The Way I Used To Be
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—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.
Written with such intensity, realism and rawness I was completely and utterly lost in the story of Eden.
All it takes is one moment, a blink of an eye, the exhale of a breath and life as you know it is over. Your heart shatters and your soul floats from your body like dust particles dancing in sunshine. In that one moment you lose yourself and surrender to the darkness.
The Way I Used To Be deals with topics that are a hard truth. Amber Smith writes them in such a way you feel the rawness of her words. The ugly truths. The devastation. The heartbreak. The complete and utter loss of yourself, your hopes and dreams for the future.
The story centers around Eden, her family and school. There hasn’t been a character that I fought for, like I did for Eden. Internally I was shouting, hoping, breaking and trying to desperately hold on for the ending I prayed would happen.
This story embeds itself into your mind. It challenges you. It makes you want to have the ability to steer the characters in the right direction. It bleeds into your veins leaving you feeling … everything.
Amber Smith takes on many taboo subjects in this book. She writes them with intense realism and truth.
When the people you trust to love you unconditionally fail. When they should protect and defend you when it’s needed most and they don’t When you feel as though there is nothing left but a shell of your former self. When you find yourself unworthy. When you challenge yourself to face your fear in ways that are self harming. When you push away the one person who would allow you to expose your darkness. When you feel as though there is nothing left to give, no fight worth fighting, no reason to move forward from the hell that’s been created, what do you do?
A tragically, tender story of survival, love and moving forward. The Way I Used to Be takes a realistic look at what happens in that one second, that one breath that changes the course of your life forever.
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