Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie McGuire

book cover of Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Title: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1)
Author: Jamie McGuire
Release date: August 14, 2012
Publisher: Atria
Pages: 416
Source: NetGalley

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.

Beautiful Disaster is one of those books that it seems everyone either loves or hates. I am sad to say that I was not one of the ones who loved it. In fact, it’s one of the lowest rated books I’ve ever reviewed here on the blog.

Honestly, there is only one thing I liked about Beautiful Disaster and it was the writing. It wasn’t spectacularly well written or anything like that but the writing really sped up the book. This is one the few books I’ve really disliked that I’ve been able to read in less than a day. Normally if I don’t like a book I just stop reading and it takes me forever to get through it. It was the exact opposite with Beautiful Disaster. I could not put the book down. It’s kind of like with a train wreck: you know it’s going to be bad but you just can’t look away. That is basically exactly how I feel about Beautiful Disaster.

Let’s start with Travis, the super sexy bad boy that everyone seems to love. The first word that comes to mind when I think of Travis is scary. Literally if I met him I would be scared of him. He’s mean, he’s a bit of a drunk, he’s hot-headed and short-tempered, he’s brutish, and above all he’s just an asshole. There is not a single thing about Travis that I liked. He acted like he owned Abby even when they were supposedly just friends. He beat the crap out of people when they said one wrong word to Abby. He tormented her when she finally found a guy she might want to date. And on top of that he was a clingy, needy guy who couldn’t live without Abby. He CRIED at one point when she left him because he was being a stupid jerk. I am perfectly okay with guys crying but this was just taking it to the extreme. He was 100% bad news!

As for Abby, she wasn’t a whole lot better. In fact, I may have disliked her more than I disliked Travis because she was the one stupid enough to let him get away with all the crap he did to her. She starts off the book saying she’d never fall for a guy like Travis and tries her hardest to stay away from him and make him not want her. Oh and her way of making him not want her is to dress in ratty sweats and a t-shirt with no makeup and flip flops. Umm hello, that’s how I dress a lot of the time and I like to think that a guy could still find me attractive dressed like that. That whole thing just didn’t make sense to me. You can only be attractive to a guy when you’re dressed pretty and covered in makeup? Then there’s the whole thing with the bet and her having to live with Travis and sleep in his bed. Okay not so bad, right? Wrong! As soon as she moves in she lets Travis dictate what she does, what she wears, who she hangs out with. She lets him run her life. And as mentioned above when he beats the crap out of people for talking bad about her? She encourages him! What the heck? Why would you encourage your boyfriend to beat someone bloody in the middle of the cafeteria? I’m pretty sure there’s a line between defending someone’s honor and being a psychopath and Travis crossed that line. Really I could go on and on about the stupid things Abby let Travis do and the stupid things that she did herself but I’m going to stop before this review turns more into a book.

As for their whole relationship, I just didn’t get it. Travis sleeps with girl after girl and then just decides Abby is the one that he should settle down with? There is no explanation anywhere in the book about what makes her so special. Not once does Travis tell her why exactly he loves her and not all the other billions of girls that he’s slept with. At one point Abby has a chance for a healthy relationship with a great guy and she pretty much treats him like shit. She blows him off to hang out with Travis and then at one point she calls him from Travis’ phone right after he drops her off from a date to tell him that she’s in love with Travis. After spending tons of time denying that to him. Is that really the best way to break it to him? It was a pretty bitchy move. Everything about their relationship is just really unhealthy for them both and they know it but they stay together anyway. They are not good for each other and it’s clear from the very beginning.

Oh and my biggest peeve with this book (which may seem minor to you guys but I couldn’t stand it) was the fact that Travis nicknamed Abby “Pidgeon” or “Pidge” for short and then gave no explanation why! Seriously, what kind of nickname is that? If my boyfriend ever called me that I would probably laugh in his face and tell him to shut the hell up. It was seriously like Travis didn’t even know what her real name was because all he ever called her was Pidgeon or Pidge. It got old really fast and I kind of wanted to just stop paying attention to the story and instead just count how many times he called her that. (If you’ve read 50 Shades, it’s kind of like Ana with her “inner goddess” crap.)

Overall, I really did not like Beautiful Disaster. I don’t recommend it for anyone and I highly suggest you don’t waste your money on this one.

Looking for more reviews?
Dear Author’s review
The Cait Files’ review

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1)
Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2) – 2013

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  1. Somer S

    Wow, this book actually sounds creepy, and not in the good Halloween way… Thanks for the heads up because I have this from NetGalley and was debating on whether or not to read it.

  2. Bekka @ Pretty Deadly Reviews

    I just started reading this tonight and I’m just… I can’t even. I haven’t gotten to see the bad, mean, ugly side of Travis yet and there’s still nothing about him to find attractive.

    I really hate Abby, too. Her name is stupid and I just don’t get her at all.

