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  • The Way I Used to Be

  • By: Amber Smith
  • Narrated by: Rebekkah Ross
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 550
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 509
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 507

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Rough but Rewarding Read

  • By Amber Rae on 09-10-16

Tear jerking, jaw breaking, just a whole lot

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-22-18

I stumbled upon this book because I wanted to "read" something much more than just romance YA novels and this one caught my eye. I stayed up 3 nights to complete this book, because when I start listening to it, I can't stop even though I had to sleep. That's how good this book is. The book starts of immediately with the issue and when it happened, and it's so unsuspected and just heart wrenching to listen to. I'm going to give an absolute full review of this book, so I can help those who are interested in this book. This book also goes in 4 parts of Eden life, Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior and as somebody that has just graduated high school and was a victim of sexual harassment, this book absolutely spoke to me.

What did you like or disliked?
- Hands down I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the narration by Rebekkah Ross. She gave the book so much life, and brought out the characters really well. She did an excellent job portraying Eden and had amazing voice acting. I also loved how Amber Smith written the story of what happened after than like some books which leads up to the event not after. Amber did a great job expressing Eden's struggles as she goes up to her senior year, and as well as other high school dramas. Amber also wrote in great detail to the point you can imagine every single scene in your head like a movie. I love how Eden was such a complex character and finally found self-growth and managed to safe herself. The story wise it is extremely enjoyable and gets you hooked everytime, the plot is well thought out and spread nicely. What I disliked was the ending in particular, although I am happy that she managed to take over her fear and finally told someone, including the police. I wished there was an epilogue describing the events after, including her closure with her friends, her graduation, and he reconciliation with her family. I'd like to see the final form of Eden, seeing her finally becoming the girl she was again. The ending was a bit rushed and ended abruptly once the charges were filed and Eden is "safe". It's a good ending for the book and Eden but it felt it wasn't finished for the audience. I also gave the story a 4 star because it is hard to read, it's about rape and it's about a girl falling deep into a black hole, which means this book is also really FRUSTRATING. If you haven't been in Eden's shoes you would well and scream at her for her decisions or why is she acting like that, you kind of have to keep reminding herself why she's like that. And that is frustrating as well.

Whom would you recommend this book to?
- I'd recommend this book to girls AND boys who are in their late teens and early 20s. Particularly because it is an extremely difficult book to read with its complexity and deep emotional setting. Younger teens may not understand or find it too overwhelming. I also recommend this book to those who are struggling with any kind of abuse from anyone and even maybe bullying in high school or maybe for those who know some people who are victims of sexual abuse, so you can understand what they go through. This book gives full insight of that so when you come across situation like these, you know what to do.

Why did you choose this rating?
- Performance as I said absolutely outstanding. Story is great as well, but extremely frustrating. Overall a 4 star. Out of 10? 8.5-9

This book absolutely made me wish I could go back in time to my high school years and try to be a better a person, made re-evaluate my life. I can say this book is life changing, and it's worth reading. I might just even buy the actual copy of the book and read it again.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful