Top Ten Tuesday: Five Books That Would Be On My Syllabus If I Taught Women About Unhealthy Relationships

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they provide a topic, and you choose ten books that answer that topic. This week’s topic is your top ten books that would be on your syllabus if you taught X 101 (examples: YA fantasy 101, feminist literature 101, magic in YA 101, classic YA lit 101, world-building 101)

I really liked this topic for this week (gives me an excuse to rant on this one) and it has been forever since I last participated in the Top Ten Tuesday meme. There are so many topics that I could have chosen for my syllabus such as world-building, great character development which are important aspects when I read books.. However, for this topic I’m going to choose a lesson in which I would teach about unhealthy relationships especially for my female students.

I chose this topic because I have read enough young-adult and new-adult books (heck even classic literature) in which obsessive and possessive characteristics of a character for their love interest is considered “romantic” Ironically, they are not seen as destructive because “stalking” in literature is definitely okay and so adorable. I know it’s fiction, but at times glamorizing such behaviors is a big no-no for me. I’m sure that’s not the author’s intent, but at times it just comes off that way when I am reading. Possessiveness or any type of volatile behavior by a significant other is usually a sign of an unhealthy, toxic relationship.

So here are my top ten books that would be on my syllabus.

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1) Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Mc Guire

Just like any main hero in a new adult book, he is always hot. Unfortunately in real life, you would be running for your life with this one, especially with his volatile behavior.  Travis is not one of the good guys. There is nothing endearing about his character at all. He is one of those nasty, jealous, possessive, violent guys that will beat up anyone even his guy friends just because they glance at Abby.  Not only that but he tells her what to wear.  Abby if I were you I would leave this relationship. But she’s dumb so of course they live happily ever after……You can take out the beautiful because this relationship is nothing but a disaster.

Wuthering HeightsWuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

There is nothing romantic about this relationship. Toxic, toxic, toxic! And Heathcliff is no romantic hero. The man is crazy.

Bully (Fall Away, #1)Bully by Penelope Douglas

This romanticized bullying. The main hero claims to love her and he had issues hence he acted the way he did. Umm no… if you loved the person, you would never treat them that way, regardless of what you are experiencing because you are taking out all your anger on the person that you claimed to love. It pissed me even more off when the heroine was okay with it and still wants to be with him. The message that its sending is that if a guy treats you horribly for years, no matter the reason and then finally professes his love for you means he really cares for you, right? I mean seriously, that is is messed up on so many levels.

Twilight (Twilight, #1) Twilight (series) by Stephanie Meyer

While I never thought of Edward and Bella’s relationship as “abusive”, it was still unhealthy. Edward is supposed to be the most romantic and swoony guy of all time, but he’s possessive, creepy, and stalker-y. He dictates who she can and can’t be friends with.  Even Bella admits that she’s scared of him. Are you suppose to feel fear when it comes to your significant other? I don’t think so……

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

OOOOH he stalks me, but that’s okay because I’m already falling for him….Umm whaaaat?!


Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1) Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

While I didn’t read this book, Anastasia and Christian are notorious when it comes to an unhealthy relationship in literature.

I’d like to use this quote to describe this book:

“Fifty shades of grey’ is considered a romantic story only because the guy is a billionare.  If he was living in a trailer or in a shack somewhere in the woods it would be an episode of ‘Criminal minds’.”

There you have my top ten tuesday topic. I apologize if some of you enjoyed the books that I mentioned. This is solely my own opinion.


79 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Five Books That Would Be On My Syllabus If I Taught Women About Unhealthy Relationships

  1. Great list. I love it when I see fellow readers calling out unhealthy relationships! It’s one of my biggest turn offs for books. We need to see less of this in literature and more equalled out, healthy relationships, especially in YA literature. These books can be so toxic for teens and young adults. Loved your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol oops ignore my first comment. Thank you!

