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.
I didn’t mean to stay up until after 3am reading Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire but that’s exactly what I did because from the moment I started reading (about 5 hours earlier) I could. Not. Put. It. Down. This book was spellbinding and would not let go of my attention until I had finished it. Even now, I’m still thinking about it and all I want to do is flip back to the beginning and read it all over again. SERIOUSLY. And you know what? The following night, I did just that and I’m flabbergasted as there has only been one other book that has affected me in this way so you know...it must be good!!!
Beautiful Disaster is aimed at older YA readers as it contains swearing, some sexual content and violence (although no domestic abuse). It’s set on a college campus and we get to see the world through Abby’s eyes. She’s come to college to get away from her past, reinvent herself if you will and the last thing she needs is to hook up with someone like Travis and so they decide to be friends but after losing a bet, she has to stay in his apartment for one month and gradually, the lines get a little blurry.
I’m trying not to go all fan girl here but all I want to say is OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS BOOK. This is one of the best romances I’ve ever read and it’s INSANE to think that this started out as a self published book. The writing is superb and the dialogue is SPOT ON. I believed every. Single. Word. And the characters feel like real people to me in a crazy good way. I never thought I would say this about a player but GOD, how I love Travis. Yes, I’m totally in love with him, you know, once you get past the playboy exterior and discover the real him underneath (and boy would I like to!) He’s the ultimate bad boy – shaved head, hot body, tats, rides a motorbike and fights with nothing but his fists for money. Whilst he’s a little temperamental, what I love most about him is that he’s full of passion, full of spirit and he’s smart too – he aces his subjects. He’s also sadly, the ultimate one night stand but Abby is the exception. I loved how she wasn’t interested in Travis in the beginning and I would totally be the same. I’m not into player’s, in fact it’s a real turn off for me, despite how good looking the guy is. I can’t stand the thought that some guy thinks he can have whoever he wants and neither can Abby. The fact that it shocked the hell out of Travis just adds to my amusement. I liked how their friendship was very natural – it started off as a bit of bantering and then Abby became defensive when others trash-talked Travis as she knew him like no one else. You can see where this is going; Travis falls for Abby....HARD. But he’s the kind of guy who keeps fucking up repeatedly and the question is, can Abby deal with it? Can any relationship withstand all the shit that’s thrown their way?
Basically, Abby and Travis are both a little fucked up and their relationship is dysfunctional at best. It’s full of drama, full of tension and certainly not boring! But, something about them together just works. At times, I felt like banging their heads together to knock some sense into them as some of their actions? Left me speechless, throwing my hands in the air out of frustration because basically, let’s just say that they had a bit of a communication problem at times. I mean how long did it take for Travis to come out and admit how he felt about Abby TO Abby. Maybe he thought his actions spoke louder than words but us girls need to hear the words and you need to say it like you mean it!
I can’t not mention America and Shepley too – the best friends and secondary characters. I loved how loyal America was to Abby and equally, how loyal Shepley was to his cousin and roommate Travis. America and Shepley’s relationship was cute and at some points, they reminded me of Dionne and Murray from Clueless, I have no idea why but their relationship was lighter than Travis and Abby’ so maybe that’s why.
With this kind of book, it’s always going to evoke strong reactions from readers – both positive and negative. All I can say is that I don’t want to read about perfect relationships because you know what? THAT’S NOT REAL. It’s actually more harmful to paint a rosy picture all the time because when your relationship doesn’t turn out like that, you think that there’s something wrong with it. Not all guys are perfect (by God, do I know this one) and not all relationships are either. These people are damaged and they’re going to act damaged. Relationships aren’t all sunshine and rainbows, this is raw and real. Travis and Abby went through some tough times both separate and together and they couldn’t truly be together until they’d dealt with their own demons.
I think you can guess by now that I loved this book from start to finish X a million and still as much the second time around. I’m ECSTATIC to find out that Warner Brothers has picked up the movie rights and I CANNOT WAIT to see it up on the big screen. This is my new favourite and I hope you love it too. There’s a reason I just paid a small fortune to order the signed, special edition hardback from the States.
Beautiful Disaster was published on 14th August, 2012 in the UK and US although it originally published in May, 2011. I’m delighted to tell you that Walking Disaster, a companion novel...wait for it...written from Travis’ point of view *insert fan girl scream here* will be published in March, 2013 and I am pre-ordering STAT. I cannot get enough of Travis and I can’t wait to get inside that boy’s head! The prologue has already been released online and you can read teasers and listen to the official playlist on Jamie’s website here.
There is no book trailer at present so I thought I would share what I think is Abby’s song and what is Travis’s song- they just happen to be two of the most beautiful songs in the world. Ever. Enjoy
Oh, and this is who I picture for Travis. This guy is is an actor called Colton Haynes. You're welcome ;)