Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on June 13th 2017
Genres: Coming of Age, Dating & Sex, Family, Friendship, Physical & Emotional Abuse, Young Adult
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.
BAD ROMANCE is the kind of book that stays with you long after you’ve finished. I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of this book from a friend and having finished it last week, I can honestly say, I’ve thought about it every day since then. What Heather Demetrios has done with this novel, is shed a light on a very real and a very dangerous experience for so many people, including teens. Abuse, whether it be physical, sexual, mental or verbal, has touched so many lives and this is the kind of book that so many readers need in their life.
The story begins at the end in this novel and to read along as the MC, Grace, goes back to retell her experience from its wild and wonderful beginning to the bitter and painful end, is so powerful. I was fascinated by the way in which Demetrios chose to have Grace narrate the story as if she was telling it to her ex, Gavin. You could feel the sadness, anger and defeat in her narration, but what really moved me, was watching that narration evolve and ultimately see her discover her worth and dignity as a person. It’s everything I love in an amazing book. To go from a place of such insecurity and darkness and then fight through all of it to come out the other side.
The fact that Demetrios pulled from her own experiences with an abusive boyfriend as a teenager makes the reading experience that much more powerful. You know that this story is coming from very real and very painful truth in her life. The fact that she was able to open her heart and leave it all on the page is awe-inspiring. Huge kudos…and THANKS to Demetrios for opening herself up like that.
I won’t lie, this can be a difficult read at times, and there were so many moments that broke my heart. Sometimes I had to set the book down and walk away for a bit. But I always came back knowing that this was a book that needed and deserved to be read. It is my hope that BAD ROMANCE gets in the hands of as many young readers as possible, so they can start to recognize not only what signs to look for in an abusive relationship, but also to understand that self-worth and dignity are something that EVERYONE deserves. No matter what their situation in life or where they come from. We all deserve love and respect.
Honest, Brave and Powerful. Bad ROMANCE is story that needs and deserves to BE tolD.