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.

Sourced from Goodreads



My rating: green4

(4.25 stars)

Trigger Warning: suicide and domestic abuse

Hello there, lovely readers! I’ve just finished reading Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios, which I’m still trying to process while writing this review. Now, I’ve been in love with Heather’s books since reading Something Real, but let me tell you, this book was something else entirely, and not in a bad way. Honestly, I think that this book is really enlightening and needs to be read.

I just want to say, first and foremost, that this book felt real to me. The way events took place felt real,  as well the characters’ development. Even the pacing of the novel seemed accurate. For instance, though it was slow in the beginning, the pacing made sense because while there are signs of an abusive relationship at first, it wouldn’t be that noticeable until Grace was in the middle of it. From her perspective, I felt how hard it was to let go of someone you loved, even though they were bad for you. I knew what was going to happen and yet I was still angrily shocked at how Gavin treated her, like anyone deserves to be treated like that. And while I really wanted Grace to get out of that relationship like stat, I didn’t judge her for falling in love with someone who didn’t respect her because I could see Grace struggling to make sense of it herself, how someone could be so sweet to her one minute and horrible the next.

Also, all throughout the book, I’d be thinking about the aspects of Grace’s relationship not only with Gavin, but her family and friends as well. I would have to put the book down and think about all the ways one paragraph affected me, arguing against Gavin and his  behaviour towards Grace. Or thinking Grace’s parents and their hand in her relationship with Gavin. The only relationships that I could get behind were the ones Grace had with her friends. They were there for her in times she needed them most, even when she wasn’t really present for them. That’s what unconditional love is! Overall, I found Bad Romance to be an insightful read, on par with It Ends With Us and Dreamland.

Well, that’s all I have to say about Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios for now. To be honest, I didn’t want to rate this book because I loved it for how it provoked me to think, but little things like the pacing, which was understandably slow, made me give it a 4.25 star rating. If you have any thoughts or questions, let me know in the Comments Section below. Thank you for reading!

–  Sumaya

I received an advance reader’s copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.