Bad Romance
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 Details

TitleBad Romance
Author
FormatHardcover
ReleaseJun 13th, 2017
PublisherHenry Holt and Co. (BYR)
ISBN1627797726
ISBN-139781627797726
Number of pages368 pages
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, Romance

Bad Romance Review

  • Gaby
    December 21, 2016
    Y'know when you're reading a TOUGH book? The books about abuse, abortion, pregnancy, cheating, etc. and you can feel your insides twisting and you want to die even though, once you're done, whatever you're reading turns out to be one of the best books you've read all year because it's so rewarding? BAD ROMANCE by Heather Demetrios manages to be one of those TOUGH books (trigger warnings for suicide + emotional and minor physical abuse from significant others and parental figures) that sticks wit Y'know when you're reading a TOUGH book? The books about abuse, abortion, pregnancy, cheating, etc. and you can feel your insides twisting and you want to die even though, once you're done, whatever you're reading turns out to be one of the best books you've read all year because it's so rewarding? BAD ROMANCE by Heather Demetrios manages to be one of those TOUGH books (trigger warnings for suicide + emotional and minor physical abuse from significant others and parental figures) that sticks with you and makes you feel the feels but doesn't make your insides cringe so hard you can't read more then 30 pages at a time. In fact, if I didn't have to go to work, I probably would have read this book all in one sitting. This probably has to do with the fact that, even though BAD ROMANCE manages to sensitively unpack Grace's experience (how trapped she feels, her perceived worthlessness, etc.) and explain how a funny, charismatic girl with close friends and big dreams could end up in such a horrible relationship, Grace is still ultimately a funny, charismatic girl with close friends and big dreams. With theater references packed throughout, incredible, strong female friendships, and peripheral male characters who are kind and are placed strategically to remind the reader that healthy relationships are attainable, Heather Demetrios never lets you feel like this book is a black hole of despair. And that's probably what kept me turning the pages until way past my bedtime.The other super notable thing about this book is the story structure. First of all, BAD ROMANCE is voicey AF. Second, it starts at the end of the relationship, after it's all over. Grace spends the book speaking to Gavin (the abusive boyfriend) and explaining to him (using second person 'you') how everything went so wrong for her. The book is written almost as a letter to Gavin, a cathartic release that helps Grace move forward, which means hindsight plays a part and that Grace is very aware (and even comments) as she gets to certain points in the story that something is very wrong in the relationship.Bottom line: BAD ROMANCE is a sensitive, honest, emotional look into one of the worst kinds of relationships that will make you feel the feels, probably teach you something new, but not totally wreck you in the worst way possible. Unless you consider listening to the Rent soundtrack on endless repeat a totally wrecking situation. (I don't.) (My favorite song is still ALL OF THEM. HOW DO YOU PICK A FAVORITE?)
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  • Lucia
    October 30, 2015
    UPDATE SEPTEMBER 22nd 2016Final cover or not, I love it!Heather Demetrios writes YA contemporary and I read it. It is that simple.This woman changed my perception of YA contemporary novels and I can't wait to read this story!
  • Crystal (Bookiemoji)
    February 19, 2017
    This one is addicting, emotional, and so relatable for me. So so good!
  • Rachael
    March 10, 2017
    I was really excited but also so incredibly nervous to read Bad Romance because it tackles a subject that is incredibly sensitive for me and is rarely done right. I am a big fan of Demetrios though so I trusted going in that if any one could write this story, she could. Grace's story was so raw and I saw so many parallels in my own life that it made reading the story very difficult but it was so necessary. I do think Bad Romance should be required a required reading for teens (and adults) becau I was really excited but also so incredibly nervous to read Bad Romance because it tackles a subject that is incredibly sensitive for me and is rarely done right. I am a big fan of Demetrios though so I trusted going in that if any one could write this story, she could. Grace's story was so raw and I saw so many parallels in my own life that it made reading the story very difficult but it was so necessary. I do think Bad Romance should be required a required reading for teens (and adults) because it has the potential to help people understand the different forms of abuse and help people recognize it in their own lives.I wish I could shake her hand and thank her for writing this story. For getting it right. For not romanticizing abuse. For showing me that there are people out there who understand what it's like. I highly, highly recommend reading this one even if YA contemporary isn't your usual genre.
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  • TheCrazyWorldOfABookLover
    October 29, 2016
    howwwwwwww am I just hearing about this book?? I CAN'T WAIT!
  • Andi (Andi's ABCs)
    March 25, 2017
    That was a tough read. It was so real and heartbreaking. Not sure I'll be able to find the words but I'll try. Review to come.
