This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks.
I have told my daughter’s for years that I have found all of my best friends in books. I tell them that I have also solved most of my problems by emerging myself into a book, spying on the inner thoughts of the character, learning the lessons they do as they go. Books are my oasis. My place of peace. Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of time anymore to read. Life has gotten too busy and I miss it. So when I do have that rare moment, finding a book I am sure I will like can be hard. So, as I review The Girl He Used to Know, which hits the stores on April 2, keep in mind that I am doing it because I love the story, the struggle and the enlightenment, but also because it is one that will allow you to fall in love with books again.
The Girl He Used to Know Review
This book, written by New York Times Bestselling Author Tracey Garvis Graves, is a delicate balance of love, learning and sacrifice in a complicated but passionate relationship between Annika and Jonathan.
Painfully shy, Annika first meets Jonathan in a chess club meeting where she unapologetically beats him their first game. On the autism spectrum, Annika finds the order, peace and structure she needs to be comfortable on a chess board. Painfully shy, she can only function in her comfort zone when everything is as it should be.
Jonathan is immediately smitten by the shy and beautiful Annika. Though she leaves immediately following their chess match, he is intrigued and instantly smitten. Over their senior year, they start to connect.
Peeking in on this couple from the awkwardness of the first touch to the freedom of a passionate love affair makes this book difficult to put down. Watching Annika grow from the shy, home-schooled girl that took on collage and it’s new adventures with trepidation to a woman who is planning a future with the man she loves is endearing. So much so that when the relationship falls apart because Jonathan moves to New York, you fall apart with her.
Now, 10 years later, they bump into each other in the freezer section of a grocery store. Annika is lonely and has lost herself in books and animals and Jonathan is recovering from a divorce. As they both try to decide whether the feelings are still there and whether they are both willing to take on each others quirks, a tragedy brings them face to face with reality.
The Lessons it Taught Me
I won’t ruin the book for you because that is not what I am here for. What I will say is that I am reading it again. Mainly because I have dated a man on the autism spectrum and I want to make sure I did not get so lost in the love story that I forgot the lesson.
Reading this book gives me much more insight on the way he was than I anticipated. Her quirks explained his and her peculiarities helped me understand that his are normal for a high functioning autistic person. Her journey to understand emotions and social norms have guided me on what I now think I can see clearly about his approach to emotional love. It has been eye opening for me. Not enough for me to date him again, but enough for me to be more flexible and more understanding of people that I may not understand at first.
How The Girl He Used to Know Helped Me Fall in Love
Not in love with a person, but in love with reading again. It has been too long since I have been able to really read. The clear, concise and not overly descriptive chapters meant that I might actually get though one before the children interrupted. I knew exactly how Annika thought, felt and struggled without a lot of overly-flowery language. For a mom of three who is always torn in a million directions, knowing I could pick up the book and easily know where I was in the story matters.
I love books like this and I have purchased several more that are easy but delicious reads that I can fit into my crazy life.
This is anther home run for Tracey Garvis Graves and I am so glad I got to read it before it hits shelves April 2, 2019!
What was the last book you read?