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.
Within the first pages we are introduced to Abby Abernathy. Externally she is the girl-next-door, but on the inside she has a dark past full of danger and pain. She has moved away from Wichita to attend Eastern University hoping for a fresh start where nobody knows of her or her infamous father. She has been raised around unpredicible, reckless people her entire life so when she first lays eyes on Travis Maddox she knows to stay well and truly far away from him. Problem is he is intrigued by her keeping this casanova at arm's length. Abby refuses to allow herself to notice the way Travis makes her feel because she knows if she gives in and sleeps with him she will just be another notch on his bedpost. Unable to keep him away she settles for a friendship. But what starts as nothing but best buddies turns into anything but.
Travis has had his share of women. He is the campus stud who has never dated and only ever had one-night-stands. Unfortunately, the one girl he wants now doesn't want him. The unusual "Pidgeon", as he calls her, is the only girl who has ever held his attention longer than it takes to get them naked. He demands to have her in any way possible. That even includes a reluctant friendship. But all the while this unfeeling cad starts to wonder if love is not such a impossible thing for him. Maybe Abby is the one who can soothe his hurt and tame the beast.
Abby and Travis have a lot of healing to do and perhaps with the help of each other they can allow themselves to trust what is developing between them. Maybe they can allow themselves to feel loved without fear for the first time in their lives.
I absolutely loved Abby and Travis as a couple, he was a smug player in the beginning and through Abby not taking any of his nonsense and calling him on everything he did she didn't agree with, he grew in a man. Abby also learned to eventually not let her past rule her life. I loved watching their feelings for each other grow. I cried for them and that is the best part of a book. When I feel so emotionally invested in a book that I feel joy and sorrow right along with them, that is the markings of a truly superior book.
Jamie McGuire reached the status of one of my favorite authors in leaps and bounds with Beautiful Disaster. It is a New Adult book that will make you fall in love with the genre and idolize the world of adorable Abby and tantalizing Travis.
Review posted on: http://www.ladybugliterature.blogspot.com
there were these moments when you could imagine a stage hand whispering "cue angst" behind the curtain. The backgrounds of the characters weren't as dramatic as the author seems to want them to sound.
I don't mind a novel about a dysfunctional relationship. I do mind needless drama, though.
I also have a problem with no self awareness whatsoever. Abby is ridiculous in her refusal to acknowledge her own feelings. And Travis.. oh lord! here's the thing; the author will have you believe that it's possible for people to completely change who they are. Who they've been for years and years over the course of a couple of weeks. When in fact, past a certain age, what you see is what you get. FOREVER.
And what's with naming characters after countries? The name "America" is pretty rare as it is but to have another character named "Brazil". I hope she doesn't break out the continents next! She could use "Australia" and fill her ridiculous name quota for like 60 or 70 pages. Besides it'll be hitting two birds with one stone since Australia qualifies as a country and a continent.
Finally, I think someone should call animal protection because they are dangerously underfeeding that dog!!
I mean, what was the book about? (don't read this if you don't like spoilers, read next paragraph) It was about a girl who didn't want to get into a relationship because she had a drunken loser of a Dad who only wanted money from her after she stole is "luck." Then she leaves her Dad only to have him come back to ask her form money and give him money so he will never come back...
I understand the hurt she must have felt with those past experiences and you feel sorry for her but that was not what the book was about. It was just about how the two main characters got together. Still, it was a pretty awesome book, and regardless of the plot being non existent I would still read it all over.
The book was really able to bring out the feelings of confusion of love and being with the perfect person. But best of all who doesn't like Bad boy play boys and being the girl who wins their heart? Yea, I'll read a book like that!
People say that you cant really describe the feelings of the heart when one is in love; there is only pain, confusion, love, and attraction. If I didn't know any better I would say that that was true. But!! I think McGuire did a spectacular job of getting all those feeling down in Beautiful Disaster.
The characters were well developed and you could see their growth throughout. There past was specific and existent so you knew exactly where they were coming from and able to sympathize with them.
Did I tell you what heaven Travis Maddox is? Well he is absolute HEAVEN!!! Did I tell you my man can fight? Yes, Travis, you can protect me for as long as we can live. It really shows that you need a dependable partner. McGuire actually makes you jealous of Abby getting the guy rather when you want him for yourself. Their relationship growth teaches two things:
1) How good it is to be in love
2) A healthy relationship
I'm not going to lie the book is controversial to there being the signs of an abusive relationship where Travis is obsessive and a controller but I would say that like many people out there he needs anger management but he does have the Self-Control to know when things are too much and he needs to stop and plus, I think he loves Abby too much to hurt her.
Overall, read the book! I Dare You!!! Now you have to... :D
-realistic romance rather than the heart pounding stuff in other books that doesn't happen in real life, though I'm not saying that this book wasn't heart throbbing and that I don't like the cute sense in other books. I give that realism respect.