  • Tahreem Iqbal
    March 20, 2017
    For a book with seemingly dark premise, it has a rather funny title
  • ♠ Tabi ♠
    September 15, 2016
  • Jess
    April 27, 2016
    "I call you The Beautiful One...You are the bestower of the perfect half smile: part smirk, all enigma. Soon, I will know what it feels like to have that smile directed my way, those ice blue eyes resting on my own, neither of us looking away, half-naked and happy, so happy. We will stare and stare and stare and I will see summer in your eyes: swimming pools and popsicles and turquoise beaches. I will see myself, reflected. I will see how much you love me, how it would kill you to lose me.I won’ "I call you The Beautiful One...You are the bestower of the perfect half smile: part smirk, all enigma. Soon, I will know what it feels like to have that smile directed my way, those ice blue eyes resting on my own, neither of us looking away, half-naked and happy, so happy. We will stare and stare and stare and I will see summer in your eyes: swimming pools and popsicles and turquoise beaches. I will see myself, reflected. I will see how much you love me, how it would kill you to lose me.I won’t realize that I will begin only seeing myself this way—through your eyes.Only through your eyes. "This is gorgeously haunting and I'm pumped.
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  • Lena ♫ ♪
    March 17, 2017
    This book destroyed me!It took me a bit to get used to the writing (Grace is basically writing a letter to Gavin and telling the events leading up to their end), but once I did, I couldn't stop reading. BAD ROMANCE ate at my soul, and I don't think I'll be okay for a while. It reminded me so much of a mix between Sarah Dessen's DREAMLAND and Daniel Handler's WHY WE BROKE UP, and right now I just need to lay down...Lay down and rest after the emotional drainage I just endured.
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  • Tracy Thomas
    February 26, 2017
    *I received a copy of this book free, Via Netgalley. In exchange of an honest review.*So, when I first started this book, my initial thought was " Oh Great, a book that is going to use an absurd amount of foul words, to make up for the lack of creativity" I'm glad I chose to keep reading. Let me state here, I hate books with a lot of curse words, I think it's something that just doesn't need to happen, especially in YA books. Next let me say, this book was like reading chapters of my own teenage *I received a copy of this book free, Via Netgalley. In exchange of an honest review.*So, when I first started this book, my initial thought was " Oh Great, a book that is going to use an absurd amount of foul words, to make up for the lack of creativity" I'm glad I chose to keep reading. Let me state here, I hate books with a lot of curse words, I think it's something that just doesn't need to happen, especially in YA books. Next let me say, this book was like reading chapters of my own teenage years, and the terrible relationship I was in. Most people will read this book, and think, "Just Break Up With Him". It's not that easy, in relationships like this you are brainwashed, your self esteem is the lowest that it has ever been, and you are so mentally weak, that the thought of breaking up, and being alone, is more terrifying than being in the relationship. You worry more about them, than you worry about yourself. I connected to this book, I connected to Grace, I knew how she felt, I knew what it was like to have everyone telling you what to do, and how to do it. Her parents sucked, She gave up everything, and learned the hardest lesson a teen could ever possibly learn. This book was written incredibly well, and thankfully the over abundance of curse words stopped, and what was left was a gut wrenching story of a girl, and her first love, and the power it, and he has over her. Guys, this is a book, most teens should read. June 13th, 2017 make it a priority, to buy this book.
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  • Ms.Kim
    January 12, 2017
    This book was so very difficult to read. It saddens me deeply that domestic violence is a reality, but how much more so that teen dating violence is a reality as well. It's easy for a third party like us readers, or Grace's friends, to say a victim should just break up and leave, but this book shows a pretty accurate picture of why that is so much easier said than done.
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  • HNGC Library
    March 4, 2017
    Grace knows what she wants in life - out of her house, town and to a career in New York. Her stepfather is cruel (bordering on abusive), her mother is mentally unbalanced and uses Grace as her maid, and Grace is counting the days until she can leave. Then school heartthrob Gavin decides to bring Grace into his orbit. At first it is a great relationship. But quickly Gavin becomes possessive and twists their love. He becomes manipulative and everyone around Grace can see how toxic the relationship Grace knows what she wants in life - out of her house, town and to a career in New York. Her stepfather is cruel (bordering on abusive), her mother is mentally unbalanced and uses Grace as her maid, and Grace is counting the days until she can leave. Then school heartthrob Gavin decides to bring Grace into his orbit. At first it is a great relationship. But quickly Gavin becomes possessive and twists their love. He becomes manipulative and everyone around Grace can see how toxic the relationship is long before Grace does. But the big problem for Grace is how to extricate herself from the relationship as Gavin is so skillful blocking her every exit. It is interesting that Grace, who has seen her mother deal with an abusive relationship, does not notice the same thing as it happens between her and Gavin.
