Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

beautiful disasterBeautiful Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
Publisher: Atria
Age Group: New Adult
Source: Library
Amazon     Barnes and Noble     IndieBound
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:


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.

My Thoughts

I have been thinking about Beautiful Disaster for the last few days, trying to organize my feelings about it.  I am not even sure if my 3.5 rating is what I really want for this book.  I’m going to try to express my feelings about Beautiful Disaster here, but there will probably be spoilers.  I will try to warn you beforehand.

So Beautiful Disaster is definitely a romance.  I like romance, so that is not a problem.  In many romances part of the book is about the hero and heroine getting together, then they are together a little bit, then something happens to split them up, and then they are back together at the end, and everything is hearts and bears.  I like hearts and bears, and happily ever afters, so that’s great.  But Beautiful Disaster is so drama-filled.  Drama, drama, drama.  Maybe too much drama for me.  And oh my gosh, Travis and Abby aren’t together, then they are, then they aren’t, then they are.  Way too much for my tastes.

And let’s talk about the MCs a little bit here.  Travis Maddox – I have no idea what to think of you.  I guess he’s a bad boy, and I can kind of see what girls like about him.  But at the same time, were I to meet someone who acted as nuts as Travis does, I would hopefully run the other way.  Here’s some spoilers: Travis is very violent!  Not to Abby or any women, or anything.  But when other guys say rude things to Abby, he goes crazy.  And I’m not talking a quick punch to get the guy to shut up.  He pulverizes them.  Sometimes in the cafeteria too, which is crazy!  I mean, that can’t happen at college without adults realizing and putting a stop to it.  And when a creep accosts Abby, he chases him, and beats the crap out of him by punching, slamming his head into a car headlight, and throwing him down on the hood of a car.  Now, the guy was totally creepy, but holy crap!  Reading about guys like this in books is okay, but in real life, a guy who could lose it so completely, well that would make me very nervous.

Another thing about Travis – he becomes so dependent on Abby.  I mean, when she is not with him, or if she is leaving to go back to the dorm, he becomes grumpy and depressed.  How is that healthy??  I guess it is to show the reader how much Travis cares about Abby, but wow.  Some independence is a good thing, people.  And also attractive.  End Spoilers.

Okays, let’s talk about Abby now.  I often forget her name, because Travis calls her Pigeon or Pidge throughout the whole book. Which isn’t terrible, but all I can think of is Disney’s Lady and the Tramp.  The tramp calls Lady Pigeon, but since the movie is older, tramp’s voice is kind of old-timey, and every time Travis called Abby Pigeon, I heard it in that same old-timey voice.  That’s not terrible, but it definitely didn’t fit with Travis’s character.  Anyway, back to Abby.  I liked her, she was a good protagonist, but sometimes she was an idiot too.  Spoilers starting now: So for the first half of the book, Abby insists that she and Travis are just friends.  But it is quite obvious to the reader (and every other character that spend time with Travis and Abby!) that Travis loves Abby.  He never tells her, but he gives off tons of clues.  But Abby either doesn’t realize it, or doesn’t want to realize it.  And she goes on a few dates with this rich college guy named Parker.  But the way she acts around Travis feels very much like they are together, just not being physically intimate.  It felt very much like cheating (on Parker), in a way, and I didn’t like it.  Even if Parker was a total dweeb who flung money around like it was nothing, that doesn’t mean he deserves be cheated on.  And I’m not saying it was definitively cheating, but it did make me feel a bit uncomfortable.  End Spoilers.

Okay, so that’s what I thought of the two MCs.  I absolutely loved America, Abby’s bff.  She was totally awesome, and I would love to have a friend like her.  I also liked Travis’s cousin, Shepley (crazy name, right?) who was also America’s boyfriend.  They had a much more stable relationship.

Now let’s talk about the plot some more.  I know I mentioned about how I didn’t like the on again/off again relationship of Abby and Travis.  There is also this crazy addition to the plot regarding Abby’s father, and then they all go to Vegas!  And meet mafia people.  What????  I don’t know if that really fit into the story well.  And the ending, although it made me happy, also made me feel a little awkward.  I mean, Abby was 19!  If you’ve read it, you know exactly what I mean!

But despite all my complaining, I couldn’t put this book down.  I kept telling myself I wold stop after finishing this chapter, only to keep reading and reading.  I know I vented about a lot of the things that bothered me about Beautiful Disaster, but, above all, I think it delivered what the reader expects.  And it is certainly entertaining.  Jamie McGuire can sure get the reader attached to the characters, and you want them to be happy, even if they are a little nutso.  And, even though I thought this book was way too filled with drama, I will probably read Walking Disaster when it is released.  Walking Disaster tells the same story from Travis’s POV, and I am curious to know what he was thinking.  See what I mean about not being sure how I felt about this book?  If you have read this, let me know what you think!  I still can’t decide how I feel.

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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10 Responses to Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

  1. emziixgx says:

    I totally get what you mean about this book. Everything about it should have made me want to put it down but I just couldn’t. I was drawn into the madness of the story and despite Travis being crazy I wanted them to be together.

    • Quinn says:

      Same here! Even though I thought Travis was crazy, I think his character was the best in the book. And I definitely want to read Walking Disaster.

      I wanted Travis and Abby to be together, too.

      • emziixgx says:

        Looking forward to reading Walking Disaster, though I’m a bit nervous about it being the same story. Hopefully she can use Travis thoughts to make it a great read

      • Quinn says:

        I know what you mean. Although I think Travis was the most interesting character (even though he was totally nut!), and I would like to see what was going through his mind.

  2. Liesel Hill says:

    Haven’t read this one but it’s on my TBR list. (I skipped over the spoilers part. :D) I’ll probably still pick it up eventually, even though you had mixed reviews about it. Thanks for the review! 😀

    • Quinn says:

      You should still read it. Although I had some problems with parts of the book, I still gave it 3.5 stars. I could not put the book down. And I know people that really loved it, too. Everyone had different tastes, and you may end up loving it.

  3. Lucy says:

    I totally agree with your review. It took me a little while to process this book but it has stuck with me, and I’m eager for Walking Disaster. I listened to the audio and the narrator was great.
    It is a crazy read but totally absorbing.

  4. completely agree with EVERYTHING… i was shaking and nodding my head the whole time. i could NOT put it down, but i didn’t really understand why. 😛

    felt the same way about Travis, some of his actions seriously made me uncomfortable… SPOILER… like when he trashes the apartment after Abby leaves… END SPOILER…. i mean seriously! what kind of person does that, a unstable, violent person that’s who!

    didn’t realize that about Walking Disaster, i have to say I’ll probably read it!

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