- It held my attention. So good you can finish it in one read.
- Bad boy play boy!!!
Unfortunately, I seem to have developed a case of the Twilights, where regardless of every rational bone in my body, I found myself enjoying a lot of what I should have been repulsed by…
Abby was one of the most emotionally confused protagonists I’ve read about in a long time – and I loved her for it. She made absolutely no sense – it was obvious that she wanted more than friendship from Travis, but she continued to reject his advances at every turn. She went so far as to date someone else – someone who was the polar opposite of Travis – to prove that she could be attracted to the “right” kind of guy. But while her behaviour was frustrating – just admit your feelings for him already! – I understood that she equated a life with Travis with the life she was trying to leave behind; a life of drinking, violence and cons. I couldn’t fault her for trying to make a better life for herself than she had grown up with.
I also loved Abby and Travis together, when things we’re going well. Their playful banter, their steamy sex scenes, and the tension that rolled off of each of them in waves was thick enough to see at some points. I found myself laughing out loud during some of their more playful moments, fearful for their hearts during some of their more tender moments and slightly teary during some of their more vulnerable moments.
What I couldn’t stand was Abby and Travis together, when things weren’t going so well. Travi’s controlling behaviour, demanding that Abby change clothes because he couldn’t handle knowing other guys would be looking at her and thinking about sex. Abby’s manipulation of Travis’ feelings, breaking up with him only to act hurt and above reproach when he tried to move on. BUT, these beyond-annoying frustrating moments made for the kind of read where your eyes stay glued to the pages; I couldn’t have put Beautiful Disaster down if I had wanted to, because I was just as caught up in Abby and Travis’ relationship as they were.
Other than their on-again, off-again relationship, Beautiful Disaster really didn’t have much going for it in way of plot – or character – development – literally the entire book is focused on whether or not Abby and Travis would end up together. I kept waiting for Travis’ anger to push him too far, for his actions to catch up with him, and for it to cause him to see that he couldn’t just punch his way through his problems. Or for Abby to realize that as much as Travis had changed for her, he had a lot of stuff going on that she would never be able to “fix.” When I realized that neither character was actually going to learn from their experiences with the other, I couldn’t help but be angry with myself for hoping for more.
Much like I enjoyed Twilight, even though I chastised Bella for being so naive to how unhealthy her obsession with Edward was, I enjoyed Beautiful Disaster even though I kept mentally reprimanding Abby for encouraging Travis’ obsessive and controlling nature. I don’t know that I’ll bother with the sequel, because what I’m really interested in now is seeing life for Abby and Travis, six months later. You know, when she’s knocked up, money’s tight and Travis has started to come home smelling like whiskey…
I really liked Travis. Yes, he was a tad savage, but that only made his tender moments better.
There back and forth relationship was a bumpy one, filled with fighting, gambling, drinking, sex, and mob bosses, but it was a hell of a ride. Beautiful Disaster will have you reading it in one sitting, left with a smile on your face, and ready to reread it after a day!
I wish I could praise this book more but it’s something you have to read to believe.
The love Travis had for Abby was almost mind-blowing. They went through so much and their fights were like all out wars. There love surpassed it all though. They would not give up on each other. Travis changed his lifestyle completely just for Abby. That was sweet to see. It was kind of annoying how they loved each other one second, and hated each other the next. However, I think it was perfect for the story. They were both such passionate people that they fought or loved with that same passion.
You know what? When I saw the book cover, and read the title, I was smitten. Though I was a little put off by the synopsis (I like more YA romances), I still wanted to read it because of all the hype over it.
*Claws eyes out and howl*
I really didn't like this book. And that's a total understatement. I hated the characters, the writing style, the plot. While I can definitely see how it draws attention of the reader, I can't help but wonder if it was this popular only because it's a book from a genre that's still fairly fairly new to the bookish world. It's marketed off as a teen-friendly version of Fifty Shades of Grey, which I've read several negative reviews about and really do not feel like picking it up even when I'm older, take note: Beautiful Disaster is not teen friendly. So to my YA-reading followers, check it out if you want, but be careful. If I were to introduce it to a teenager, I would suggest it to a very mature one.
The plot I thought was not very well done. It was as if someone made up the characters to get together in a slightly unusual way, then thought You know what? Not exciting enough and decided to throw a few seriously random things into the mix. Which may have been fine if there had been some foreshadowing and more edits to smooth over the transition process, which Beautiful Disaster didn't have.
The writing. I love first-person PoVs, because it allows me to connect with a character, whether she's a sixteen-year-old cancer patient, a thirty-year-old lawyer fighting for a losing case, or a teenage boy that feels like nobody understands him. How? Because it relates on thought to another. Because they give genuine emotions off, and make me want to enter the story and comfort them. But here? It's from Abby's PoV, but never makes connections to other aspects of her life. It was as if her life revolved around Travis. So when Jamie McGuire suddenly sprung this big, huge part of her life that none of us could even have predicted, it took a while for me to wrap my head around it. As for the emotions, Abby could've just been a computer program. If she gets upset and leave, the only thing we read is that she's upset and gets her coat. I didn't feel her anger, her betrayal, her feeling that she was right. Nothing at all.
