Saturday, November 10, 2012

Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Title:Beautiful Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
Series: Beautiful
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: October 3, 2011
ISBN13: 9781466401884
Format: paperback
Genre: NA, contemporary, romance
Source: borrowed from library
The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn't drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend America, 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 needs - and wants - to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the most-eligible college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby's resistance to his charm, 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' apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has finally met his match.

You know what? When I saw the book cover, and read the title, I was smitten. Though I was a little put off by the synopsis (I like more YA romances), I still wanted to read it because of all the hype over it.

*Claws eyes out and howl*

I really didn't like this book. And that's a total understatement. I hated the characters, the writing style, the plot. While I can definitely see how it draws attention of the reader, I can't help but wonder if it was this popular only because it's a book from a genre that's still fairly fairly new to the bookish world. It's marketed off as a teen-friendly version of Fifty Shades of Grey, which I've read several negative reviews about and really do not feel like picking it up even when I'm older, take note: Beautiful Disaster is not teen friendly. So to my YA-reading followers, check it out if you want, but be careful. If I were to introduce it to a teenager, I would suggest it to a very mature one.

The plot I thought was not very well done. It was as if someone made up the characters to get together in a slightly unusual way, then thought You know what? Not exciting enough and decided to throw a few seriously random things into the mix. Which may have been fine if there had been some foreshadowing and more edits to smooth over the transition process, which Beautiful Disaster didn't have.

The writing. I love first-person PoVs, because it allows me to connect with a character, whether she's a sixteen-year-old cancer patient, a thirty-year-old lawyer fighting for a losing case, or a teenage boy that feels like nobody understands him. How? Because it relates on thought to another. Because they give genuine emotions off, and make me want to enter the story and comfort them. But here? It's from Abby's PoV, but never makes connections to other aspects of her life. It was as if her life revolved around Travis. So when Jamie McGuire suddenly sprung this big, huge part of her life that none of us could even have predicted, it took a while for me to wrap my head around it. As for the emotions, Abby could've just been a computer program. If she gets upset and leave, the only thing we read is that she's upset and gets her coat. I didn't feel her anger, her betrayal, her feeling that she was right. Nothing at all.

I hated both the characters. As well as a couple of the secondary characters. I would've thrown the book into a shredder because of them if not for the fact that it was a library book. (Thank God I didn't buy it.) The relationship between the two main characters is abusive. Abby, that perfect No-I'm-a-perfect-girl-I won't-fall-for-Travis-Maddox character only got more and more immature over the course of the book. When she loses the bet and has to live with Travis, in his bed, for an entire month, she does it. Then she gets it on with some other guy, who I genuinely think of as a good guy compared to Travis and totally not bad for her health. And she still lives with Travis. And she gets the title of the school-slut. Which her new boy-toy isn't too happy about. And she gets mad at Travis because of her new-found title. Dear Abby, you should've left Travis as soon as you were dating the other guy. The only way he could hold you back is through physical force, which you can file a restraining order for. Or even sue for assault. Because you're just being unfair to the new guy.

And let's not even get started on Travis, the guy who solves everything with his fists. The guy who tore a door from its hinges in a fit of anger and basically scared the crap out of Abby's BFF, America, and her (America's) boyfriend who happened to be Travis' cousin. Not cool. He basically made Abby's life revolve around himself because, what the hell, he's Travis friggin' Maddox. Abby's life outside of Travis so-very-attractive-but-also-an-asshole Maddox ceased to exist. Case closed.

You might notice that this book got a rating of 1, but that's only because I finished it. Otherwise, it would've gotten my DNF rating of 0. I still firmly stand my ground against Beautiful Disaster fans, but if you want to form an opinion about it, go read it for yourself and judge it that way.

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