Friday, July 24, 2015

Book Review - Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGurie

From Goodreads:

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

My Review:

Well. That was a train wreck of epic proportions. I'm usually not one to bitch about unhealthy relationships in books, because come on, it's fiction and I have better things to scrutinize in a book than the romance. However, this book should've been titled: The Idiot's Guide to An Unhealthy Relationship.

 photo tumblr_lfywzxeQjT1qbnzaa_zpspiaadjwg.gif

For the most part, my issues were entirely with the plot and characters and not the author herself.  The writing was absorbing, and very easy to read. That's my extent of positives for Beautiful Disaster, though. 

Meet Abby Abernathy. She's a good girl with a "dark past" that isn't really that dark, spends all of her time chasing after the latest hottie but is of course a virgin, has a bi-polar best friend (not really, but that bitch gave me whiplash with her mood swings), the most important thing to her is what other people think, and somehow has no job, shitty parents, and can still afford to blow all her money on manicures and clothes. Whatever happened to the broke college student?

Abby might just be the most wishy-washy, idiot protagonist I've ever read. And I read Twilight! She was stupid, shallow, selfish, and had no self respect. She constantly bounced around on her feelings for Travis, and couldn't stay true to her only smart choice of dumping his ass.
She had all this angst and inner turmoil and all that jazz, and when we finally figure out just what her deal is, the only thing I could think was "That's what you're flipping out over? Seriously, is that all?".
I couldn't stand her, although she had a compelling voice for me to be able to suffer through her thoughts for so many pages.

Travis. Wow. Well, he doesn't claim to be anything besides royally fucked up, and at least that's an honest assessment.
Is it crass if I say I don't buy his excuse for being so messed up? Yes, it's an awful situation, but the level of control he allowed it to have over him was excessive.

Speaking of control....Travis is the worst kind of control freak: physically strong, mentally weak, and seriously insecure.
He throws temper tantrums worse than a 5 year old's, so much so that he's throwing things, smashing stereos, and kicking down doors. He absolutely cannot handle when something doesn't go his way, and if Abby steps out of his perceived lines, all hell breaks loose.
He physically removed her from dancing with someone (when they weren't even together!), ignored her struggles and protests, and humiliated her in front of their peers. On more than one occasion he physically restrains her from leaving, and he's constantly manipulating her to stay with him. It was appalling. That's not love. It's not romance. It's co-dependency, disrespect, and obsession.

I was so dubious with the amount of violence Travis inflicts on anyone and everyone. How is this kid not in jail for the kind of assaults he regularly commits? Must be okay though, because everyone he beat up "deserved it".

I was most annoyed when Travis bought Abby a dog, while she's living in the dorms and without consulting her first. I'm sorry, but as an avid dog lover, that kind of irresponsibility grates on my nerves. They didn't research the breed at all, didn't discus it, had nothing prepared, ect. Oy vey, it gave me an eye twitch.

I didn't like anyone but the gay friend and the snarky roommate in this story. I guess Shep was tolerable sometimes, too, but everyone else? Nope. Just nope.

The pacing was weird for me. It felt like the book could've either started wrapping up or ended at more than one spot, and the last quarter of the book was a bit choppy.

I will say that McGurie's writing style reminds me a lot of Colleen Hoover, one of my favorite authors. It's so absorbing and easy to read, and the books go by lightning fast. I finished this in less than a day, and it didn't feel like the 350 or so pages it is. I'll read more of her work to get a feel for her stories, but right now my expectations aren't high.

Overall, Beautiful Disaster is just that: an obsessive, controlling, irrational disaster. However, I devoured it. If you want to read it, I'll pass you my popcorn so you have something to munch one while the train wreck unfolds.

 photo GetYoPopcornReady_zpsd67bdk4x.gif


Rating: 2 stars
Genre: New adult, contemporary romance
POV: 1st person, single perspective 
Steam/sexual content: Moderate steam, mild sex scenes
Warning: Violence
Series: Beautiful, #1
HEA: Yes
Cliffhanger: No
My own copy

- The Bibliophile Babe


  1. I have heard this one is a train wreck for sure, so I'm going to take a pass. I tend to shy away from romances that are overly dramatic because they frustrate me to no end, and Travis throwing tantrums and Abby being wishy washy will likely drive me crazy. Thanks for your thoughts!

  2. Just a heads up - I'm pretty sure the rest of the books are the same way. Andddd now I'm craving popcorn :P

  3. Yea, this one doesn't sound like it is for me and I've read other reviews that totally agree with you. I would also have an eye twitch about that dog issue as well.

  4. Great review! It really does sound like a train wreck! I think I'm going to skip it! Lol! Damn, now I want popcorn, too! :D