Rating: 4/ 5
THE GIRL HE USED TO KNOW by Tracey Garvis Graves was my first book of 2020 and what a way to kick off the year! I pulled “a book with a neurodiverse character” from my Jar of TBR for January and this and a few others were on my TBR. When I threw my options up in a poll in my bookstagram stories this was the winner which was lovely since I had just purchased a copy!
In THE GIRL HE USED TO KNOW, we begin with Jonathan and Annika running into each other while shopping, ten years after they last saw each other. The meeting is a bit awkward with a bit of intrigue as to why it is so uncomfortable. As the book progresses we get two different timelines which help to explain these characters’ past beginning in 1991 and what may become their future beginning in 2001.
Annika is not your typical romantic heroine. While she has lived life without being diagnosed or labeled, Annika recognizes that she isn’t “normal”. Annika misses a lot of social queues and has to put effort into being social. In the early 90s she is a college student just beginning to explore the world outside of her somewhat sheltered, home schooled existence. In the 2001 timeline Annika is working to find strategies to deal with things that are difficult for her and agreeing to meet up with Jonathan again and confront their past together is a major step.
I really enjoyed this book and it was an excellent way to start off the year. I blasted through the whole novel, starting and finishing all on New Year’s day. I really enjoyed Annika as a character and getting to see a bit inside her mind. She is aware of her differences even as she isn’t always aware of how she is different. Jonathan is an incredibly patient person who isn’t afraid to challenge Annika to try new things and expand her horizons.
I was hooked to their story, wanting to know what had gone wrong in their past and wanting to see how they would face the unexpected troubles coming their way. I don’t want to say a lot about where the more recent timeline goes, but the later events in the book do really show the growth Annika has made.
This is absolutely a book I would recommend. I found it to be a light, quick read even as it dealt with some very heavy topics. This was my first book by Tracey Garvis Graves but I absolutely hope to explore more. This book overall contributed to kick my 2020 reading off right!
Reading Challenge Categories:
#AroundTheYearIn52Books: a book with a neurodiverse character
#CRchallenge2020 Binge Read (a book you finished in 24 hours)