Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Posted November 13th, 2012 in book review / 25 comments

Beautiful Disaster

Book #1 of the Beautiful Series

by Jamie McGuire

Publisher: Atria Books (August 2012)
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
Format: ebook (437 pages)
Source: Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)


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 wants—and needs—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. ~Add on Goodreads

At A Glance
 I want to marry this book and have beautiful book babies with it.

The Good
Abby is trying to live the straight and narrow life. She has a sinister past that she never wants to relive. Enter sexy, dangerous Travis. He likes to fight in the ring, sex up the girls, and flirt with everyone. But Abby seems oblivious to his charms. Trying to find a way to spend more time with Abby, Travis makes a bet with her that pretty much guarantees that Abby is stuck with him for a month. That’s when the fun begins.

Holy sheep shearers this was a fantastic book. It wasn’t perfect but a book doesn’t have to be flaw free for me to love it. When I finished this book, I missed reading it right away. I almost reread it the next day. I could not put it down and I don’t even know why. Did you ever read a book that just hit you in the right way? There is something about the combination of the characters, the story, and the romance that made me fall hopelessly in love with Beautiful Disaster.

First, we have Abby. I admired her right away. She’s smart, funny, and kind, but she also knows how to have a good time. She’s not afraid to voice her opinion or call Travis out on his crap. She was also flawed which made her feel real. She was way too stubborn sometimes and dragged out Travis’s suffering for too long. But even the things that annoyed me about her were all part of the experience. I was genuinely surprised by what was revealed about her past but she handled it very well. I was like the characters in the book that got even more enamored with her once we found out her secrets.

Travis went through a lot of stages as a character. At first he is so cocky you want to grinned your teeth. Then he is so sweet your teeth almost hurt. Then he becomes so crazy, obsessed, and needy you want to pull out your own teeth. (Okay, where the hell did my sudden infatuation with teeth come from???) Travis took me on a rollercoaster of emotions and I loved every minute of it. I think because he became best friends with Abby first, his love for her ran so deep that once they got together it physically hurt him to be apart from her. Even though it was a bit much, it was also cute. Who wouldn’t want a guy that loved you that much?

I was thrilled when Abby and Travis finally got together and so dejected when they split; it was like I was living their lives as well. I was emotionally invested in this story the whole way through. I think that’s what McGuire is so great at: She draws us into the story without effort. I forgot I was even reading a book. I could picture every scene, every tear, every sexual encounter. (hehehe) Hey, don’t judge, I have to get my kicks somewhere. 😉

Even the side characters were amazing. America, frick yeah!!! Abby’s best friend, America, is like the best friend we all want. She is loyal and supportive like no one I know. And Shepley, America’s boyfriend, is the sweetest guy EVER!! I love him as much as I love Travis. Even Parker was interesting. I hated watching Abby be with Parker while Travis drowned himself in other girls. *Sighs* I wanted to yell at Travis and Abby as they tortured each other by denying their feelings. But it made for great entertainment!

The pacing was spot on, the plot was well written, and the drama was plenty. McGuire gave us flawed characters that made mistakes but knew how to love with all their hearts. McGuire made me love the contemporary romance genre, and that’s a hard thing to do.

The Bad
I don’t have to wait for perfection to give a book 5 stars. I rate based on how much I loved the book, no matter the good or bad. Suffice it to say, I loved this book with every fiber of my being but that doesn’t mean it was perfect.

There were three things that bothered me the most. I think this book was more about obsession rather than love. Travis was OBSESSED with Abby, and though I think they did love each other, this kind of obsession would be dangerous in real life.

I also think Travis was too violent. I got uncomfortable as he beat people’s faces in many a times.

The ending was not my version of perfect. I can’t say much since it would be a major spoiler but I don’t like decisions that big being made by such young people.

The Snuggly
So this is my first New Adult book. I was wondering how far the authors went when it came to sex. All I can say is yummmmm! I think this is the perfect amount of sexual content for older teenagers and so on. It’s hot but not hugely detailed like you would find in an adult book.

Abby and Travis may have had a disastrous type of romance, but it was still endearing and sweet. They were also sizzling and hot together. It really was the perfect combination.

Final Thoughts
I am like depressed now that I am not reading this book this minute. I think I caught Travis’s obsessive tendencies because I am bananas over this book. I have the ebook but I think I want to buy the physical copy just so I can hold it and sniff it. Woah, who said that? I think many people will love this book, and, unfortunately, many will not like it at all. It’s not for everyone, but it sure as hell was for me. Personally, I think this is a must read. Highly recommended.

