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A Self-Discovery Sequel

*This is a book review of The Way I Am Now by Amber Smith.


Quick Facts

Author: Amber Smith
Release Date: November 7, 2023
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Main Characters: Eden & Josh
Number of Pages: 416
SJ Rating: 90%


The Synopsis

Now that those closest to Eden know about the assault, she must deal with the aftermath and continued trauma, while maneuvering her relationship with Josh, her first love.


Yes, I immediately bought the sequel to The Way I Used to Be.

The Good

When I saw it was alternating pov between Josh and Eden, I almost screamed out of pure excitement. The way they came together had my heart turning into goo. Since we got Eden’s story in the first book, it was very enjoyable learning more about the turmoil in Josh’s home life with his dad being an alcoholic; it’s mentioned in the first book, but we definitely get his perspective in this book. The situation with Josh is a fantastically written example of unresolved issues/trauma with a parent showing up in a romantic relationship.

Speaking of our beautiful Josh, this is one of the few books I’ve read where I don’t cringe every time the male lead calls the female lead “baby” as a pet name.

Though sex is a very prevalent topic, I like that there are no details. It doesn’t get raunchy and distract from the overall main idea of the story (hi high school English).

Eden says, “Teddy bears are still bears,” and that was incredibly insightful and has stayed with me. It’s something to remember when referencing to anyone being a teddy bear.

That’s not the only thing that stuck with me. Eden’s thought process about Josh not wanting to be with her because he finally sees the negative things she thinks about herself were heartbreaking and relatable. There seems to be an obligatory “break up” in most books involving romance, but this one actually hurt. When Eden tested all her vices and says, “I’ll fail—that’s what I’m best at,” I almost bawled my eyes out.

The Bad

I would definitely read this book again, but I also feel like there’s no closure. Like, I would have loved to know the results from the trial and what exactly is the story with Kevin and his sister.

The Overall

This is another beautifully written masterpiece by Amber Smith. It is a satisfactory part two and cannot be read as a standalone.


Next book to be read and reviewed: Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score


“It feels good to use my brain for something other than worrying and hating myself.”

– Eden

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