Friday, March 29, 2013

Book Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Author: Jamie McGuire
Series: Beautiful #1
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: August 14th 2012
My Rating: 4 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):
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.

I have a confession to make. Before I read Beautiful Disaster I broke one of my rules and I read some reviews for this book. If you look, you'll see how mixed they are, so I was a little weary.

Based on the reviews I read though, I formed a plan in my head: don't fall for Travis. You know how I love the bad boy heroes. I didn't want to care for him too much. Well, good luck with that! Because, like Abby says, "it's the tattoos". I couldn't do it. But let me get back to Travis a bit later.

Beautiful Disaster and the companion book, Walking Disaster, are proof that there are more sides to a story and that you shouldn't judge one person using only information from one side. I'll tell you about that next week, when I review Walking Disaster.

I felt like both Abby and Travis are broken people. Abby never had a normal childhood and Travis... well, we don't know much about him, really. Because BD is told from Abby's POV I can see why most readers didn't like Travis. I mean, he was acting crazy, he was a little too violent at times (though not physically towards Abby), he was possessive and angry. I'm not trying to make excuses for him, but Abby didn't really come across as innocent to me. She was a little naive at first, but when she figured it out, she wasn't exactly fair to Travis. One moment she wanted him, the next she wanted nothing with him.

I liked America and Shep. They were both good friends for Abby and Travis and their love story was cute. Though at times both America "Mare" and Shep exaggerated at times with some of their fights, I think they'll make it in the end.

The thing I can think about that didn't... well, it wasn't as I'd expected it was. Abby's childhood. We know her dad wasn't great father material, we know she had to do stuff to get him out of trouble, but we're told that, not shown. There's one or two scenes where we actually get a glimpse of what Abby might have gone through in her past. I wish there were more of them or that there were scenes where she would remember something similar. It would've made me understand her more than I did.

I don't know if Abby and Travis would make it in real life. Maybe, maybe not. What I do know is that I liked their story and I think they do have a chance to make it. Oh, one thing I recommend. If you haven't yet read this book, I think you should wait and get both Beautiful and Walking and read them back to back. That's what I did and I'm glad I did it that way.

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