The Way I Used to Be

A New York Times bestseller.In the tradition of Speak, this extraordinary debut novel is a poignant book that realistically looks at the lasting effects of trauma on love, relationships, and life School Library Journal, starred review.Eden was always good at being good Starting high school didn t change who she was But the night her brother s best friend rapes her, EA New York Times bestseller.In the tradition of Speak, this extraordinary debut novel is a poignant book that realistically looks at the lasting effects of trauma on love, relationships, and life School Library Journal, starred review.Eden was always good at being good Starting high school didn t change who she was But the night her brother s best friend rapes her, Eden s world capsizes.What was once simple, is now complex What Eden once loved who she once loved she now hates What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies Nothing makes sense any, and she knows she s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can t So she buries it instead And she buries the way she used to be.Told in four parts freshman, sopho, junior, and senior year this provocative debut reveals the deep cuts of trauma But it also demonstrates one young woman s strength as she navigates the disappointment and unbearable pains of adolescence, of first love and first heartbreak, of friendships broken and rebuilt, all while learning to embrace the power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart.
The Way I Used to Be A New York Times bestseller In the tradition of Speak this extraordinary debut novel is a poignant book that realistically looks at the lasting effects of trauma on love relationships and life Scho

  • Title: The Way I Used to Be
  • Author: Amber Smith
  • ISBN: 9781481449366
  • Page: 185
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “The Way I Used to Be”

    1. I seem to be in the minority on this one.There are many thoughts running around in my head about this book and it's hard to decide how to write a review without sounding completely insensitive. If this were a real life account of a rape survivor, then things would be different. Every survivor has their own story to tell, each equally valid, and they don't owe anyone an interesting, convincing account of it. Fiction, though, is a little bit different.I've read many books about teenage girls who w [...]

    2. A single act can change your life forever. In Eden's case, the five minutes in which she was raped send her into a spiral of desperation and despair, so that there are times when she doesn't even recognize herself anymore. This book is divided into four sections, each one following a different school year. Freshman year, which shows the crime and immediate aftermath, is the most well-written one. While the pages kept turning because I wanted to find out what happened to Eden, the later sections [...]

    3. ❝As the girl closes her eyes, she was thinking of him. Thinking that maybe he was thinking of her, too. But he wasn't thinking of her in that way. He was holding her in the palm of his hand, wrapping her around his fingers, one at a time, twisting and molding and bending her brain.❞Rating: 4/5 ✩ “In the tradition of Speak, this extraordinary debut novel shares the unforgettable story of a young woman as she struggles to find strength in the aftermath of an assault.Eden was always good at [...]

    4. See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from Vine.Old pre-review that somehow got 41 likes: (view spoiler)[It looks like I get to be the black sheep yet again.I'm mad. Really mad. The book is Eden's downward spiral into a girl who sleeps around trying to forget the trauma of her rape and replace that touch with someone else's touch. I have no problems with that and I am 100% there for Eden as someone who has been the victim of a sexual crime (mine was abuse instead of [...]

    5. I had a hard time rating this book. I decided on three starts which still means I liked the book. I just really had a hard time with this one. I hate what Edy had to go through as a 14-year-old child. It was hard to read, it always is, it's hard to go through, it always is for the innocent one. I just really had a hard time with her not telling her mom right then, when she walked in the door that morning. So many of these kids are afraid to say anything, they don't think anyone will believe them [...]

    6. It’s not often that I’m at a loss for words, because, well, I’m a writer, and usually I have too many words for any given situation. But after finishing this book, my heart was pounding and I couldn’t find words big enough to describe how brilliant, beautiful, and powerful it is. Those words just don’t seem to do it justice. None do. Amber Smith’s talent is immense. Her writing is searing, raw, courageous, deep. Her words cut, pound, take away your air supply, make you realize you’ [...]

    7. A brutally honest YA novel about the lasting effects of trauma. 14 year-old, Eden wakes up in the middle of the night to find her brother's best friend, Kevin raping her. A powerful and unflinching novel from start to finish. First-time author, Amber Smith doesn't try to sugarcoat how the aftermath of being sexually assaulted changes Eden psychologically, physically, and emotionally. This novel unfolds in 4 separate sections as we follow Eden though her freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior in [...]

