"The Way I Used to Be
explores the aftermath of sexual assault with a precision and searing honesty that is often terrifying, sometimes eerily beautiful, and always completely true. It is The Hero's Journey through a distorted circus mirror--one girl's quest to turn desperation into courage, to become a survivor instead of a victim. Amber Smith gets it exactly right."
— Amy Reed, author of BEAUTIFUL and CLEANSTARRED REVIEW
“This is a poignant book that realistically looks at the lasting effects of trauma on love, relationships, and life….Teens will be reminded of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak
. VERDICT An important addition for every collection.”
— School Library Journal
“A difficult, painful journey, but teens who have experienced rape and abuse will be grateful for this unvarnished and ultimately hopeful portrait. Eden’s shell-shocked narrative is an excellent narrative conduit for what Smith has to say.”
"This is far from a feel-good read, but I can’t implore how necessary it is to read a book like this one . . . As unforgettable and stirring as Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak
, Smith’s provocative debut is best described as a survival story with hope and anger serving as prominent themes so fully explored they simmer off the page."
— The Young Folks
"Readers will root for her as she gathers the courage, at last, to speak up."
— B&N Teen blog
"The Way I Used To Be
is an intensely gripping and raw look at secrets, silence, speaking out, and survival in the aftermath of a sexual assault. A must-have for every collection that serves teens."
— SLJ / Teen Librarian Toolbox
"Easily one of the hardest books to read on this list. Brutal, raw and emotional… Eden’s story gets told on her terms, in her voice. An honest look at one teen’s struggle to find her way back to herself, to mold herself into the survivor she is."
"THE WAY I USED TO BE promises to be meaningful, significant, and truly unforgettable."
"Don't let a book of this magnitude pass you by. Pick it up and read it because Eden's story demands to be read."
— Once Upon a Twilight
"With an achingly beautiful narrative and carefully crafted plot, The Way I Used to Be
is more than just an excellent book; it’s an important one."
— NOVEL NOVICE
“Bottom Line: powerful, emotional and raw.”
— BRANDI BREATHES BOOKS
“Edy’s exploration of the meaning of sexuality and intimacy will be thought provoking for teen readers of various experience levels, and this title is likely to find space alongside [Laurie Halse] Anderson’s Speak."
“The Way I Used to Be
is a beautifully told debut novel spanning four years of a rape survivor’s life”
— The Bucks County Courier Times
“A heart-twisting, but ultimately hopeful, exploration of how pain can lead to strength.”
— The Boston Globe