The Way I Used to Be Book Reviews

Amber Smith

The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith Book Summary

New York Times bestseller! In the tradition of Speak, Amber Smith's extraordinary debut novel “is a heart-twisting, but ultimately hopeful, exploration of how pain can lead to strength” (The Boston Globe).

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.

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Book Name The Way I Used to Be
Genre Coming of Age
Language English
E-Book Size 5.73 MB

The Way I Used to Be (Amber Smith) Book Reviews 2024

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Okay. It really touched on personal subjects and wasn’t for the weak. I more wished to see her end up with someone, or more dialogue of how things went when kevin was back

Didn’t know what to expect going into it…. I loved the title and by the end of the first chapter I was completely sucked in. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. A must read if you connected or liked the first chapter. So gut wrenching and relatable in the saddest of ways. Will definitely be reading the second one as soon as if releases. 10/10 you must read it.

The Way I Used To Be.... Let me just start by saying, this hit a little too close to home. I loved it. I felt like the way Eden had her identity crisis after the assault really exhibited how some people cope with being sexually assaulted. It did irritate me a bit how she would string people along, like Josh and Steve, but then I couldn't justify being upset when that was her way of coping, and everyone is different. Overall, very good. Can't wait for The Way I Am Now to come out.

well executed. the start to finish was amazing i've never read anything so well put together regard the topic of rape and how it affects not only the victim but also the people they are around. i would've liked for the ending to be elongated but i get the happy end trope. i would recommend to anybody who's interested in monologue.

Amazing. Hooked from beginning to end

Heart breaking… in the best and worst way possible. SPOILERS AHEAD!! (Scroll down to see why I rated this book five stars) The book was amazing, heart-touching, life-changing. Here are a few complaints and things in the book that set me off though: The middle chapters revolves around the aftereffects of rape, which wasted opportunity for more depth in the story while also making the ending feel rushed. It's realistic, of course but since this book is FICTION, I expected more depth. I mentioned how the plot felt rushed at the end, since everything came rushing at the end. It got a bit confusing because of everything that was happening, I had to reread some chapters at the end. Also, a lot of things feel unresolved, since we did not get to see Eden confessing her rape story to her parents, and since she felt so much hatred for them, we didn’t get any development between their relationship when Eden finally speaks up leaving the reader feeling tense. The book overall ended with me feeling incomplete. So many things were not yet resolved. This book left me feeling weight on my shoulders instead of hope. There is barely any character development for all the other characters (excluding Eden of course) in the book. Her relationships are all one-dimensional which is never really a good thing. CONS: -The message and meaning of the book could be presented better in this book. - Eden describing what Kevin did to her was really realistic to be honest! So HUGE trigger warning - This book is 14+ but honestly, I feel like this topic is hard for many adults, so read at your own risk -some of the scenes made me physically want to throw up -The book ended with Eden losing her friends, a possibly still broken relationship with her parents and still a horrible reputation at her school. I wish we had more of her rebuilding these relationships and changing for the better! This was one of the reasons why I left feeling incomplete after reading this book - Some scenes were ick, I had to put down the book and start screaming in my pillow - AGE GAP RELATIONSHIP (WIth Josh and Eden, he was 18 and she was 14 when they first had sex… [she lied and told him she was 16 though]) PROS: Short list of some of the reasons I LOVED this book A quick read, I finished in one setting SO touching. Had me sobbing, shaking, barely breathing, unable to move. Sobbed my literal eyes out, if you like books that make you sob, this is the one. Had me literally begging the book for Eden to tell someone 😅 It is so realistic! Yes I know I complained about it but I still love how realistic it is (to a certain extent) since it is so real, so raw, so emotional. Turned me into a sobbing mess Shows perfectly how rape could ruin a victim. How wrong it is. How disgusting it is. How hard it is. The story ends with Eden saving herself, not a boy, she herself overcame her worst fear and spoke up. No boy did it. I love that. Has me on the edge of my seat at all times Overall the story was so touching, but the book could have been better Extra rant just incase your still here 😉 I absolutely HATE how Eden used Steve for HER BENEFIT. She used him and pretended he was Josh, tried to force him to have sex with her and felt bad when he confronted her and called her horrible things because of what she did to him??? I would be horribly mad too, I was LIVID with her during that scene! 😭😭 THE ENDING LEFT ME HEARTBROKEN??!?!?! HOPING SHE MAKES UP WITH EVERY1 IN THE SEQUEL BC OTHERWISE MY HEART WONT BE ABLE TO TAKE IT!! UGH!!! 😭KEVIN. KEVIN. I HATED KEVIN SO MUCH ISTG I WILL KILL HIM. How could anyone do such horrible things and not feel self-hatred, feel awful and guilt???? It doesnt matter if it was the heat of the moment, you were drunk or ANYTHING. Rape will NEVER be the victims fault. Consent is #1 priority when it comes to intercourse!!!!! No is no, even a sign, even if they DONT give you an answer. Stop. THIS BOOK HAD ME READING ALL NIGHT TRYING TO NOT CRY TO HARD SO I WOULDN'T WAKE ME FAMILY IF YOU FEEL LIKE CRYING, THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU! STEVE TRUSTED HER, UGH, AND SHE USED HIM?!?!??!?!?! I LOVE JOSH AND EDEN BUT SHE WAS 14. FOURTEEN. HE WAS 18. LITERALLY 18!!!! Age gap relationships are icky, THEY HAS SEX WHEN SHE WAS 14 AND HE WAS 18. SHE LIED TO HIM. HE THOUGHT SHE WAS 16. 💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔 ITS A FOUR YEAR GAP AND IT WOULD B FINE IF IT WAS LIKE 20 AND 24 BUT I HATE AGE GAP RELATIONSHIPS. ICK. ALSO THERES SOOO MUCH CRINGEY SCENES IN THE BOOK I COULD LITERALY NOTT… PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE EDEN SOMETIMES JUST THROWS ME OFF. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH OMG. Anyway, thanks for reading this (congrats if you read it all 😅) hope this review was good, I really loved this book and hope you found my thoughts interesting! Bye ❤️❤️

