Monday, April 8, 2019

Julie's Review: The Girl He Used to Know

Author: Tracey Garvis Graves
Series: None
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 352
Obtained: Great Thoughts For Great Readers
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: Well dang, wasn't expecting that
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: 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. ~amazon.com
Review: Holy cow what an emotional book. These characters are unlike anything I have read in recent years. I always love stories about people who are in love, break up and then find themselves back in each other’s orbits. This is what happens to Annika and Jonathan; together in college but split up afterwards, 10 years later they fine each other again.

Annika was her own worst enemy in college and while she has worked on the things that are socially inhibited for her; she still gets in her own way at times. She doubts who she is and if she's worthy of anyone's attention or love. Jonathan is many ways is still reeling from his divorce and is understandably hesitant to get involved again with her. 

The story is told from both of their points of view from the past and the present. I loved the way this moved the story ahead while still understanding what their previous relationship was like. Why they broke up and if they will stay together in their present relationship. 

I know that my words aren't doing this book justice but I really did fall for the characters. It doesn't hurt that the setting is my favorite city, Chicago and I'm familiar with the place they discuss and visit. This book will make you laugh and cry. It will make you appreciate how hard some social situations are for people. Not everyone likes group settings or social interactions.

I highly recommend this novel to anyone who remembers their first love and the intense feelings it evoked. 

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