Friday, March 18, 2016

Review: The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

The Way I Used to Be
Read: Feb.19-26, 2016
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Pages: 384
Genres: contemporary, realistic fiction (abuse)

Blurb from Goodreads:

"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 book was actually the first ARC I requested to read from a library! And gosh, I was so afraid I wouldn't make the deadline...I even set myself daily reading goals I promised myself to meet...20 pages a day, I think it was. But as the second day of reading passed, I was ahead of schedule...much, much ahead. Yay! sum up the blurb if you were too lazy to read it...
A girl, Eden, was raped by her brother's best friend. Yes, I said it. And I'll say it again. She was raped.

Now that we've gotten over the fact that I read a book about rape...

The morning after the incident, instead of telling someone like she should have done, she kept quiet...and as the rest of the story unfolds Eden tries to live life as if nothing ever happened...of course, that didn't go too well for all went...dooooooooownhill....

This was an interesting read. Seriously.

I've never read a book that dealt with rape before, and it was...well...interesting. I've always heard of how victims of rape should report immediately, and how it'll affect their entire life if they don't, because it'll just fester. And that's not good! But to read it in a fictional setting...I don't was. Interesting.

Ha. Yes, I know...I'm being horribly repetitive right now.


So...I cringed. A lot.
The beginning was okay...but as the story progressed, her life was very obviously deteriorating and it was horrifying to read. And the way she treated people...ugh...yes, very cringe worthy. Her relationships with her friends were falling a part...but in Eden's defence...her friends weren't very understanding either...mostly because they didn't know what happened to her, but....still.

The ending was lovely.
Thank goodness for wouldn't believe the amount of fantastic books I've read with a sucky ending. It always ruins it for me. This one, however, was...not bad. I mean, it wasn't as epic as I would have liked, but considering the genre of the story, and the multiple serious themes I picked out, it did a great job of giving me a sense of closure, and it was really sweet how she finally dealt with her fears and told someone about it.

Oh! One thing I couldn't help but mention: Eden's relationship with her mom.
Okay, granted, some of their disagreements were understandably someone's fault *cough* Eden *cough*. But in this one argument, I nearly jumped out of my seat during silent reading period because I was like, "Yessss! Yess! That is me. And I know the pain. Why don't mothers ever get it!?"

To sum up what happened...Eden and her mom were having a small disagreement, and Eden's mom said, "why do you always have to disagree with everything I say? You're disagreeing just for the sake of disagreeing with me! Why must you make my life so difficult?!"

Or something to that extent...and then I thought of all those times I just tried to voice my opinion on something that happened to sound like I was disagreeing intentionally, with my mom. Then my mom would get all frustrated and-oh dear...I'm rambling now, aren't I...? Oops.


If my four star rating didn't already give it away, this book was very well written (I rarely give out five stars), from the broken and crumbling relationships, to the mended ones, Eden did a very good job at showing how something can quickly ruin your life if you don't deal with it, and assume it'll just go away if you pretend hard enough.

In some ways...I could relate to Eden...

No, I was not raped....

But I've experienced first hand how ignoring an issue doesn't make it go away. And the longer I wait to deal with it...well.........festering isn't it?
What are your views on books about sexual abuse...? 
Have you read any?     

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