Title: The Girl He Used to Know
Author: Tracey Garvis Graves
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
My Rating: ★★★★★
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.
I cannot even begin to explain how much I adored this novel. Tracey Garvis Graves wrote each character with complete care and detail. It was beautiful watching each character unravel throughout the novel. Annika is the most delicate of all the characters, she is socially awkward, she loves books, chess, has not dated much, and does not understand why people treat her differently. Jonathan on the other hand is outgoing, has a decent amount of friends, works at a bar, and is advanced in the dating department. They were complete opposites, but that is what made their relationship work so well. I absolutely loved how gentle Jonathan was towards Annika and how he paid so much detail to her facial expressions in order to understand what was going through her mind. He had to work hard at the relationship, but he never let that stop him from falling head over heels for her.
It broke my heart when they went their separate ways, but was so glad that fate would reunite them. Annika had worked so hard throughout the ten years they were apart and it truly helped her grow to be able to give herself in a way she was never able to. I was definitely cheering them on and wanted them to get back together. Without going into too much detail….the ending wrecked me. I cried for twenty minutes. I literally felt like I was watching my best friends go through such much pain. All I can say is that you need to read this book ASAP so you can see what I am talking about!
Thank you to Macmillan Publishing and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with this ARC copy!