By Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company Inc
Genre: YA Contemporary
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.
This was another buddy read with Debby @Always Booking, She is one of the few human beings that can tolerate co-op reading with me 😉 The list is short, trust me (It is Debby and Kim basically). As normal, we chose to exchange 5 questions regarding our time with the book and share our responses. You can find Debby’s review here.
My Questions & Debby’s Response to Bad Romance:
I think this book would be good for young women in this age when brooding men treating women bad is glorified. In books and on TV, the bad boy who pushes the girl away and treats her bad is the one she always goes back to no matter how badly he treats her. This is not what we should teach young ladies, this is not normal.
Debby’s Questions for Myself:
I am completely open to exploring more of her work. Her writing is fluid and easy. I enjoyed the pace and have a lot of respect for the message she delivered.
4.Would this book have been better narrated from dual POV’s? Maybe if we would’ve seen if Gavin had been getting help?
I am actually going to say “no” here. I feel that in order to understand Gavin, the book would have to be centered more on his mental health. And while that is an important topic that I encourage others to explore, I feel that doing so would have taken too much away from what Grace was experiencing on a personal level. The end result would not have been the same and may have failed to communicate the messaged centered around victims of abuse that the author intended.
5. Was there enough resolution for you at the end? Or do you think there should have been more?
I felt it was complete. This was Grace’s story of survival and overcoming. We witnessed her do both of these things. Adding more might have altered the story or shifted the focus in a wrong direction.
My Final Thoughts..
“I gave you my heart on a silver fucking platter and you ate it, piece by bloody piece.”
While Bad Romance was not as heavy as I originally anticipated, it was not with moments of justified and necessary discomfort. Demetrios has accomplished something of great value. She has taken a challenging and relevant topic and served it up in a digestible manner without sacrificing the significance and importance of her message.
A credible protagonist and familiar setting offer an honest and raw glimpse of abuse and how it can unexpectedly surface. Ingeniously narrated in 2nd person, Graces paints a vivid and insightful picture as she speaks directly to Gavin (you, the reader) about the experience of their relationship and the impact it had on her life. This perspective is not only highly effective but powerful. Each page resonates with the author’s own personal attachment to the topic.
I also want to give extra acknowledgement to the fact that the author has included invaluable resources for those who might find themselves in need of assistance by providing a list of organizations and where to seek help. This includes breakthecycle.org, where you can find additional information and resources if you or someone you know is a victim of abuse within a relationship.
Recommending this read to all young adults and teenagers or anyone who has ever directly or indirectly experienced an unhealthy relationship. *Bad Romance will contain triggers for some readers. This was definitely a welcomed and important addition to my shelves.