Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Review: The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

Title: The Way I Used to Be 
Author: Amber Smith
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry 
Release Date: April 12, 2016
Pages: 200
Format: e-ARC
Source: Netgalley
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary 

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, and while learning to embrace a power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart.

Before starting this review, I just want to point out that this book contains mature topics including rape, sex, alcohol, drugs. This book I recommend for the older teenage group as it relates to the topics brought up in the reading.

This book is yet another book that I have read that have presented heavy topics. I have no idea what kid of track I am with these type of books but I am not complaining. Even though it take me a few days to get through these books I have not been finding myself in a reading slump. I moved through the book at a causal pace taking in every detail.

The story follows our character Eden as one night she is raped. WHOAH!!!!!!!! I know right. Right from the start we are hit with a heavy topic. What is going on through Eden’s head is something that no one should ever feel and it is something I could not even imagine what it must be like. She decides to keep it a secret as the person she gets raped by is her brother’s best friend.

This story is told over her four years of high school and each year we see a change come over Eden but not in a way one would hope. As weird as this might sound, each year got darker and darker as her character progressed through the years.

There were some parts of the book I just did not understand the actions Eden was taking but then I was thinking back to my years to high school and thought, there was a person like Eden there. I think this book talked to the ideas of how we always fixate on things that seem outrageous but we miss the bigger picture and do not take time to understand it.

I am glad the book ended the way it did. Answers were revealed and I feel that Eden could be more at peace with the overall situation. I really enjoyed the book because it took me out of my comfort zone with the topic and it opened me to different books. Take the chance to read Eden’s story and find how The Way I Used to Be can show the struggles some teenage girls go through and how one must lose themselves to find a better self.

I give this book 4 souls!

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