I hated both the characters. As well as a couple of the secondary characters. I would've thrown the book into a shredder because of them if not for the fact that it was a library book. (Thank God I didn't buy it.) The relationship between the two main characters is abusive. Abby, that perfect No-I'm-a-perfect-girl-I won't-fall-for-Travis-Maddox character only got more and more immature over the course of the book. When she loses the bet and has to live with Travis, in his bed, for an entire month, she does it. Then she gets it on with some other guy, who I genuinely think of as a good guy compared to Travis and totally not bad for her health. And she still lives with Travis. And she gets the title of the school-slut. Which her new boy-toy isn't too happy about. And she gets mad at Travis because of her new-found title. Dear Abby, you should've left Travis as soon as you were dating the other guy. The only way he could hold you back is through physical force, which you can file a restraining order for. Or even sue for assault. Because you're just being unfair to the new guy.
And let's not even get started on Travis, the guy who solves everything with his fists. The guy who tore a door from its hinges in a fit of anger and basically scared the crap out of Abby's BFF, America, and her (Americas) boyfriend who happened to be Travis' cousin. Not cool. He basically made Abby's life revolve around himself because, what the hell, he's Travis friggin' Maddox. Abby's life outside of Travis so-very-attractive-but-also-an-asshole Maddox ceased to exist. Case closed.
You might notice that this book got a rating of 0.5 (on my blog), but that's only because I finished it. Otherwise, it would've gotten my DNF rating of 0. I still firmly stand my ground against Beautiful Disaster fans, but if you want to form an opinion about it, go read it for yourself and judge it that way.
Wow. This book. Too much to say, but I'm afraid there's not enough words to cover the greatness that is this book. When I first heard about it, it was last year when it was still being indie published. I didn't have my Nook then so I couldn't read it. Finally, I saw it the author had gotten a deal and she was being published and it would be available on NetGalley. I grabbed it as soon as it was available. Congrats to Ms. McGuire on signing the deal and continuing on to make it a series.
In the story, Abby is a girl with many secrets that she came to college to forget about. Travis is the dude that all girl's moms have warned them about. And this is the thing that pulls the two together. Although she fought tooth and nail to prove she wouldn't be another of Travis' girls, inevitably she falls for his bad boy (and I definitely mean BAD BOY) charm. This is a bit painful because he reminds her of everything she's trying to forget about her past. All of their drama is heart-wrenching and delivers plot twist after plot twist. Granted I felt like it got a little carried out; they were ALWAYS fighting. I had to remind myself that this was a contemporary romance. But then again, that's why it was called "Beautiful Disaster." Idk, I just felt like it was kind of drawn out after awhile and I wanted more romance, less fighting..... But the epilogue pulled it all together and made me feel better about it again :)
Before going any further, I feel the need to bring light to the negative reviews I saw this was getting. Yes the romance (if you can call it that) was a bit sketchy and the main male character was a bit crazy, but everyone gets crazy when driven by love. And for people to say that they dislike this book because its teaching girls to be pushovers and let dudes go crazy on them, I have one question........ HOW THE HELL IS THAT DIFFERENT FROM THE REST OF SOCIETY?! This book is amazing, and for one to miss out on it because they heard about the stuff Travis did and the actions that the characters took, is just crazy to me. Especially because as crazy as they BOTH were, it ended up working out in their favor.
Ok, now that I ranted a little, on to the characters. My favorites by far were America, Shepley, and Finch. They were there no matter what was going on, just like real friends are supposed to be. I also loved Travis' family. They had some rough patches throuhg life, but who doesn't? They opened up their lives to Abby and didn't think twice about it.Then there was Travis... Poor, broken, in love Travis. He is the definite bad boy. He smokes, drives a Harley, has numerous tattoos, has "bagged" multiple females, and is involved in a fight club. But let me tell you, EVERY last bit of information I just gave you makes him incredibly hot. And the fact that he is in love with ONE girl, totally makes it even better. Granted he does do some crazy things, but all of that is overlooked when looking at the picture in total. All the things he did to me were reactions to the woman he loved doing the things she did. As for Abby, there was so many things wrong with her. She honestly made my head hurt. She played so many games with Travis and then expected him to just sit back and take it when she knew he was crazy already. Towards the end of the book, I found myself saying there was no way I could be her friend because she made some totally dumb decisions and at times had me thinking Travis should just move on.
Overall, this story is really epic. I love contemporary stories that feature a troubled guy and a "goodie" girl, but this one tops my list, along with the Perfect Chemistry series, Something Like Normal, and Pushing the Limits. It was just that gooooood.