Author: Heather Demetrios
Published by: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
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: