Published July 2012
Series: Beautiful #1
Genres: New Adult
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The new 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 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.
Abby Abernathy is looking forward for a new beginning at Eastern University, far away from her past and from her secrets. She tries hard to be a straight-A student, and to keep away from parties, booze and cigarettes.
That is until she meets her BFF’s boyfriend’s cousin and roommate, Travis Maddox at one of his fights. Travis is all that Abby should stay away from: a tattooed bad-boy fighter with a temper, and Eastern’s most notorious player. For some reason, Travis falls head over heels in love with Abby, who – since she lost a bet – is staying at his apartment, and sleeping in his bed.
But Abby remains calm and sticks to her principles: she explicitly tells him to stay away, that she will not sleep with him, and that they can only remain friends. However, Travis will do his best to convince her otherwise, while Abby will do her best to fight against the growing feelings she has for him.
Well, it took me a looong time to finally read Beautiful Disaster and unfortunately, I cannot say that I have been missing out on much. You could say that after all, this book dates back to 2011 and I have read much better and recent books lately, but taken completely out of context, and without comparing Beautiful Disaster to any other book I’ve read, I found it only okay.
Basically, it revolves around a pretty standard: manwhore falls head over heels and does anything to end up with innocent girl who plays hard-to-get, which leads into a messy back and forth, a lot of “breaking-up-and-getting-back-together-agains”, and this just makes the story longer than needed.
I liked Jamie McGuires’ writing (Beautiful Disaster is written entirely from Abby’s POV) and found the characters quite likeable, especially Travis (even though he comes across as too intense and alpha at times) and Mare.
However, I really hated Abby’s character and story.
- First of all, I couldn’t understand why Abby’s past was such a big deal to her, and why it had to be kept a secret at all costs. At the beginning the Jamie McGuire makes her out to be someone who totally changes her lifestyle and person, but she’s never been on the “bad” side herself – she’s only witnessed it – so what’s the big deal?
- Second, Abby is worried about her reputation when she is the only one responsible for it!
She wants nothing to do with Travis, and wants to move ahead with her classmate Parker. Yet every night she comes back to Travis’ apartment and sleeps with him in his bet under the pretense of having lost a bet. Being fair play and wanting to hold up your end of the bargain is all well and nice, but this goes beyond rational thinking. Also, she keeps using Parker as a way of making Travis jealous, except that since she is so bent on keeping Travis as “just-a-friend” I don’t see why she wants to make him jealous. Oh and then suddenly she just dumps Parker in the middle of a date just to run off to Travis. I mean, Parker was not the perfect guy, but I couldn’t help feeling like she played him. So her reputation being ruined is not really far-fetched and probably kind of deserved.
- I really found Abby too careless and stupid for her own good at some times, for someone so intelligent she plays really dumb when it comes to Travis’ words, actions and feelings. The guy does a total 180 and she is totally oblivious to it. She keeps wanting to get away from him, yet she never does it. Time to stick to something and go through it, girl! and I think the next quote will be the best indicator of her stupidity:
“I had thought once Travis slept with me, his curiosity would be satiated, but instead he was talking about forever. My eyes snapped shut with the thought of his expression when he learned that what had happened between us wasn’t a beginning, it was closure.”
Okay, don’t get me wrong – but if you want a guy out of your life (one that’s crazy in love with you on top of that) – I wouldn’t sleep with said guy and leave him in the morning. Because that would most certainly not make me any better than he was with other women before.
The many mood swings and the overrated drama in Beautiful Disaster reminded me a lot of Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens where there is a constant back and forth between the two main characters. Thank god Beautiful Disaster was at least more entertaining and less dull. But don’t read too much into it – if you are expecting steamy scenes, you’ll be disappointed. And even though there is no cliffhanger, the story ending is rushed and doesn’t bring as much closure as expected.
So this was an okay read, but I didn’t go all crazy over it as others did, and I am seriously debating reading Beautiful Disaster in Travis’ POV (Walking Disaster) and the short-story about their wedding and about the reasons as to why Abby wanted to marry Travis – especially since I have read some of the spoilers on Goodreads and feel like I would hate Abby even more.
In the end, if you’d ask me if I’d recommend it, I’d say it’s not bad if you don’t mind spending $10 on Amazon (as I did since I live outside the US and pay “international delivery fees”), but it’s definitely not living up to its hype, in my opinion.