  3. Anonymous

    I agree w/everything you said about this book (even though I never read it). You have convinced me not to even WASTE MY TIME. If I had a friend like that, I WOULDN’T PUT UP OR STAY with him. He’s a jerk and there’s not one good thing about him. He’d anger me. Mr overprotective.

  4. Alexa

    Eep. I’ve read so much about this book and I really don’t think I’m going to enjoy it. It sounded promising, but really, based on your review, it’s just scary and creepy. Thanks for the honesty!

  5. Beckie

    Interesting review and honest! Thank u 🙂 I av only heard good about this book to the point I wanted to read it.i do av it for review but forgot to include it in my TBR for August…duh! Maybe it’s a good thing I did lol. I will still probably read it but I have just read a book that u love n hate at the same time, don’t know if I can do another soon. Thanks for this xx

  6. Jackie

    I actually let myself go with all of the bad reviews this book received and didn’t read it for the longest time. It kept popping up so I finally caved in and read it. It’s not such a terrible read. Travis isn’t much different from Edward of Twilight. I read the book and it wasn’t such a horrible book as its made it out to be. It’s not the greatest thing ever but it’s enjoyable. It’s a book after all, not based on real life.

  7. Passionate Bookworm

    Unhealthy relationships are something I have a hard time with in books, especially YA ones. I will not say they shouldn’t be in books at all. freedom of speech and all, and of course sometimes they teach valuable lessons. This one however seems like it is not teaching a good lesson… the opposite actually. And that’s not something I would recommend to teens >.< great review! Thanks for the honesty!

  8. Sophia

    Love the review, Katie! I remember when it was first published and reviews were flying everywhere, negative and positive. I was afraid that because of this whole 50 Shades boom, everyone would love this one, too. I love the honesty in this review, Katie! Thanks for sharing. I probably won’t pick this one up. Travis sounds like a freak and Abby is too passive for me.

  9. Jessica Torres

    I agree with you on the Travis part. He is definitely an intense character. I actually agree with you on a few points you made. Still, I have to admit that I enjoyed this book a lot more than I expected to. It’s definitely a harsher read, and I thought it went on kind of long at points, but it was a quick read like you said.

    Oh, and I think it’s important to note (since I saw some concern above) that this isn’t listed as a YA book on NetGalley. It’s actually adult fiction. So that’s probably why the author felt okay with being a little more raw about things. Wasn’t my favorite book, but it was a good read.

    Thanks for the review Katie!

  10. Natasha

    I haven’t read this one yet, i’m not sure if I will try it or not, maybe if the library gets it. Thanks for the great review!

  11. Jim Dean

    Interesting review. I won’t touch this because of McGuire’s meltdown and because I’m concerned that she categorises it as either YA or non-YA depending on her mood at the time.

  12. Bengal Reads

    You know Katie, I just requested this from NetGalley but now I’m not too sure if I want to read it. I mean there are so many books out there… I don’t want to waste my time on a book I won’t like. But maybe I’ll give it a try. Anyways I don’t like the sound of this “Travis”, guys who are controlling and ass holes really tick me off and the girls who put up with it piss me off even more! And definitely if there is a nick name given the reason “WHY” it was given should be told. This just doesn’t sound good! Thanks for the honest review 😀

  13. Kristilyn (Reading in Winter)

    Interesting review! I requested this one from NetGalley after seeing all the hype. I’ll definitely still give it a read — like you said, you’ll either love it or hate it. Maybe I’ll fall in the first category? It’s worth a try.

    Thanks for being honest!

  14. Addie R.

    Woah I was surprised you didn’t like this one. 😀 I mean it’s not everyday you give a 2 to a book, especially a hyped up one. Thanks for the review! Hopefully I’ll love this one. :/

  15. Mel - Thedailyprophecy.

    I already heard a lot of negative things about this book. The unhealthy “relationship” is such a turn-off for me, that I added it to my ‘never going to read it’ list on Goodreads. I just don’t like it when a book is about such a topic. And the characters sound like they would annoy the crap out of me, so thanks for your honest thoughts. Now I’m really sure I’m never going to read it 🙂


    THANK YOU! I had literally the exact same experience reading this book. When I hate a book, but I need to finish it so I can blog about it, it’s pulling teeth to get me to finish it. I breezed through this one, though. Just had to see how it could keep getting worse chapter to chapter!

    Even after reading some of Walking Disaster from Travis’ POV I still think the whole Pigeon thing makes no sense. Da fuq?

  17. Christina Kit.

    Oh my. I knew this book wasn’t for me, your review confirmed it.

    Perhaps you should steer clear of this author if she continues in this genre.

  18. Arely Gonzalez

    I happen to own the series and yeah I thought the same thing of beautiful disaster, I honestly hated Abby she just made so many dumb decisions through out out the book

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