Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

Title: The Girl He Used to Know
Author: Tracey Garvis Graves 
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date:  April 2, 2019

Annika 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.

I went in blind. I didn’t want to know what this book was about. I wanted to be surprised. After all, Tracey Garvis Graves wrote one of my favorite books, On the Island (I'm still waiting for the movie). I knew I wasn't going to be disappointed. I truly enjoyed it. I like the characters and the storyline.

When the book begins, it's 2001. The setting is Chicago. To be exact, the supermarket Dominicks. Annika is shopping when she bumps into the only man she loved and lost. The one that got away.

Back in 1991, Jonathan was her first boyfriend. She met him in college, at UIC. He was the first man she trusted with her heart and her love. 

Annika is not like other women. She has problems expressing herself. She has problems recognizing social cues and following them. She's very honest and straightforward which not everyone appreciates. This keeps on getting her into trouble. Luckily, her roommate, Janice is a great friend to her.

From the moment, Jonathan meets Annika. He knows she's special. They met playing chess. Chess club gave him a reason to keep on interacting with her. The more time he spends time with Annika, the more he wants to see her. But, in 1991, things don't end well. 2001 might be the year for second chances and to change their future.   

I love Tracey Garvis Graves' writing. She writes multi-dimensional characters that feel real. In The Girl He Used to Know, she uses a dual POV. She alternates the past (1991) with the present (2001).

It was easy to root for Jonathan. He was considerate, patient and a truly good guy. He always tried to understand Annika. 

Annika was likable and relatable. Her life was not easy. She did the best she could but sometimes things went the wrong way.

I love Jonathan in 1991 but even more in 2001. There was a moment in The Girl He Used to Know that my heart was breaking. I had no idea how things were going to end. I couldn't stop reading it.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

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