    8. 3/5Unlike my other book reviews, I had to give myself some time to figure out a proper rating with this one. Normally, as soon as I finish reading, I know exactly what I’m going to rate the novel. Not with this one. This one was trickier, for many reasons.The first three chapters (or so) of The Way I Used To Be hooked my unlike any YA novel I’ve read. To begin the novel at Eden’s rape scene was shattering — but also gripping, because I was waiting for her to tell someone what’d happene [...]

    9. TRIGGER WARNINGS: rape. As the girl closes her eyes, she was thinking of him. Thinking that maybe he was thinking of her, too. But he wasn't thinking of her in that way. He was holding her in the palm of his hand, wrapping her around his fingers, one at a time, twisting and molding and bending her brain.The Way I Used to Be was a book that sickened me. It's been a long time since I have felt physically sick during a book and sat there, for the most part. screaming at the main character to tell s [...]

    10. 4.5 If you think, like i thought, that this is a book about getting over being raped, you are wrong. Because how could anyone ever get over it? They don't, they just continue living with it. That's what this book is about. It's about the ugliness that comes after. The depression and anxiety and mostly emptiness. The desire to control emotions and feel something you didn't have control over. I don't know where exactly my tears began and when they stopped because this wasn't a beautiful book. It w [...]

    11. Initial reaction: Man, this book hit my heart in so many places. It's a read that definitely hurts and has many angles that hit well on its subject matter, but it's not without flaws. In my full review, I hope I can expand on this.Full review:Amber Smith's "The Way I Used to Be" is an emotional experience; I can't say that there was a point that I had a dry eye upon finishing this book. One would expect something to that effect given the difficult subject matter of the book, centering on a young [...]

    12. This is the book I voted for, for best young adult fiction 2016. I think anyone who has a chance to read this book should. Which books have you guys voted for?~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I loved loved LOVED this book. I read this book in one day because I fell in love with it real fast. I connected to Eden (the main character) almost instantly as I was absorbed into the book. The topic, the character development, the writing and feelings were expertly executed. This is an astonishing contemporary tha [...]

    13. The Way I Used to Be is perfectly readable, a solid 3 stars, despite a few quibbles.There's been a trend in YA novels lately. With stories like, Firsts, What We Saw, and All the Rage, rape, rape culture, and teen sexuality are on the forefront. It's not unwelcome either. When in was in high school, four score and seven years and a lifetime ago, before iPhones and Snapchat and whatever these young whippersnappers these days have, sex wasn't discussed. Rape wasn't discussed. Slut-shaming wasn't a [...]

    14. This book hooked me in from the very start and it was surprisingly really gripping too. When I was reading it, I felt like I was 100% in the story and so it was one of those books that completely sucked me in, I was just SO absorbed in the story. Reading about rape isn't easy and so this book is definitely not for everyone but I really enjoyed it. Of course reading the hard bits were tough and I got quite emotional at times because I just wanted to take away Eden's hurt but overall, I'm so glad [...]

    15. WOW. That was some intense stuff.The synopsis of this book gives you enough information to go into this knowing a few key things. The most important being, that a young and naive fourteen year old girl gets violently raped by her older brothers best friend. There's no build up to this violence. The book opens up while the rape is about to happen. From then on, this book tells the story of how Eden, the victim of such a brutal act, deals, or rather, doesn't deal with the cyclone that is her life. [...]

    16. I had a chance to read an ARC of Amber Smith's THE WAY I USED TO BE.This is a beautiful, powerful book about the long-term affects of rape on a girl's life. Eden is a fantastic, realistic character, and watching her story unfold over four years is both painful and enthralling. That's four years of trauma and secrets, self-destruction and growth, fear and courage, lost trust and strained families, through friendships and relationships broken and reformed, all of it told as though we are right the [...]

    17. This was a hard one to read. Told from four years of one main character trying to live her life after she has been raped by her brother's best friend. Her downward spiral of becoming emotionless and distant was so heart-breaking to read. Other characters will react in different ways, and Edy's was a different one from what I've read. She starts to lead a more promiscuous lifestyle with drugs, and booze. Alienating her school work, her family, her friends. The moment she started referring to her [...]

    18. There's a reason I rarely read books that deal with this type of subject matter. It pulls a visceral response from me, and it's hard to let go. Amber Smith writes a deeply emotional story that is both gut-wrenching and hopeful in its efforts to depict an experience and aftermath that unfortunately many young women face. Full review on TheYoungFolks: goo/v2hzqC

    19. I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.This book! All the feels! There were moments reading it when I felt Eden's pain/terror/regret/anger so strongly, it was like being right by her side. Her teenage experiences felt real and honest. In a way, this book was a window that allowed me to understand why teenagers act out about seemingly silly things--chores, for instance.This book shares such an important message. That's it's never too late to change [...]

