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Rock the Boat Pre-Empts TikTok Sensation The Way I Used to Be

11th January, 2023

Rock the Boat has pre-empted a young adult novel that has gathered millions of views on TikTok.

The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith was acquired by Rock the Boat’s Editorial Director Shadi Doostdar from Jenny Meyer at Jenny Meyer Literary Agency. It is a powerful YA debut about a sexual assault that causes Eden’s life to spiral out of control until she finds the strength to build herself back up.

Editorial Director Shadi Doostdar said: ‘Amber Smith is a beautiful writer, and this book gives you all the feels: readers will root for Eden’s relationship with Josh, which is healing and pure and all that is good in the world, while Eden’s slow unravelling as she tries to bury her memories of the assault, is utterly heartbreaking. I think The Way I Used to Be is perfect for fans of Coleen Hoover and Kathleen Glasgow, so it is unsurprising that it has become the next big TikTok sensation and hit the bestseller charts in the US.’

The Way I Used to Be was published in the US in 2016, but never had a UK home. It has thousands of rave reviews on Goodreads, but in recent months it has gained an enormous following on TikTok, with over 17 million views.

‘I could not be more thrilled that The Way I Used to Be now has a chance to reach so many new readers in the UK. Seeing one of my books published here has been a longtime dream of mine, and I am so grateful to be working with the wonderful team at Rock the Boat to finally make it a reality; I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better partner on this journey,’ said the author.

Amber Smith is the award-winning author of several young adult novels. An advocate for increased awareness of gendered violence, mental health, and LGBTQ+ equality, she writes in the hope that her books can help to foster change and spark dialogue. She grew up in Buffalo, New York, and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her wife and their ever-growing family of rescue dogs and cats.

Rock the Boat will publish The Way I Used to Be in paperback on 12th January 2023, with a full marketing and publicity campaign focusing on TikTok and Instagram.

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