Romanticised abuse in ROAR (novel)

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I recently read Roar by Cora Carmack, a fantasy that is Carmack's YA debut. I didn't like the book, but my main issues revolved around the romantic relationships and male characters. 


Roar is a Princess fleeing her city and embarking on a journey with this group of men and women. On of the guys, Locke, develops "affection" for her, and she eventually returns it. I hate this relationship because of Locke's disgusting behaviour towards Roar.  

Examples of romanticised abuse in Roar by Cora Carmack


40% - 
Locke hadn’t been sleeping well. The first night on the road, he blamed it on his adjusting schedule. On the second night, he did the same. But now after three nights of restless sleep, broken by nightmares about a girl in danger who was somehow both his sister and Roar simultaneously, he had run out of excuses. It had been ages since he’d last had a nightmare. He knew having Roar here would throw him off balance, but it was even worse than he anticipated. 

Obsession much? Gross.


“You’re an ass,” she hissed, whirling to leave him. But he was quicker, and he snatched a wrist, tugging until she fell into him, one hand on his chest, two fingers’ width from the accelerating beat of his heart. 
“And you are scared,” he said softly. 
“Of course, I’m scared. Do you think I’m stupid?” 

Get your freaking hands off her, you bully.

He shook his head. He would never stop. If she wouldn’t give up her secrets, he would discover them on his own. 

She is not obligated to tell you her secrets! If she doesn't want to tell you, then Leave. Her. Alone. You have no right to anything she's reluctant to tell you, and you have no right to "discover" them.

He still held one of her wrists, and she tugged, trying to break free. His grip was secure; but, never one to give up easily, Roar twisted her body nearly all the way around, trying to worm out of his grasp. He loosened his hold, worried she’d hurt herself. But the moment she broke free, he seized her again, wrapping his arms around her middle, arms trapped at her sides, her back to his chest. 
He should let her go. He knew her well enough now to know that manhandling her would only make her fight harder. But he was too distracted by the way her body fit against his own. Her soft hair tickled his neck. Even more startling, she had stopped fighting him completely. Her body sank against his, her back pressed against his chest and abdomen. He became acutely aware of where his arms wrapped around her shoulders and her midsection. She sucked in a breath, and the rise and fall of her chest moved through both of them. He knew he should step away, but it was like he’d been mesmerized. He stood there, stock-still, his mind filled with nothing but her. If she were a storm, she could destroy him, and he would never lift a finger to protect himself. If he did not learn to block out the instincts she roused in him, destruction could be exactly where they both were headed. 

DARN RIGHT YOU SHOULD LET HER GO! SHE WANTS YOU TO LET HER GO. I hate, hate, hate this scene. Locke's behaviour is horrifying.


He stilled and looked at her like hunters looked at prey, as if he were trying to make himself appear as nonthreatening as possible. 

Well isn't that charming. I'd love a guy to look at me like he's hunting me and I'm his prey. Doesn't that just ooze swoon? #not


She was uncharted territory, and mountains formed where he touched her and a river of sensation flowed down her spine. She watched his mouth, watched it form her name on a barely audible whisper. The hand around her neck tightened, his thumb sliding forward to brace at the edge of her jaw. 

Uncharted territory? She's a human being, she's a woman! She is not territory, you freaking sadist. Don't you dare describe her as land - how gross is that?


With a growl, she spun before he could say anything more and began marching away. He did not get to make her feel bad about this. She had seen a storm and stayed herself. She had done something useful after so long feeling useless. She thought at first that he was going to let her be, but eventually she heard him jogging up behind her. “
Roar, wait.”
“No,”she snapped, picking up her pace. 
“Would you listen—”
“Can you just leave me alone?”
His hand seized her elbow, and he spun her around forcefully. 
He growled, “No. I can’t.”And then his mouth collided with hers. 
For a moment, Roar did not understand what was happening. She knew his lips were on hers, pushing hard enough to be punishment, and his fingers threaded through her hair, and an arm wrapped tight around her waist. But even knowing those things, she could not quite comprehend that Locke was kissing her. She froze, unsure whether she wanted to allow it or shove him away. She had been so angry, but now that blazing heat had melted into something different, like molten glass being shaped into something new. He tilted her head back, his hand gripping tighter in her hair, and when he opened his mouth against hers, she followed. He kissed his own fury into her, melting and reshaping her again and again with each stroke of his tongue over hers.

I think this scene speaks for itself. I'm gonna go vomit now.


Locke’s voice was a fierce, angry growl, and she bowed up, ready to growl right back. She was getting tired of his moods—suffocatingly protective one second and a beast the next.

Yup, you should be tired of them,. Why not just get on a horse and ride away? You don't need to stay with him or deal with his moods. He's not worth it.


He would be lying if he didn’t admit that he got pleasure out of both her outraged cry and the feel of her surrounding him.

Oh yeah, major swoon here. Isn't it just beautiful when you cry out and a guy delights in your anger and pain?  

“You are such an ass!” He smiled. 
“Yes, but I’m an ass who gets what he wants.” He hadn’t meant those words to sound quite so possessive. He still thought it was a bad idea to get attached to her, but since the kiss, he was having trouble getting himself to care. All the thoughts he had ignored so diligently before abraded him constantly now. Good idea or not—he wanted her.

Toxic masculinity alert.


And if having Roar on his horse gave him the opportunity to wheedle a little more information out of her, then all better.

For THE HUNDREDTH TIME her secrets are not your responsibility and you are not obligated to them. Take a freaking hint.


And with each pass, he claimed a little more of her.

Claimed?! Oh I want to punch this guy SO BADLY.


Locke couldn’t stop the fierce protectiveness that rose in him, and before he knew what he was doing, he had caught her face in his hands, turning it toward him. “Who was he? The man from the market?”
“Locke, please—”
“If a man needs to hurt a woman to feel good about himself, he is not much of a man.”
“It wasn’t like that.”
“Then how was it? Say the word, princess, and I will hunt him down. It’s what I do, and I am very good at it.” 

Overprotectiveness more like, and just NO NO NO. Respect her, dude.

“I will make you a promise,” he said. “You don’t have to tell me anything unless you want to. I will do my best to stop pushing you. But know that you have my trust.”

Hmmm. Does he even hear himself?! Practice what you preach, Locke.

He still wanted her, even though he clearly did not deserve her. And the instinct to protect and care for her was stronger than ever, even though it was him she needed protecting from.

Cliche alert. She needs protecting from him, oh how adorable.


He leaned down to nip at her swollen bottom lip. “I’m the first to touch this mouth? To taste it?”
Her nails dug into his shoulders, and her blue eyes flashed with heat. She nodded, her tongue darting out to soothe the skin he had tugged between his teeth. 
“That means it’s mine. My territory. And I’m prepared to protect it, every hour of the day if I must."


Locke is a bullying alpha male who thinks he's entitled to Roar and treats her like property. 

It's not love, it's toxic masculinity gone too far. It's abusive behaviour.

← Tamlin & Feyre in ACOTAR

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