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

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Eden was always good at being good. Band geek. Book nerd. Starting high school didn’t change that.

But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s whole world capsizes. What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she believed was the truth, now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she’s never felt so alone in her life. 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.

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★★★★★(5 stars)

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First of all, I would love to thank Edelweiss and the publisher for giving me an Advance Copy of this book.

Eden has a crush on her brother’s best friend, Kevin. But on that night when she got raped, she knew that there is no one to blame but him.

Now that the trauma seeps into her veins like blood flowing as cold as ice, she faces the consequences of the action she’d never expected to happen.

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  • Everything in this book is very well described without exaggerating the details. I really love how the author put the story together. From the first sentence to the last, this book brings me into the reality of rape victims, how they survived through the trauma of the act itself.

Excerpt:

Freshman Year

I DON’T KNOW A LOT of things. I don’t know why I didn’t hear the door click shut. Why I didn’t lock the damn door to begin with. Or why it didn’t register that something was wrong—so mercilessly wrong—when I felt the mattress shift under his weight. Why I didn’t scream when I opened my eyes and saw him crawling between my sheets. Or why I didn’t try to fight him when I still stood a chance.

  • The characters are so realistic and somehow relatable. Eden’s experiences haven’t been that easy for the past few years. We see her struggle with her friends, family and even the people around her. Those people who really helped understand what really is going on with Eden’s sudden change of attitude.
  • I love Josh’s character. I really need to emphasize this! (smiles) Well, as “somehow” Eden’s love interest, I liked how sincere he is from start to finish. He never abandoned Eden no matter what she did to him.

His hands, his arms, can hold the pieces in place temporarily, maybe even for a long time, but he can never truly put them back together. That’s not his job. He’s not the hero and he’s not the enemy and he’s not a god. He’s just a boy. And I’m just a girl, a girl who needs to pick up her own pieces and put them back together herself.

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I don’t have anything negative to say about this book. It is just simply amazing. Having this book read touched my heart.

This book is a must read for those who are looking for something new or something sensitive. I recommend this to everyone who is sure to enjoy a heart wrenching story about a girl who learned how to stand up despite the things that are happening to her.

Till my next post everyone!

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