The topics discussed in this novel were autism and how to adjust in the society, anxiety, relationships, bullying and many more.

I think the writing style of this novel was stunning, it was creative, intriguing and had me glued to this novel. I have to throw in a warning, that this novel has some “steamy” parts in it. The chapter length is very decent, and it hasn’t left me bored. I really enjoyed the ending of this book, and I think that it rounded up this story very nicely.
Was this review helpful?
This is one of those novels that you read expecting one thing and get something so surprisingly and wonderfully different that you spend days in a book hangover when it's finished.

I was expecting a typical romance story - which I love - but what I got was lovable characters, a story of love past and present and a brilliant representation of what life can be like as an autistic woman.  

Annika isn't like everyone else but at college she meets Jonathan who seems to understand and love her the way she is but something causes their relationship to end leaving both of them broken hearted.  Ten years later an accidental meet brings them together again and so begins a new chapter of their story.

Not The Girl is intelligent and beautifully written and driven by wonderful characters.  The narrative is told by Jonathan and Annika and also moves timelines from present to ten years ago.   

Annika struggles with social situations, noise, smells and change.  She is written with such care and love and it's hard not to find her totally irresistible.  Her sensitivities really bring her to life and make her a very unique and realistic character and the way she has learned to manage these and develop her skills but still remains the same person at her core is just a delight to read across the two timelines.  I adore that she is written in a way that shows despite her difficulties, she can live a strong and independent life.

Jonathan is captivated by Annika form when they first meet and ten years later seems to have never gotten over her.  His perspective shows a different aspect of their relationship and although he can get frustrated with her (as all people in relationships do) he just seems to know how to support Annika when it's needed.

Together they make a perfect couple but life isn't always that easy and love isn't always a fairy tale. 

Once started, this novel is difficult to put down.  I cannot recommend it enough.
Was this review helpful?
Annika Rose often feels lost in social situations, saying the wrong thing or acting the wrong way.  She can’t read people and prefers the solitude of books or playing chess to being around others.
“I never know what people are thinking.  It’s like visiting a country where you don’t speak the language and you’re trying so hard to understand but no matter how many times you ask for juice, they keep bringing you milk.  And I hate it.”
This is the story of Annika and Jonathan who first meet at the chess club at The University of Illinois in 1991. Jonathan understands Annika and is kind to her, getting to know her and her strange ways and they fall in love.
But we find out early on in the story that things went wrong for them as they meet again for the first time after 10 years apart in 2001. A lot has happened over that 10 years – Jonathan has been married and divorced and is a high flyer in the world of investment banking. Annika has moved to the city and is pursuing her dream job as a librarian and with the help of a counsellor has found ways to cope with the curve balls life throws at her.
The books follows the dual time lines of 1991 and 2001 as we see Annika and Jonathan fall in love all over again.
I cannot express how much I loved this book! Annika’s voice is just perfect – she is sweet but her vulnerabilities are heart-breaking to read about. She is lucky at University to have a really good friend in Justine who looks out for her and helps her navigate social situations. The unkindness of people is just so sad, from college students to an early boyfriend who takes advantage of her naivety and later in life with some of her colleagues at work.
I loved reading about how the romance between her and Jonathan developed and how they rekindle their love 10 years later. I loved everything about this book – the absolute perfect mix of romance, heartbreak and tension with the one of the best heroines I think I have ever read about it. Written with amazing sensitivity, Garvis Greaves is a must read author. 5 huge shiny stars from me!
Was this review helpful?
I gave this a 4 stars or 8/10. My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the opportunity to take part on the Blog tour for this book and thanks to NetGalley for the copy in exchange for an honest review.

This story is told from the position of both Annika and Jonathan, with each character having their own chapter and also as a dual time frame read. I enjoyed the premise of the story and wonder what we would have done if we had been in Annika's shoes as the story developed. Annika was socially naïve in most situations, but this added to her likeability in my opinion. Jonathan obviously cared for her and understood her well, but sadly fate had the upper hand and their relationship wasn't meant to be. As fate throws them back together again, what will they be like around one another and will feelings that they once had for each other be rekindled?

