Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Review - The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves @tgarvisgraves

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Date Read: April 5, 2019
Length: 304 pages
Source: Publisher
★★★★★
New York Times bestselling author of On the Island, Tracey Garvis Graves, presents the compelling, hopelessly romantic novel of unconditional love.

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 unless they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.
My Review

This book was just wonderful!  I went into this book rather blindly, having never read any of the author's prior work or knowing what this story was about.  I was pleasantly surprised as soon as I started reading.  This book grabbed my attention right away and never let go.  I was captivated by Annika and Jonathan and wanted more than anything to see good things happen for them.  I had an absolutely fabulous time with this book.

Annika has trouble in many social situations.  She has a hard time knowing what she should say and do in situations and puts little thought into her appearance.  Crowds and a lot of noise bother her so she tries to avoid certain situations.  She has a really hard time making friends and has led a rather solitary life.  She does enjoy books and is really good at chess.

Jonathan meets Annika though chess at college.  He does see that Annika is a bit different in some ways but those differences don't bother him.  He sees the goodness and caring in her and somehow seems to know how to be what she needs.  I loved Jonathan and I also loved seeing Annika when she was with him.  They just seemed to fit together perfectly. 

This book is told from both Jonathan and Annika's point of view during their college years and 10 years later when they meet up again.  I liked the way that the story was laid out because it allowed the reader to slowly learn what went wrong as they were reconnecting.  I also thought that using two points of view to tell the story was very powerful.  It was really important to see how both Jonathan and Annika saw the events in their lives. 

Just when I thought I knew exactly where this book was going.  Boom.  I was wrong.  I love it when a book surprises me and this one did just that in a spectacular fashion.  As I neared the end of this book, I found myself holding my breath in anticipation of what would happen next.  I think that the direction the story ended up going really did a great job in illustrating Annika's growth throughout the book.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  This was a story that surprised me, opened my eyes, and touched my heart.  I hope to read more of this author's work very soon.

I received a review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press.
About the Author

TRACEY GARVIS-GRAVES is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author. Her debut novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into twenty-nine languages, and is in development with MGM and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film. She is also the author of Uncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, Cherish, Heart-Shaped Hack, White-Hot Hack, and The Girl He Used to Know. She is hard at work on her next book.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

19 comments:

  1. I've enjoyed TGG in the past, and I have a copy of this. I read a few mixed reviews for this one so I was hesitant to pick it up, but I think I might give this a try. Happy to know you loved it, Carole! :)

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  2. I could relate to Annika! I shied away from people in college except for a small group of us that played chess together. Would love to read this! Thanks for sharing:)

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  3. By the way, I was a terrible chess player. LOL

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  4. I read her very first book and loved it. This second-chancer is very different, but it does sound good.

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  5. Yes I loved this one too! I was hooked right away and had so many emotions. On the Island by her is great too!

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  6. I did enjoy one of her books but I never tried more but I should read this one

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  7. I've heard great things about this author and this book. Someday. Anne - Books of My Heart

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  8. Sounds like you really enjoyed this one.

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  9. I can't get them to rhyme! Lol, since I am saying one the English way and one the Swedish way

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  10. haha Annika, rhymes with Monica, is that how she introduces herself? but sounds like a very romantic love story

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  11. The rhyme thing with the names is great!

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  12. I love Graves. Adding to my list! So glad you loved it.

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  13. I've seen this around and heard raves about it but really didn't know much about it. I really love the sound of it and I'm adding it to my list.

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  14. I really did enjoy this book. I loved the way the flashbacks were used, and I adore Annika. I would have liked an epilogue, but overall, it was a beautiful story and seriously, WWJD - Janice was an amazing friend.

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  15. Amazing new to you author, going in blind and was a winner for you. That is always the best feeling.

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  16. It sounds like getting the storyline of their past alongside the storyline of the present really works well to understanding the chemistry between them and their relationship together. It sounds like this book was fantastic and I love that it managed to be so surprising and take a turn you didn't expect at the end :)

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  17. This sounds really interesting. Annika sounds a lot like me. I'm okay with small groups, but I don't like large or loud groups.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Books of My Heart

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  18. I hadn't heard of this book or author before, but it looks like a fascinating read. I enjoy novels where the characters struggle in social situations because I am exactly the same myself and it's good to realise that I'm not the only one

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  19. Annika sounds like a character I could relate to. I really like the sound of this one and am glad you enjoyed it so much, Carole. I was leaning toward trying a thriller to pull me out of my current reading funk, but maybe a romance is in order . . .

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