AUTHOR Jamie McGuire
PUBLICATION August 14, 2012 by Atria Books
READ August 21 - 22, 2012
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.
A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.Once again I went into a novel not knowing what to expect. I had read a lot of reviews of Beautiful Disaster since starting my blog and it comes across as quite polarizing. The people who love it, love it dearly and the people who hate it, do so with quite a bit of passion. When I saw that this title was picked up my Simon & Schuster and made its way onto Netgalley, I knew that I had to read it with my own eyes to see for myself. I have to say that I fell smack dab in the middle of the spectrum. I was in love with it at the beginning, I couldn't put it down and I was emotionally invested in the story. Once I hit the 50% mark I felt like I had already read an entire novel and gone through all the ups & downs that I needed to and while there were elements of the second half that I did enjoy, it didn't work quite as well as the latter.
The characters in this novel are pretty well developed, they have their layers & secrets and they are most definitely flawed. Abby was someone I connected with in the beginning, she had her head on her shoulders about Travis and knew that she should stay away, but of course the allure of the bad boy kicks in and, not only that, Travis begins to change. What we have here is a girls dream, ladies and gentleman. The taming of the wild beast, being the one girl in a world of so many that would make a wild-child bad boy, want to settle down and reign it in. And that's precisely what happened, I was totally rooting for Abby and Travis and the build up to their inevitable romance had butterflies in my stomach as I read the pages with a smile on my face.
At about 50%, they've had their ups and downs and they are pretty damn happy so I thought, well where could this go from here? I really believe that the first half of this book could be fleshed out a bit and stand on its own two legs. But alas, there is more, and that's where the enjoyment went downhill for me. As I said, there were parts of the second half that I enjoyed, we find out who Abby really is and the story takes a bit of a turn to keep it fresh but that's all that stands out. I felt that as it wore on Abby's relentlessness to stay away from Travis and fight her true feelings started grating on me, and it made me essentially stop caring if they worked out or not. Also, Travis's psycho tendencies went a bit too far and started annoying me as well. I could handle his outbursts in the beginning, it's who he was, I have known some very angry and violent people in my life and I was bordering on OK with his drama.
So, I did enjoy Beautiful Disaster, and I am quite curious to read the follow up, Walking Disaster (which is BD from Travis's perspective.) I do think that it could be fine tuned a little bit, and the dramatics of it all could be better controlled. Never the less, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel (especially the first half) and would probably read it again, if only for the butterflies in my stomach, in a heartbeat.