The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

The Girl He Used to Know

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: April 2nd, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Where you can find The Girl He Used To Know: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game–and his heart–to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.


My review:

Annika was not expecting to fall in love when she met Jonathan. Shy and anxious in new situations, Annika keeps to herself. Annika has issues with personal relationships. She finds most people challenging to be around. But not Jonathan. He loves her for her quirks. Their relationship is perfect until a tragedy forces Annika and Jonathan apart.

Ten years later and ten years wiser, Jonathan reunites with Annika in Chicago. Jonathan realizes that his feelings for Annika never went away. Annika comes to the same realization, and they restart their relationship. Will their relationship be as strong as the first time? Or will another tragedy stop it before it can begin?


When I started reading The Girl He Used To Know, I didn’t know what to think about it. The book is told from two different 1st person perspectives. It is also told in two different time periods. In my experience, those two things do not go well together. I usually have issues following these types of storylines. I didn’t have those issues with The Girl He Used To Know.

I loved the storyline that revolved around Annika. I did guess that she had autism early in the story. I have a nephew who is non-verbal autistic, and he shares many of the earmarks that Annika did. What I also enjoyed was seeing how far Annika came from college. There was a point in the book where I thought she would give up.

I liked Jonathan. I did have my doubts about what his intentions were when he first started hanging out with Annika. But as their love story deepened, I could see that he cared about her. He never pushed her past her limits. By the end of their college romance, I was in tears. I didn’t want them to break up.

I do want to give some attention to Annika’s friendship with Janice. It was even more amazing that Janice chose to become Annika’s protector on campus. That scene where she saved Annika from a potential gang rape was short of amazing. Janice became my hero.

I thought that Annika and Jonathan’s romance was one of the sweetest romances that I have read. I couldn’t wait to see what the next step would bring. I was devastated when they broke up (and why they broke up too). When they reunited in Chicago, I did have my doubts if they would rekindle their relationship. And I was happy when they did.

The end of The Girl He Used to Know gave me chills. I am not going to get into what happened, but it was tragic. What Annika did and her determination to find Jonathan made me cry. I was a little confused by the last line of the book. It was the only thing that made zero sense to me. While I knew what it was referring to, I didn’t understand why it was at the end of the book.


I gave The Girl He Used to Know a 4-star rating. This was a well-written book that had me in tears. The characters were relatable. The plot-lines were well written. The only complaint I had about the book was the end. It made no sense to me.

I would give The Girl He Used to Know an Adult rating. There is sex (but not graphic). There is language. There is mild violence. There are triggers. They would be bullying, attempted rape and drug use. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Girl He Used to Know. I would also reccomend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Girl He Used to Know.

All opinion stated in this review of The Girl He Used to Know are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


Have you read The Girl I Used to Know?

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1 thought on “The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves”

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