Thoughts While Reading: The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

Hello Friends! It is a chill Sunday night and I just got cozy in bed and read chapter three of The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves. I “started” this book about a week ago, but the way last week was set up: hardly any reading got done. I am determined to get it finished this week though because it releases April 2. I thought instead of a typical review, I’d just do check in’s every few chapters or so and share my feelings and thoughts…

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Sunday, March 24th at 7:33 pm:

I am very early into the book but already, only three chapters in, the tension is building up for me. I really want to know what the heck Annika did to Jonathan.

So far I am enjoying the way the book is formatted. It appears that we will flip flop between Annika and Jonathan’s narration, so I’m hoping we are privy to what happened from both of their perspectives.

Also, I tabbed a few things Annika says in chapter 3 that has me curious as to if she is autistic..

“When I was a child, I would rock and hum, but as I got older, I learned  to keep my self-soothing methods hidden.”

“He smelled faintly of chlorine, and while I hated most smells, for some reason that one didn’t bother me.”

But I had a very sensitive nose and I knew what it was the moment she introduced us. Janice understood that the memories it triggered were something I simply couldn’t handle.”

“It would take me hours to fully unwind, but being home allowed me to relax slightly and my breathing to grow deeper.”

“Janice had had three years to learn how to communicate with me, and to her credit, she’d mastered my native language like an expert linguist.”

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Saturday, March 30th at 5:24 pm:

I did some catch up reading of The Girl He Used To Know this morning while sipping a delicious latte at one of my coffee spots. I didn’t get very far, but it felt so good to jump back into the story. For real, it has been a while since a book has had me highlighting and underlining like crazy and I am nowhere near even halfway through this book. It’s so good. The chapter I read today was from Jonathan’s perspective and my heart has broken for him, both due to his recent divorce and for whatever the heck Annika did to him!

When thinking of his recent divorce: 

“It’s funny how the very trait that attracts you to someone is the same trait you can’t stand when you’re untangling yourselves from each other. And not funny ha-ha. Funny like how in the world could you not have seen it?”


“That’s the thing no one tells you about divorce. No matter how much you and your spouse agree that the relationship is broken, it hurts like hell when you go to your separate ways, and the pain follows you around until one day, it doesn’t. It’s only recently that I’ve noticed its absence, and I have no desire to gamble on replacing it with more heartbreak.”

Jonathan agrees to have a coffee date with Annika where they make basically small talk and nothing from the past gets resolved. So as it comes to a close, Jonathan thanks her for the coffee and tells her he should get going. He can tell it bothers her:

“When she comprehends that one coffee date I the extent of our reunion, she looks crushed. Thought is isn’t intentional and it’s certainly not retaliatory, I have the fleeting thought that this is the first time I’ve ever done anything to hurt her. And it feels awful.”

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Wednesday, April 3rd at 7:18 pm

It’s been a few days but I have been taking my time with this book. Savoring it yet devouring it piece by piece. It is beautiful.  I finally got the answers to my questions I had when I initially started the book. Annika’s therapist believes she lives is on the high functioning spectrum of autism but Annika has never taken the steps to finding out for sure. I love how in a way, rather than put a name or label on something, the author chose to just create this complex character and her quirks and leave it at that. Jonathan is now a favorite hero. He truly lives up to the word.

Something crazy, what in the world plot twist just happened that I wasn’t expecting and my heart is a little broken at the moment but wow. I feel like this is going to be one of those books I never shut up about.. it has my emotions all over the place.

Thursday, April 4th at 6:57 pm

Hello loves. I finished the book this morning. I gave it 5/5 stars on Goodreads. It was so good. I enjoy second chance romances, especially when the writer writes the story where you are time hopping between then and now. That’s how The Girl He Used To Know is written and I couldn’t imagine it being written any other way. You really get to see the evolution of Annika with the time hopping. She is a very intelligent, beautiful woman but  there’s a lot of things she doesn’t know how to do, a lot of things she’s uncomfortable with doing. Jonathan comes into her life and tries to ease things for her which I loved but she really did need to see that she could do life on her own at the same time. I liked that. I liked that Annika needed to figure life out and how she personally can navigate the world before getting her happily ever after. In the end, she really had to be bold, be brave, to find the man she loves and I was so proud of her.

This is a wonderful romance for lovers of second chances. If you enjoy those stories of two people who are perfect for each other, making their way back to one another, I think you’ll really enjoy this one.


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Hi I'm Bree, an Air Force Veteran turned Stay At Home Mom, full time college student and lover of romance.

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