Debbie Howells: The Girl I Used To Be

Today I’m joining the blog tour for The Girl I Used To Be. My review is written with thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on the blog tour and to Boldwood Books for my copy of 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 grown-up stepdaughter 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?


I’ve never read anything by Debbie Howells before, but I was absolutely mesmerised by her writing. The Girl I Used To Be is a really emotional story and the author captures all the feelings within the novel so well that I couldn’t help but be caught in the moment as I was reading. 

Unlike a lot of couples in romantic comedies, Anna and Will already know each other from the outset. The chapters mostly alternate between the viewpoints of the two lead characters and it is through this – and the frequent flashback scenes – that we get to know them and the nature of their relationship. I became really invested in their story and I really wanted them both to find happiness. 

The Girl I Used To Be is set across several different locations and each one is described in perfect detail. I could picture myself wherever the characters happened to be, but I had a particular enjoyment of the scenes in Ibiza as I hadn’t realised it was so picturesque! 

Throughout the novel, Howells explores a number of themes and they all felt relevant in some way to me. The beauty of Howells’ writing is that each reader will take a different message from the novel, but I’ll definitely be thinking about the messages it held for me for a long time to come. 

The Girl I Used To Be is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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