I believe it’s thoroughly unfair to expect all readers will know the warning signs for abusive relationships and recognize them in the books they read simply on their own personal ability to do so. It is dangerous to assume everyone who reads your book will be educated on matters such as abuse. It is even more dangerous when it seems that the authors 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 books are written, aren’t always going to have been introduced to this information.


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


Shatter Me, Destroy Me, Unravel Me, Fracture Me, Ignite Me, Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi


More Than Friends by Monica Murphy

Review [discusses the level of relationship toxicity]


Roseblood by A. G. Howard

Review [several problematic abuse romanticizing issues are discussed at various points]


Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Review [features links and discusses many problematic pieces]


Aurora and the Thief by Becky Bird

Review [never thought I’d be adding a middlegrade book to this, but here we are — features commentary on the “boys will be boys” and “not like other girls” tropes and the difference between strong female role models and normalizing abusive / violent behavior]


Other Posts Discussing the Romanticizing of Abuse:

Problematic Books in YA


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 reviews.readerfox@gmail.com. I would like to include other voices as well.