The Way I Am Now

The Way I Am Now

by Amber Smith
The Way I Am Now

The Way I Am Now

by Amber Smith


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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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781665947107
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date: 11/07/2023
Series: The Way I Used to Be
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 22,886
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

About The Author
Amber Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels The Way I Used to Be, The Last to Let Go, Something Like Gravity, and The Way I Am Now. 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 wife and their ever-growing family of rescued dogs and cats. You can find her online at

Read an Excerpt

1. Eden I’m disappearing again. It starts at the edges, my extremities blurring. Fingers and toes go staticky and numb with no warning at all. I grip the edge of the bathroom sink and try to hold myself up, but my hands won’t work. My arms are weak. And now my knees want to buckle too.

Next, it’s my heart, pumping fast and jagged.

I try to take a breath.

Lungs are cement, heavy and stiff.

I never should have agreed to this. Not yet. Too soon.

I swipe my hand across the steamy mirror, and my reflection fogs over too quickly. I choke on a laugh or a sob, I can’t tell which, because I really am disappearing. Literally, figuratively, and every way in between. I’m almost gone. Closing my eyes tightly, I try to locate one thought—just one—the thing she said to do when this happens.

Count five things you can see. I open my eyes. Toothbrushes in the ceramic holder. One. Okay, it’s okay. Two: my phone, there on the counter, lighting up with a series of texts. Three: a glass of water, blistered with condensation. Four: the amber prescription bottle full of pills I’m trying so hard not to need. I look down at my hands, still not right. That’s five.

Four things you can feel. Water dripping off my hair and down my back, over my shoulders. Smooth tiles slippery under my feet. Starchy towel wrapped around my damp body. The porcelain sink, cool and hard against the palms of my tingling hands.

Three sounds. The exhaust fan whirring, the shallow huff and gasp of my breathing getting faster, and a knock on the bathroom door.

Two smells. Peaches and cream shampoo. Eucalyptus body wash.

One taste. Stinging mint mouthwash with notes of lingering vomit underneath, making me gag all over again. I swallow hard.

“Fuck’s sake,” I hiss, swiping the mirror again. This time with both hands, one over the other, scrubbing at the glass. I refuse to give in to this. Not tonight. I clench my fingers into fists until I can feel my knuckles crack. I inhale, too sharply, and finally manage to get some air into my body. “You’re okay,” I exhale. “I’m okay,” I lie.

I’m staring down into the black circle of the drain as my eyes drift back over to the bottle. Fine. I twist the cap in my useless hands and let one chalky tablet tumble into my palm. I swallow it, I swallow it good. And then I down the entire glass of water in one gulp, letting tiny rivulets stream out of the corners of my mouth, down my neck, not even bothering to wipe them away.

“Edy?” It’s my mom, knocking on the door again. “Everything all right? Mara’s here to pick you up.”

“Yeah, I—” My breath catches on the word. “I’m almost ready.”

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