Title: Beautiful Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
Published: October 3, 2011
Good to know: this book is suited for a mature YA audience.
Amazon Summary: 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.
Boy was I torn about reading ‘Beautiful Disaster’! I have never had such a hard time deciding over a book before, but before I get into that I just have to comment on the cover, it's definitely stunning but it suggested a much older and darker story (though I was glad to find out otherwise).
Why I had such a dilemma over reading ‘Beautiful Disaster’ was because of the whole bunch of Amazon-reviews I read to learn more about the story, and what I got was that it sure was about young love (which is the genre I go for), but the ugly kind. And I’m never in a mood of reading anything that’ll leave me with an uneasy feeling. Going back to the ‘Beautiful Disaster’ page for the, I don’t know, tenth time? I just got over myself and decided to see for myself.
‘Beautiful Disaster’ sure was interesting. It’s a story about unlikely love. How two very different people can connect through unlikely events and unlikely times in their lives. It’s the hungry and craving kind of love. McGuire has done an excellent job of boldly pushing the limits and just about (barely) working around the fear that comes with having someone be so addicted to you.
I was astonished by how much I liked Abby. Her voice was plain, very safe. She might as well still be a stranger by the end of the book, but it actually suited as a nice contrast to the intensity in everything around her. Though, there were definitely moments you wished to have been able to just sit her down and ask her if she's even thinking properly.
As for Travis - oh, dear god. I'm impressed McGuire dared go there and create such an intense and somewhat “taboo” character. I can see why people are attracted to the bad boy type but Travis’ drinking and smoking, carelessly sleeping around, the violence, the red hot temper.. it was a bit overboard for me to still have him supposedly be a charming guy that all girls lust for.
He loves and needs Abby in such a controlling and dangerously overpowering way. Reading about Travis was like walking on eggshells, you're just constantly waiting and expecting him to snap.
I was afraid McGuire would take it too far but I’m glad she still meant for it to be about love and, at the end of the day, (which I can't believe) she succeeded maintaining some attraction to him.
McGuire worked Abby, Travis, America, and Shepley’s friendship as a group very well. I definitely enjoyed reading about the four interacting.
There were lots of new-thinking, outside the box, and interesting ideas in the story. The book has a quick pace, changing scenarios with good speed, never leaving you bored with what’s going on.