Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves @tgarvisgraves @StMartinsPress #bookreview #thegirlheusedtoknow

Happy Thursday bibliophiles!

So excited to share with you today my review for this beautiful story that I buddy read with my friend Heather, you can find her thoughts below as well!🦋

My Thoughts

An extraordinary love story brimming with heart, hope , and second chances!

Tracey Garvis Graves has stolen my heart with this evocative and emotional story. I read “On the Island” A few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Going into this book I knew I was going to be treated to brilliantly developd characters and an intriguing storyline. What I was not prepared for was The emotional toll this book would have on my heart! This book both destroyed me and pieced me back together again. I seriously feel a little squeeze on my heart just thinking about this book! If you enjoy stories with characters that will worm their way into your heart then this is a can’t miss!

The story bounces between 1991 and 2001 and is told from both Annika and Jonathan‘s perspectives. In 1991 both Annika and Jonathan are attending the University of Illinois, where they meet while attending chess club. Anica is a bit socially awkward, a little anxious, a little oversensitive to her surroundings. She is on the autism spectrum, however in 1991 this was not a common diagnosis so people saw her as quirky or just plain weird. Jonathan was immediately drawn to Annika and saw through to who she truly was inside. What follows is a beautiful and intense romance that was so special to read about. Watching Jonathan so tenderly and cautiously try to understand Annika and her needs was so sweet! He legitimately made my heart melt, I might’ve fallen a little in love with him myself. Sadly tragedy struck and the couple was torn apart. 10 years later Monica was at the grocery store when she hears a familiar voice, it must be fate because there is Jonathan in the bread aisle. Anica and Jonathan try to rekindle the flame, but has too much already happened to prevent this? Can Annika and Jonathan open their hearts up to each other again, regardless of the past?

In case you missed it, I really loved this book! The characters popped off the pages and the story was so well told. There is something about a second chance romance that really resonates with me. It’s definitely not that I want a second chance with anyone I’ve ever been with *shutters* I think it is the idea of hope, and this book had that in abundance.

Beautiful and moving, I cannot recommend this book enough, be sure to have Kleenex on hand before reading!

*** many thanks to St. Martin’s Press for my copy of this book ***

Heather’s Thoughts

Thank you to the publisher for my ebook galley. I LOVED this book. The story was about a second chance at love. Annika and Jonathan met in college and fell in love. They ended up parting ways when Jonathan left for a job. Then 10 years later, they meet again, unexpectedly. What follows is amazing story of a love so strong. I loved Annika and I loved seeing the way her mind worked with her autism. I loved Jonathan because he is such a nice, genuine guy. I wanted nothing more than for them to be together. These two have some definite hardships in their relationship and this book is a must read to find out. A truly heartfelt, emotional read, and I loved every minute!

About the Book

Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.  
Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game – and his heart – to the shy and awkward yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. 
Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.   
Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start.  
The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in #Dark, memoir, Non Fiction, True Crime

Girl A: The truth about the Rochdale sex ring by the victim who stopped them By Girl A #Review #Dark #NonFiction

Hello book friends, I hope you are all having a great week!

I have started to watch more TV recently, and have been binging on Netflix shows, unfortunately that has moved me away from reading as much, but I have remedied this over the last couple of weeks and have got my Mojo back…I think.

Why did you pick it up Vicci? – **THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED BBC DRAMA ‘THREE GIRLS’ ** After watching this show, and feeling so angry, I wanted to find out about the girl, and if she was OK now and living a happy and healthy life, I didn’t manage to find this information, but I did find this book.

Be warned, this is not a fluffy feelgood book, this is gritty, graphic and heartbreaking. This would probably be a good book for people in the Social Worker profession to read about what not to do!

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My Thoughts

A heartbreaking read of true events, in May 2012 nine men were convicted of sex trafficking and other offences including rape, trafficking girls for sex and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.

This is the story of one of those girls.

Only known as Girl A in the news, this is the harrowing story of a young girl that were groomed, raped and then ultimately sold for sex, all under the eyes of the police, social workers and her parents.

The men involved were all of Asian/Pakistani descent, and occurred within their own community, however this is not a book about race, this is something that happened and is still happening to young girls.

Girl A or Hannah for the purpose of the story was from a well off family who fell onto bad times, her father lost the business he had,and they had to downsize their house and move to a different area.

This is where she met Emma, who befriended her for ulterior motives.

After finding new friends “Hannah” used to go to the local kebab shop with Emma, there they were given free kebabs, chips and drinks, this soon led to Vodka and parties.

Only being 14, this was the best thing ever, her parents didn’t know, and the owners of the kebab shop gave her and her friends everything she wanted, they even picked her off and dropped her off, as the friend of the shop also had friends that ran a taxi company, all of this was done for free, they never asked for any money, or anything in return……until they did!

Hannah is then drawn into a spiral of harrowing and horrifying despair, and when she finds the courage to speak up, she is let down by the very authorities that are supposed to be there to protect her!

I can’t tell you how angry I was reading this book, these poor girls were failed time and time again by the authorities, and the one lady that knew what was going on and told the police time and time again was brushed aside, even Social Services who KNEW what was happening in that area, brushed it aside and said that it was a “lifestyle choice” by the girls!! 14 YEAR OLD GIRLS!!!!

This is not a lifestyle choice, this is RAPE!! These men were all 40-50 years old!

This book was heartbreaking, and I really hope that “Hannah” is now happy and living a normal and happy life, she is one brave lady to tell her story.

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About the book

THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED BBC DRAMA ‘THREE GIRLS’

What do they find attractive about me? An underage girl who just lies there, sobbing, looking up at them…as they come to me one by one.

This is the shocking true story of how a young girl from Rochdale came to be Girl A – the key witness in the trial of Britain’s most notorious child sex ring.

Girl A was just 14 when she was groomed by a group of nine Asian men. After being lured into their circle with free gifts, she was plied with alcohol and systematically abused. She was just one of up to fifty girls to be ‘passed around’ by the gang. The girls were all under-16 and forced to have sex with as many as twenty men in one night.

When details emerged a nation was outraged and asked how these sickening events came to pass. And now, the girl at the very centre of the storm reveals the heartbreaking truth.

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Vicci