ARC Review: The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

The Way I Used to Be

Title: The Way I Used to Be
Author: Amber Smith
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date: March 22, 2016
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss
Summary (via Goodreads): 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 anymore, 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, sophomore, junior, and senior year.

 

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This was a really good book that focused on a very emotional topic i.e. rape. There were parts that my heart felt like it was breaking while I was reading. Based on other’s reactions, I expected to cry a bit more. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this book to everyone. Thank you Edelweiss for providing me a copy in exchange for a honest review. I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

 

This book was my choice for last week’s Waiting on Wednesday. It’s been on my radar for a while, so I’m glad I finally got around to reading it. The book was close to being 5 stars, but there were a few things that I questioned/didn’t particularly love. One thing I kept wondering about was why Eden was only 14 in her sophomore year of high school, and only 17 when she was in her senior year. Did she skip a year? Another thing I didn’t particularly love was how far Eden had “fallen” in a sense. But I could still understand why she did to a certain extent.

 

The summary and amazing cover is what made me first want to read the book. I thought it was interesting to cram all four years of high school into one book. Some years felt a little light compared to others, but overall it seemed like Amber did a great job spreading Eden’s life out through the years. Throughout reading, I felt bad for Eden and what she went through.

 

Another thing that disappointed me a little was that I wanted to see the a-hole responsible for the bad things sentenced and punished; just a mention of it would have given me satisfaction. I’m just glad that Amber wasn’t afraid to go to some dark places with the book, since rape is such a terrible issue our society faces. Eden made a lot of bad choices because of what happened to her, because she buried the horrible truth inside.

 

There wasn’t really romance in the book, because of what Eden endured. But I did like Josh’s character; he was one of the high points in the book for me. I mean besides Eden finally getting a bit of closure, and when she stood up for herself. Overall, the ending was good. I mostly made observations on Goodreads, but I did write down this line: “All these maybes swimming around my head make me think that “maybe” could just be another word for hope.”

 

Final note: A great book, that I highly recommend, if you’re not afraid of a slightly darker theme. I’m so glad I had a chance to read this one.

 4.5 stars

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