“I knew I would wish for that moment back every day of my life, so I lived it with everything I had.”
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.
Few years ago, I have written a poem entitled, “Beautiful Disaster”, so when I saw the title of Jamie McGuire’s book from amazon I am intrigued and bought a copy right away. But it took all the hyped surrounding this book for me to finally push this on top of my TBR pile. Part of me expected this book to be like the poem I’ve written. Hopeful that they mirror the same story line I crafted few years back. But after reading the synopsis, I know right away that there is no chance that they’ll be the same. Not even a bit close.
Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster is about an extraordinary relationship of Travis Maddox and Abby Abernathy. It all started like an action film, inside an arena of an underground fighting club where the two leading characters first met.
Travis is the bad boy that every girls in this book love no matter how screwed up he is. He competes in the Circle for money so he can help pay his tuition fees. He never lose a single battle. He smokes, he got tattoo and drive a Harley. Most girls in this book find him attractive. Don’t ask me why? I am not one of those girls who put this guy on a pedestal. He got a lot of issues that I think needs to be address, like his anger management issues, out of the line jealousy, and his being possessive. He’s not someone I am looking forward of meeting in real life. But as a character he is pretty dynamic and still salvageable.
Abby is fairly normal teenager. Someone who wants to handle her life on her own hand. She is trying to escape the shadow of her dark past, main reason why she fled from home and transferred school with her best friend. She’s trying to rearrange and fix her life which is also the reason why she tried to keep away from Travis as much as she can. But unfortunately no matter how she denied the fact and fight her way out of it, she can’t totally resist Travis charms.
“Do you know what co-dependency is, Abby? Your boyfriend is a prime example, which is creepy considering he went from having no respect for women at all to thinking he needs you to breathe…
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.”
Just like what Kara says in this book, Travis and Abby’s relationship is a disaster. They both have issues need to be address. And with all the ups and downs they went through I did expect some major development in their characters. Their relationship is a prime example of a toxic relationship that I think everyone should avoid in real life if possible. As fiction it is amazing to read but after you are done reading and contemplate more about it, you’ll realize it is not a good example of what a relationship should be.
Though they aren’t a perfect couple, I still did hope that Abby and Travis have a beautiful ending. That they can really save each other even how messed up they are as an individual. I wanted their relationship to work so much regardless of all the warning signs from Travis behavior and Abby’s misgivings. I believed that McGuire can salvage them both. Though in the end, I didn’t see much growth in their characters. Other readers may see the ending as a happy ending but for me it is just unsatisfying. With a lot of things that happened between Travis and Abby – the ups and downs, break-ups and getting back together, constant fight and misunderstanding I am waiting for a point where I will see the arc of their characters and some climatic point on the plot. I’m looking for depth and more layers but it wasn’t delivered. All I get is repetitive drama from both party. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the story is not yet finished. As of I know there will be a sequel coming out. I just hope that the sequel will be much more plot and character driven than this one.
Travis constant aggressiveness is not impressive but I give him credit for treating Abby differently. At least I didn’t see him hurting Abby physically, which makes me believe that he really loves Abby. He never abuse her and never treat her like one of those girls he usually brings home for one night affair. He also tried his best to change for Abby, it’s just sad that at the end of the novel he doesn’t improved as much as I expected.
In-spite of all the shortcomings in the story, I have to say that McGuire writing skills add the difference. She written Abby and Travis story in an addicting and consuming way. She perfectly crafted the intensity between Abby and Travis. The connection between these two is too much, even they aren’t on the same page with regards on what they really like to do in their relationship, you will feel that they really belong together. No matter how much they denied each other the tension between them is undeniable.
Overall, Beautiful Disaster surely lives to its title, a disastrous book but never the less beautiful. A dark, dangerous and engaging novel about two college students’ relationship. A relationship that is amazing to read but a bit scary and dangerous in real life.