      Yes it’s very unrealistic and it sets a good example. I just hate it when authors romanticize obsession, stalker tendencies, or possessiveness! That is a very scary thing in real life. And the sad part of it, is that certain readers find this cute, romantic, and totally fine!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The sass in this post is so real omg. Erika, I absolutely love the “class” you picked! I could imagine you standing at the front of a classroom with a pointer lecturing about the do’s and don’t’s of a relationship. Perfect.
    It kind of disappoints me that Wuthering Heights is a book with an unhealthy relationship (actually now that I think about it I think it was Bella’s favorite book so I find it a little ironic that they’re both on this list). I also think it’s a little sad that some people don’t recognize what’s a healthy relationship!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HAHA oh my gosh thank you Kelly! This class does definitely fit my personality the best. However, I will admit it’s quite ironic because I am currently living the single life so it’s odd that I would be teaching a class about relationships. HAHA

      Oh my gosh that is ironic! Both relationships in Twilight and Wuthering Heights were quite dysfunctional!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad we had the same two books in mind. I think these two books are notorious for having unhealthy relationships for the main characters since they are so popular. It’s quite ironic, too since both are related somehow since Fifty Shades was based on Twilight fanfiction.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Right?! Especially Fifty Shades. What is up with that book that everyone seems to think it’s so romantic. I mean it’s also obvious that there are many who hate the books as well, but like I have friends who actually enjoyed the series and were so excited for the movie when it was coming out… I found that so weird and kinda creepy.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It’s quite disappointing that Beautiful Disaster would have such an abusive relationship. It appalls me that this book gets such high ratings on Goodreads!


        1. I guess because in fiction they can get away with it and there’s just something about the way the author will write that makes it seem like it’s so “romantic”…And that creeps me out to be honest. HAHA

          Liked by 1 person

  3. The topic that you chose is awesome! I agree with Wuthering Heights, Twilight and Fifty Shades (I didn’t even bother reading the last one). I would include books that feature incest in this list, like Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. Nope, I’m nerver going to read that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🙂 Fifty Shades I will never read as well, but I’ve read enough about it to know what the whole book is about. It’s the epitome of an unhealthy relationship.


      1. It really is! I keep telling friends who have read and loved it that there are so many other romance novels that are well-written and portray healthy relationships.


        1. I know! It bemuses me as to why people would want to read that kind of book not that I would judge you for it. I mean my friends have read it and wouldn’t shut up about it especially when the movie was coming out. And it’s so disappointing because they are not even avid readers and all of a sudden they became one because of these series..Maybe it’s the hype..who knows.

          And I agree! There are so many more romance books out there when the relationship is actually normal and healthy. Like why can’t you people just read that! HAHA


  4. I originally wanted to read Beautiful Disaster when I first heard of it, as it was overhyped but from reading the reviews, it just sounds like an abusive relationship. It’s not okay not real life, so why would it be okay in fiction? I don’t understand why some authors think its okay to write about it. It doesn’t send a good message. Fifty Shades of Grey is the worst. I really hated Wuthering Heights. It’s not even a love story, its a hate story. I exiled Hush Hush from my bookshelf since I really disliked it. Anyway, great idea for your top ten tuesday post and great list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not one to say to not read a book because I believe that every book should be given a chance, but I totally understand as to why you wouldn’t want to read Beautiful Disaster. This book is quite overhyped. It’s appalling that some people actually thought this book was cute and they liked the main guy when he is so psychotic. I guess it was okay since it was just in fiction. But still it’s not okay because it is sending the wrong message.

      Fifty Shades oh my goodness that relationship is just messed up.. I mean who signs a sexual contract or whatever she does?

      Yes I don’t know why Wuthering Heights is classified as romance when it’s the exact opposite. I disliked that book and I disliked all the characters. That relationship is just too dysfunctional.

      Thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This… Was absolutely FANTASTIC! It’s so cool that you chose this topic for this week’s top ten Tuesday post. There are so many romanticized types of relationships in fiction now that should quite frankly not be romanticized. I agree with you on Hush Hush and Twilight. Patch was so damn weird and stalkery, I could not stand it. As for Twikight, a healthy relationship does not involve watching your significant other as they sleep. Nope. Nopenopenope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Oh my gosh I don’t know why people found Edward watching Bella sleep cute. I always thought that was the most creepiest thing ever!

