In this website, I plan on delving into the common trope of toxic relationships in young adult literature. Toxicity typically shows up in emotional abuse and teen dating violence. From what I’ve researched, most common toxic traits occur in heterosexual relationships, the abuse usually coming from the men. However, research on this topic continues to lack. Sadly, these dangerous relationships permeate young adult literature in such an underlying way, no one seems to notice.

Toxic relationships remain a trend I’ve encountered countless times while reading for pleasure in my life. Luckily, I’ve always been able to discern what denotes a healthy relationship, but other young readers may not. Toxic and dominant relationships are romanticized and strangely popular in adolescent fiction. The fact that society overlooks and casts off this theme is fascinating, and it’s not okay. For the most part, the texts I’ll focus on are Twilight by Stephanie Meyer and Dreamland by Sarah Dessen, though these are still subject to change. I also plan to read Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. I know Twilight will be used as an example a lot because there is so much research and textual evidence.

Mainly, I want to have an easy place to witness this weird and sad phenomenon. When researching this topic so far, there hasn’t been much conversation, and the people that have highlighted this issue bring information from so many other sources, very few of the resources easily connect. I want to bring most research that I’ve found together to create a clear and extensive exploration of this common trope in young adult literature. I also want to demonstrate my reasons for why toxic relationships sell in the media and why they are still being massively produced.

I hope this website will be a hub for deepening the conversation of why toxicity is so popular and so openly accepted in adolescent literature. I’m going to point out the many places toxicity is found, the common tropes and relational dynamics that harbor abuse. I cannot tell if abuse, either emotional, physical, obvious, or subtle is purposefully or accidentally ignored in our society.