This was a slow burner of a story. I enjoyed reading about the relationship between Annika and Jonathan, how they learned to cope with Annika's naivety and her little foibles. The toing and froing of the chapters between the two main characters along with the years that they were set in, adds to the enjoyment of the story in my opinion. I can see this being made into a film if I am honest and I am sure that it would transfer well to the silver screen so to speak.
Was this review helpful?
The Girl He Used to Know follows the lives of Annika Rose and Jonathan Hoffman who reconnect 10 years after the las saw each other in college after a chance meeting in a Deli. 
The book is told from the points of view of both Annika and Jonathan and splits between Illinois 1991 when they first meet at college and Chicago 2001. Normally I would find this type of split narrator/timeline a little confusing but this time it seemed to work as you start to understand the relationship between these two people and what makes it different. 
Annika has issues with dealing with social situations and can come across as either odd or distant. She has a tendency to say what is on her mind and is not very good at interpreting body language or acceptable behaviour. In the past this has led to her being bullied and ridiculed. Her roommate Janice sees past this and often has her back in situations so that she is able to cope a little bit better. When she meets Jonathan at chess club, he can also see that Annika is someone special and he is able to be himself around her and their relationship develops into something more. 
As the book progresses you finally find out the event that split them up but as they grow closer again, they finally deal with the hang-ups from the past and move forward only for a major event to almost rip them apart again. 
I have to say that there are times when I envy Annika’s inability to do anything other than say exactly what she thinks. There is nothing malicious in it but its just the way she is. I am not sure I would have wanted to live through the bullying she had just because she was different. We all have times when social situations can be difficult but to believe you are the one that has the problem because that is what everyone tells you must be something else altogether. The fact that both Janice and Jonathan can see past this to the person that Annika really is gives you hope that people can accept differences in others. Jonathan does sometimes get frustrated that Annika doesn’t always express how she feels about him but once he has got that frustration out, instead of taking it out on her, he immediately apologises for it and shows that he is not mad at her and understands it is not her fault. 
The author has dealt with issues and situations with a sensitivity that keeps you turning the pages to find out how it ends. I found that I couldn’t put it down and read it from beginning to end in a day. If I had one criticism of the book it was how it ended. For me it felt like it didn’t quite get there…like there was something more that could have been written. Despite this it is still a heart-warming story with characters you can’t help but like.
Was this review helpful?
In the early 1990s, Annika and Jonathan were together at the University. They got to know each other at the chess club - a place where Annika felt relatively safe. She used to get anxious in social situations and chess club felt always the same and she didn't have to engage into conversations. One day she's supposed to play against Jonathan, and he starts to see her in a different light than others. They eventually start dating and everything runs smoothly, until one day when something happens that tears them apart.
Fast forward ten years and Annika lives in Chicago, working her dream job at the library. Shopping at a grocery store, she runs into Jonathan and slowly they start to get to know each other again. But will they be able to sort the past out? To move on?

I adored Annika and I loved to see her growing, finding herself and accepting herself. She is altruistic, kind and honest, and maybe she doesn't understand the world around her completely, but she knows what falling in love is. The wonderfully blunt observations of hers are so true to life and genuine, she was simply strong, brave and loyal. Her best friend Janice is another winner in this story, the kind of bad ass best friend that we all need in our lives, and I loved her patience with Annika, the way she explained her the world and it was so great to finally see a girl supporting another girl, and not bringing her down. 

The story is narrated by Annika and Jonathan and it worked really well in this book, as we get two points of view, often on the same situation, and it gives us a really great insight into how their minds worked and what made them tick. Each chapter has a date but I must admit that I only cottoned on why it is so important at the end of the story, when THIS happened. Gah. I really didn't see it coming and while I also didn't find it necessary, I was OK with it. We watch their love unfolding, and I must say this feeling was so pure and raw and genuine, and I liked it so much because they were not playing games, they simply followed their instincts and feelings - it was so different to all the will they/won't they stories, felt like a breath of fresh air. Although I must admit that I wasn't so sure of Jonathan's feelings, let me explain why - we were all the time left with a feeling that it was Annika's fault that they broke up with each other, and for me Jonathan was fully accepting this, however, when it was eventually revealed what has happened it became clear that it was as much his as Annika's fault, and he let her blame herself all the time, and I simply didn't find it brilliant. For me he was like yes, ok, let's try again because it suits me and I forgive you for what has happened. And it really seemed Annika has invested much more in the relationship, that she loved him more. But please, don't get me wrong here, he WAS a loving, caring person and Annika tried new things with him, she was founding her courage with him - but it was really Annika that made the story for me. 

The writing style is flowing and it feels so lyric and Annika's voice is so special and distinctive, with all her feelings of anxiety, uncertainty and emotions brilliantly captured by the author. It was as if the author has got into her characters' heads and I found myself engrossed in their lives. I would only like the end not to feel so rushed and abrupt after everything that has happened in the book. 

"The Girl He Used to Know" is a story about taking your life in your own hand, compelling and sensitive. It was so much more than a second chance romance, there was much more depth to it and it touched upon many serious issues but in an accessible, gentle way. A captivating tale of love and acceptance - truly recommended.

