Reviewed on 8th August 2019

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis

Genre: Fiction / Romance / Women's Fiction
The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Synopsis

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.

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Review

A Beautiful and Emotional Love Story

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves is a beautiful coming of age love story that is sure to capture to hearts of every reader. I was captivated from the very first page and I finished the book in one sitting. It is definitely one of my top ten books I’ve read this year.

The story starts in the present day when Annika and Jonathon meet by chance in Chicago where they are now both living. The surprise meeting catches them both off guard but nonetheless, Annika plucks up the courage to ask Jonathon for his number. Could this be fate? Perhaps a second chance at love?

The storyline jumps back and forth from 10 years ago to present day as Jonathan and Annika embark on a journey that might lead them to a second chance at love. Mostly the story is told from Annika’s perspective, but at times we do get an insight into Jonathon’s thoughts and his world.

10 years earlier, Annika a quirky, shy and introverted young woman was studying to become a librarian. Annika is socially awkward and has little or no filter when it comes to speaking her mind. She was more at ease with animals then people as she felt she was able to relate to them.  Annika’s room-mate Janice was her only ‘real’ friend. Janice seemed to understand Annika’s quirkiness and helped to ground Annika and find ways to help her cope as she navigated the big wide world of college.

Jonathon had recently transferred to Annika’s college and he was in his final year of study. They met through a mutual love of chess when Jonathon joined one of the weekly chess groups Annika attended. Jonathon was intrigued by his new chess opponent and overtime he managed to break down some of Annika’s self-imposed barriers and love began to blossom.

Unfortunately, just as the beautiful relationship between Annika and Jonathon was becoming serious, tragedy struck, and Annika put the walls back up and isolated herself from the world.

As they rekindle their friendship in Chicago after the freak chance meeting, they begin to spend more time together. Can Jonathon forgive Annika for breaking his heart? Can Annika finally open-up to Jonathon and bare her soul to him?

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Annika desperately wants to win Jonathon back. Slowly we start to see and understand how Annika’s character has grown and matured over the 10 years. She has learned to cope with life and her interactions with the big wide world. She has sought the professional help she needed and as a result, has been able to put steps in place to help her be more successful in her life. She is more confident and is able to finally fully engage in the real world.

Will this be enough to help her win Jonathon back?

Graves brilliant writing brings these characters to life and allows the readers to understand just what it is like to be locked in a world where social interaction is just too difficult at times. The reader sees first-hand what the pressure of trying to fit within the realms of society does to people who are unwillingly trapped in their own world.

The Girl He Used to Know is a beautiful and emotional love story the goes far beyond the realms of the kind of love most of us will ever experience – it’s the kind of love we can only dream about.

Many thanks to Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers and Trapeze for inviting us onto this blog tour.

Published by: Trapeze
ISBN: 978-140918-369-3

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