A Must Read // ARC Review: Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

Title: Bad Romance
Author: Heather Demetrios
Publication Date: June 13th 2016
Publisher: Henry Holy & Co. (BYR)
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Macmillan International
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Blurb Description: 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.

The very first thing that attracted me to Bad Romance was that EXQUISITE cover. It’s not meant to be beautiful, but something ugly and rotting like the relationship that Grace and Gavin have and it manages to capture it perfectly. I LOVE THE COVER!

Short and Sweet: Bad Romance is a heart-wrenching book, showing you the light after an abusive relationship and the courage it takes to remove yourself from one.

Let’s break it down: (Which has also become a standard line for me in my reviews)


Only two chapters in, I got this intense feeling that Bad Romance was a very personal book to the author. And so, I flipped back to the acknowledgements and realised that Heather Demetrios was talking about and also slightly fictionalizing her own experience in an abusive relationship and it made it THAT MUCH MORE AUTHENTIC.

I love the idea for this book. Honestly, the last book on abuse I read was Shannon Parker’s The Girl Who Fell and that was a YEAR ago. We should be talking about these kinds of relationships more.


I’m going to do these two together because it makes more sense. The writing was jumpy. It moved quickly from one instance to another, weeks and months passed by between paragraphs and the feeling of something unfinished stayed with me.

It also took me a while to get used to the fact that this was sort of a book dedicated to Gavin, who was always referred to in the Second Person. It ended up bringing out the pain and heartbreak that I LOVED and WANTED but it did take a quarter of the book to get used to.

While the writing was jumpy, the plot evened it out. It showcased all the important things, and MANAGED TO CAPTURE THE HOPE, LOVE AND HAPPINESS that eventually turned into despair, insecurity and sadness.


I got Grace; I understood Grace. I understood what if felt like to be head over heels for someone you think is better than you. I understood the elation when that boy finally looks at YOU. I felt her being suffocated and tied down and confused and in love. I understood Grace and my heart fell for her and broke as hers did.
Image result for bad romance heather demetrios
Obviously, we weren’t meant to like Gavin, so I won’t be talking about him. I wish I could have liked him, in the beginning, but it would have been impossible with Grace’s narration that ended with things like “One year from now I wouldn’t want to see you, but run away from you/ hate you.” I wasn’t allowed to like him and then go through the journey with Grace and it made me feel slightly disconnected from the book. That IS the point, right, to fall in love and then realise that you’re more than a sum of his wishes?


Bad Romance is the kind of book we should be reading. I know I’m saying that for a lot of books, but it is the truth. Whether it’s body image, eating disorders, mental health and abuse, WE SHOULD BE TALKING AND READING ABOUT IT. Maybe we don’t get into fully abusive relationships like Grace did in Bad Romance, but a lot of the time we tie our self-worth to what society sees us as; where on the social pole we lie which is what leads to that ability to bend for something we don’t want to do in the first place.

Books like Bad Romance are IMPORTANT. It’s important to know that you shouldn’t lose yourself to anyone, least of all a guy you feel freer without. I HIGHLY recommend it. 4 stars. 

Heather Demetrios
When Heather Demetrios isn’t traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, she lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, she now calls the East Coast home. Heather has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real. Her other critically acclaimed novels include Exquisite Captive, I’ll Meet You There, and Bad Romance. She's also a creativity coach, snail mail aficionado, and hopeless romantic. Find out more about Heather and her books at www.heatherdemetrios.com or on Twitter (@HDemetrios).

Have you read some good books on abusive relationships and how to get out of them? 
Please do hit me up with some recommendations because I WOULD LOVE TO DIVE INTO THEM!
Looking forward to hearing from you <3!

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