Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios | Book ReviewBad Romance by Heather Demetrios
Also by this author: I'll Meet You There
Published by Henry Holt and Company (BYR) on June 13th 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Social Themes, Physical & Emotional Abuse, Friendship, Dating & Sex
Pages: 320
Format: ARC, eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781627797733

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 by Heather Demetrios kind of solidifies my opinion of Demetrios’ books. THEY ARE SO GOOD. I have zero regrets about reading I’ll Meet You There after Andi talked it up on Twitter. I knew after really falling for that book that I wanted to prioritize whatever Demetrios has out next that comes my way. Hence just about gobbling down Bad Romance. This book is so upsetting and uplifting and important. I do not know that I could properly convey just how legitimate this book is.

Heather Demetrios’ Bad Romance is all about this girl named Grace. Grace starts the book as a junior who lives in a small California town. She is dying to get out. Her mother and stepfather view her as a sort of servant. I mean, she gets in trouble if there is one single speck of dust on the floor, or even an imaginary speck. She hates it. However school is sort of an escape. Grace has this wonderful group of friends and she especially loves her theater class and group of friends. There is this one guy in Grace’s theater class that has caught her eye. He is basically magnetic. However, she does not think that she can land him in a million years. Only, she does. He breaks up with his girlfriend and well eventually starts dating Grace.

The romance between Gavin and Grace is great at first. They fall for each other pretty quick -as it happens with teenagers sometimes. What feels like a great and loving relationship starts to feel stifling though. Gavin has a few, um, issues to work through. He starts to get insecure and controlling. It gets to the point that Grace’s friends notice. Still, she won’t break up with him. She remembers all of the good times. It’s pretty startling how realistic it is. Also, Gavin has stayed in town for her. She feels tied to him. Not to mention, even Gavin’s parents are in on it. Now I don’t want to spoil Bad Romance for you, but believe me, this sours in a realistic progression. Furthermore, there’s ANOTHER romance involved which is much more healthy and fluttery and while that didn’t quite end on the note I wanted it to, it was a nice addition and contrast to Grace and Gavin.

The characterization within Bad Romance is TOO real. I mean, listen, I can relate to both Grace and Gavin, as terrible as that is. Grace does not always have the most self confidence. Yet, she has some pretty big dreams. I have been there. I have also engaged in relationship behaviors that are not the most healthy. Unlike these two, I realize as an adult that it does take a lot of work on yourself to be a much more healthy person in relationships and not quite so toxic. There’s parts where Gavin gaslights Grace and I can say yup been there, super easy to relate to Grace. I also liked that for Grace there was a reckoning and that there is hope for her. She is a really well written character and well, by the end I just was cheering for her.

I 100% could not recommend this book more. It is compelling. It’s harsh. Bad Romance is extremely well written. I think that if you like contemporary books that deal with actual issues without going totally over the top and around the bend, you will enjoy this book. Plus, that ending just is so affirming.

Other reviews of Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios:

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I haven’t read anything by this author, but now I’m looking through my library for an ebook or an audiobook. (If they don’t have anything, I’ll also check for a physical copy.) Your review made me feel like I need to read one NOW.

    I can also relate to being in unhealthy relationships. I used to be afraid of being alone, so I didn’t always do what was best for me or someone else. It took a long time for me to love myself and then someone else. Having kids helped, too. I love them more than life.

    I enjoy reading books that are relatable even if they’re harsh. Life is hard. That’s reality. It’s how we choose to deal with it that matters.

    Wonderful and beautiful review!
    L recently posted..This Heart of Mine by C.C. HunterMy Profile

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