Published by
Henry Holt for Young Readers (2017-06-13)
Current material
Final Pages
Original language
Books for very young children, children’s picture books & activity books


by Demetrios, Heather

What happens when the perfect romance turns to poison?

BAD ROMANCE is told from the first-person perspective of Grace, a teenager who falls into a relationship with a boy who seems like the perfect boyfriend. Gavin is a cool kid, and Grace is starry-eyed over being his girlfriend—at first. But, little by little, we see hints that charming Gavin may not be such a good boyfriend. Gavin’s ex-girlfriend warns Grace not to tell him about her previous relationships because he has a jealous streak. Grace’s friends notice that sometimes he’s not so nice to her—in fact, sometimes he can be downright mean. Through Grace’s eyes, author Heather Demetrios brings us into the spell of this broken love story—the dazzling excitement of the early romance, then the accumulation of subtle hurts that Gavin inflicts on Grace and she doesn’t initially recognize as manipulation. Looking to free herself from Gavin’s control and a desperate family life in a place with no future, Grace has to keep her own dreams alive in order to find her way out of this destructive, twisted love affair.

Heather Demetrios received her 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 young adult novel, Something Real (Holt for Young Readers, 2014). Her other novels include The Dark Caravan Cycle fantasy series, and I’ll Meet You There.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Annelie Geissler

Available View on Rightsdesk



Bad Romance is a raw, honest, unrelenting novel. Demetrios writes with heartbreaking clarity about the way first love can turn from safe to dangerous, from beautiful to ugly. Brave, bold, and deeply felt, this book gets it in a profound way. I didn’t know I was waiting for a book like this, but it turns out, I’ve needed it for a long time.

Quote: Corey Ann Haydu, OCD Love Story

[A]n intense reflection on abusive relationships… 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.

Review: Publishers Weekly

BAD ROMANCE is selected alongside The Hate U Give, Moxie, and other lead YA titles for “9 Contemporary YA Heroines to Read in a Time of Resistance.”

Quote: Bustle

Italy: Il Castro ; Spanish: Planeta Mexico ; Brazil: Companhia das letras ; Romania: Herg Benet

Quote: Greenburger

Grace, a high school junior, is the last one to see that the boy she fell in love with is no good for her. A year into a relationship that started with her infatuation with Gavin, a senior who survived a suicide attempt, Grace wants desperately to get away from his increasingly controlling, jealous behavior. In a first-person narrative addressed to Gavin, Grace tries to work out how she got in over her head…. A realistic, worthwhile look at dating violence and unhealthy relationships.

Review: Kirkus Reviews

A pressing tale of the complicated ways love can go wrong. Like Speak, it is one of those rare books that can have a real, lasting impact on readers, and can start important conversations.

Quote: Adi Alsaid, Let’s Get Lost

Bad Romance is on Barnes & Noble's teen blog pick: "Demetrios offers a sharp-cut portrait of an all-consuming abusive relationship."

Review: Barnes & Noble

Online campaign: Heather Demetrios is encouraging supportive discussion about difficult relationships in her #chooseyou blog tour and Twitter campaign #mybadromance The blog tour culminates today with Heather’s post about making a healthy relationships. This platform is creating powerful outreach for teens, parents and teachers.

Quote: Greenburger

Heather writes about her own connection to this story.

Quote: The Mary Sue

Demetrios has an absolutely killer record with excellent contemps that cut unexpectedly deep and pull no punches when talking about the tougher side of adolescent life, so this one is absolutely at the top of my to-read list.

Quote: Dahlia Adler, Barnes and Noble Teen Blog

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