Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire


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.

Source: Bought


Travis is your typical bad boy, i.e, takes part in street fights for money, is covered in tattoos and sleeps with girls and tosses them away. Abby however is the good girl who has gone to college with her friend America to get away from her father. When America starts dating Travis' room mate (and cousin) Abby starts becoming friends with Travis. When they make a bet and Abby loses she has to stay in Travis' apartment for a month. When she starts to see Travis for who he truly is, she begins to fall in love. But falling in love isn't always enough..

Abby has gone to college to get away from a deep dark past which we find out about half way through the book. Now, no spoilers, but it really didn’t seem like that dark a past though I will admit she obviously needed to get away from her father. Travis is your stereotypical bad boy. He takes part in street fights for money and sleeps with girls and tosses them away. Nothing new so far, right?  That’s pretty much how the rest of the book goes on, with new nothing really unique to this book happening, except for one aspect of the story which I’ll come to later in the review.

Now down to the characters. The main characters in the story are Abby Abernathy and Travis Maddox. The whole story is told from Abby’s point of view. Through this the author constantly tries to explain away Travis’ behaviour but never really succeeds. You see, Travis is a manipulative, controlling man who seems to only want Abby to be a part of his life, his world, and nothing else. This is definitely not a love story! In my opinion it takes it a few steps past “Twilight” into an obviously abusive relationship. (Slight spoilers ahead) In one part of the book, after Abby and Travis break up, he manipulates her into going to his family home and cooking dinner for him, his father and his brothers. All because she said she would when they were still together and now he doesn’t want to have to disappoint his family by telling them that he and Abby have broken up! 

That’s not to say that Abby is a character I particularly liked either. She allows Travis to put her into these situations. A number of times she sees clearly that he is trying to manipulate her and she still just goes along with it! The only aspect of this story that was different to most love stories  was the thoroughly unhealthy relationship Abby had with Travis. From the start they used each other’s weaknesses against each other. Abby using other men to make Travis jealous and Travis using his many manipulating ways to keep Abby under his control. I truly disliked the main characters in this story and can barely remember any of the secondary characters, who serve only to provide a backdrop to the so called “romance”.  

The romance between Abby and Travis is basically the whole plot, with little distractions along the way. It was a very slow paced read, and went in circles continually going back to Travis and Abby breaking up and then their reconciliation. For me it was a struggle to get as far as I did in the book and I never managed to finish. I simply couldn’t force myself to continue reading. In general I would not recommend this book, however I know it may appeal to those who think obsession is equal to true love. I would recommend this book if you enjoyed “Fifty Shades of Grey” or “Twilight”.


What I did read:

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