First Chapter Fridays: Bad Romance

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios is our next First Chapter Fridays!

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.

Top pick
Bad Romance

Author: Heather Demetrios

Copyright: 2017

Recommended for: Grades 9-12

Genre: realistic fiction

Themesparental abuse, dating abuse, suicide, OCD, drama/theatre, controlling behavior

Protagonist: female, high school junior, cues white

Starred reviewsno starred reviews

Pages: 360

See it on Amazon My Review

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-aloud person–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.


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