Review: The Way I Used To Be - Amber Smith - March 2016
What happens to your life when the people you are supposed to be able to rely on , the ones who love you , the ones who are supposed to always believe everything you say and stand by your side aren't doing their jobs anymore ? Eden was a good girl, the one who got good grades, never did anything bad and followed all the rules and loved her family and believed they would always be there for her. That was until one night , when she was 14 years old and her brother Cal's best friend Kevin raped her. Kevin , the guy that her family loved and considered one of their own, the guy she thought of as a brother and thought he cared about her too but someone who would do this wouldn't care about her as he took away not only her virginity, but her innocence and so begins a spiralling effect down the rabbit hole for the next 3 years as we watch Eden with every passing moment change into a completely different person as all her behaviours change. I can understand her feeling a little anxious and scared to tell her parents, but it did annoy me that she felt like she couldn't tell anyone and her family - I wanted to shake them for being so freaking oblivious to the fact that their daughter was suffering. Couldn't they see that it wasn't puberty and hormones to blame but the fact that she was hurting so badly inside. The story goes through Eden's high school years and eventually ends with three years later, where she has kept this secret brewing inside of her and she has not in that whole time aired it to anyone - not until Kevin's little sister now around the same age as Eden was when it started accuses her brother of rape. Then the story unfolds and every wall she has built up over the past three years comes crumbling down and again I wanted to shake her family as it's like - now they care about her , where have they been when she's been suffering the past few years.
With this book as I have over the years read a few rape novels, one in particular Speak is a favourite book of mine as it is quite powerful. They all follow a pattern of it being a close friend and the victim keeping quiet. Please I beg of you, if you have been or suffering or know someone in this situation - then please let someone know as you are not alone and more importantly - IT IS NOT AND NEVER WILL BE YOUR FAULT.