Emily May's Reviews > The Girl He Used to Know

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
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it was ok
bookshelves: romance, 2019

Clearly this is a testament to how shallow I am because I've never been tempted by this author's books before when the covers featured photographs of women staring at the horizon, but give me an arty hipster cover and I'm all for it. It was a mistake, obviously.

I could tell you that this book bored me, that the characters had no chemistry, that it was all telling and no showing, that the writing was robotic (even in Jonathan's chapters so, no, this can't be attributed to Annika being autistic), and all of that would be true. But it is not what bothered me most.

By far the most irritating aspect of The Girl He Used to Know is the way the author handled some of the themes. I won't spoil the ending, but that whole drama that flew in at the last minute seemed unnecessary and a bit tasteless, honestly - (view spoiler). And it really bothered me the way Jonathan infantilizes Annika and turns her into something of a manic pixie dream girl during his perspectives. He describes her as "childlike" and "delicate" and patronizes her with comments about how she was “wonderful tonight” after she passes for neurotypical at a social event.

The author says she did extensive research into autism, but doesn't personally know anyone on the autism spectrum. I think that came across here.

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Reading Progress

March 11, 2019 – Shelved
April 30, 2019 – Started Reading
May 1, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-17 of 17 (17 new)

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message 1: by Mindy (new)

Mindy I'm so happy to read your review because I was about to be sucked in by that cover too. I'm not sure if I had seen a full review of this yet, having only seen it on Instagram. But, it doesn't sound like my cup of tea. Thank you for your honest reviews. 😊


Emily May Mindy wrote: "I'm so happy to read your review because I was about to be sucked in by that cover too. I'm not sure if I had seen a full review of this yet, having only seen it on Instagram. But, it doesn't sound..."

It's really bad how often covers influence my reading decisions 🙈


message 3: by Madison (new)

Madison S. I hate when autistic characters are just typical textbook cases (hitting all the keywords: “quiet, awkward, anxious, etc”) making it so obvious the author has no experience with what it is like to be on the spectrum and doesn’t fully understand it.


message 4: by Mothwing (new)

Mothwing I'm still stuck on the names. How does [ˈɑnːikɑ] rhyme with [ˈmoːnikɒ]? Thanks for keeping me away from that pretty pretty cover.


PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps Everybody knows someone with ASD, even if they don’t realize it.


message 6: by carinne (new) - added it

carinne Its funny you read because of the cover. I didn't read because the cover.


message 7: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea Humphrey Yikes. This will be a hard pass for me. Appreciate your honest review!


Sam (AMNReader) That of which you speak was a plot device to end all plot devices. Totally agree on it I had a lot of the same issues as you. Great review


message 9: by Kathy (new) - added it

Kathy I had just put this on my "Want to Read" list. Guess not.


message 10: by KristynRene (new) - added it

KristynRene The Hype Queen of Books Do you think this book was trying to piggyback on the Kiss Quotient success and popularity?


Janis Skoczylas I liked the book, but dislike the cover.


message 12: by Enster (new)

Enster Anderlug God damn neurotypicals always fuckin everythin the wrong way up, god damn gidibadibadibadiba


message 13: by Izzy (new)

Izzy Is "suddenly reveals that the love interest was in one of the Twin Towers in 9/11" a trope yet? Because I feel like it should be


message 14: by Lisa (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lisa Yes - I agree.


message 15: by Lisa (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lisa Lisa wrote: "Yes - I agree with your review!."


Stephanie I agree with so much of this. Great points!


message 17: by Katie (new) - rated it 1 star

Katie Emily May!! Oh my gaaah! I agree with everything you said! Hated the book. SO painful to finish


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