Review: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie McGuire

You don’t know what power is until you hold someones future in the palm of your hand. Abby Abernathy knows that feeling. This sweet, good girl from Kansas controls every aspect of campus bad boy, Travis Maddox’s life without even knowing it.

Abby meets Travis at a campus underground fight night. She knows his reputation and what everyone calls him….the walking one night stand. Man whore. Bad boy. There is no way she is ever going to fall for his antics….ever, she’s too smart for that. She is repulsed by him but yet oddly intrigued.

Every girl on campus thinks they are going to be the one to tame Travis. The one that will make him change his ways. The one Travis will fall in love with.

When his eyes lock on Abby, Travis sees no one but her. She doesn’t swoon when he walks by or flip her hair flirtatiously to get his attention. She doesn’t put up with his shit. She puts him in his place. She is different. When he tries to flirt with her, she shuts him down. No girl has ever denied Travis Maddox.

She quickly becomes a challenge, but somewhere between the thrill of the chase, Travis and Abby become best friends. Though there is clearly attraction between both of them, there is a mutual respect and genuine feelings….something more than the excitement of a new toy.

Abby makes Travis want to be a better man. He is willing to change everything in his life if it makes her happy. If it means giving up the endless revolving door of women, the fight nights, and partying then so be it. Everything is right in Travis’s world with Abby around, even if they are only friends….she has something he needs, she is the piece that completes him.

But Abby has a dark past. Though she tries to deny it, Travis is her type. She can only resist him for so long, eventually she realizes how much she loves Travis and how much travis loves her. Abby is faced with the inevitable choice, stay friends or take it to the next level. They go full steam ahead into a reckless, wild, fierce, passionate on-again-off-again love affair.

But somewhere between love and passion, their relationship turns codependent. Travis can’t function without Abby. He turns almost stalker-ish. Abby manipulates Travis and confuses him when her actions don’t match her words. Together they are a beautiful disaster but apart they are just a disaster.

When Abby’s past catches up with her it will change their relationship in a major way. Will their love be strong enough to stand this unexpected strain? Are they better apart than together or will their separation be their own undoing? Find out in this beautiful disaster.

I have a theory about bad boys…the harder the exterior, the softer the interior. They build up this wall–an asshole exterior–and if you are willing to put up with their bull shit then they will let you in, but only if you are willing to scale that wall.

I’ll be the first to admit it…..I have a thing for bad boys and codependent relationships. With codependent relationships (though majorly unhealthy) come major fire. Who doesn’t want to be the girl that the bad boys whole world revolves around? Who hasn’t thought about what it would be like to change the bad boy into marriage material? I know I have tried and failed more times than I care to remember which is probably why this book sucked me in.

As I have gotten older, codependent relationships and bad boys got old quick so I moved on to more healthy relationships but there is still a part of me that is drawn to that sort of relationship, which is why Beautiful Disaster appealed to me….I can enjoy the fiery, powerful draw without actually living through it. When Atria Books offered me a review copy via NetGalley, I couldn’t refuse… sounded intriguing and I loved the cover!

I liked that McGuire didn’t try to cover up her characters flaws. Abby was manipulative and Travis was an obsessive boyfriend with a volatile temper and together they were dysfunctional but apart they were self destructive.

The novel does romanticize dysfunctional relationships and a dangerous lifestyle but at the same time, there was a gritty, intense, realistic love story that appeals to many readers. Yes their relationship is volatile and chaotic. Yes it’s dysfunctional and unhealthy, but you just have to remember this is fiction, not real life so why not enjoy a walk on the wild side?

There were elements of the plot line that I didn’t care for, such as the Vegas trip. I felt like the plot didn’t need this piece. There were other directions that the plot could have gone to create conflict and suspense which I thought would have been more relevant to the characters and the final outcome.

All things considered this was an engaging read. It was an exciting, dark, gritty, fiery, fierce romantic novel. I was addicted from the very beginning. Once I started I couldn’t put it down. The sexual tension and chemistry between Abby and Travis was insane, I loved it.

I couldn’t help but indulge my inner codependent romantic. I’m a sucker for beautiful disasters, what can I say.

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie McGuire

  • ebook, 276 pages
  • Published July 12th 2012 by Atria Books (first published May 26th 2011)
  • ISBN13 9781476712055

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 4 out of 5 (a fierce romance full of fire)

Genre: Contempo lit, gen lit, romance

Memorable lines/quotes:

I knew the second I met you that there was something about you I needed. Turns out it wasn’t something about you at all. It was just you.

6 thoughts on “Review: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie McGuire

  1. I was one of those people who really didn’t like how the author romanticized dysfunctional relationships, but I can see how people would enjoy the dark, thrilling romance. And I agree – the sexual tension between Abby and Travis was crazy. Great review! It’s really interesting to see (um… read?) what people with different opinions thought about the same book.

    Skyway Avenue Reads

  2. So I love this book and I don’t even know why. It has everything I stand against – women who can’t figure “it” out, codependent, crazy men, but I loved it all the same. I can totally see why you included Travis on your Book Boyfriend list, though I would have trouble with the name Pidge/Pigeon.

  3. I am really late to the game here, but I just read the book and do not agree with this review. This book was not good. The characters were vapid and shallow, and did not develop, at all, over the course of the book! The sex scenes weren’t great, there was no real “chemistry” to speak of, and there were elements, like the Vegas thing and Travis buying Abby a dog, that just made no sense. Also, Abby’s mysterious “dark past” was such a let-down. Big deal–Daddy was a poker player. I found it absurd that Travis was this magically awesome fighter who never loses…..but never trains for his fights. He’s ripped and buff, and this amazing fighter, but all we ever see him do is drink drink drink. He does nothing that would make his fighting ability credible. And Abby is this shit-hot poker player–which doesn’t add much to the plot, and again, really not all that believable. She demonstrates some seriously selfish behaviour, but everyone loves her and drops what they are doing to comfort her–Mary-Sue much? Travis beats the shit out of everyone, and while Abby appears to be appalled at first, she later encourages his crap behaviour and even sics him on some dude in the cafeteria to teach the dude manners. How the hell did Travis never get charged with assault? He hit some dude with a cafeteria tray! And getting married at 19…just….no. Yuck. And why did Abby have to be a virgin to be a “good girl”? OMG. And that stupid nickname–Pidge. I just can’t. This book had a few nice moments, I guess, but they were ruined by…the rest of the book. And I see the author wrote the whole damn thing again–from Travis’ POV. A la Midnight Sun. I think the book had the potential to be good–it even started off strong for me, but then it just utterly tanked. I would not recommend it to anyone.

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