Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: March 22, 2016 by: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Rating: 3/5 stars
Eden's life was seemingly perfect. She had a strong group of friends, good study habits, and a loving family. However all of that changes the night her brother's best friend rapes her. Threatened to keep the rape a secret, Eden goes through her four years of high school with intense emotional trauma which eventually leads to the deterioration of her character, and her spirit. Eden must find the voice to tell what really happened, before it's too late.
This book is told in 4 parts, each showing Eden's life throughout her 4 years of high school after she is raped. I will not sugar coat this, this book was brutal. It was disturbing, it was upsetting, and it contained a slew of harsh themes in addition to the rape. I thought that it was a very harrowing book, but there were some parts that didn't sit well with me.
Firstly, I thought that the concept of this book was really great. To tell a story through the 4 years of high school was incredibly unique and important, and I think that the author did a great job at capturing the deterioration of an individual through the years that they are kept silent. It gave off an incredible voice.
I think that this book was very realistic, meaning that things weren't glazed over and Eden seemed like a very believable character. It's sad, but I could see the events in the book happen in real life. I liked how the author stayed true to what real life events could turn to.
I guess this book just disturbed me and frustrated me. I could see Eden try to tell someone about what happened, but for one reason or another she never did. It was very frustrating to see all of these moments where she was about to tell someone go wrong, I just wanted to help her and I couldn't, which left me feeling annoyed.
I think the reason this book was only ok for me was because it's not really my cup of tea. I enjoy contemporaries and I enjoy reading about harsh issues, but in small doses. The girl in this book didn't seem to ever catch a break, and I know it's impossible to provide comic relief in a book like this, but I just needed a break from all the hardship at times.
So overall, a very important book with a very important message, but I would not go for this book if you're in a good mood. It will definitely leave you feeling a bit sad.
Have you read The Way I Used to Be? What did you think?
Emily @ Paperback Princess