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  • Amanda
    March 6, 2017
    This is Heather's best book yet! I couldn't put it down. It is romantic, emotional and addicting. It's going to be one of those books you will be thinking about till the very end
  • Mekiah Johnson
    December 18, 2016
    Please, please, make this the final cover! Its so pretty!
  • Ann
    February 7, 2017
    Damnnnnnn that was an intense brutal book. It makes me sad to say that it is all too common. Mental and verbal abuse is as bad as physical sometimes worse. At times I was like come on Grace get it together but then I had to put myself in her shoes and ask myself what would I do. I LOVED her BFFs Lys and Nat!!! Its a solid 3.5 leaning toward 4 stars for me.
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  • Teresa
    January 9, 2017
    ****3.5 Stars****This book took me by surprise; I have never read a book about an abusive relationship of any kind. I knew what kind of book it was just from the cover blurb but I was shocked at how gracefully Demetrios handled such a hot topic of emotional abuse. (After reading the notes at the end of the book Demetrios talks about an emotional abusive relationship she went through at a younger age, so it explains the way she is able to capture that juxtaposition of wanting to leave and stay at ****3.5 Stars****This book took me by surprise; I have never read a book about an abusive relationship of any kind. I knew what kind of book it was just from the cover blurb but I was shocked at how gracefully Demetrios handled such a hot topic of emotional abuse. (After reading the notes at the end of the book Demetrios talks about an emotional abusive relationship she went through at a younger age, so it explains the way she is able to capture that juxtaposition of wanting to leave and stay at the same time.) My heart broke everytime that Grace went back to Gavin and my heart broke everytime her mother failed her...the abuse in this book isn't limited to Grace and Gavin. My favorite part was when Grace found the resolve to fix this problem and to see how far she had grown....very well done. Thanks to MacMillan for the ARC!
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  • Erin
    January 22, 2017
    Dear Heather Demetrios,Thank you for this. This book is everything to me.Sincerely, Erin
  • Pamela
    November 25, 2016
    I Have Thoughts about this. Full review to come.
  • Kendice Helen
    March 28, 2017
    Emotional. Cringe-Inducing.Intense.Realistic.I’ve lived this book. Perhaps not to some of the extremes Gavin went to, but I’ve been the other half of a verbally abusive and emotionally manipulative relationship. After one daughter and four years of my life, all I can do is reflect and learn from that experience. This book was so uncomfortable at times. At one part I even had to stop and vent to my friends in a chat about it. I dreamt about it. It consumed me for the two days I was reading it. It Emotional. Cringe-Inducing.Intense.Realistic.I’ve lived this book. Perhaps not to some of the extremes Gavin went to, but I’ve been the other half of a verbally abusive and emotionally manipulative relationship. After one daughter and four years of my life, all I can do is reflect and learn from that experience. This book was so uncomfortable at times. At one part I even had to stop and vent to my friends in a chat about it. I dreamt about it. It consumed me for the two days I was reading it. It is most definitely a love story in reverse.Some people doubt the reality of abusive high-school relationships, but they exist. Some people define abuse by physical touch. This book demolishes those two misconceptions. Gavin Davis is the epitome of a heart throb in Grace’s, and many other females’, eyes. He plays the guitar, has perfect hair, and seems tragically romantic whenever he attempts suicide after a breakup. When Grace falls, she falls hard. She’d been secretly crushing on him for years and reached out whenever he was in residential therapy. Once he was back, they quickly became a major part of each other’s life. He told her she was the only one who understood him. He was her knight in shining armour when it came to her overly-strict parents and rough home life. The red flags are everywhere, it just took her, like many, seemingly a lifetime to see them. By then she’s in too deep.Beyond the story and message itself, I adored Demetrios’ writing style. I’m already adding her other books to my TBR because it just spoke to me. I loved the pop culture references, like Beyonce lyrics. I loved her character development. Grace was so well-rounded and alive. Her best friends, Lys and Nat, were people you could imagine knowing. It really added to the story. I loved this book. It hurt at times, but I loved it. I’m thankful for it. I think it’s incredibly important and therefore I give it all the stars. *Note-I think this could be intensely painful for past abuse victims and those who have dealt with suicide or suicidal thoughts.
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  • Kate
    March 29, 2017
    Super freaking intense, but such an important book for both girls and boys (dudes aren't always the abusive partner). Full review to come soon!
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