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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1) by Jamie McGuire


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.
Summary & Photo taken from
Length: 437 pages (E-book)
Source: Owned
Publication Date: May 26th 2011 by Jamie McGuire     
This is the first book I read this year and boy am I glad I started it off with this one. I've had this book on my Goodreads TBR list since November 15th 2011 even though I won an e-copy of it a few months ago it has taken me this long to get around to reading it. I'm one of those people that if a book is getting a lot of hype that I will wait for all the craziness to die down a bit because of all the excitement so in a way I'm glad I waited to read Beautiful Disaster but in a way I'm sad too because I enjoyed the book so much I kinda wish I hadn't waited so long. Anyways on to the review!
Beautiful Disaster is the first novel in Jamie McGuire's Beautiful series and is also her New Adult debut novel. The book tells the more often than not tumultuous relationship between goody two shoes Abby and bad boy Travis Maddox and chronicles their ups and downs as they fight for and against each other.
This was the first book I've read in the new genre called New Adult and I have to say it was pretty good. While I don't agree with the name for the genre I do agree with the fact that there is a genre for these types of books. I mean I love young adult novels and adult novels but I'm 22 and sometimes I would really like to read books about characters in and around my age more and this one certainly fit the bill.
To me Beautiful Disaster was the proverbial train wreck. Seriously, the relationship between Abby and Travis sucked me in and I just could not tear myself away from it. Just ask Mr. Turning the Pages, he felt more than a little ignored when I was reading this book.
The characters in the book were pretty well written, I liked the fact that they all had their faults and were by no means perfect in any way but they also irritated the hell out of me. Abby was far to submissive with Travis and I think she should have fought more for the independence that she apparently so desperately wanted in the beginning of the book. However, once she and Travis got all the fussing out of the way she turned into a bit of a doormat and I absolutely abhore characters that turn in to doormats. Plus the whole business with her dad just didn't really fit in the story so well and during that part of the book her character went from slightly annoying to very awkward. I just couldn't envision her as that person so it took away from the reasons why I enjoyed her character. Despite the fact that she could be a little bit of a ditz and doormat sometimes she surprised me with her actions when she would stand up to Travis if she wanted something.
Travis...what can I say about Travis? Am I the only one who wasn't enraptured with his character? Don't get me wrong I get why people are taken in by him. I understand the whole bad boy appeal thing I really do but Travis took the bad boy man slut thing to a whole new level and it irritated me. Plus I didn't like how he laughed at Abby so much and it was as though he didn't take her seriously enough. What also bugged me was how fast he changed for her. He went from being man slut to planning their future all within a couple weeks (or months) of dating.
I did like America Abby's best friend and Shep who was Travis's best friend, roommate and cousin. As a couple I really liked America and Shep. They seemed a lot more normal and despite the fact that America is a bit of a drama queen.
The one thing I will say about all the characters is that they all loved each other for better or for worse and they were all looking out for the best interests of each other which was refreshing. I'm so glad that the book didn't turn out to be a catty read where Abby and America turned against each other. I know it may seem like I didn't like the main characters in the book but I did. There were just some personality quirks of theirs that I didn't like so much. In fact I really liked them especially because the characters made me happy, sad, or so angry that I wanted to kill them. It takes a really good author to make me connect to characters the way I did with these ones. If I didn't like the characters then I wouldn't have bothered reading the book at all. I think if an author can make you feel something about a character that that is the sign of a good writer.
As for the plot, I thought it was a little recycled. The whole good girl bad boy romance thing is a theme that is in every other romance novel out there but I did enjoy the fact that this book was set in a college. Though there is something I find a little fantastical about the school that just didn't have an basis in reality. I've gone to college and while I didn't live on campus I know that there wasn't the camaraderie that the students in this book had for each other and it irritated me to no end because the situations were often very unrealistic and honestly when I was in college no one gave a damn about who did what with whom and why so I didn't see why so much importance was placed on Abby and Travis's relationship but it was fun to read.
I liked the way the author was able to bring some life to the typical college romance thing. This is probably one of the most drama filled books I've read in a while and I liked the way Jamie McGuire was able to keep me hooked on the story. Normally I'm not a fan of contemporary romances but this was a good one. She kept the story going and made me not want to put the book down. Abby and Travis's co-dependant relationship had me hooked and even though I didn't agree with a lot of things said and done between them I like them as a couple.
While this book definitely isn't a piece of high brow literature it was a good read and probably one of my favourite romances ever. It was awesome reading a love story centered on a couple closer to my age compared to the other romances I read where the characters are in their early thirties.
I would recommend this book to fans of the New Adult Genre, people who enjoy contemporary romance and those looking for a more mature YA novel. While the story isn't perfect it is addictive and I can't wait to read the second book in the series told from the POV of Travis.
I read this book for this Reading Challenge:
Really Liked It!
★ ★ ★ ★ 

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  1. Yes, yes, yes!! I loved this book and it would have made my top 10..but i only did YA and Adult, next year I will add top 10 New Adult as well, since i am lovin' this genre so darn much. I cannot wait for Walking Disaster i check netgalley and edelweiss daily for it..LOL Awesome review Kimberly and what a way to start 2013!

  2. What is wrong with you!! You didn't like it??? ;) j/k But I have to say the genre title; New Adult is not a great one. But you liked America??! She was a little too pushy for me, but yet I cannot WAIT for the next book. Very good review and what a great way to start the New Year!!

  3. I keep wavering on this one - it goes on and off my TBR list and I'm thinking I'll put it back on again based on this review and give it a try. I'm leery as hell over most of the "new adult" books because about 3/4 of the reviews I've read of them focus on how hot the sex is and, frankly, that's not going to inspire me to plunk down my cash.

    The fact that you had issues with some of the characters but it still intrigued you to the point you wanted to spell out why, and that it's ranking high on your all-time romances list? Even more points in its favor!

    Thanks for the great review :)

  4. Great review!:)
    This one too has been on my TBR-list for a very long time.
    Many readers like it, but some of my friends said that there's lot of unnecessary drama & immature actions.
    That's why I haven't read it yet, but I think I'll give it a try.

  5. This was the only book, out of the almost 300 I read last year, that I gave a 1 star rating. However, I think I'm pretty much the only person on the planet who hated it lol.

  6. I almost grabbed this one in the store today but I wasn't sure about it...I'm still not sure. I don't really read contemporary but this one is getting a lot of attention and I'm super curious. I may have to see if my library has it.

  7. I really enjoyed this one. There were parts that felt like watching a train wreck. The relationship between Travis and Abby was destructive and unhealthy for sure though.

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know


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