Amber Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels The Way I Used to Be and The Last to Let Go. An advocate for increased awareness of gendered violence, as well as LGBTQ equality, she writes in the hope that her books can help to foster change and spark dialogue surrounding these issues. She grew up in Buffalo, New York, and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her partner and their ever-growing family of rescued dogs and cats. You can find her online at AmberSmithAuthor.com.
"The Way I Used to Be explores the aftermath of sexual
assault with a precision and searing honesty that is often
terrifying, sometimes eerily beautiful, and always completely true.
It is The Hero's Journey through a distorted circus mirror--one
girl's quest to turn desperation into courage, to become a survivor
instead of a victim. Amber Smith gets it exactly right."--Amy Reed,
author of BEAUTIFUL and CLEAN
STARRED REVIEW "This is a poignant book that realistically looks at the lasting effects of trauma on love, relationships, and life....Teens will be reminded of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak. VERDICT An important addition for every collection."--School Library Journal
"This is far from a feel-good read, but I can't implore how necessary it is to read a book like this one . . . As unforgettable and stirring as Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, Smith's provocative debut is best described as a survival story with hope and anger serving as prominent themes so fully explored they simmer off the page."--The Young Folks
"The Way I Used To Be is an intensely gripping and raw look at secrets, silence, speaking out, and survival in the aftermath of a sexual assault. A must-have for every collection that serves teens."--SLJ / Teen Librarian Toolbox
"With an achingly beautiful narrative and carefully crafted plot, The Way I Used to Be is more than just an excellent book; it's an important one."--NOVEL NOVICE
"Edy's exploration of the meaning of sexuality and intimacy will be thought provoking for teen readers of various experience levels, and this title is likely to find space alongside [Laurie Halse] Anderson's Speak." --BCCB