Author: Amber Smith
Series: The Way I Used to Be #2
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books on Nov. 7, 2023
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Format: ARC, Paperback
Source: Simon & Schuster
Book Rating: 10/10
Eden and Josh decide to give their relationship another chance in this much anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Way I Used to Be that explores how to move forward after trauma—in life and in love.
Eden and Josh never had a fair shot at a healthy relationship. When they dated in high school, they each had their own problems getting in the way of the deep connection they felt toward one another. Unbeknownst to Josh, Eden was carrying the burden of a devastating sexual assault, while Josh was dealing with his own private struggle of having an alcoholic father.
Months after Eden and two other girls publicly accuse their rapist, Eden is starting college while her case goes to trial. Now when she and Josh reconnect, it seems like it might finally be in the right place at the right time for them to make it work. But is their love strong enough to withstand the challenges and chaos of college and the crushing realities of a trial that will determine whether Eden gets the justice she deserves?
Emotional, heart-tugging, and hopeful!
The Way I Am Now is the tender, heartfelt sequel to The Way I Used to Be that takes us back into the life of Eden, a young woman who, after publicly acknowledging being raped by her brother’s best friend, continues to struggle with moving on, the constant dread of a looming trial, strained familial relationships due to overwhelming feelings of anger and guilt, and a reconnection with the one boy she managed to love even when she couldn’t love herself who unfortunately also has baggage of his own.
The prose is raw and sensitive. The characters are vulnerable, scarred, and strong. And the plot is a moving tale of life, love, friendship, family, trust, shame, self-blame, loneliness, sexual assault, accepting love, and the intricacies of the legal system.
Overall, The Way I Am Now is a timely, affecting, optimistically heart-wrenching tale by Smith that packs a real emotional punch and ultimately does an exceptional job of highlighting the enduring psychological and emotional effects of rape and the cultural stigmatization that regrettably often still surrounds it.
This book is available now.
Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.