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The Way I Used to Be

TikTok made me buy it!

Amber Smith


‘After finishing this book, my heart was pounding and I couldn’t find words big enough to describe how brilliant, beautiful, and powerful it is.’ L.E. Flynn, author of All Eyes On Her

All Eden wants is to rewind the clock. To live that day again. She would do everything differently. Not laugh at his jokes or ignore the way he was looking at her that night. And she would definitely lock her bedroom door.

But Eden can’t turn back time. So she buries the truth, along with the girl she used to be. She pretends she doesn’t need friends, doesn’t need love, doesn’t need justice. But as her world unravels, one thing becomes clear: the only person who can save Eden … is Eden.

  • Publication date: January 12, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780861546732
  • RRP: £8.99
  • Pages: 384
  • Publication date: December 29, 2022
  • ISBN: 9780861546749
  • RRP: £4.99
  • Pages: 384


'A poignant and painfully honest survival story about the aftermath of trauma. Amber Smith weaves Eden's narrative with a deft, empathetic touch that doesn't shy away from difficult truths. This is a courageous, necessary, and beautiful book.'

Kathleen Glasgow, author of Girl in Pieces

'A raw novel that’ll stay with you long after you finish.'


'A difficult, painful journey, but teens who have experienced rape and abuse will be grateful for this unvarnished and ultimately hopeful portrait. Eden’s shell-shocked narrative is an excellent narrative conduit for what Smith has to say.'


'*This is a poignant book that realistically looks at the lasting effects of trauma on love, relationships, and life… Teens will be reminded of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak. VERDICT: An important addition for every collection.'

School Library Journal

'Eden is a young woman silenced by threat and shame, but so too is she a character who will inspire hope, for her extraordinarily gripping story is not only a call for action but a reminder of the power we find within ourselves to overcome and survive.'

Amy Beashel, author of We Are All Constellations

'After finishing this book, my heart was pounding and I couldn’t find words big enough to describe how brilliant, beautiful, and powerful it is.'

L.E. Flynn, author of All Eyes On Her

'This young adult novel is an unflinching look at the struggles of a rape victim to process her trauma and find the strength to rebuild her life.'

Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak

'Readers will root for her as she gathers the courage, at last, to speak up.'

B&N Teen Blog

'This isn’t an easy read, but it’s an important one… I was incredibly moved by Smith’s powerful writing, and Eden’s story of growth and survival is one you won’t want to miss. You’ll be thinking about this one long after you read that final page.'

Seventeen Magazine

'The Way I Used To Be is an intensely gripping and raw look at secrets, silence, speaking out, and survival in the aftermath of a sexual assault. A must-have for every collection that serves teens.'

SLJ / Teen Librarian Toolbox

'The Way I Used to Be explores the aftermath of sexual assault with a precision and searing honesty that is often terrifying, sometimes eerily beautiful, and always completely true. It is The Hero’s Journey through a distorted circus mirror – one girl’s quest to turn desperation into courage, to become a survivor instead of a victim. Amber Smith gets it exactly right.'

Amy Reed, author of The Nowhere Girls

Amber Smith

Amber Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels The Way I Used to Be and The Last to Let Go. 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 partner and their ever-growing family of rescue dogs and cats. You can find her online at

Author page

More books by Amber Smith

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