Review: Beautiful Disaster

Beautiful Disaster
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

How do you spell Dysfunctional ? Right. This book was beyond dysfunctional. It was so wrong, on so many levels, that once I got over its utter wrongness, I loved it.

Still don’t know what that says about me. The truth is, it left me confused. I didn’t love it all the time, but now that it’s over I feel like I need more.

Although I gave it four stars, they should have been 3.5 more likely. Anyway, that’s what you’re gonna find in the book if you’ll decide to give it a shot:

A bad boy (with a huge stress on the bad part. I mean it), which is completely crazy. As in: “Man, you need a good psych”. His first reaction when he meets someone is to punch this someone in the face. And that’s what happens when he’s in a good mood. So no, Travis Maddox is not good boy scout, but a mad dog (yeah, there’s a reference right here).
And then we have Abby, who Travis calls Pidgeon since the very first time they meet. Weird, but better than the punch, all things considered.

Since she doesn’t look impressed by his incredible looks and his tough attitude, they become best friends. And that’s the first WTF of a very long series of WTFs. They become like BFF in a matter of days.
In the mix, we also have America, who we actually don’t know if she wants Abby to be with Travis or not, and Travis’ cousin, Shepley, who also happens to be America’s boyfriend.

Anyway, Abby loses a bet with Travis and she’s forced to go living with him and Shepley for a month. Oh, and of course she’ll have to sleep in the same bed as Travis. I mean, sure. You’re like two teenagers a notch away from giving in to monkey lust so sleeping in the same room sounds like the most reasonable thing to do.

Oh, you wanna know how our hero won the bet? Simply by beating the crap out of another guy. He fights for a living. So healthy. But he’s not a good-to-nothing, girls. Not at all. He doesn’t listen to a single class, but of course he’s a friggin’ genious.

However, the story goes on and Travis reveals all his dependency to his “Pidge”. He punches guys in the face, threatens whoever comes near her, punches other people in the face (because he always punches them in the face. No tummy, no shoulders. No. This book leaves a trail of nosebleeds behind).


On the last night of the bet, they sleep together. Er… not correct. He takes her virginity and then, when he starts talking like a lunatic.
“This was your last first kiss”, she’s so scared she leaves him.
Probably the wisest choise she’s made in the whole book.

They make peace and the nonsense keeps going. More broken noses, more alcohol and then finally, they go to Las Vegas after Abby’s good and loving father shows up asking for money. Why did they go to Vegas? Because little Abby is a Poker Genius.

When I read this tidbit I had to put the book down for a couple of minutes. It was all so unbelievable that I was asking myself how had I fallen into the rabbit hole without knowing it.
They go to Vegas, Travis kicks and throws some serious punches and then a mob’s boss asks him to work for him. WTF is too mild a concept.

But guess what’s more WTF than that? The fact they after proclaiming their undying love for each other, after he’s tattoed her nickname on his wrist and bought new furniture just for her and done a lot of other “You’re mine woman” kind of things, they break up.

And notice, it’s never him breaking up with her. But I don’t blame her. That dude is scary. If a guy told me I couldn’t speak with other guys because I’m “his” I would be the one starting flailing my hands aiming at his nose.
His jealous streak is not just a streak, it is an overflowing damn river. It’s uncontrollable. And yet, she loves him. I mean, he just turned a guy who made a joke about her into a gooey heap on the floor and you practically tell him: “Good job, honey”???
Where is your self-preservation instinct, girl?

Oh, and since everyone in this book is so mature, even America and Shepley break up over Travis and Abby’s break-up. I was like… uh? What does this have to do with anything. But they pick sides, like they’re in kindergarden and have to decide with which kid to play with. Adults, not really. But the real treat is the way they break up. Arizona, flustered about Shepley siding with his friend when Travis brough another girl home after Abby broke up with him, just speeds away on her Onda declaring their love story over. No after-thoughts, no feelings at all involved. Pure logic. Which makes sense, because feelings don’t have anything to do with romance, right? (Shaking my head.)

Of course, they all make peace and they live happily ever after. As in: “Let’s get married in Las Vegas” happily ever after.

Sorry about the rant, but this story freaked me out. It was fast paced and relistic sometimes. The drinking, the smoking, the fights. It was all cool and fine. The whole crappy, dysfunctinal, co-dependency was creepy and half the time I wanted to yell at the both of them. Especially when they thought that friendship would be the way to handle things and then ended up making out shamelessly or causing a scene in front of the whole college.

Yet I loved it. Lately I’ve come across a lot of good boys and I was in the mood for a change. Well, Travis Maddox was definitely different.

In his defense, I have to admit that I liked his troubled personality. It was good to see a male character that was completely fucked up and still able to show kindness and love. Because when he’s with Abby, alone, he’s like… perfect, you know. Kind, gentle, caring. And still funny. They started as friends and it shows, but the whole: “We’re together. No, you’re an asshole. Let’s break up. No, kidding, I love you… oh, you slept with her? Wanna see a magic, boy? Puff you’re single. Wait. I love you, marry me” gave me whiplash.

And all the while we have poor Parker, this cardboard character who is head over heels with Abby and completely fine with her leaving in her best-friend’s (yeah, sure) house.

But one of the most WTF moments were at the beginning of the book, when Travis was acting all He-Man with whoever approached Pidge and still she thought they were just friends. So many times he tried to break it to her, to at least hint at it. And the result was a “You’re my BFF” (smiley face). It was annoying that his feelings were so clear you could practically write them down. But the girl was so clueless I wanted to punch some sense into her. Dammit, Trav’s madness must have rubbed off.

So, to sum it up. It was a mad ride down nonsense-ville, full of eye rolling (seriously, who rolls his eyes so much?), and sweet moments. The constant jealousy and fucked up relationship was kind of funny but downright wrong most of the time.

I don’t know. I enjoyed it the way you may enjoy a whole carton of Ben & Jerry. It feels good while you do it and you don’t ever want to stop, but if you, just for one second, put your spoon down and stare at the half empty carton, the only thing you can think of is: “What the hell did I just eat/read? What’s wrong with me?” with a bit of “This was so wrong” as seasoning.

So, go on, girls. Have your tasty bit with Travis Mad Dog Maddox and his madness, and Abby with her: I break up with him one minute and realize in the next I don’t care if he’s a nut-case because we can’t live without each other
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