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 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.
Beautiful Disaster starts off as your typical NA Contemporary Romance. Good girl meets bad boy. Good girl knows there’s no way she will allow herself to get together with bad boy. Bad boy wants good girl, but there’s no way he’ll settle down. And then the reader pretty much knows what will happen: good girl and bad boy fall in love; bad boy changes for this one and only girl; and they live happily ever after. As I said, this novel begins with all the same elements as the typical ones do. And I like those stories (even if they aren’t the most creative). But, then Beautiful Disaster changes. It becomes something much more than the mere good girl/bad boy story. While this book keeps some of the regulatory aspects that are common, it doesn’t stick to the norm. I was surprised a lot by the story. And I was very pleased.
I’m very conflicted of my feelings for the characters. Abby (the good girl, who maybe isn’t as good as she seems…or hasn’t always been…but still is a good girl) is presented as a loveable character that the reader will no doubt root for. But, there were a lot of qualities in her that irritated me. She is kind of all over the place emotionally, never able to stick with the decisions she makes. I got so mad at her sometimes that I wanted to jump into the book and strangle her. But, then I was also able to easily sympathize and connect with her.
I have similar contradictions with my feelings toward Travis. He is presented as a bad boy that we know we are going to hate, but won’t be able not to love. But, his qualities in the latter part of the book really irked me. He’s supposed to be this bad boy, but I don’t like the person he turned into after falling for Abby. I don’t want to say to much, so I’ll just stop there. But, oh, man, did I ever sympathize with him! I think I may have been more sad for him at times than for Abby.
The writing was good. McGuire is definitely an excellent story-teller and she knows how to write a love story. I was completely enveloped in this book. I did, however, notice quite a few editing mistakes…which always bothers me. A couple mistakes are okay — as nobody is perfect and I don’t expect them to be — but this was more than a couple.
I would recommend this book to any and all romance fans. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this story — even with my mixed feelings about the characters.
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4 Responses to “Review: Beautiful Disaster”
You’ve got me interested – will probably read this one! 🙂
Man, the controversy surrounding this book is crazy. It is one of those books that people either love, or hate. No inbetween. I have no idea which category I will land in, but the controversy makes me even more curious about the book. I will say that if some of the things that I have heard actually happen the way others have said, I think I will end up in the dislike category. Glad that you enjoyed it though. THanks for the review!
I totally agree with your review. I even went as far in my review to say that these two were so completely dysfunctional that they could use a lifetime of therapy. I just don’t think that realistically a happy ending is destined for them.
Christina @ Ensconced in YA
I agree. I don’t see them actually having a happy ending. Very dysfunctional!