‘UNTIL I KNEW MYSELF’: Contemporary about Healing and Grace


STORY: Though he grew up without a biological family, Tyler Mitchell was surrounded by a loving family. This included his best friend and Beck’s parents, a circle of close friends, and eventually his girlfriend, Journey. But now, many years later, everyone is grown up, and somehow, they’ve all found their own lives… and have forgotten their once tight-knit bond.

BOOK REVIEW | ‘JUST LET GO’: Romantic Drama About Letting Go of the Past
‘UNTIL I KNEW MYSELF’: Contemporary about Healing and Grace. Review of the 2018 contemporary by Tammy L. Gray. All text © Rissi JC

Tyler and Journey are no longer dating, and when Tyler learns a secret about his past, even his friendship with Beck suddenly crashes. With the introduction of a new friend, and the heartbreak in their respective love stories, will this group of friends recover to find their happier past?

Until I Knew Myself by Tammy L. Gray | Book Review

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‘UNTIL I KNEW MYSELF’: Contemporary about Healing and Grace. Review of the 2018 contemporary by Tammy L. Gray. All text © Rissi JC

Beautiful though Until I Knew Myself is, it has a few flaws. One of the things that I think hinders the reader experience is the multiple POV switch off. Perhaps “hinder” isn’t the right word because the changes aren’t ill timed nor do the transitions seem “off,” but still, I think there was too many perspectives. Or maybe it’s simply a personal preference since I don’t recall ever being confused as to who’s story I was in, which is often the troublesome factor in many multiple POV stories. Tammy’s has an ease about it that made the story feel polished and more intricate.

As the reader works deeper into this story, one thing that is alarmingly clear is the author’s feelings about this story. Each of the characters has deep-seated emotions, which must mean, the author also went through all the feels while telling their stories. Whether it’s the scars of one character’s abandoned past or a thread which involves a character running from the past, these stories have purpose. The characters are likable, though their stories are less about happiness and more about discovering what’s really important.

Most of this novel isn’t cheery in the same ways so many favorite contemporary authors are. That said, this novel IS stunning – so much so, I’m anxious to discover how this group of characters will end up in the follow up novel. Until I Knew Myself is emotional and surprising in many ways. The characters experience a roller-coaster of emotions, and as readers, we relish the journey with them towards a brighter future. ♥


Author: Tammy L. Gray
Publisher: Indie Published
Publication Date: 2018
Series: Brentwood, Book 1
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary, Adult Fiction
Source: Author provided – thank you, Tammy
Add the Book: Goodreads
Rating: ★★★★

Sincere thanks to the author for providing a copy of this book; all opinions are my own.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. Great review! I'm not sure what to expect when I read this book, but I'm excited to. All of the emotions and character history are bound to make a compelling read. I've already preordered the second, too.

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