Also by this author: I'll Meet You There
Published by Henry Holt & Co (BYR)
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Read in: May 2020
Reading Challenges: 2020 GoodReads
Source: Personal Collection
Add to: Goodreads
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. - via GoodReads
I rolled a prompt in my TBR Monopoly “to buy a book from your wish list”. I decided to pick Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios because I loved I’ll Meet You There. I hadn’t gotten around to reading any more of her books and I thought it was time to correct that.
I gave this book 4 stars because I KNEW what was happening and I KNEW from Grace’s opening pages that nothing good was going to come of it….and yet Demetrios had me feeling like Grace (i.e. most domestic abuse victims). “He’ll get better; Today is just a bad day.” If you’ve ever questioned why domestic abuse victims don’t leave, Bad Romance might be a place to start.
Bad Romance was not easy to read. I struggled with tagging it because it is a romance just not one with a good or happy ending. To be clear, Grace believes that she is in a romantic relationship. It becomes clear that she is not. I decided against using any romance tags because I didn’t want to get it mixed in with the others. I do have to say that I don’t think I could have ignored the GIANT red flag that was what Grace had to go through just to go to a dance with Gavin.
I felt for Grace. She went from crappy relationship to crappy relationship to really crappy relationship. Her father wasn’t capable of having a healthy relationship with her due to his mental health issues. Her mother wasn’t much better. Grace learned a little about what she didn’t want in men thanks to her mother’s choice in her husband.
Grace’s mother set her up so badly for life by letting Grace believe that she was worthless. This probably stemmed from her mother’s own self-esteem issues but it was devastating to see the ripple effects.
Gavin doesn’t really deserve any more attention. I think I’m shying away from talking about him because I’m still not okay with thinking about him. It just goes to show that Demetrios did a great job. I stupidly kept thinking surely he’s done the worst only to realize that no, he hadn’t reached the bottom of the barrel yet. Gavin was so charming and so abusive. It was astonishing really.
Grace’s friends Nat and Lys really saved this book for me. Truthfully they saved Grace too. I don’t think she would have been able to stay gone if it hadn’t been for them. I loved them so much. Without them, this book would have been too much.
In the end I can’t say that I enjoyed this book. I felt like I needed a shower after reading it. I think that was kind of the point. I didn’t get as much from it as I did from I’ll Meet You There but I don’t know that they are really comparable.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 GoodReads