Add To Your Reading List: The Girl He Used To Know

Thursday, March 28, 2019

This is a sponsored book review by St. Martin's Press and SheSpeaks. All opinions and thoughts on the book are my own.

I've read enough books to know that many genres follow certain patterns. Murder mysteries generally begin and end the same. Psychological thrillers start rather slow and build up to a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat ending. And romances are generally a lot of character development in the beginning and a love story that unfolds and ends either tragically or happily.

The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves, a New York Times bestselling author, is a love story, but how this love story begins, ends, and begins again is different from any other that I've ever read. It really is a very different kind of love story, and one you don't want to miss.

This book moves back and forth from past to present. Sometimes that type of writing can be difficult to follow, but Graves does a job of seamlessly weaving the story together beautifully. The different time periods illustrate the growth between the characters as well as within the relationship.

When Annika and Jonathan meet in the chess club at the University of Illinois, it is strictly by chance.  Annika's regular partner isn't available, and she must play with the club's newest member, Jonathan. After a few chess club meetings where they are teamed up, a bond forms and soon, Annika and Jonathan are inseparable. But something happens between them that abruptly ends their relationship and sends them their separate ways upon graduation.

 And as luck (or fate, chance or coincidence) would have it, Annika and Jonathan bump into each other ten years after graduation at a grocery store in Chicago. The completely unexpected reunion causes both Annika and Jonathan to dredge up their relationship of the past and question everything that happened.

After emotionally wrestling with themselves about whether they want to go down that path again, Annika and Jonathan make plans to get together to catch up. Soon, old feeling are rekindled and the two are spending more and more time together. But can they have a second chance at love? Is the time right for Annika and Jonathan now even though it wasn't 10 years prior?

Because Annika has some complicated social issues, she and Jonathan always seem to be up against opposition. But that's what makes The Girl He Used To Know so engaging. Annika and Jonathan experience personal growth in and out of the relationship, and that growth only strengthens them as a couple.

There was a major twist at the end that I did not see coming. I was completely blindsided as I wasn't paying complete attention to the dates on the chapter headings. The major development tests everything Annika thinks she is capable and incapable of. The ending felt a bit rushed after this, whereas, up to this point, the book has a good flow and pace to it.

The characters in this book are extremely likable which makes it a fun and easy read. Overall, The Girl He Used To Know is a feel-good story and an incredibly unique book that would make for a great rom-com.

The book is available for purchase and download on April 2. You can pre-order your copy today through your favorite retailer.

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