PS: I am seriously going to reread this book right now. After talking about it so much, now I have to relive it.

“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 f**king horror of losing your best friend because you were stupid enough to fall in love with her.” 

“You can’t tell me what to do anymore, Travis! I don’t belong to you!” In the second it took him to turn and face me, his expression had contorted into anger. He stomped toward me, planting his hands on the bed and leaning into my face. “WELL I BELONG TO YOU!” The veins in his neck bulged as he shouted, and I met his glare, refusing to even flinch. He looked at my lips, panting. “I belong to you.” 

“It’s dangerous to need someone that much. You’re trying to save him and he’s hoping you can. You two are a disaster.” I smiled at the ceiling. “It doesn’t matter what or why it is. When it’s good, Kara… it’s beautiful.” 

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25 Responses to “Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire”

  1. alexandrasscribblings

    I love how clearly your enjoyment of this has come through. I haven’t actually heard that much about it, and now I’m really curious to meet Travis and Abby to see what I think. I think there’s a number of relationships in fiction that aren’t particularly great models in real life, but they make for great stories… and daydreams… 😀

  2. jennykellerford

    Your enthusiasm for this book is contagious, and I loved the quotes you used. Travis does seem ‘dangerous’ and not in a good way. I’ve known ‘possessive’ men. They aren’t fun to be with, and yet there’s something about their ‘badness’ that makes them irresistible. I’ll have to check this one out.

  3. Ashley

    Jennifer I love your review SO FREAKING MUCH!!! I felt exactly the same way about Beautiful Disaster.

    “When I finished this book, I missed reading it right away. I almost reread it the next day. I could not put it down and I don’t even know why. Did you ever read a book that just hit you in the right way?”

    YES YES YES! When I finished reading it I was just like, “Holy shit. I need more of this.” I haven’t reread it yet, but I was thinking the same thing you were: I need a physical copy so I can hold it and snuggle it and sniff it and lick it and sleep with it under my pillow at night. And I got one! Squeee!! I went to the bookstore with my boyfriend and I was giggling and jumping up and down and stroking it and he was just like “…okaaaaaay..”

    It’s so, so amazing! I can’t wait until Walking Disaster and they BETTER FREAKING MAKE A MOVIE SO I CAN OBSESS OVER THAT TOO!!!

    *passes out from excitement*

    • Jennifer Bielman

      EEEEEEE! I love when we are on the same page with a book. I was scared about this one because many didn’t like it but I ended up feeling the same way you did. I reread your review after I published my review to see if we agreed and we are on the same freakin Beautiful boat.

      Damn you for haveing a physical copy, I feel like pulling out your hair…just a little.

      OMG, I could really talk about this book alllllll day.

      If there is not a movie I will die. And Walking Disaster is not coming out fast enough!!!!!

    • D

      Ashley, if it had been me in that bookstore with my boyfriend (or any other of my friends, for that matter), it would’ve been perfectly the same way. x)

  4. D

    Jennifer, Ashley: We’re one and the same. I love this book to pieces, and I am so going to buy me the physical copy for christmas — and then I’m probably going to re-read it right away. I can understand why some people wouldn’t like it, but I admit that I like Travis BECAUSE of his obsession/love and his viloent tendencies. Plus, the ending wasn’t for me, either. I think there could’ve been something as unique as the whole feeling of this book.
    I’m dying to get my hands on Walking Disaster, I want a closer look into Travis’s head! And I’d love, love, LOVE it if they would actually make this into a movie. OMG, just thinking about it… … !!!

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Yaaay! Another one who is obsessed. I am happy there are people out there that see the beauty of all the craziness.

      I too did love Travis for is obsession, it made the book that much more interesting.

      Walking Disaster is my number book to read right now.

  5. Elisa

    Well hell, I guess I have to read it and soon! I hope I love it as much as you did, that was a super fun review to read 🙂 Lovely job, good luck with your new obsession!! Don’t go punching anything or anyone now…

  6. Lizzy

    It sounds more like the character Travis bothered you than the actual writing itself. I can live with unlikable characters and the rest of this book definitely sounds like something I’d enjoy. Thanks for the review!

  7. Elisa

    I am on page 116 and I want to walk out of work and go hide in a corner until I am done with this book. Just wanted you to know.

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