Format: Kindle Book
Publisher: Jamie McGuire
Release Date: May 26, 2011
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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.
Before I start my review I'd like for you to watch the video below. The song and video helps demonstrate the kind of fun, passionate, and tumultuous relationship Abby and Travis have (minus the drugs) throughout the book. It's actually one of my favorite songs that I love to fist pump to but when I was reading this book this video did keep popping up in my head. It took me about 2 weeks to gather my thoughts about this review so I'd like to apologize now if I seem like I'm just rambling on and on.
When I first saw the cover I thought, how the heck is this supposed to compare to Fifty Shades? I know I shouldn't judge a book by it's cover and that saying couldn't be more true. Also, some reviewers had mentioned that this was YA and there was no way a YA novel could be comparable to Fifty Shades. Glad I was mistaken. Although it's not as sexually explicit as most adult romance novels, Beautiful Disaster does contain profanity and sex scenes. So, if that's not your cup of tea then I suggest you walk away.
“I wish you and Travis would just get your shit together! You're a goddamn tornado! When you're happy, it's love and peace and butterflies. When you're pissed, you take the whole fucking world down with you!”
WOW! Talk about a roller coaster. Hats off to Jamie for writing such a thrilling story that had me entertained and staying up till the early hours of the morning to finish. Travis and Abby's relationship screamed "Bound for Doom". Honestly these two had no concept of what a mature and healthy relationship should be. A lot of people had mentioned that this book was like a train wreck that you couldn't take your eyes off and they were so true. There was incessant fighting, temper tantrums, bouts of drunken jealousy and plain old immaturity. As much as I should have hated so many things about this book I couldn't help but keep reading. I'm telling you, it's like sugar coated heroine.
“You’re so obvious. Why didn’t you just roll in dog shit to make your outfit complete?”
Abby is a freshman at Eastern University and she doesn't indulge in the typical activities most freshman's engage in. She doesn't drink, curse or attend frat parties. She keeps her past hidden from everyone except for her hometown best friend, America, who has joined her at Eastern. One night America and her boyfriend, Shepley, bring Abby to an underground fighting ring where literally bumps into Travis Maddox. Travis known as "Mad Dog" in the fighting ring is known as a savage fighter who rarely loses, he also happens to be Shepley's cousin and roommate. From the moment goody-goody Abby Abernathy meets bad boy Travis, you just know their relationship wouldn't be an easy stroll through the park. After Travis makes some efforts to get into Abby's pants, which she repeatedly turns down, Abby and Travis form a friendship that makes fellow students scratch their heads due to Travis' reputation.
“You're going to break his heart, Abby. You're going to break his heart! The one girl he trusts enough to fall for, and you're going to nail him to the wall!”
Before one of Travis' fights, Travis and Abby make a bet againt each other which Abby loses. Her loss means she'll have to move in to Travis' room for a month. I know at first I thought, "girrrl are you crazy", then I think "whoa…a whole month with Travis Maddox…NICE!" Of course things become even more complicated between the two and from the readers view point you can see that one party has already fallen hard while the other is still in denial. This is where I did become a little frustrated with Abby. I wanted to take her by her shoulders and say "Get it together and make up your darn mind!" She obviously is forming feelings towards Travis but tries her darndest to suppress it because of her past. You would think she's shielding a really dark secret (I'm thinking she's wanted for murder or under FBI protection) but when her "dark" past is revealed it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Even though Abby does try to be mature, she's still a 19 year old who is very impulsive, indecisive, erratic and inexperienced.
"I know we're f******d up, all right? I'm impulsive, and hot-tempered, and you get under my skin like no one else. You act like you hate me one minutes, and then you need me the next. I never get anything right, and I don't deserve you...but I f*****g love you, Anny. I love you more than I've loved anyone or anything, ever. When you're around, I don't need booze, or money, or the fighting, or the one-night stands...all I need is you. You're all I think about. You're all i dream about. You're all I want."
Now for our male protagonist, Travis Maddox. All I can say is that I loved the guy. What is it about bad boys that attract me to them like a moth to a flame? Even with all the warning signs flashing and sirens blaring in my ear I can't seem to keep myself away from them, especially if they're covered in tattoos! He's the type of guy that mothers would want their daughters to stay far away from. Aside from the tattoos, smoking, drinking and bulging muscles, he's quite the ladies man at school (Hello....MANWHORE!), rides a Harley and usually sports cuts and bruises from his extracurricular activity, secret underground fighting. OK, so the Fight Club stuff is what really got my groins bubbling for the guy. LOL! Travis is the type of guy that will drive you up the wall with his short-temper, possessiveness and jealousy, but for some reason there is just something about the guy that makes you like him (at least I did). Even though he was a huge Casanova before meeting Abby, you notice his actions changing and he becomes committed to Abby. He's got an odd way of showing his feelings and the parts where he's practically begging for forgiveness broke my heart a little.
“To douchebags!" he said, gesturing to Brad. "And to girls that break your heart," he bowed his head to me. His eyes lost focus. "And to the absolute fucking horror of losing your best friend because you were stupid enough to fall in love with her.”
The story was fast paced, raw and realistic. Throughout the book I kept thinking, my gosh stuff like this really does happen. OK, so not all colleges have secret fighting rings but you do have all the relationship drama, school gossip, frat parties and drunken fights. Basically any typical night in college unless you went to school at a convent. You really couldn't hate on the characters for their stupidity and immaturity because hats how we all were at that age. The secondary characters were as interesting as Abby and Travis. I absolutely loved Abby's BFF America. She was honest and loyal friend and definitely not scared to tell Travis when he's being a total jacka**. We also get to meet Travis' family and I can say that I loved his brothers. From what I've read online, McGuire is planning on at least one more book which follows one of Travis' brothers. If rumors are correct, this brother is less filtered than his younger brother which could make for a very interesting book.
“You know why I want you? I didn’t know I was lost until you found me. I didn’t know what alone was until the first night I spent without you in my bed. You’re the one thing I’ve got right. You’re what I’ve been waiting for, Pigeon.”
Beautiful Disaster was exactly that, a beautiful disaster that I couldn't put down. Jamie McGuire's tale of two college students involved in a dysfunctional and tumultuous romance was highly addicting. The book should bare a warning stating , "THIS BOOK IS EQUIVALENT TO SUGAR COATED HEROINE". This book brought back so many fond memories of my college days including dorm life, attending frat parties, being boy crazed and binge drinking. Oh what I would do to be 19 again! I really can't express why I loved this book so much but if you're like me and like men to be a little erratic and maybe crazy then you'll definitely love Beautiful Disaster.