This has been on my mind for a long time now. And I’ve reached the conclusion that it’s gotten to a point where the number of books romanticizing abuse and not calling it out is too high. It was probably already there, but I wasn’t as aware as I am now. We’ve come to a time where these books cannot be allowed to exist without proper acknowledgment of the deeply problematic and damaging idea they push onto readers.

I believe it’s thoroughly unfair to expect others will know the warning signs and recognize them in the books they read simply on their own personal ability to do so. In other words, it is dangerous to assume 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 cognizant enough to recognize the toxicity they promote in their novels in the first place. Teenagers, for which many of these themes appear, aren’t always going to have been introduced to this information.

Therefore, I’m writing this and more as a concerted effort to ensure any book that romanticizes abuse is called out. I want all readers to be given tools to help them recognize toxic and unhealthy relationships in novels. Though I cannot account for every book out there, 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 intend to include books that handle abuse in a reasonable manner and NEVER romanticize it for comparison.

twilightTwilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

A Twilight Reread
A Twilight Reread Update
Twilight Reread Update #2
A Twilight Reread; The Ending and New Moon
A Twilight Reread Update; Featuring Eclipse

shatter meShatter Me, Destroy Me, Unravel Me, Fracture Me, Ignite Me, Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me Introduction
Rereading Shatter Me to Expose the Abuse Romanticism
Old Review

more than friendsMore Than Friends by Monica Murphy

Review — discusses at length the level of relationship toxicity.

rosebloodRoseblood by A. G. Howard

Review — several problematic abuse romanticizing issues are discussed at various points.

fifty shades of greyFifty Shades of Grey

Review — features links and discusses the problematic pieces.

Other Posts Discussing the Romanticizing of Abuse:

Problematic Books in YA; The Ones that Romanticize Abuse


If you are aware of any incredibly problematic books that romanticize abuse and have written about it, please provide the link for me in the comments or e-mail me at I would like to include other voices as well.