The Girl He Used to Know – Review

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book.

img_9324It was a delight to read The Girl He Used to Know by Tracy Garvis Graves with my friend, Jennifer the Tar Heel Reader. Jen is a fantastic book reviewer, great photographer, and all around pleasant and thoughtful person. I’m happy we were able to get to know one another a little better through reading! It had been quite some time since I had buddy read a book and it was lots of fun to be able to reflect on the things I loved with another reader. It was an added bonus that we both absolutely adored this story and decided to give it a five-star rating!


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.

I read On the Island and Uncharted by Tracy Garvis Graves last month and fell in love with her incredible writing and storytelling. I couldn’t wait to dive into more of her work as soon as possible. Thankfully this ARC was eagerly awaiting my greedy eyes and hungry heart.

I didn’t know how badly I needed this feel-good read, which felt in some ways like a mash-up of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Kiss Quotient, each wonderful books in their own right. From the start, I found The Girl I Used to Know to be a fast-paced and easy read. Annika was a quirky, yet loveable character I was eager to learn more about. This book made me realize how truly important great characters are. In the first half of the story, it didn’t feel as if there was much action taking place, yet I was glued to the pages as if I was reading a fast-paced Thriller – all due to my love of the characters. I adored being in Annika’s head and understanding the unique challenges her life presented her with, all while attempting to figure out the mystery behind her romance with Jonathan.

Johnathan was another character I simply could not get enough of. His patience and understanding of Annika was tremendously endearing. It was refreshing to read a male character like him. Strong, yet soft in the ways a man should be. He was an all around good guy and someone I would want to be friends with. In fact, Jennifer and I both agreed, we wouldn’t mind being friends with everyone in this book, minus a couple of clear antagonists. I’m truly astounded by Tracy Garvis Graves’s ability to craft such incredible characters in each book I’ve read of hers, but especially in The Girl I Used to Know. She handles delicate topics with sensitivity and presents challenging moments in a realistic manner. From now on, she will be an instant one-click author for me. I think it’s safe to say, Jennifer and I both highly recommend this exceptional novel.

Pre-order your below or pick up a copy on April 2nd.

Purchase on Amazon.


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16 Comments Add yours

  1. It’s so wonderful to share a good book with a book buddy. Glad you and Jennifer so enjoyed this story,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It was a lot of fun!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooo… Mix of Eleanor Oliphant and Kiss Quotient?? (although, I wasn’t much of a fan of kiss quotient… But, I went into that one expecting the Rosie project and wound up with Rosie project meets pretty woman. Guess I should read a synopsis first! 😅)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’d enjoy reading this one! The negative parts of The Kiss Quotient weren’t issues with this book at all. I loved every minute of this one and highly recommend it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good to know!! 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Somya Sahni says:

    This sounds really really good. I actually did come across this one on netgalley .!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was such a wonderful read. I’m glad I read it!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, Ash! What a fantastic review of this beautiful book! Thank you so much for your kind compliments to me. I can say the exact same things about you. I’m so grateful we had this experience of reading this book together, one we loved so much, and with characters this true and warm. Until our next read together! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words! I look forward to our next reading experience! ❤ I know it will be lots of fun! Hope you're feeling better!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay, I definitely want to read this

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I need to read this! Thanks for your amazing review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading!! 😘 I definitely recommend this one. It’s such a lovely story.

      Liked by 1 person

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