NA,  Review,  Three Stars

Book Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful DisasterAuthor: Jamie McGuire
Publisher: Simon + Schuster
Published: August 14th 2012
Pages: 432
Format: Paperback
Source: Complimentary Copy from Simon + Schuster
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon, TBD



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.

A New Start
It has taken me a long time to actually sit down and write this review, not just because I have a back-log of reviews to do, but also because I have been struggling to get my head around my thoughts on it. Even after speaking about it with a fellow book-lover, I am still not certain this review will really be able to capture my thoughts on this book because I am struggling to really comprehend my own feelings towards it. The problem? I both loved and truly hated this book. In this respect, I feel that the title could not be better fitting. For me, this book was a true Beautiful Disaster.

A New Place
It would be impossible to start this review with anything but the amazing writing style that Jamie McGuire has. I was taken over with the way she strings words together and I literally felt like bowing down at her feet to teach me her creative and beautiful ways. It all fell together so naturally, it made the perfect picture sit in the mind’s eye, and it just put the entire novel on a pedestal. If it came down to it, I would give this book a five star review simply based on the amazing writing style, but, as it is, I must encapsulate the entire novel in this review. I do know that while I did not like this specific book of Jamie’s, I am definitely going to be reading more of her work from now on.

With New People
One of the biggest problems I had with this book was the main protagonist. I simply could not stand Abby Abernathy. It is not often that a character really gets under my skin, but Abby really did. In all honesty, she was a really well-rounded character. She had a dark past that affected her present, and she was fun to be around, and really quite interesting, but she was also whiny, irritating, dependent, and naive. Her indecisive nature made me bite my nails and her choices made me want to whack her upside the head. Seriously.

On the other side, we have Travis and he was the true bad boy of the story. If ever there was such a thing. He was the type of guy that I write stories about, and yet, I still couldn’t like his character in this book. He was brilliantly written, had all the problems under the sun, and was full of good things as well as flaws, but there was just something about him that I honestly didn’t like. Just as Abby did, Travis irritated me throughout the book – and yet, I was still so enamoured by Jamie’s writing style that I couldn’t stop reading even with the main two characters grating me like no one ever had before.

Opens Up
Of course, there had to have been something that kept me reading and you’re right, there was. I enjoyed watching the relationship between these two characters grow. There were many moments that irritated me, but overall, I liked seeing how things transgressed between them. It was very clear that these two were so perfectly matched that there were many times that I felt like screaming at them to stop being so naive to see it for themselves. I loved the moments where Abby felt like she truly belonged somewhere, loved the feeling I got when she realised that she felt something for him, and when he felt something for her. I loved how their relationship wasn’t full of flowers and candy canes but was much more real, with the nitty, gritty – arguments and falling outs all over the place. While there were still parts about the narrative and the other characters’ journey’s that irritated me, it would be truthful to say that generally I did enjoy the story. I kept reading afterall.

A New World
I am pretty certain that throughout this review I have contradicted myself, which should just prove how unbalanced my relationship is with this book. Half-way through writing it, I was determined to give it four stars, and then I wanted to give it two. It is definitely a see-saw book in many respects but I feel as though, in a way, this is what makes this book so unique. It is one of those “marmite” books, where you either love it or hate it, or are stuck somewhere in the middle, unsure of where you fully sit. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a powerful romance, one that really doesn’t leave anything out, but I wouldn’t recommend it to those who aren’t ready for the heavy messages and powerful brunt of it. It is a brilliant book, if just an aggravating one all at the same time.

Three Stars
three out of five hearts

** I received this copy from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **



  • Rebecca

    Great review, Faye! I just posted my review and gave it two stars but I understand, this book sure is a hard book to rate. I had issues with the book regarding pyscho Travis, annoying Abby and their unhealthy relationship. Also, pigeon? I hate that pet name! What was Travis thinking?! Though I must admit, it sure was entertaining and addicitve! I totally get the love/hate releationship even if I’m meaning more toward the latter – I loved it for being addictive and entertaining but disliked the characters and rest.

    It is one of those “marmite” books, where you either love it or hate it, or are stuck somewhere in the middle, unsure of where you fully sit. – Yes! And marmite! The English version of Vegemite ;)

    • Faye (Daydreaming_Star)

      Your review was brilliant too! I was undecided on whether to give it two or three stars but eventually went for three because I am still so undecided on my own feelings of the book haha! I love it and hate it so much. Haha.

      I’m certain Marmite is better :P ;)

  • laura carter

    I love your review Faye :) I think you managed to get across your feeling pretty well and even though i loved the book i also agree with your points, Abby can be somewhat annoying at times.

  • Jo

    Awesome review, Faye! I am so intrigued by this book after the discussion about it on Twitter today! So many divided opinions. Thanks for the review! :)

  • The Readingista

    What a great review! I have not read Beautiful Disaster and was hoping to read it earlier on, but I guess that I can wait it out for a bit longer. I have seen a few disappointing reviews.

  • Clover

    Oof, this book. I really, really hated both main characters. And their horrible relationship. But I ended up giving the book three stars as well because I continued reading until the very end despite my strong feelings and I think that is saying something.

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