Beautiful Disaster is a NA romance novel by Jamie McGuire. The plot is actually quite typical – bad boy meets good girl – written beautifully with a twist: the good girl isn’t that good; she’s chalked full of some demons of her own.
I’ve had this book on my list forever, and I’m beating myself up for not reading it sooner. After the first few pages, I fell in love. It’s been a long time since a book as hooked me so flawlessly. Granted, I have a weakness for bad boys with a good heart – call me predictable, whatever. Travis Maddox was written beautifully. He was sexy, scary, charming, with a whole lot of insecurities that made me unable to put the book down. This is who I pictured when I read Travis’s lines:
If you watched Star Crossed a few years ago on the CW, his Drake reminded me of Travis. Normally I don’t feel the buzz cut, but this guy? I swoon. I melt. Okay, I’m done now.
My only qualm with Travis was that he was a bit too psycho for me. His neediness and moments of blind rage were a little freaky, even to read – but that means McGuire did a killer job. I really did believe Travis as a character. Would I date him? No. Well, okay, maybe parts of him. Ugh. Okay, I’m really done now.
Abby was also real and lovable. Maybe not everyone would be able to relate to her or understand her seemingly random and sporadic shifts in what she wants, but I totally got her. I related, I empathized. Clap, clap, McGuire, you did good, girl.
Even the supporting characters, Shepley and America (and Finch and Kara and Parker) were all well-written and lovable (okay, maybe not Parker). I think America was my favourite. Her loyalty and feistiness was perfectly done. I want her to be my best friend.
While I did love the ups, the downs, the psychotic meltdowns, and the steaminess, I did have a few issues:
1. The insta-love between America and Shepley – at first, I thought the book was taking place halfway through the school year. Nope. The couple, who were so strong and unwavering, had been together for maybe a month, depending on when Freshman orientation is done in the State (I have no freaking clue how the US educational system works). I sort of wish the book started off in December or something. I also wish that Abby and Travis had been friends longer than a month before things escalated, although I still thought their development was pretty damn realistic.
2. Pigeon is a dumb nickname. Yes, it was cute. No, I do not like birds.
3. The university life reminded me too much of high school. In all four years of my education, I went to the cafeteria maybe twice. Also, what university has a designated lunch time??? For real, is that how schools work in the States???
4. I hated how Travis smoked. Ew. Ew. Double ew. I know he’s a bad boy, but couldn’t he have quite that along with bagging every girl who batted her lashes? Ugh.
I loved this book. I already miss it now that I’m done. I’ve already bought Walking Disaster (the book told from Travis’s view) and
I’ll probably read the Maddox Brothers series at some point, too – if I can find an establishment that sells all of them. I’ve been having issues. I’ve ordered the 5 Maddox Brothers books, and the 2 companion novellas.
Jamie McGuire did a fantastic job, with her greatest strength found in her ability to write troubled, beautifully captivating characters. Colour me impressed.