Christy's Reviews > The Girl He Used to Know

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2019-audio, 2019-four-stars

4.5 stars

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"Life isn't easy for anyone. We all have challenges. We all face adversity. It's how we overcome it that makes us who we are.”

I love Tracey Garvis Graves writing, so when I saw she had a new book, I jumped in right away. I didn’t read the synopsis and the cover didn’t really call to me, but I am so glad I picked this one up. I adored this story and these characters so so much.

Annika and Jonathan meet in chess club their last year of college. Annika is a truly gorgeous girl who is on the autism spectrum, and Jonathan falls hard for her. Their relationship has it’s ups and downs, but it’s so beautiful. Annika has a lot of trouble dealing with her autism at first, but she works on learning how to cope.
“I never know what people are thinking. It’s like visiting a country where you don’t speak the language and you’re trying so hard to understand but no matter how many times you ask for juice, they keep bringing you milk. And I hate it.”

This book is set in 1991 (their college year) and 2001 (the present for them) and I think seeing how Annika is accepted with her behaviors is a true indication of how people perceived people who are autistic back then. Jonathan never makes Annika feel like anything less than the amazing woman she is and I loved that for her.

Annika and Jonathan’s relationship was so sweet and pure. What I loved most about it is that Annika was allowed to 100% be herself and Jonathan loved her for it. She’s autistic, she does her best, and it’s good enough for him. Where are all the Jonathans of the world? I hope they exists for the Annika’s of the world.

I also felt this was the most real depiction of an autistic character I’ve ever read about. Being in Annika’s head helped me to truly understand the thoughts and behaviors of someone different than me and I appreciated that. Annika had the best heart and I loved her so much. Jonathan, too. They were both incredible.
“How can you want to be with someone like me? How were you able to fall in love with someone who acts the way I do?”
“It was easier than you think.”

As much as I loved them both, their relationship wasn’t perfect. There was some conflict and a pretty big gap of time they were separated, but I understood it and did feel it was necessary for both characters growth.

I loved most everything about this book. The characters, the writing, the progression of the story. Honestly, I think had we gotten more of an ending/epilogue I’m sure it would have been a 5 star for me. I feel like after all we went through, we deserved more than a quick hfn. I wanted the real deal of an ending for Annika and Jonathan.

I cried all the tears towards the end of this book. I was so immersed in the story, I had my airpods in at the grocery with tears streaming down my face looking like an emotionally unstable wreck, but it’s okay. It was better than the alternative, which was waiting to finish this book!

If you’re looking for read that is emotional, heartwarming, and just a truly beautiful second chance romance with complex characters and spectacular writing, pick up The Girl He Once Knew. Side note, the audio was fabulous!!
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Reading Progress

September 28, 2018 – Shelved
September 28, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
April 2, 2019 – Started Reading
April 2, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019-audio
April 4, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019-four-stars
April 5, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-25 of 25 (25 new)

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Sabrina Tackett I'm dithering on picking this up. I loved On The Island, so I'm kinda wary that this will fall short of expectations. I love your reviews, so can't wait to see what you say about this!


message 2: by carinne (new) - added it

carinne Heard so many good things about this one. Now I want to read. I passed before because the cover looked boring.


Christy Sabrina wrote: "I'm dithering on picking this up. I loved On The Island, so I'm kinda wary that this will fall short of expectations. I love your reviews, so can't wait to see what you say about this!"

It's very different from On the Island, but I loved it so much! Her writing is spectacular <3


Christy carinne wrote: "Heard so many good things about this one. Now I want to read. I passed before because the cover looked boring."

LOL Right, the cover doesn't draw me in, either but I enjoy the authors writing so I'm super glad I picked it up. If you read it I hope you love it too, babe! <3


message 5: by carinne (new) - added it

carinne Thanks I'm not familiar with this author but I'm definitely going to give it a try l.


Linda I loved this book! So glad you enjoyed it, Christy!


Christy Linda wrote: "I loved this book! So glad you enjoyed it, Christy!"

Thanks, Linda! xo


message 8: by Brandi (new)

Brandi Wonderful review Christy!


Sabrina Tackett Christy wrote: "Sabrina wrote: "I'm dithering on picking this up. I loved On The Island, so I'm kinda wary that this will fall short of expectations. I love your reviews, so can't wait to see what you say about th..."

Loved your review. I just finished it in one go, and it was beautiful.


Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth I think most people felt the same about the missing epilogue. I loed this book so much -- so happy you did too!


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin Excellent review, lovely 😊💕🌸❌⭕️😘


Christy Brandi wrote: "Wonderful review Christy!"

Thanks, Brandi! <3


Christy Sabrina wrote: "Christy wrote: "Sabrina wrote: "I'm dithering on picking this up. I loved On The Island, so I'm kinda wary that this will fall short of expectations. I love your reviews, so can't wait to see what ..."

Yes! So beautiful <3


Christy Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth wrote: "I think most people felt the same about the missing epilogue. I loed this book so much -- so happy you did too!"

Exactly! I still loved it though <3 But an epilogue would have made it all the better!


Christy Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ wrote: "Excellent review, lovely 😊💕🌸❌⭕️😘"

Thanks, darling xoxo


message 16: by L Cherry (new) - added it

L Cherry Looks good. I got a sample to try as soon as i can.


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin Christy wrote: "Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ wrote: "Excellent review, lovely 😊💕🌸❌⭕️😘"

Thanks, darling xoxo"


You’re most welcome 😘


Deanna❤Pink Lady❤️ Terrific review Christy 😘


Christy Deanna❤Pink Lady❤️ wrote: "Terrific review Christy 😘"

Thanks, sweetie! xo


Karen Thanks for the great review. Would love to read this book. Also, if you love "real depictions of autistic characters" try For The One by Brenna Aubrey. As the mom of an Asperger's teen, this one was also spot on.


Christy Karen wrote: "Thanks for the great review. Would love to read this book. Also, if you love "real depictions of autistic characters" try For The One by Brenna Aubrey. As the mom of an Asperger's teen, this one wa..."

Awesome, I'll look into that one, Karen! I hope you enjoy this book if you get to it :D


Berry ♡ Nice Fabulous review ❤


Christy Berry ♡ Nice wrote: "Fabulous review ❤"

Thanks, lovely! xoxo


message 24: by Iryna (new) - added it

Iryna You made me cry, girl. "Where are all the Jonathans of the world?"... Beautiful review, as always.


Christy Iryna wrote: "You made me cry, girl. "Where are all the Jonathans of the world?"... Beautiful review, as always."

Thanks, lovely! This book was so beautiful xoxo


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