I read Speak, All the Rage, Exit Pursued By a Bear and now ,The Way I Used To Be. I get that this is an important topic to read and write about in young adult literature. But it needs to be done so appropriately. I did not feel that The Way I Used to Be did that.
Eden is raped by her brother's best friend her freshman year. She never saw it coming. Afraid that no one will believe her she keeps it a secret, from her best friend Mara, from her brother, from her parents. For years her life goes on a downward spiral, she gets drunk and high and fights constantly with her parents. The threat that Kevin left with her still remains.
Ugh. This frustrated me a lot. I did feel a bit emotional in the ending (yes, its predictable but I felt more for the brother than Eden). Eden sleeps with just about every guy she meets throughout her four years in high school. Yes, this story is told in four parts and by the end she is a senior. I really don't think that helped move the story along.
I was hoping there would be justice or good moral in the end but there wasn't, it cut off too short for that because we spent most of the book hearing about how slutty and how much of a whore Eden is. I was exhausted by the end of this one because of that.
To be honest, I'm a bit tired of this topic. They aren't being written well. It's the same type of story over and over again and really doesn't positively help young men and women today.
I still stand by that, Speak, of all of these books is the one I would recommend everyone read in this genre.