The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

the girl he used to know
the girl he used to know

I went into The Girl He Used to Know pretty much blind – I had no clue what to expect, I only knew that some of my very trusted reviewing friends had loved it. Whatever small preconceptions I had of this book, they were all pretty much wrong across the board – this book genuinely surprised me.

What if you had a second chance at first love?

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.

This was a lovely second chance romance between Annika and Jonathan – The Girl He Used to Know tells their story from when they met in college, through to them reconnecting a few years later. I really, really enjoyed their dynamic – Jonathan loved her for exactly who she was. The end of their story was super weird to me – this was overall a very mellow romance story, and then all of a sudden the author tied in the 9/11 terror attack. It felt out of place and really took me out of the story. It was super unnecessary and was a bizarre twist. 

I really enjoyed Annika – she was a fully developed, well defined character that I really loved getting to know. She was on the autism spectrum and I really enjoyed getting to read her story from the point of view of a neurodiverse individual. I rooted from her the entire time – it was impossible to not root for her to find her happiness.

Overall, The Girl he Used to Know was a wildly unexpected book for me – I definitely enjoyed it, but I didn’t love the ending for this particular story. If you’re looking for other neurodiverse romances, check out The Kiss Quotient or A Brush With Love. 4/5

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