Monday, August 13, 2012

Beautiful Disaster by Jame McGuire

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Release Date – August 14, 2012
Publisher Website –  Atria/Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  416 pages
My Rating- 2.5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review (via Netgalley)**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The new 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 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.
Love is a pretty powerful emotion. It can make us strive to be better, and it can also bring out our worst. Some relationships are toxic, and yet the people involved can not stay away from each other because the connection is that strong.  Travis and Abby are an example of such a relationship.

This is going to be one of the strange reviews for me, because I did somewhat enjoy this novel, and yet it has so many things that normally would turn me off.

Both Travis and Abby aggravated me beyond belief. Their inability to talk and let each other frustrated me. Travis will most likely cause a lot of women to swoon. I, sadly, could not get past his dependence on Abby. He’s scarily obsessed with her, and is quick tempered to the point where I was afraid he would eventually hit her. His reaction to her leaving the house after the first time they sleep together is to TRASH the entire place. He’s a walking temper tantrum and I didn’t find that appealing.

Abby plays mind games, doesn’t communicate, and at times even encourages Travis’ violent behaviour. She even goes so far to entice Travis to beat up a guy to “teach him some manners” after the guy makes some disparaging remarks about her. I get the whole “sticking up for your girl” thing but Travis’ violence was intense.

It may sound as if I didn’t like these characters, but that could not be further from the truth. I enjoy flawed, intense, messed up characters. I fully enjoyed them for their faults. It is a fascinating look a dysfunctional, broken relationship between two people who are just as damaged. I would have loved this novel even more if that were what the author was trying to show. It brings me to my only real compliant with this novel - that it depicts this sort of relationship as romantic. Relationships like these are anything but romantic. It’s absolutely real, raw, tortured but not something to strive for. I would have appreciated a more healthy, realistic approach to this sort of relationship.

The writing is crazily addictive. Once you start reading you will instantly be hooked. It is easily one of those books you’ll breeze through quickly and is perfect for those last days on the beach before summer ends.

A look at a messed up relationship between two damaged people and what borderline obsession can do to a person. Beautiful Disaster adequately describes not only the relationship, but the characters as well. It falls a little short with the romanticism of what is clearly an unhealthy and abusive relationship, but is insanely readable.


  1. Your review made me want this book so bad I just requested it on NetGalley and am going to start reading tonight :) I might dislike the same things about the book as you, but I can't wait to find out! Thanks for sharing and helping me discover this book! :D
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  2. Sounds interesting. Thanks for the review. The cover of this one is reminiscent of Elana Johnson's Possession. :D

  3. I know what you mean about enjoying the novel despite having things in it that would turn you off. I felt the same way, but I ended up really loving it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. I also found it quite addictive, the first half especially, though I had large problems with it...the fact that there are absolutely no consequences for Travis' behavior, and I didn't find it romantic at all etc. It kind of ruined the rest of the book for me because there was no development.

    I guess I'm not the kind of reader who likes bad boys :)


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