Copy provided by the publisher in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Oh my, what a surprisingly gorgeous and emotional read this is! When I started it I was expecting a typical rom-com kind of story, but The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves is so much more than that.

It’s the story of Annika Rose, a young woman who feels lost in social situations, never knowing how to say or do the right thing. She prefers to lead a solitary life, reading books or playing chess rather than being around people. But then she meets Jonathan, who accepts her for who she is. He doesn’t judge her or care that she sometimes says the wrong thing. And for a while they’re inseparable, but then something happens that tears them apart.

Ten years later their paths cross again, but Annika isn’t sure Jonathan will want to have anything to do with her after what happened all those years ago. The narrative flips back and forth between 1991 when they first met and 2001 when fate throws them back together again. But will they be able to put the heartache of the past behind them? Or will Annika have to accept that time has moved on and so has Jonathan?

It’s difficult to put into words just how incredible this book is. It tackles some difficult subjects with sensitivity and a warmth that melts your heart. I loved Annika, this beautiful girl who feels like she never fits in anywhere, from the outset. Her naivety and difficulty in reading social situations made her vulnerable to the unkindness of others, meaning she was sometimes taken advantage of, which is something that broke my heart as I was reading this book. People can be so cruel at times, but then there are others like Janice, Annika’s friend from college, who restore your faith in human kindness.

The Girl He Used To Know is a perfect blend of romance, heartache and tension. Once started I could not put it down, the story sucking me in as I experienced the highs and lows of Annika and Jonathan’s relationship right along with them. It’s a book that has everything, making me laugh one moment then burst into tears the next, moving me beyond words. What can I say? I absolutely adored this book!

A surprising, glorious and moving read that I highly recommend. I can’t wait to see what Tracey Garvis Graves comes up with next!
Was this review helpful?
Despite the romantic theme, The Girl He Used To Know is far from the average romance novel and I loved every minute of it. Annika is an unconventional heroine, but I felt a lot of empathy towards her character, and found her relationship with Jonathan absolutely adorable. It was clear to me from the outset that Annika is not neurotypical and I really appreciated the care that Garvis-Graves took to ensure the portrayal was accurate right down to the sensory issues Annika experienced.

The Girl He Used To Know is set across two timelines: the early 1990s and 2001. This was really effective for me in terms of showing how the characters' relationship had developed and changed over time. It did take me some time to realise the significance of the dates, but once I did, the tension created by the alternating time frames was really engaging.

As The Girl He Used To Know reaches its conclusion, there is a lot of tension  At this time, I was desperate to know how things would work out for Annika and Jonathan and was reading way past my bedtime! Even when I had finished the book, I didn't want to leave the characters behind!
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed some of the moments in this book but I felt the book could have given me more
I really didn’t like the main character in the book. He was manipulative and not a nice person 
I didn’t like the large number of plots within plots 
A poor book
Was this review helpful?
Annika works in the library, something she has always dreamed of doing-” to be surrounded by books for the whole of her adult life”. By chance she bumps into someone she used to know at university, Jonathan,  and they go out. Alternate chapters take us through their college life ten years beforehand and the difficulties Annika faced with life and dealing with others. I quickly grew to like Annika and her sensitivity around others, of dealing with social situations that others take for granted, and even what to wear when you have always been comfortable in the same things. Jonathan understands her and appreciates her as does her friend in college Janice and they both take her under their wing. We know something happened ten years ago which split them apart but not what. Annika takes her confidence from those around her and has had some hard knocks-something most of us can understand in one form or another. “Women are like tea bags- you don’t know how strong they are until they are in hot water” (Eleanor Roosevelt). I didn’t take much notice of the dates until it hit me big time. Oh my. I had a lump in my throat and on the edge of tears. If there is one book to read about hope and determination then this is it. I have my own 5** for about 10% of books read (I read around250 a year) for those that have that special something. This one deserves 10**. I can;t recommend it highly enough.
For more reviews please see my blog
or follow me on Twitter @nickisbookblog
((amazon done- misfits farm)
Was this review helpful?
The Girl He Used to Know is a story about the complex .... and her ex boyfriend from 10 years ago.

I took this book on holiday with me and quickly became keen to keep reading and was getting up early to sneak in some reading time whilst everyone else was asleep. I liked how the story switched from 1991 to 2001 so you got to know the characters for who they were and who they have become.

The journey of Annika gave you insight into how she viewed the world and the daily judgement she encountered. It demonstrated how over time she had changed and learnt to fit in with those around her as people still don't accept everyone as they are.

