Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Disaster 
By: Jamie McGuire
Publisher: Atria Books
Re-Published: Aug. 14, 2012
Genre: New Adult

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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, 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.

This is a story about a girl trying to leave her (not so pretty) old life behind and trying to start over new in college, who meets a guy from the wrong side of the tracks. He fights for money, drinks, smokes and sleeps with a new female every night. What starts off as a friendship quickly turns into a tumultuous relationship that is nothing less than rocky throughout the entire book… and it was highly entertaining.

All too often you read books where the leading male is perfect. Perfect face, smile, teeth, behavior, job… (are you picturing Ken yet? Perhaps Prince Charming?). Let’s not forget all the “Barbie” protagonists that I’ve read book after book. The girl always meets her prince charming and they ride off into the sunset like the ending to a Disney movie. If that is what you’re interested in reading then do not read this book. This is not the book for you. Their relationship is rocky right from the start. They are both hard headed, hot blooded… and for lack of a better term, white trash. Travis grew up with a rough childhood. He now pays his bills by fighting in a campus version of UFC. Abby grew up with a gambling father. A man who made it to the top of the poker world, but has since found his self scratching away at the bottom, blaming his daughter for his fall from poker fame. Rumor has it, Abby stole all of her father’s luck when she was younger and he’s taken the rumor to heart. Either way, when you put these two together you get a relationship that is just shy of calling the police for domestic abuse.

I would also like to add that this is not YA. Regardless of what people tag it as, it is not YA. But if you sit back and think about it Abby is in fact a young adult at the age of 19 but what most would classify as a YA book, this would be more contemporary romance. Maybe even Contemporary Dramatic Romance… is that even a genre? If not, I dub thee the first contemporary dramatic romance!

I really enjoyed this book. Yes there were times when I was shouting at my Nook for Abby to pull her head out of her butt and realize that Travis was manipulating her. Or the fact that I wanted to beat the crap out of Travis for acting like a dick-weed towards Abby when he didn’t get his way. However, the dysfunctional relationship worked. There was no bad villain in this book or any climatic points in my opinion. Just a story about that one volcanic relationship that we’ve all witnessed. You know the one where they go back and forth between fighting and making up. I’ve seen a couple of friends go through this type of relationship. This stuff happens, it’s real and I applaud the author for writing about it. Hopefully girls and guys read this book and take away how unhealthy and abusive the situation is and not how romantic and in love they are.


“Say you forgive me. Say you’ll take me back… I haven’t slept, or ate… I can’t concentrate. I know you love me. Everything will be the way it used to be if you’d just take me back.” -Travis

4 Thoughts on “Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

  1. Great Review…..I have nos decided I am starting this right now. I wasn’t sure about it because I thought it was a YA. Now I’m sold!

  2. I absolutely ADORED this book! and .. as for a label, I would say its New Adult – a genre pretty new. At least the label is new, College Age books have been around ever, but now I think there is a need to classify everything lol!

    Glad you lived it so much too! It was intense and amazing!

  3. I so loved this book!!!! Great review:) I am newest follower, please check out my blog:

  4. I definitely agree that this sounds like New Adult or Mature YA, great review!

    I have a copy of this but haven’t found the time to read it yet but thanks for the reminder, I want to try and read it soon!

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