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The Way I Used to Be


"The Way I Used to Be" by Amber Smith: A Summary


"The Way I Used to Be" by Amber Smith is a poignant and emotional novel that delves into the life of Eden, a young girl whose world is irrevocably changed after a traumatic experience. The book explores the themes of trauma, resilience, identity, and the journey of healing. It is a story that is both heartbreaking and hopeful, detailing Edens struggle to reclaim her life and identity in the aftermath of her trauma.

Plot Overview

The novel opens with Eden, the protagonist, experiencing a sexual assault by her brother’s best friend, Kevin. This traumatic incident profoundly impacts her life, altering her perception of herself and the world around her.

Eden struggles with feelings of confusion, shame, and isolation, unable to tell her family or friends about the assault. This leads to a drastic change in her behavior, pushing away old friends and engaging in risky behaviors. Her relationship with her family, particularly with her brother Caelin, becomes strained.

Amidst this turmoil, Eden finds solace in a book club at her school, where she meets new people, including Cameron, who becomes an important part of her healing journey.

As the story progresses, Eden's struggle with her trauma and its aftermath continues to be a central theme. The narrative delves deep into her internal battle, her attempts to cope, and the impact of the assault on her relationships and view of the world.

The novel concludes with Eden finding her voice and the courage to confront her trauma, embarking on a journey towards healing and reclaiming her identity.

Themes and Analysis

  1. Trauma and Its Aftermath: A profound exploration of the psychological impact of sexual assault, highlighting Eden’s internal turmoil and difficulties in trusting others.

  2. Resilience and Recovery: The story underscores Eden's resilience and her gradual journey towards healing, showing that recovery is difficult but possible.

  3. Identity and Self-Discovery: Eden’s ordeal forces her to reassess her identity, illustrating her struggle to understand who she is post-trauma.

  4. The Power of Silence and Voice: The novel emphasizes the destructive power of silence and the healing power of finding one’s voice.

  5. The Role of Support Systems: Highlights the importance of support systems in the healing process, showing the crucial role of relationships in Eden’s recovery.


"The Way I Used to Be" is a deeply moving and powerful narrative that offers insight into the complexities of dealing with trauma. Amber Smith has crafted a story about hope, resilience, and the possibility of healing, reminding us of the enduring strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.