I wish I could dump all these books! Because I’m so tired of toxic tropes and bad romances. And these are in the romance novels we’re supposed to revere. There’s a plethora of unhealthy relationships in books- and I’m here to call it out!
Twilight– it’s not simply that I don’t find sparkly vampires sexy- it’s that I can’t stand Edward’s controlling behaviour, possessiveness and downright stalking. The so-called loving relationship in this series is built on abusive behaviour patterns. Add in the side piece Jacob being EVEN MORE toxic, with his manipulative behaviour and sexual assault, and it’s no surprise this book gets called out for its poor representation of romance.
Fifty Shades of Grey– oh my- I didn’t realise a book could be as bad as this. In all honesty, who is surprised to see this book on here? Christian Grey is a poster boy for billionaire abusers. And this book is a great example of how coercion is not consent.
Beautiful Disaster– Travis is walking red flag- oh but he’s hot, so it’s okay apparently.
The Duke and I– shockingly unromantic. Leaving the communication issues aside, the main character actually believes she has every right to rape her partner… and even blames him for it. Just an icky book.
It Ends With Us– ironically, this book is trying to turn the narrative on its head, by showing us how you can miss the red flags. Unfortunately, I feel like it fails horribly. Making excuses for the abuser, inserting another (unhealthy) relationship in the book (which began when the mc was underage) and deciding to still have contact with the abuser. If you’re looking for a book to shine a light on domestic abuse, this is not it.
Time Traveller’s Wife– because grooming is not romantic.
Foxhole Court– cos the rapey vibes gross me out.
A Court of Thorns and Roses– people say Tamlin’s character was ruined in later books. I disagree. He was too bland to be ruined. The fact that he morphs into an abusive man-child qualifies him for this list. And that’s not even considering the fact that all the so-called “healthy” relationships in this series are completely co-dependent. No one in Maas’ series can cope outside of a relationship it seems. Yet apparently that’s a-okay because they’re “mates” (yeuch).
Normal People– for all its pretention, this is simply a romance book. And a bad one at that. The couple in this are self-centred and treat everyone around them as collateral damage. Their being so ghastly should in fact make them exempt from this list- since I was trying to choose books that were romantic- but I made an exception here because I don’t think we’re actually supposed to view them as vile. Even if they absolutely deserve each other.
The Notebook– call me old-fashioned, but endless shouting matches don’t really scream romantic to me. Apart from the cheating aspect (which is also completely toxic) they simply communicate in a really unpleasant way. Books like this don’t age well.
And that’s it for now! Do you want to dump these books (in a fire) too? Do you have any more to add (to the furnace)? Let me know in the comments!