The Girl I Used To Be by Debbie Howells

The Girl I Used To Be
.ePUB, 304 pages
Expected Publication: 19 Oct 2022
By: Boldwood Books
Amazon | Goodreads

About The Book:
Anna and Will have been passing in and out of each other’s lives since they were just teenagers. Now 20 years later, Anna is married - she has a lovely house, a step daughter in university and a husband with a good job. What she doesn’t have is joy. When she runs into Will it sparks something in her, a longing for the Anna she used to be. Together they embark on a journey to find what brings them joy, to discard what doesn’t and to become the people they always wanted to be. But in finding themselves, can they also find each other?

My Review:
I have a job that’s meaningless, a marriage that grows ever more 
distant, while meeting Will again has reminded me of the girl I used to be. 

I read and loved The Life You Left Behind by Debbie Howells and was really excited to get this one from NetGalley. Unfortunately, I was left feeling very disappointed and I found it hard to get into this book, it was very slow going. I do enjoy the find your teen/first love trope and I appreciated the format of the book. This one is told past/present via flashbacks (note to publisher I did not like the italic chapters) and I was pleased getting to know Anna and Will's romantic backstory. 

I didn't like that Anna was still married while she pursued Will. I know her husband, James is an arse and he deserved to be left but do the leaving first, before you start something new, or even better be on your own first and get your head together. The same can be said for Will. If I were Anna I would never have gone back to Will in the first place, he too is an arse as he kept leaving her hanging over and over again...“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I found both Will and Anna to be whiners and complaining all the time instead of doing something about it.

I did like the fact that we get both Will's and Anna's perspectives, there was a lot of internal dialogue from both of them and I felt that I got to know them well, they were normal, real human beings, flaws and all. It also helped me try to understand their dilemmas and their thought process for what they were doing. Watching Anna and Will grow into the people they really want to be was a joy to read and I really liked that both of them put their daughters front and center, that is a very redeeming quality. Will's ex, Darcey was a piece of work though, as she used her daughter to get back at Will and that's a low blow and shameful. 

I think I had so many thoughts and feelings about this one because I divorced when my kids were small and would never do some of the things these two did. I liked the author's other book so much though that I'd be willing to give her another chance and look forward to what she comes up with next.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Debbie Howells, and Boldwood Books for the giving of the ARC.

#TheGirlIUsedToBe #NetGalley

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