The Way I Used to Be is an emotional powerhouse. Eden is a typical orchestra geek. She looks up to her big brother and has a crush on his best friend. Starting high school after her popular jock brother was hard enough but then the unthinkable happens. The boy she admired from afar rapes her. In one brutal instance Eden’s life changes in ways she cannot imagine. Set in four acts, Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior year; each shows how one moment creates a ripple that will effect someone’s entire future.
If you want to truly feel a book The Way I Used to Be is the one for you. In her powerful debut Amber Smith, creates a true world. The world built was richly nuanced and detailed. The pacing flowed very well, sometimes a book that spans multiple years will jump too fast or lag in parts and this just cruised. The plot was perfection. A story that could have been clichéd or depressing was elevated by a story line that matched the tone and the emotion. The characters shone. Eden was a fully fleshed out person and you truly felt what she did. All of the supporting cast was equally as real and that made a huge impact. The writing though, was what shone. Smith was able to take a real issue and make you feel it. Her writing was fluid and packed a punch.
I will admit I ugly cried more than once reading The Way I Used to Be. The emotions bled off of the page and I am glad I was able to read this. Amber Smith is a writer to watch and I eagerly await her next book.
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.