Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

Posted July 7, 2017 | 29 Comments

Bad Romance by Heather DemetriosBad Romance
Author: Heather Demetrios
Published by: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Format: eARC
Pages: 369
Source: Publisher

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape.

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

Damn, dude. Demetrios is keeping it real. I have so many thoughts and feelings about Bad Romance that stem from experience. I’m going to keep it as short as possible and not ramble.

It’s so refreshing to see an author tackle this subject matter in such a realistic and relateable way. It kills me when certain behaviors are romanticized when they’re actually very unhealthy, so I’m glad Demetrios hits on several of them. People don’t always see that they’re in an abusive relationship while they’re in it, and even when they do, it can be difficult to remove yourself from it for a number of reasons. Abuse doesn’t always come with fists, and that’s something Grace had to learn.

Grace’s situation is infuriating, but is unfortunately a reality for many people. She has shitty, manipulative parents that treat her like crap. She observes  how her stepdad treats her mom, so it isn’t a stretch that she would get sucked into an abusive relationship while trying  to fill that void and escape her home life.

Friends play an important role, and I love how instrumental in Grace’s life they are. I’ve had close friends who were in relationships very similar to this, even worse. It’s hard as a friend to be able to see so clearly what’s happening but not be able to do anything when they stay with the person. You just want to shake them to make them see it for what it is and get them to leave. Even worse is when then do realize it and stay. Grace’s friends are an amazing support system that I wish everyone could have.

Gideon is a fantastic addition.  I’m happy Demetrios included the situation with him, because it carries an important message. I was really worried it was going to turn into the stereotype of the girl in a bad relationship getting rescued by another guy. I’ve seen that type of situation play out with several girls in real life. They feel the new guy is the solution and use it as a way out. Some are afraid to leave the toxic relationship because they don’t think anyone else will love them, so don’t leave until they find someone else who does. That wasn’t it in this case. At all. Instead, it showed that you shouldn’t rely on a guy to fix it for you. Gideon showed her what a healthy relationship could consist of, but in the end she didn’t fall into the cycle of using a guy to find happiness. You have to fix you, not rely on someone  else. I love that he was such a great support and gave her some perspective, though.

It makes me cringe when I think about how I almost skipped Bad Romance. I’m so thankful I didn’t, because now I can recommended a great book with an important message. Buy this book for your daughters, sisters, granddaughters and any other female in your life. Actually, try to get the boys to read it, too.

I’m especially glad that Demetrios included several sources for help in the back of the book. I’m going to include a couple websites here:

Love is Respect

Day One

Break the Cycle

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29 responses to “Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

  1. I love books like this, that are real and don’t romanticize the bad like so many authors have, it drives me crazy that certain things are labeled okay because frankly, they so aren’t. I think I need to read this.
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  2. Nathan

    I sometimes like to read about books that tackle tough issues. I loved your review of this book. There are some issues like this one that our societies need to deal with.

  3. I just read Nick’s review and she struggled with this one. I am not the biggest fan of angsty reads, but I think this covers some important stuff, so you convinced me to check it out. Going to put it on hold at my library. Now I just need to get Lady Gaga out of my head….
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    • Christy
      Twitter:

      You DEFINITELY need to read this, Heidi. I wouldn’t consider this angsty in the way we’re used to in books. This has a powerful voice that could EASILY be a friend telling me their story. Demetrios was spot on with it.

    • Christy
      Twitter:

      The only thing she got wrong was the fact that you can’t get authentic Mexican food around here. So, sooooooo false! lol.

  4. I honestly had no idea this was about abusive relationships. I just saw Heather Demetrios releasing a new book and immediately added it to my TBR, because why not? But now I’m so floored by this! I applaud authors who aren’t afraid to tackle controversial topics like these. It’s real and it happens everyday, but I definitely agree these shouldn’t be romanticized. I’m so glad Demetrios explored this topic in a way that it spreads actual awareness. Great review!
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  5. Great review! I’ve seen this book around a bit, but I didn’t know what it was about. What an interesting (and ambitious) concept. And you’re right, it’s SO important to address that issue. I want to read this book now, just to see if I have the same thoughts as you did about it!

  6. I love when books deal with a difficult topic that not a lot of other books do, even if it’s not the main focus, in a way that’s relatable to your own personal experiences or the experiences of people you’ve known. But they’re also hard to write reviews for because I want to talk about how realistic it was, but I never want to get too personal lol. Anyway, I’m glad to hear this book was so well-written and dealt with an important topic in a realistic way and that you enjoyed it.
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    • Christy
      Twitter:

      I’ve cut WAY back on YA except for a few authors I’m familiar with. I have read one of Sarah’s books and loved it, so I’ll check that one out. Thanks!

  7. I have a copy of this one and really just building myself up to reading it too as it brings up a lot of issues for me as well Christy. We need these narratives so much though, for others to see themselves within. I’m so thankful she didn’t use a love cures all option as a motivating factor for Grace, it’s something YA authors in particular use too often and it’s really just a shifting of dependency. Brilliant review Christy, really enjoyed it <3 <3

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