Bad Romance

Heather Demetrios. Holt, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-62779-772-6
In an intense reflection on abusive relationships, Demetrios (I’ll Meet You There) introduces high school junior Grace, who is no stranger to emotional abuse: her controlling stepfather and obsessive-compulsive mother have made her life miserable with unreasonable demands and endless lists of chores. (“I live in a kingdom ruled by a tyrant,” Grace reflects early on.) Grace thinks that she has found her knight in shining armor in charismatic classmate Gavin Davis, who vows to keep her safe, but after a few blissful dates, he starts acting possessive and obsessive, threatening suicide if they ever break up and demanding that she give up her friends and dreams to prove her loyalty to him. Injected commentary that contrasts what Grace thinks now against what she felt then is intrusive, lessening suspense and interrupting the flow of the story. There is no puzzle to solve, just stark honesty and potent reminders that strong friends and a stronger will can be key to freeing oneself when caught between a rock and a hard place. Ages 14–up. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2017
Release date: 06/13/2017
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-1-250-15877-2
Ebook - 978-1-62779-773-3
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