Book: Beautiful Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
Published: May 2011
My Rating: 4/5GoodReads | Amazon | B&N
The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.
Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.
I’ve caved in. I read it. Finally I read it!
This is a difficult review to write. I’m trying to stay honest and not turn this into an endless ranting, but it’s hard. Who am I kidding? It’s not going to work! Rant here I come!
Beautiful Disaster is a train wreck (in a good way). Travis’ and Abby’s relationship is a train wreck, one that just didn’t happen to end on tragedy. This book is a train wreck and it will mess with your head. You will either love it or hate it, there’s no in-between.
Abby Abernathy is not a good girl, despite what the book description might say. Abby is student at Eastern University. She’s there for one reason: to escape her past. And escaping her past means getting the hell away from her father. She’s just a girl at college, she does what everyone does. She drinks (a lot), she parties just as the next girl, she studies, blah, blah, blah. She has a funny best friend named America. She also happens to be the most infuriating female character I’ve faced in my reading existence.
Abby frustrated me to no end. She couldn’t for the life of me decide what she wanted. She wanted Travis and then she didn’t, she wanted him again and then not. Just get a fucking hold of yourself! I wanted to scream at her. I understood where she was coming from, a crazy father that used her and then accused her of being the reason behind his life falling apart, no reason she wanted to stay as far away from anything remotely related to what she lived as teenager, but come on! Get a grip already! She was playing with Travis’ emotions and I was not cool with that. The whole leaving-without-saying-a-word was pretty cowardly of her, too. And it angered me to no extent. I’m emotional when I read, and I swear there was a moment I just had to stop. I had to stop and take a breather or I was going to break my computer. I’ve never been so angry at a character before, I swear!
Travis on the other hand…
Travis Maddox is a bad boy. In every stereotypical sense of the word. He has a body to die for, he’s covered in tattoos, he drives a bike, he sort of fights for a living, and he sleeps with every girl who crosses his path. He is a bad boy. And yet, you just can’t get enough of him. He can be incredibly sweet and loving and adorable, but he can be extremely possessive and jealous and just utterly crazy. In a pretty scary way. In a this-is-going-to-end-in-blood kind of way. And yet, you just can’t help but feel for him.
Abby and Travis meet when she goes with America, and her boyfriend, to one of his fights. One moment Abby is staring dumbfounded at the blood, yes blood, on her pink and completely-inappropriate-for-where-she-was-but-who-am-I-to-judge cardigan when Travis stops in front of her.
First they are friends, and then they are more. It was sweet to see how Travis slowly opened up to her, she was his best friend and he was falling for her. It’s impossible not to fall in love with them too (the first half of the book is probably the whole reason behind my rating). At that moment everything was really sweet and endearing. He was possessive of her, like every guy is over the girl he likes, it wasn’t blown over proportion yet. They were really cute together, he would do anything for her and she didn’t see it. He didn’t either really. It’s not until they are about to part ways that they let themselves fall to their attraction.
And then everything goes to hell.
Travis’ and Abby’s relationship is not healthy, alright? It’s not at all, but what kept me going was the fact that they knew it. They were aware of it and they never denied it. His possessiveness and jealousness was not normal, he was loving and sweet one moment and then he was punching some guy in the face for even looking Abby’s way. But her need to run away every second things turned south wasn’t normal either.
They were dependent on each other; they needed each other in a very unhealthy way. Travis needed Abby to the point that without her he couldn’t even eat. I admit I freaked out a little bit at the way he acted sometimes. I’m not used to such overly emotional unstable characters. He was all over the place. It was crazy and I loved every second of it.
There were some parts that I found hard to believe, parts that were completely overblown by emotion. Too exaggerated, and honestly, scary. The fights with Travis where extremely bloody and I had a hard time picturing it, not that I really tried. I’m not one for gruesome things, I have a weak stomach.
Overall Beautiful Disaster is an amazing read that give us a small peek into what this kind of relationships can be like (let’s remember that this is called fiction for a reason, shall we?). It was an emotional rollercoaster that will have you on edge and probably wanting to shout a few expletives at these characters a few times here and there, I know I did. A lot. But despite the heartache, the anger and frustration, it’s also sweet and passionate.
You won’t know what you’re missing until you read it.
“It’s dangerous to need someone that much. You’re trying to save him, and he’s hoping you can. You two are a disaster.”
I smiled at the ceiling. “It doesn’t matter what or why it is. When it’s good, Kara…it’s beautiful.”