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Book Cover for: The Way I Used to Be, Amber Smith

The Way I Used to Be

Amber Smith

Reader Score


79% of readers

recommend this book

2023 The New York Times Best Seller
New York Times bestseller! In the tradition of Speak, Amber Smith's extraordinary debut novel "is a heart-twisting, but ultimately hopeful, exploration of how pain can lead to strength" (The Boston Globe).

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, all while learning to embrace the power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publish Date: Mar 7th, 2017
  • Pages: 384
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 8.20in - 5.40in - 1.20in - 0.75lb
  • EAN: 9781481449366
  • Recommended age: 14-17
  • Categories: Social Themes - ViolenceSocial Themes - Emotions & FeelingsSocial Themes - Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance

About the Author

Smith, Amber: - Amber Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels The Way I Used to Be, The Last to Let Go, Something Like Gravity, and The Way I Am Now. An advocate for increased awareness of gendered violence, as well as LGBTQ equality, she writes in the hope that her books can help to foster change and spark dialogue surrounding these issues. She grew up in Buffalo, New York, and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her wife and their ever-growing family of rescued dogs and cats. You can find her online at