The Girl He Used to Know

At first glance, this is a novel about love, heartbreak, and second chances. Annika and Jonathan were college sweethearts who planned a future together, however, they soon discover that life doesn’t always go as planned and they go their separate ways. Ten years later they reunite. Both a little wiser, they make a second attempt at love. But as the story unfolds across two timelines, 1991 and 2001, and through the individual POV for each character, you begin to see that it is also a story of hope, belonging, acceptance, and personal growth, especially for Annika, who is on the autism spectrum.

Author: Tracey Garvis Graves
Title: The Girl He Used to Know
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2019
Available as an audiobook: yes

Discussion Points

  • does the author do a good job portraying a person with high functioning autism
  • can a person who is neurotypical accurately represent a person who is neurodiverse and should they?
  • did you feel that Jonathan loves Annika as much as she loved him or did he settle because he liked having someone love him like Annika did?
  • was the author able to hold your interest as the story bounced from 1991 to 2001 and across two point of views?
  • Annika gets an official diagnosis in her 30s, what do you make of her reasoning not to get tested?
  • did the end come as a surprise – was it necessary?

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