      I hate when stalking is romanticized…like it’s considered hot and attractive. That’s downright scary. It’s annoying too because it’s considered okay just as long as the main hero is attractive. If he wasn’t then it would be totally creepy. Umm no stalking in general is frightening regardless whether the person is attractive or not.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I wouldn’t classify Fifty Shades as literature. 😛 And I’ll have to disagree about Wuthering Heights! I agree Catherine and Heathcliff both are selfish but I think that’s the way author wanted us to see them. He may not be a great romantic hero but he’s a perfect fit for an equally horrible Catherine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha it really isn’t but every one defines “literature” differently. I think literature generally is any type of book regardless whether you consider it or not. That’s true I think Catherine was horrible, too. I read the book when I was much younger, so I guess I didn’t analyze their love story enough to interpret it in a much different way. I just thought that Heathcliff was too crazy.

      But I do understand where you are coming from. I just didn’t like the book hence my opinion may differ. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well by it’s general definition Fifty Shades does come under literature but I hate to put it in the same category with some really great works. And I think my love for classics might be the reason for my bias towards Wuthering Heights. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh I never consider Fifty Shades as literature as well. That book is shameful to the term literature. HAHA

          That’s possible but as a lover of classics as well, I can’t say that all classic literature I read, I enjoyed. HAHA

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I couldn’t agree more with you regarding Wuthering Heights! I mean, I usually don’t describe books as pathetic, but Wuthering Heights leaves few other words for me.
    Also, Twilight. The romance (if it can even be called that) in that book (the whole series, for that matter) was a mess. A super-weird mess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Wuthering Heights is hailed as a romance book I believe but I don’t see anything romantic about it. I read it a young age so I don’t know maybe it’s just me so I didn’t analyze it enough. However, everyone in that book is just crazy. As for Twilight, I couldn’t agree more with it being a weird mess. I mean I found it creepy that Edward watches Bells sleep! Like that’s just so creepy and definitely not cute.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! What’s so romantic about two crazy people claiming to love each other but marrying other people and having kids who again develop complicated relationships to mess everything up further? How is it even a proper story?!
        And yes, Edward’s stalking was creepy! And the even weirder thing is, Bella never even has a problem with what he does or says! She just automatically adjusts her thinking to feel like what Edward does is always the right thing. I don’t know why, but that sounds like a wrong thing to me. But of course, it’s Edward and Bella, so I’m not allowed to say anything.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Bella is such doormat and one dimensional heroine that she pisses you off. She literally has no backbone so I totally can see why she doesn’t mind Edward doing all those things. Honestly what kind of person would think that what he does is even remotely okay?!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marje! I am actually quite disappointed that I even read these books. However, I guess I didn’t have that much knowledge of the types of relationship that the main hero and heroine will have until I actually read the book. The summary can only tell you so much about the romance between them.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Right?! I mean honestly I don’t even think of Fifty Shades as “romantic” even if he was a billionaire. The main characters need help! Their relationship is just too crazy…

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh my goodness. I never watched the movie, but when I saw the trailer everything about it was so awkward. Even the actors playing Anastasia and Christian looked so awkward together.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Oh my gosh yes!The lack of chemistry is so obvious off screen and on screen. I haven’t watched the movie, but I think they should have chosen better actors for them…The actor who played Christian was okay I guess, but Anastasia.. definitely not. LOL

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes I’m kind of disappointed that I even read some of these kinds of books. It’s unfortunate that we later find out about it once we started reading the book, since the book summary can also tell so much. I try not to read these kinds of books, but like I said you aren’t really aware until you start reading it.


  8. Great list! Twilight is the only one on this list that I’ve read. I definitely agree with you on the unhealthy relationship there, especially in New Moon. I haven’t read Fifty Shades and probably never will, but since it was originally Twilight fanfiction it probably doesn’t stray too far from its predecessor…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness Twilight. I can’t believe some people think that Edward and Bella’s relationship is healthy. I mean she locked herself and wouldn’t talk to any one because her whole life revolves around Edward. That’s just too much.

      And yes to Fifty Shades. This one is just one crazy relationship. Why would you sign a sexual contract or whatever it is that the main character does…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad we can both agree on this!

      Tell me about it! And it’s so disappointing that some readers and even viewers actually think it’s romantic and totally okay. What are they thinking?!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! My gosh these characters were so frustrating. I tried so hard to like all the characters but they were just so horrible and it’s so hard to root for Catherine and Heathcliff together. They had one dysfunctional relationship.

      Liked by 1 person

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