Book Review: The Girl He Used To Know

“If you’re quiet and don’t make a lot of sound, for some reason people think it means there’s something wrong with your hearing. But there was nothing wrong with mine.”
Thank you, St. Martin’s Press for sending the ARC of The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves.
Meet Annika, the female protagonist of The Girl He Used To Know. Having a hard time communicating with people and understanding their mannerisms, the beautiful Annika struggles with being social. Her comfort zone lies in the company of books, animals and a chess board. (I could resonate with Annika’s character to a very close extent.) Now, meet Jonathan. A talented swimmer who is also interested in chess. One more thing, Jonathan is the “HE” mentioned in the title of the book.
The story begins when both these characters/ex-lovers stumble upon each other at the grocery store, a decade of their break-up. After having a small awkward conversation, they decide to meet once again. And…again after that. Annika is still single, while Jonathan is a divorcee. The new beginning of their relationship is complex as they both struggle with memories of the past. The reason why they separated is not revealed until the end.
“That’s the one thing no one tells you about divorce. No matter how much you and your spouse agree that the relationship is broken, it hurts like hell when you go your separate ways and the pain follows you around until one day it doesn’t.”
The Girl He Used To Know took me on a roller coaster of emotions. As the book is told from a dual perspective, we got to know Jonathan’s dilemma to bounce back after a failed marriage and Annika’s thoughts to understand this new event. To say I LOVED her would be an understatement. Annika was one of the purest characters I have had the privilege of reading. She is ready to put her life in danger just to save animals. Her innocence sometimes teaches her brutal lessons, but then again, she has Janice for her rescue. Janice is an outgoing and stronghearted girl, exactly what Annika needs, in some ways. Although they are polar opposites, it helps them forge a bond. I don’t want to give in any further.
Finally, this is not a typically mushy romance. This story is of two adults who are understanding each other in a whole new way while juggling with reality. Even though, if you aren’t a fan of love story, you should give this one shot.

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