The Way I Used To Be
Author: Amber Smith
Narrated: Rebekkah Ross
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: March 22nd 2016
Review Source: Simon & Schuster Audio
In the tradition of Speak, this extraordinary debut novel shares the unforgettable story of a young woman as she struggles to find strength in the aftermath of an assault.
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.
Okay, okay, I know, Andy loved this book and she shared a wonderful review (you can read it here). This is my usually my type of read and when I saw it available as audiobook, I decided to request it.
The Way I Used to Be brought all the RAGE feels. And not the good kind. I was pissed and couldn't believe what I was listening to. The worst part is this happens in real life. And it sucks. Life can be so unfair and we need to do something to change this.
I know every survivor has their own story to tell and each are meant to be listened to. They are important and they matter. However, with The Way I Used to Be, it was really, really, really hard to like Eden. Ever since her attack, this poor girl turned her life toward drugs, sex, and self-hatred. She hated herself so much that I hated her. I know I sound like a total witch but I just couldn't stand her. There were times I wanted to like her but oh God, she mad it impossible. What made me turn like Inside Out's character, Anger (you know with this flames and all), is her parents. Oh my gosh, they didn't care for her! The lack of parenting and ceaselessness... it should be illegal! They deserve the worst parent award of the century! To make it even worst, her brother turned against her. LIKE COME ON, GIVE HER A BREAK!! Yet when she did get one, she ruined it. SO MUCH RAGE!
I had to take breaks from this audiobook. I was completely so pissed off! I understand Eden was violated and and all. I know she needs time to process things and needs time to somehow move on. Even though it is not her fault that this happened to her, she blames herself... Which makes no sense but I've never been in that position, so I cannot put my two cents, but honestly, it just didn't make any sense... Then when she finally speaks up... we only get two seconds and then story ends.
I do have to give credit to Rebekkah Ross, the narrator. She did great telling story but Eden wasn't wasn't a great character. She was really hard to like and the story kept going in circle. Each year she would do the same and make things worst. The Way I used To Be is not on top of my recommend list but if you want to give it, I think you should. Read Andy's review, maybe it will push you to do it.