Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on March 22nd 2016
Genres: young adult, realistic fiction, contemporary
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.
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.
This book seriously took me by surprise, I am not even kidding. I mean, I was already bawling my eyes out from the first page, and the emotions hit me on a personal level. Like, I just want to reach out and hug Eden. That’s how good this book was.
Eden was a mess. She was only fourteen year old and one event completely messed up the way she looked upon life. Eden reminded me of myself, in the way that she reacted the moment something bad happens. She guarded herself from everyone. She threw up super high walls, and she became the thing that ruined her. The author’s writing was beautiful, in the sense that you could actually feel all the emotions that were dragged out. It felt like Eden was me, and I was Eden. Whatever she was feeling, I felt it too, and my emotions were on a rollercoaster ride that felt like it was never going to stop. I was terrified for Eden.
This rape culture that has recently been featured in YA books is something that I’ve always thought the world needed to know more about, and it was really refreshing that we, as readers, get to be in the shoes of a victim of rape, as realistically as possible, because even though this was a work of fiction, it did felt like it happened.
The Way I Used To Be is so gut-wrenching and raw. I loved how plot-wise, the story focused on how Eden lives her life. The way she was around guys, the way she actually changed right in front of her family’s eyes, and the way her family was oblivious to what was going on with her. This book was one hella emotional roller coaster ride, and I do believe that most people need to read this, and many other books like it.