Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

I had so many thoughts and feelings while reading it, I wanted to give the book a fair review, and my ususal style would not reflect accurately. I'm sorry if this review is slightly rambling but I just had so many thoughts while reading. TONS OF SPOILERS. Would love to hear my readers opinion of this book if they have read it. Please comment!

Beautiful Disaster
by Jamie McGuire
Atria (Simon and Schuster)
ISBN: 978-1-4767-1204-8
Suggested Ages: 17+
Buy from Indigo

Description: 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

My Thoughts
  • Please remember my thoughts are based on the fact that I am a 42 yr old mom
  • I was a little hesitant to read this one as I had heard so much controversary over the relationship between the two characters
  • My real concern with the relationship is that it is partially romanticized. This couple in real life would be the ones you always here about in the news - you know the murder suicide headline ones
  • Without some serious therapy this relationship will never survive no matter how passionately in love they supposedly are
  • I had heard so much about how horrible Travis that I was actually slightly surprised that I actually had some compassion for him.  I found Abby to be extremely damaged as well,  and some of her behaviour inexcusable and just really frickin stupid (oh don't worry I was also disgusted by Travis on many occasion - the man has control and anger issues - also  hello can anyone say stalker. Girls this is not romantic, this is sick )
  • Abby's parents are so horribly awful, you are not surprised that she is damaged, but it also does not excuse some of the things she does - her reaction after she broke up with Travis and he ended up sleeping with a girl bothered me
  • Found characters were uneven & their actions didn't always fit with who they were supposed to be
  • Honestly - quite true to life at times -- there are many people who have been in this type of situation
  • Think this would be an excellent book for a discussion -- especially with teens
  • America's reaction to break up with her boyfriend because Travis slept with a chick when he and Abby were broken up made me want to slap her upside the  head
  • Would have like more of Kara, she seemed the only one who had any sense
  • If Travis was so damanged by his upbringing - why does he have such a good relationship with his family. Also his Dad comes across as the type of guy who would never beat him (seemed uneven)
  • Travis is controlling and obviously needs some serious help - but he also seems to be trying to be different -- where Abby not so much - honestly really didn't like her
  • Makes kids getting married at 19 seem very romantic and beautiful - and I think we all know ho rare that kind of relationship lasts.
  • Author was a pretty good storyteller which actually kept me interested in reading no matter how disgusted I was by the subject matter (But I won't be reading the sequel btw - please don't send me)
  • Some nice dry humourous parts which also helped keep me reading
  • Did like the constant mentions of condoms - at least they won't procreate and damage more children like their parents obviously damaged them
  • I know this review really focuses on the unhealthy relationship but I was really offended by the romantisizing of it and it affected my enjoyment of the book.
  • Also girls and boys if this is the type of relationship you are in -- get yourself some serious help - please (sorry guys I'm a mom I care about all of you out there)
Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • I think you all know I am very relaxed on what I believe is an  appropriate age for certain YA novels.  In the case of this book I recommend teacher librarians and parents really think if the book is appropriate for each individual teen.  (Hope that makes sense)
  • I would say for the more mature YA reader and not for the overly impressionable teen who might think that this is a beautiful romantic book
  • Great for a high school discussion on healthy vs unhealthy relationships
2.5 Dewey's

I received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review  - sorry guys have to be honest


  1. I so agree with you that romanticizing this type of relationship is unhealthy. Good for you for being honest about it!

    1. Thanks Laura - it was just so wrong couldn't get over it

  2. Wow! I haven't read this one yet but it sounds sort of.. horrible?!

    1. yeah - the writing wasn't bad at all - but the characters actions seemed wrong and their relationship was just so wrong

  3. Yikes, I don't know what to think about this book! On one hand, I want to read it now just to see for myself, but on the other hand, it sounds awful. And there's going to be a sequeal?? Did the book have a "happy" ending, or did it end in a cliff-hanger...? I am intrigued, I must admit.

    1. Would love to hear your opinion - so I say give it a shot. The ending was forced and quick but definitely on the happy ending side. I hear the sequel is more the story from his point of view. Will bring it with me to the smart chicks tour and pass it on to you. Really want to hear others opinions on it - as my review is coming from an older woman who worries about the message it gives gto readers -- don't even get me started on how Bella is such an awful roll model LOL!