A brilliant uplifting love story of how the grass isn't always greener and how if you truly love someone you accept them and don't try to change them or worry about other peoples views.

This story covers coping mechanisms through counselling enabling Annika to achieve her career ambitions and face her fears despite feeling that she doesn't always understand the world that she live in

I really enjoyed this book and feel it is a story that people would benefit from reading and remind people that we should all be loved for who we are
Was this review helpful?
'The Girl He Used to Know' is a beautifully written romantic story between Annika and Jonathan. Annika is socially awkward, anxious and shy. She is on an autism spectrum but there wasn't much awareness about this in the 90s so she was considered just plainly weird or a freak by the people surrounding her. 

1991. At college, her roommate Jannice is everything Annika could ask for. She understands and takes care of her like the sister she never had, and Annika is grateful for having Jannice in her life. Janice introces Annica to a chess club at college where starts to play regularly during sundays. And that's where she meets Jonathan. Jonathan is immediately drawn to Annica, mainly because she is gorgeous and wants to try out his luck on her. Soon he understands what she's really like and treats her soft and sweet, making her comfortable around him. They develop a bonding which soon becomes inseparable and loving. But  a terrible tragedy strikes, and the couple are torn apart. Jonathan moves to New York where he starts his Job.   

2001. Annika now works at a Library in New York, a job she's passionate about and loves every bit of it. She meets Jonathan at a supermarket and immediately wants to rekindle their relationship. Jonathan, now divorced has his divorced, has his doubts but knowing Annika he too, wants to try it out. Will the second chance work for these love birds? Has too much happened in the 10 years that would stop them from uniting forever? 

Written beautifully, I don't know if I loved Annika more or Jonathan less. Jonathan is every girl's dream. He's so gently, caring and honest with Annika. I have never had the pleasure of meeting someone like Annika, but now I want to befriend such a person for life. I did not understand the importance of the timeline until the story presented itself with a twist! That was quite unexpected and a job well done. I loved this book so much and it was a quick read for me. 

I am thankful to the publisher for having me on the official blog tour and sending along a proof copy. All opinions are mine.
Was this review helpful?
Well THAT was unexpected! This really is the PERFECT not-so-perfect love story; a lesson that there is someone for everyone and that in life there is love, hope and maybe a second chance.

Annika is someone who, by her own admission, looks on the outside like she fits in, but inside feels that she doesn’t belong.  She is slow at picking up on social cues and thus constantly worries about what to say and do in any situation; having anxiety as her constant emotional companion. She is straight-talking, blunt, and painfully honest but she is also smart and funny, and is absolutely beautiful.

Jonathan is besotted with Annika, there is chemistry between them as soon as they meet and they make an enviable couple.  Jonathan is everything that Annika thought she would never have; a rock; a companion; a soulmate.  He has never once made her feel stupid for the weird things that she blurts out, and he understands her completely.  In turn Annika is Jonathan’s reason for existing; a concept which is totally alien to her as she is incapable of believing that she could be a saviour whilst being saved herself.

After being forced apart, they meet by chance a decade later and the story unravels through these two timelines. One charting their college years in the early 90’s and the other when they reconnect in 2001.  The narrative is dark and morose at times and Garvis Graves tackles some difficult themes.

Without giving too much away, there is a sudden change of pace towards the end of this book; everything steps up a gear and I found myself reading quickly, urgently and breathlessly.  It was emotionally draining yet SO compelling! I even shed a tear as I turned the final pages!

Garvis Graves has written a story with so much heart and sensitivity I found myself wanting to post-it a quote in almost every chapter of this novel!  One particularly memorable part has Annika describing herself as being in a foreign country, asking for orange juice but constantly being given milk because no one understands her.

I tore through this book in only a couple of days and looking back I wish I’d savoured it a bit more – I’ve quickly grown a fond attachment to Annika and Jonathan and I shall miss them dearly.

The Girl He Used To Know is an emotional yet uplifting journey which blew me away.  I have already recommended it to several people and shall be searching out Garvis Grave’s previous titles whilst I eagerly await her next offering.

This is definitely a book for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (by Gail Honeyman), The Cactus (by Sarah Haywood) and Needlemouse (by Jane O’Connor).
Was this review helpful?
I adored this story and characters, so well written and pretty much awe inspiring.

It wasn't so much the storyline, but the characters that made me love this one so much! They were what made this story so memorable for me!

The story flips from two different timelines - 2001 (now) and 1991 (then) 

This book stuck with me and kept me reading well into the night. Definitely a story that I will be revisiting in the future.

4 stars!

**Copy received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
Was this review helpful?