Updated: Apr 15, 2020
I would like to thank Katie from St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a review copy of this fab book! I had actually received it right before I went on my big road trip last summer and didn’t get the chance to read it for many months. I’m glad I finally got to read it now as this was a hot book last year all over the Instagram blogger world.
The Girl He Used to Know follows a young lady named Annika, pronounced like Monica but with an ‘A’. Annika is a very particular person, she likes her own company rather than being surrounded by people, she hates loud places and unnecessary noise, she struggles quite a bit with normal social interactions and worries that she always says the wrong things. She struggles to read people and frankly prefers the company of animals and books. She loves books so much that she made a point of turning it into her career as a librarian based in Chicago. The only exception to the ‘people’ rule is her college love Jonathan. He was her first love and the only man that she truly loved. Later on in her life, Annika bumps into Jonathan at a grocery store and the feelings she had for him come rushing right back as if it was yesterday that they were together. The story is told from two points of views, Annika & Jonathan. They are told over two time periods, while they were in college in 1991, and later on when they bump into each other in 2001. When Annika bumps into Jonathan all those years later, she is not sure if he would even speak to her or would want to see her again after what he did to her many years ago. The story then unravels as we get to hear the story of Annika & Jonathan from 1991 to now. Will they end up together again? Will Jonathan ever forgive her for what she did to him? One thing is for sure, she still very much loves him even after all these years.
I actually really enjoyed reading this book. At first, Annika’s character sort of annoyed me, but after I got to know why she is the way she is, I actually thought she was quite sweet in the end. The author must have done a lot of research to have been able to write about a character like Annika. I don’t want to give too much away but there is a specific reason for why she behaves in a certain way compared to most people. I actually admired her towards the end. I liked hearing the story from Annika’s point of view rather than Jonathan’s. She was a complex character and that sort of made me want to read more about her story and to know what would happen in the end. There was a twist towards the end that I honestly did not see coming that did bring some drama and a bit more depth into the book. If it wasn’t for the dramatic ending, I don’t think this book would have been as good. Obviously I can’t tell you what happens, but I can say that it was an engrossing read! I stayed up till late just to know what happened because I simply could not sleep without knowing. It definitely was a gripping read towards the end.
This was a lovely book, with a great love story and characters. I especially liked Annika’s friend Janice. I think all women should have a great friend like Janice, I actually wish I knew a bit more about her. Their friendship was so pure and will always stand the test of time. I loved it. There were also some pretty steamy scenes in this book that I was not expecting! I have to say, when I picked up the book, I wasn’t expecting the story to turn out like the way it did, but it was a good surprise.
I would say, if you are a fan of Jojo Moyes, then you will love this book. It’s emotional, raw, heartfelt, and also had a great dramatic last few chapters that tied it all together. It’s a good book if you want an emotional love story, also I always like romances that happen a bit later in life, it sort of felt more realistic to me. This is one of those books you can easily finish in one sitting or in two to three days. It’s that readable. I gave it a 7/10 because I thought the book was a good read, it’s not one that I would rave about or that I absolutely loved, but it was a good and an interesting story and an overall good book! Also, I'm a total sucker for artsy book covers.
Thanks again to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with this fab read.
Genre: Romance, Contemporary Fiction
Published: April 2nd, 2019
Reviewed by Chrissy's Books
Check out my YouTube review of The Girl He Used to Know Below!