Amazing View. Great read!!! Kept me on edge ! Can’t wait to see what more the author has to offer!

Triggering, but OH SO good. Being someone who’s experienced sexual assault, this was tough.. this doesn’t, however, take away from the book at all. When “what-ifs” turn into “maybes”…

Best read of the year!!!. From the moment I started reading this book I was captivated. Thank you for shining a light on such a horrendous, but all to common hidden truth.

Awesome in every way!!!!. Great book

I finished it in one day… so many emotions... This is definitely a good one. One of my favorites. I recommend it 100%

LOVED. Great book for teens and young adults 10/10 can’t wait for the next book !

Loved. This book had me missing out on my sleep. As soon as I picked it up and started reading, I knew it was going to live up to the hype. Loved how all of the emotions were so raw and real. Must read!

So heart touching. 9/10 book i didnt like her doing drugs and going to partys era but it all came together in the end and im glad she finally told the truth

Heartbreaking. Wow. This book will stay with me forever. So much raw emotion, you could feel it jumping out of the pages. Hard to read at some points but 10/10 would recommend.

Excuse me?. Kevin thinks he’s made a real big mistakes, but he makes the worse ones look fine. He made Eden‘s brother look so naive! He’s just a blood sucker and a dream crusher! Never again do I want to read that book again because of Kevin!

Tragic Truth. This story has many elements of familiarity from my life experiences- my own and friends. Eden’s self destruction was challenging to read at times, but realistic. Unfortunately, I have never seen the type of familial, friend, or even law enforcement support in real life that Eden ultimately receives, but this is balanced with the hard truth of all the “maybes” at the conclusion. A good read that reminds us that there hope can survive even in tragedy.

Wow.. I have no words for this book other than absolutely heartbreaking but so so realistic and truthfully in all ways. One of the best books I have ever had the PRIVILEGE of reading.

Outstanding. My soul has been shattered

The Way I Used To Be. Since day one once I started reading this book, i couldn’t put it down, I absolutely love this book!!

Gut wrenching. This book although fiction represents how majority of rape victims feel. It is definitely not easy to report when these things happen because the victim often feel like “the bad guy”. That being said, I applaud the author for showing the readers the realistic transition that Eden made from being the girl that was afraid of the word “rape” to being the girl who was facing her fears head on. P.S where can I sign up to get a Joshua Miller???

DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE SEXUAL TRAUMA. This book was heartbreaking and a life altering read. Although could be very triggering for anyone who’s had any sexual trauma.

