Thursday, 21 July 2016

The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

The Way I Used to Be
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic, Contemporary
Rating: ****

Eden's story is split into the four parts of her high school life. It's something that describes the proper process of life on the day she was raped, and the effects that have on her afterward. Yes, rape does sometimes cause the victim to act out as a method of coping, no it should not be taken lightly and Eden's fictional story can be considered a warning of how other people watching her downfall should not act.

The Way I Used to Be is a typical contemporary YA novel. It follows the basic codes of having the issue presented and how the protagonist must work their way around said issue to change and become a better person. However, Eden is no ordinary protagonist. Instead, her behavior spirals out of control as she sheds her band geek skin to become dangerous and a fan of unhealthy behavior. I feel that Amber Smith has written a book that is applicable to almost anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault, harassment and even rape due to the way the young teenage minds have to fight and resort to changing their behavior in order to cope with the sheer trauma they have endured. It isn't fun and it can't be fun to watch. 

What is alarming, though, is the fact that Eden's parents just class it as generic teenage hormones, something that it could be considered to be, but not if one considers the fact Eden is openly asking for help despite not wanting to say anything.

The Way I Used to Be is available to buy from Amazon now.