REVIEW: Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire

June 22, 2012 Review 1

Beautiful Disaster

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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 America, 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 charming college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charms, 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’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

I REALLY liked this book but I’ve found it hard to review due to all the controversy surrounding it and feeling like I have to justify why I liked it.

I liked reading about Abby and Travis and their growing friendship and then relationship. They were both from dysfunctional families and had their problems and baggage to bring with them and that’s what made their relationship fraught with so many issues.

I didn’t like the fact that Travis’ temper meant he beat the crap out of anyone that so much as looked at him or Abby the wrong way BUT I did understand that his upbringing with 4 brothers, his dad and a mother who died when he was very young played a huge part in that. Your childhood shapes you and if you don’t know any different way of life what do you do?

Travis was controlling of Abby, in what she wore, who she spoke to, and where she went and I know that’s another issue that people who’ve read the book have had but I firmly believe that comes down to Travis’ childhood again. He needs security and reassurance. If he can control the situation that’s one way of getting it as there’ll be no room for an unexpected outcome.

No relationship is perfect and I’m sure we all make compromises or accept parts of our partners that we can’t change. That’s what Abby chose to do when she decided she couldn’t live without Travis and him without her. Abby was a tough cookie wrapped up in a seemingly sweet and innocent exterior. Travis met his match with her and her snarky attitude and quick-witted replies.

I LOVED Abby’s best friend America and her boyfriend, Travis’ cousin and room-mate, Shepley. They were such a cute couple and looked out for Abby and Travis too.

Travis was the ultimate bad boy – full of tattoos, a drinker, a smoker, a fighter in an illegal underground college ring, and he slept his way through most of the girls at college. I liked how by the end of the book he had mellowed due to Abby’s influence and for the first time in a long time actually feeling loved and wanted and secure that the person he loved wasn’t going to disappear like his mum did when she died. I think having security like that can make a huge difference to a person’s behaviour, no matter how bad, awful, thuggish and controlling they were to begin with. I thought the ending was sweet and I’m not sure how I thought it would end but I liked it.

I liked the writing style, the descriptions and development of the characters, and the development of the plot. Based on this book I’m looking forward to reading more of Jamie McGuire’s work soon.

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