Title: The Girl He Used to Know
Author: Tracey Garvis Graves
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 2, 2019
The Synopsis (Spoiler-Free)
The Girl He Used to Know is the love story of Annika and Jonathan, told through two different timelines. The first is the year the couple first met, in college at a chess club meeting. The second is ten years later, when the two unexpectedly meet agian in a grocery store and their love rekindles. As the book alternates in timeline and perspective, the entire story is revealed including what happened within those ten years and all of the struggles Annika and Jonathan have had to face, both as a couple and individually.
This was EASILY a 5-star read for me. I fell in love right alongside the characters and was completely engrossed in the story until the very end. As charming as the story is, it’s also raw and deeply vulnerable at times, and I could not get enough.
The topic of mental health is addressed beautifully in my opinion, as Annika struggles with an autism-spectrum disorder that makes it difficult for her to pick up on social cues and read other people’s emotions. I love that it is not depicted as Annika’s entire identity, nor as a disability. In fact, Jonathan – and I as a reader – fall in love with Annika not despite her disorder, but because of the way she copes with it. The way she navigates social situations and treats other human beings is special.
Before reading this book, I truly didn’t think I was a fan of romance books. Something about this one, however, is different, and the word romance doesn’t seem appropriate for the level of respect, love, and trust these two characters have for each other. I see myself rereading this book several times in the future, and am looking forward to exploring more novels written by Tracey Garvis Graves.
Disclaimer: This Advanced Reader’s Copy was sent to me by St. Martin’s Press and the SheSpeaks program in return for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to #ReadTheGirl!