    20. Real rating: 4.5/5 stars!Quick thoughts before I forget:- Trigger warnings: excessive use of the f-word; rape; sexual scenes- Main character is incredibly similar to me; it's terrifying.- Pacing is wonderful.- Reminds me of FIRSTS by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn and SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson- Dives right into the story, which I really liked.- Terrified for/with her; felt so much emotion; even teared up at some parts.- Incredibly sad, incredibly important.EDIT: Full review found at Princessica of [...]

    21. “All these maybes swimming around in my head make me think that 'maybe' could just be another word for hope." ay caramba, i wish this book was required reading for schools everywhere. the story is so important and goes to show how quick we are to judge people. the subject is extremely sensitive, so sensitive that i'm honestly scared to talk about it in fear of insulting / triggering someone. i'm struggling to put my thoughts into words. even though nothing like this has ever happened to me, i [...]

    22. It isn't a spoiler to say this is a book about an innocent young girl who is a victim of rape and is trying to make her interactions with friends/family/boys in the aftermath make sense. I did not want to read it. It might be a spoiler, but I was told there is an uplifting ending before I began. Then I fell in love with Edy/Eden so quickly and needed her to be okay so badly I read it straight through. Please please don't give up during the first few pages. If you do you won't make it to the end [...]

    23. Amber Smith’s story about the lasting, haunting effects of sexual assault is both brilliantly written and brilliantly executed. This book explores the issues of trust and sexuality and sexual violation. Throughout the pages, Smith’s main character struggles with ownership of her own body. Her sexuality. Her female voice. Her need to speak up in a culture of silence. This story held me in its clutches and did not let go. The power of Smith’s debut will respectfully add to the conversations [...]

    24. The Way I Used to Be was very difficult for me to rate. I struggled between adequately appreciating the important themes and messages in the book, while pointing out its flaws without seeming insensitive. How to walk the thin line between constructive criticism and plain callousness for all the victims whose stories were told in this book? I ended up rating it three stars, which in means I "liked it". Which I did. There were just some points which kept me from rating it 4 stars or above, which [...]

    25. 4.5"You're drunk, Edy. You're really drunk and that guy was trying to take advantage of you! You're lucky I came in when I did," he says, dead serious, as if getting taken advantage of would be the worst thing that could happen, as if that wasn't something that happens to girls on a daily basis.Powerful writing that sucks you in? Yes.Round main character with a strong personality? You got that.Fucking crude reality exposed as it should always be? YESWill you cry (and shiver) while reading this? [...]

    26. Ulasan bertajuk "Bungkam Mencekam Kisah Perkosaan" untuk Jurnal Ruang: jurnalruang/read/15057036Aku belajar banyak dari buku ini. Intinya, setiap aksi selalu memiliki reaksi. Reaksi itulah yang menjadikan dampaknya entah lebih baik atau malah lebih buruk.Aku bisa mengerti dengan tingkah laku Eden yang nggak keruan dalam buku ini. Ia berlagak seperti itu karena dia ingin "lepas" dari siapa-dia-dulu, the way she used to be.

    27. I received this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.Wow. It is rare that a book leaves me completely speechless, but this book has done exactly that. At fourteen years old, Eden is raped by her brother's best friend. The book starts with the assault and then the book is divided into freshman year sophomore year, junior year and senior year so we can see how this trauma shapes Eden and how she struggles every day to recover.It's hard to put into words just how much Eden's voice af [...]

    28. I read THE WAY I USED TO BE in 2-3 sittings. It was one of those books where when I wasn't reading it I was thinking about wanting to read it to find out what was happening. I felt such sympathy for Eden and can see why she changed so dramatically after she was raped by her brother's best friend, and why she was afraid to tell anyone, for fear that he would kill her. Amber Smith wrote such realistic scenes of what it was like to be a teenager, I felt for what Eden was going through. Although the [...]

    29. A tough but worthwhile that looks at the long term effects of sexual assault. Eden is raped by a friend of her brother at age fourteen (this isn't a spoiler and happens in the first few pages) and then spends the next few years keeping the secret and slowly falling apart.I felt sad and frustrated that Eden felt she had absolutely no one to confide in. She did have a supportive family but for whatever reason just tries to forget what happened to her, which of course doesn't work at all. (view spo [...]

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