Happy (Anti) Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012





Now, this is slowly becoming a tradition here at i swim for oceans. I am in a healthy, loving relationship, kiddos, but it doesn't hurt to tell you that I hate this so-called "holiday." Frankly, I think you should tell people you love them all year long...not on a day that's dominated by greeting cards and fake love. I'm jussayin'. So, in honour of my supreme dislike of this holiday, I decided I would do my very own UnValentine’s Day post for you all. This time, we're going to talk about love gone wrong. So romantic, right? WRONG!
Dark Song by Gail Giles – Yes, I love this book. I have never once made that a secret, but let me just tell you how horribly love-gone-wrong this book is. We’ve got a vulnerable main character, Ames, who is desperate to rebel because of everything complicated and messy happening in her life. We’ve got a so-called love interest, Marc, who manipulates, violates and demeans. Oh yeah, and he threatens her whole family.

Breathing Underwater – This one has schools in an uproar, trying to ban it because of the oh-so-sensitive materials for the even more sensitive eyes of the youth. Ok, first of all, dating violence exists. It does, so this book clearly reaches to those victims. Futhermore, it displays in full force the effects of a boy trying to escape the darkness in him and the girl trapped by his spell. That’s a love story gone wrong, if I’ve ever heard of one.

Stay by Deb Caletti – This is the classic story of misogynistic manipulation and the vulnerability of a YA character desperate to find herself. There was so much hurt, and danger, and unspeakable cruelty in this book that you’re left wondering if the good guys really do exist (they do). Consider this your classic (albeit amazingly written) tale of twisted and wrong YA love.

Bitter End by Jennifer Brown – You know how you always want your man to shower you with love and affection? Well, there’s a fine line between loving and possessing, and this book wholly grabs you and shakes you into a painful, bitter reality. Cole manipulates and possesses Alexandra throughout, never allowing her to see a shred of hope and leaving her to believe that A) not only is it her fault, but B) it will never happen again. Needless to say…we know that those lines never really mean anything.

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick – Okay, this one’s got the trifecta. First, we’ve got the heroine who is easily swayed by the bad boy’s charm. We’ve got the “bad boy”/badass angel who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Nora’s feelings, and THEN we’ve got the scenes where he quite clearly takes advantage of her. Oh yeah, and she’s often crying and alone. I’m gonna call bad romance because, clearly, it doesn’t just stick to YA contemps.

What YA stories can you think of that feature bad love stories or love gone wrong?

22 comments:

  1. I've been happily married almost 14 years and we have NEVER celebrated Vday for the exact reason you said. One day a year does not make up for all the other days.

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  2. Bad love stories? Romeo and Juliet anyone? I mean the classic R&J version by Will Shakespeare. Two teenagers fall in love in the most irresponsible way. They elope without any means of supporting themselves. Finally they both commit suicide just because of a misunderstanding and a lack of communication. Can it be any worse?

    I have St.Valentine's Day as well!

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  3. Actual conversation had by me and hubs this morning:

    Me: Happy Valentine's Day

    Hubs: I wasn't supposed to get you something was I?

    Me: I can hardly deal with all the romance radiating from you this morning.

    Hubs: What?

    Me: O_o

    So, needless to say, we're not really big on this holiday either. As much as I love him, big romantic gestures aren't really his style. Or mine, which works out well for us:)

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  4. Great examples, Melissa! I did a book list last year around this time called "Love Will Tear Us Apart" that has some bad relationships. Check it out here: http://booksinthespotlight.blogspot.com/2011/02/love-will-tear-us-apart-booklist.html

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  5. Ah Valentines Day. While I do enjoy the opportunity to be all cheesy and tell EVERYONE in the entire world how much I love them, I have to agree. It's really imperative that we show we love people EVERY SINGLE DAY of the year, and not just on one.

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  6. Such a neat idea :) i don't really have any suggestions for 'bad' love stories in books, but happy valentine's day, melissa!

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  7. I agree, I don't care for Valentine's day very much, it is ridiculous and just another holiday where people want you to spend a lot of money, which not many people have nowadays...

    I can't think of any bad romances at the moment.

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  8. These books sound so intense! I'll have to check them out. It's such a serious issue--I hope the libraries don't ban them!

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  9. Dark Song was IN TEN CITIES INTENSE. I was torn up after reading it last year. Great list, Melissa, and I might just have to pick up your other recs (EXCEPT HUSH HUSH because *hiss* BURN IT WITH FIRE).

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  10. Good post! I am a bit "anti-Valentines day", too, but I like the Holiday at the same time, because I think it's a good way to set a goal for yourself -- to remind yourself that you should treat every day the same way that you treat Valentines, almost like a New Year's Resolution. It's good that you're doing a different sort of post, though! Happy Anti-Valentines day to you!

    Alexandra~

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  11. Great list! I so need to read Breathing Underwater.

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  12. Yeah...I'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day. When you're a kid it's fun, because hey? Who doesn't like an excuse to exchange cards and candy with your buddies? But like you said...the actual holiday itself feels a little too commercialized and fake for me to really get on board.

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  13. I was not a fan of Hush, Hush. It's funny that I love Twilight so much and Patch is like Edward in many ways. But I thought he was much more crude than Edward, who was at least a gentleman if a bit stalkerish.
    I've always wanted to read something by Gail Giles.

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  14. Completely agree (starting to wonder if I was the only one who felt this way). For me, every day should be special with the one that you love, not just this one. I won't deny it though - I love getting chocolates :) Oh, and I detested Patch. Ugh.

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  15. LOL- uh-oh Melissa- I did a list of favorite love stories at my blog for VDay (Face-punch) but I did include one very messed up book on my list, so it should get your approval for anti love day.....

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  16. I hated Hush, Hush. And for other bad relationships in lit, how about Twilight? There is so much that is wrong with that whole thing.

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  17. Crescendo would definitely make the list for me... The second one is a lot worst than the first IMO.

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  18. A little late but I hope you had a very good un-Valentine's!

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