This has been on my mind for a long time now and I really feel as though it’s gotten to a point–actually it was probably already there, but I just wasn’t aware of it until now–where the number of books romanticizing abuse rather than calling it out for what it is are too many. We’ve come to a time where they simply cannot be allowed to exist without proper acknowledgment of the deeply problematic and damaging idea they push onto readers.
I think it’s thoroughly unfair to expect people to know what the warning signs are and to recognize them in the books they read simply on their own personal ability to do so. It is dangerous to assume that everyone who reads your book will be educated on matters such as abuse, especially when it seems that the authors who are writing these books aren’t aware enough to recognize the toxicity they promote in their novels.
Thus, I’m putting this page out there as a concerted effort to ensure that any book that romanticizes abuse is called out and that all readers are given tools to recognize these toxic and unhealthy relationships for what they truly are. I cannot account for every book out there, but I can account for the books that I have read. This is going to be a long work in progress, but I intend to thoroughly point out the problems and flaws with each of these books as I come across them.
For now, I’ll slowly begin with the books listed below. As this page is developed, I do intend to include books that handle abuse in a reasonable manner and NEVER romanticize it.
Shatter Me, Destroy Me, Unravel Me, Fracture Me, Ignite Me, Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi
More Than Friends by Monica Murphy
Review — discusses at length the level of relationship toxicity.
Roseblood by A. G. Howard
Review — several problematic abuse romanticizing issues are discussed at various points.
50 Shades of Grey
Other Posts Discussing the Romanticizing of Abuse:
Problematic Books in YA; The Ones that Romanticize Abuse