First Chapter Fridays: Bad Romance

First Chapter Fridays continues with entry #2, Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios.

To see the entire series of First Chapter Fridays, click the link at the bottom of this post.

Bad Romance (Heather Demetrios)

I’m going to start by saying that there is some profanity in this first chapter. The profanity 100% adds to the anger and…fierceness…of the narrator’s voice. If you are uncomfortable with the F-word, you can either say “F-ing” or just skip over the word altogether. It does add to the passage, but it isn’t 100% necessary to actually say it aloud.

This is the story of an abusive high school relationship. It may read like a love story for a little bit, but readers will know right from this first chapter that this is NOT a romance. This is a controlling, abusive relationship that for the narrator, feels exhilarating, confusing, unpredictable, and terrifying all at the same time.

I know when I do any type of booktalk or read-aloud, the book flies off the shelf for weeks. For students looking for YA novels about abusive relationships, Grown by Tiffany Jackson is another fantastic choice.

For this title, you need only start with Ch. 1 and read until Grace makes a reference to The Sound of Music. That’s only about one page of reading, but it’s plenty to hook readers.

Unfortunately, I don’t see any audiobook version of this title. It will be up to you–the read-alouder–to channel Grace’s anger and pain. It comes through so nicely just in Grace’s voice, but you’ll do it a disservice if you read it without emotion. Grit your teeth. Get MAD.

  • Recommended for: Grades 9+
  • Genre: realistic fiction
  • Keywords: abusive relationships, suicide used as a threat, controlling boyfriends
  • Protagonist: high school girl, white, age 17
  • Length of Chapter 1: I’m not sure the entire length of Ch 1 because neither of my public libraries have this book available right now.
  • Read my full review of Bad Romance

Read more about First Chapter Fridays (includes criteria for my selections)

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Do you do First Chapter Fridays? What titles have been popular with your students? Add your favorites in the comments below (don’t forget to add grade levels)!

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