by Jamie McGuire
Series: Beautiful Disaster #1
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication: July 12, 2012
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Purchase:Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
*this novel contains sexual content, foul language and violence It is not suitable for readers under the age of 17.
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
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 grabbed a copy of Beautiful Disaster
after seeing so many
conflicting and passionate reviews. I had to know what within these pages was
eliciting such feelings. Beautiful
is a realistic look into the lives of two dysfunctional people who
meet and fall in love. McGuire offers us
a chance to get inside the complexities of this relationship and to understand
what draws the moth to the flame.
The love story that unfolds takes place at a small Eastern
University. It is here that we meet Abby
Abernathy. She is dressed like Sandra Dee before she meets Danny Zuko in the
movie Grease. She looks like a good girl; she
doesn’t curse, drink and has a plan to escape her dark past. Her well laid plans are challenged when she
meets the campus king of one night stands, Travis Maddox. He is a student by
day and a fighter by night. Abby is drawn to this sexy, charismatic,
intelligent, tattooed love machine. She is drawn to him like a moth to a
flame even though she recognizes the danger.
The characters in McGuire’s world beautifully depict both
the dysfunctional and those who enable them. Abby grew up in a dysfunctional family, where
her parents put their own needs first. She lived in a home where she often played the
parent. I liked Abby and all of her complexities. She appears so well adjusted on the outside,
when really she lacks confidence, has low-self esteem, wonders if she is
loveable and wants to be needed. I
admired her attempts to forge a different life for herself. Travis Maddox is a character you will either
love or hate. He has true attachment
issues, is quick to temper and has difficulty expressing emotions. He is charismatic, and despite his
tattoos and bad boy looks he is cute, smart and witty. Woman are drawn to him,
they want to fix him; to be the one. Travis is traveling without a compass
until he finds Abby. Travis’s cousin enables, protects and coddles Travis’s volatile
personality. America, Abby’s best friend
adds to the drama and is perhaps as messed up as Abby. Kara is Abby’s roommate and the only normal person in the book; she recognizes that the
relationship is unhealthy. Parker represents the life Abby thinks she wants.
Beautiful Disaster gives us a rare look at a dysfunctional
relationship. Abby and Travis's relationship is like a hurricane. It is beautiful, scary, deadly
and uncontrollable. McGuire’s tale shows how two needy people are drawn to each
other and how they feed off each other. A lot of people will struggle to understand why Abby is attracted to
Travis or vice versa. The truth is each has what the other needs emotionally.
We are all drawn to the bad boy; even the fictional characters we adore are
often rogues in need of fixing. Most of us get a little too close to the flame,
recognize the danger and flitter away. This book depicts the startling and
harsh truth behind these relationships. The novel also shows some of the dark
underbellies that exist on campus. The tale had a nice flow, with plenty of climatic scenes. I was disappointed the author didn't incorporate a message about seeking help, or at the very least a one eight hundred number in the back of the book. She had the perfect opportunity with the voice of Kara and failed miserably. I firmly believe this does not belong in the YA genre and should be shelved under New Adult. My emotions where all over the place while reading
this and my feelings for the characters changed with each scene. This is a love story that you will think about
and talk about. I love when an author is able to breathe life into the
characters as she draws emotions from the reader.
I recommend Beautiful Disaster for those seeking a realistic
look at a romance between two volatile and dysfunctional people who try to make
the best of it in their crazy, messed up world. Walking Disaster is the second novel and will be from Travis’s point of
view. It has an expected publication date of 2013.
I want to thank Atria Books and netGalley for providing this
ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
I gave this novel 4 cups of coffee out of 5.
Labels: Beautiful Disaster, contemporary fiction, Jamie McGuire, netGalley, New Adult, Simon and Schuster