Annika knows she’s beautiful and she also knows she’s different. She has trouble understanding what’s going on in social situations and gets very anxious in unfamiliar places. In college she met a wonderful guy named Jonathan. Things were great between them but after graduation he left for New York to begin his career and graduate school. The plan was that she would follow in a year. Long story short: she did not. Fast forward ten years and Annika and Jonathan bump into each other at a grocery store in Chicago. They each still have feelings for the other but can Jonathan forgive Annika for leaving him that way?
I liked the dual narration with chapters from both Annika and Jonathan’s point of view (each voiced by a different actor on the audiobook) so you really get to know each character and how good they worked, and will hopefully one day again, work together. Annika’s actions are sometimes difficult to understand but the network of caring individuals and coping strategies she surrounds herself with allow her to successfully navigate her world yet still retain what makes her herself. This is a great character study and a look at a relationship in all it’s gritty detail.
Two warnings. First, 9/11 is a major subplot and is lived by certain characters minute by minute. I know these events are still fresh in the minds and hearts of some people and none of the reviews mention it is part of the book. Second, if you are listening to the book do so with the windows up in your car and/or without your mother/children/co-workers in the car. There are a few sex scenes that get a little steamy!