Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Review: Beautiful Disaster

Beautiful Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
Published: May 26, 2011
437 pages
3 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from 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 wants—and needs—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.

Sometimes it's important to break from your norm and read a book that doesn't necessary seem like something you would normally read. Beautiful Disaster caught my eye and the description made me pick up the bok. I fell into it right away, suddenly sucked into Abby's world and wanting to know what happened in her past to be scared a guy like Travis. Mind you, Travis is the type that every girl should stay away from no matter what, but that wasn't exactly the main focus of this book.

Abby tries everything she can to resist Travis. He has slept with most every girl at their college and she is warned, but she somehow ends up falling in the same hole as all the other girls. This would be fine with me if Travis was actually a good guy. Let's face it, some guys who sleep around are actually just looking for the right girl, but Travis is not one of these guys. When he finds the right girl, in this case, Abby, he decides that he needs to possess every aspect of her instead of loving her. Abby is's smart enough to see this and she just keeps going back to him even when she can't stand being around him.

If this book were about toxic relationships and trying to get out of them, then I would have loved it. If it ended with Abby finally escaping the abusive relationship Travis has involved her in, the entire plot would have impacted me drastically. Instead, McGuire glorifies their relationship. telling us that this is what love is supposed to be like. If Abby leaves without telling Travis where she's going, he freaks out. One night he stays outside her dorm room all night and she is scared to leave. He tattoos her ridiculous nickname that he's given her on him when they've only been dating a month. And, well I won't spoil the ending, but it takes it just a little too over the top. This book could be the perfect book for a girl trying to leave a relationship like this if the author actually used their abusive relationship in the way it is. But it's covered up by stupidity on both characters parts and is shown as a healthy relationship. Nothing about their relationship made me swoon. At no point in the novel did I want to date Travis. I was just scared that he would eventually hit Abby and she'd allow it. I wanted her to leave him. At one point in the novel, she dates a good guy who plans to have a great future, someone she should be with, and she throws him out like trash. 

Here's where it got tricky for me. Part of me loved this book. I craved more as soon as I stopped reading. I would have read it from cover to cover if I'd had the time. The writing flowed well and the characters were funny and alive. It's hard for me to describe the feeling, because the entire time I wanted to yell at everyone in the book, yet I still wanted to know what would happen next. If the next book in the series were a real sequel (Walking Disaster is just a retelling rom Travis's point of view) I'd probably pick it up because for some reason I liked it. It's just really hard for me to pinpoint where the love and hate separate.  I've never felt this way about a book and now, after having read two more books after it, I'm still thinking about it. It's cheesy, but the best way to actually describe this book is by calling it a beautiful disaster.

“I knew the second I met you that there was something about you I needed. Turns out it wasn’t something about you at all. It was just you.” 

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