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

the way i used to be

The Way I Used to Be

Release date: March 22nd 2016

4 stars

This was a book I hadn’t heard too much about when I started reading it so the only thing I really knew was from the synopsis and what I could assume based on the fact that it was compared to ‘Speak’. This was also a book I have a hard time saying I enjoyed reading because of the subject matter. I connected with Eden, I felt for her, I was fully engrossed in her journey and was hopeful that she could find a way to heal. I’m definitely glad I read it.

Eden was a character that broke my heart in so many ways. Her relationship with her parents wasn’t great, especially with her older brother off at college. It seemed like once he was gone, no one knew how to react or interact without him there to complete the family. They treated her attacker like he was one of the family so her own home was no longer a safe place. She coped the only way she could think of: become someone else, someone who wasn’t a quiet, good girl. She made me want to scream at her family and her friends to do something, notice something, question something and don’t write it off as being a teenage girl thing.

This book dealt with a lot on top of Eden’s attack. There was slut-shaming and bullying and addiction issues. It was so easy for outsiders to slap their labels on Eden, much easier than questioning the huge change in her, and once she was labelled, it was easier for her to run with it and be that person instead of who she used to be. She made some bad decisions that could have gotten other characters into some serious trouble but it was never in a malicious way, just in a way that she felt she needed to act to deal.

I can see why this was compared to Speak but I think both books stand on their own. This book had a lot to offer the reader, from Eden’s journey of healing to some great side characters and interactions to its overall story. This is a book that will stay with me for some time.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



Filed under book-related, books, reviews, talking books, ya books

4 responses to “Book Review: The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

  1. I had huge issues with Eden’s parents. They never seemed to notice or care that she went out all the time and completely changed. It was just frustrating to see people not caring about what’s going on in their daughter’s life. This was one of those books that really sticks with you after reading it, and while it really was hard to enjoy, it was also hard to put down. Great review!

    • I so agree. So frustrating and sad. And scary. I’d like to think if I changed that much, someone would notice. It’s also a little scary at how many books are coming out right now with this as a theme.

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