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The Way I Used to Be
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The Way I Used to Be
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A New York Times bestseller. In the tradition of Speak, this extraordinary debut novel "is a poignant book that realistically looks at the lasting effects of trauma on love, relationships, and life"...
A New York Times bestseller. In the tradition of Speak, this extraordinary debut novel "is a poignant book that realistically looks at the lasting effects of trauma on love, relationships, and life"...
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  • A New York Times bestseller.

    In the tradition of Speak, this extraordinary debut novel "is a poignant book that realistically looks at the lasting effects of trauma on love, relationships, and life" (School Library Journal, starred review).

    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.

About the Author-

  • Amber Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels The Way I Used to Be and The Last to Let Go. An advocate for increased awareness of gendered violence, as well as LGBTQ equality, she writes in the hope that her books can help to foster change and spark dialogue surrounding these issues. She grew up in Buffalo, New York, and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her partner and their ever-growing family of rescued dogs and cats. You can find her online at AmberSmithAuthor.com.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 14, 2015
    According to RAINN, the largest anti-sexual-violence organization in the U.S., 80% of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows, and 68% go unreported. These statistics underpin Smith’s debut, which opens with 14-year-old Eden being raped by her brother’s best friend while her family sleeps down the hall. Kevin tells good-girl, band-geek Eden that no one will believe her, and she’s sure that he is right: Kevin is her brother’s teammate and roommate, and her family revolves around her brother. While Eden changes virtually overnight, no one knows what happened—largely, it seems, because no one wants to. Smith tracks Eden through her four years in high school, spotlighting her shifting relationship with her friend Mara, the caring boyfriend she lies to, and her increasing acting out with booze and sex. It’s painful to watch Eden disintegrate but also true to the double burden she carries—the violation of the rape and the weight of carrying the secret. The long-term view Smith takes of Eden’s story makes it all the more satisfying when she does find her voice. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jessica Regel, Foundry Literary + Media.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator Rebekkah Ross opens with a rapid-fire mix of self-condemnation, confusion, and disavowal that comprise Eden McCrorey's response to being brutal raped by her brother's best friend. As Eden tries to get her old self back, she's torn between telling the truth and carrying the horrific experience alone. This division pervades the next four years of her life as a high school student. Ross carries listeners into the center of the Eden's first-person narrative, revealing her emotions, especially the despair that propels her into alcoholic binges and anonymous sex. Eden's demeanor of cold, callous self-absorption alienates those around her, increasing her isolation. Listeners who are willing to accompany Eden on her difficult journey will be struck with her raw pain and rewarded by a sense of hope. S.W. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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    Simon & Schuster Audio
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