The Way I Used to Be

Amber Smith. S&S/McElderry, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4814-4935-9
According to RAINN, the largest anti-sexual-violence organization in the U.S., 80% of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows, and 68% go unreported. These statistics underpin Smith’s debut, which opens with 14-year-old Eden being raped by her brother’s best friend while her family sleeps down the hall. Kevin tells good-girl, band-geek Eden that no one will believe her, and she’s sure that he is right: Kevin is her brother’s teammate and roommate, and her family revolves around her brother. While Eden changes virtually overnight, no one knows what happened—largely, it seems, because no one wants to. Smith tracks Eden through her four years in high school, spotlighting her shifting relationship with her friend Mara, the caring boyfriend she lies to, and her increasing acting out with booze and sex. It’s painful to watch Eden disintegrate but also true to the double burden she carries—the violation of the rape and the weight of carrying the secret. The long-term view Smith takes of Eden’s story makes it all the more satisfying when she does find her voice. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jessica Regel, Foundry Literary + Media. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/14/2015
Release date: 03/22/2016
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 384 pages
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4423-9599-2
Paperback - 978-1-4814-7586-0
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4814-4937-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4423-9598-5
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-2486-2
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