Truly Amazing. Probably my favorite book.. i cried reading it, and i couldn’t even put my phone away. I was staying up till 5am reading this wishing i could stay up longer.

Amazing book.. Really showed just how much a traumatic event like that can effect every aspect of ones life... excellent work.

Great Read. Amazing book. I absolutely can't wait for the sequel

Be prepared to cry. This book was amazing. Some parts was hard to read but it was worth it in the end. I will think bout this book forever.

A need to read. A beautifully written coming of age story, the perfect mixture of being a tearjerker eye-opener, and heart softening book.

Beautifully heartbreaking. This book is amazing! I started and finished it within a day. I highly recommend it.

The unfortunate truth no one talks about. I truly believe this is a book everyone should read. It’s real. It hits so hard. I spent weeks thinking about this book after I read it. Please read this book.

close to home. this hit deep to me… a lot of relatable instances that really shook me to my core. thank you for this book, thank you for writing about things some of us are never able to tell. thank you.

Wow!!!. What story — could not put this down!

Your Mind Will Split.. I absolutely am astonished by this book. It’s amazing but very deep. Every chapter has you questioning things in your life and wondering what you would do in this situation. I finished this book in a day and I don’t regret the time lost. FL gets better as the book progresses along. I’m so happy I got to be along the adventure and figure out things with her.

5/5…Life changing.. This book changed my life. This book saved me at a time in my life where I was Eden. You will NEVER know how thankful I am for this. I have a quote from here tattooed on me & I already preordered the sequel. Thank you so much. 5/5.

Amazing book. I’m speechless the way you describe every moment she felt after that “rape “ your life change after someone rape you just like my life change.

Incredible. Started slow but then I couldn’t put it down!!

Must Read. Couldn’t put it down. It was painful, beautiful, raw and real.

Just Wowww. read in 3 days! amazing book. it pulled my heart in all different directions. i completely related to Eden and will definitely read The Way I Am Now!

MUST READ. I loved it 🩷

Amazing. This was an amazing book. It made me cry and hole for Edy. I am so upset that such a sweet girl could go through that much trauma.

Loved this book. I love how you can literally see the character development. the twist and plot of the whole book makes you never want to put it down.I fished this book in about 4 day! that’s how good it is 10/10 would recommend

A book I will never forget.. This book is beautifully heartbreaking. It’s one of those books I wish I could read again for the first time over and over. The experiences are spot on and somehow made me feel at home in a book. And in an unfortunate way it made me and I’m sure so many others understand themselves and experiences for the first time.

10/10. this is such an amazing book with beautiful writing totally recommend it !!

The Way I Used To Be. This book is one of my favorite books I have ever read. It gives you a heart touching experience of Eden and her troubles. I would definitely recommend the book to everyone. I just am blown of how well the author wrote the hook, and liked how she told it in 4 parts. It gave me a great understanding about how much a problem can impact your Life. Thank you!

4 stars ⭐️. More than half way through this was gonna get 3 stars for me. I honestly couldn’t stand Eden’s character and I hate to say that but I couldn’t. But then I read the ending and cried like a baby and I felt something and that’s all I ever want when reading something. Could this have been written better? Yes. I also don’t see how it took 7 years for the sequel to come out. Thankfully I read it this year and don’t have to wait long but the ending was a little abrupt. P.s - I read this in a day. The first few chapters drew me in immediately.

Raw and real. I could not put this book down. My heart hurt the entire time for Eden. The author did a great job at showing the self sabotage and the mc emotions struggling after SA. Was a great book.

The way I used to be is the perfect title for this story... This book was astounding.. the way it breaks down every emotion this character feels throughout her high school journey as she tries to recover from something that shatters her entire world. Wonderfully written. I felt so many emotions and even some tears shed after this. Highly recommend.

AMAZINGGG. it was so good. i haven’t read books in a whileeeeee and i decided to buy this one after not reading for a couple years and i couldn’t stop.. im definitely back into reading. im excited for a new one❤️

Amazing work!. I have never cried so much reading a book. This was beautifully written. I am thankful for this book, it has reignited my passion for reading.

10/10. Have tissues on standby

amazing. so beautiful, an amazing read.

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Summary of The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

The The Way I Used to Be book written by Amber Smith was published on 22 March 2016, Tuesday in the Coming of Age category. A total of 1,692 readers of the book gave the book 4.5 points out of 5.

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