Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire

11505797Author: Jamie McGuire

Rating: 2.5/5

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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.


First off, let me apologize profusely. I have been in such a reading slump lately and haven’t wished to read and therefore, haven’t updated in a bit. Sorry about that.

This story ended up being a disaster, and there was nothing beautiful about it.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Abby Abernathy is a compulsive liar who claims to have a million and one cardigans in her closet but I have only seen mention of one. Travis is this tattooed sweaty beast who beats up a guy and gets blood all over Abby’s cardigan.

Sounds like your typical fairytale, right?

The novel begins with Abby having been dragged by her best friend America to some sort of college fight club, where she witnesses this man-beast covered in tats beat his component to a pulp, splattering her one and only cardigan with blood. I honestly liked the first half, it was a different set up than most novels when it comes to introducing characters to what would later be the love interest.

This book could’ve been nice-ish if it had ended around the 170 page mark, but alas, we must delve into the ugly second half, where Travis is a grade-A douchenugget.

How attracted to a guy do you have to be to ignore the fact that while you’re sleeping in his bed (in the most innocent sense, Abs lost a bet), and love interest gets pissed at you and goes and gets drunk and makes you listen as he bangs two girls in the living room half the night before crawling into bed with you? I just did a whole body shudder, and not the good kind.

Maaaaaaaybe you can ignore that, because you aren’t together… but theeeen while you’re making out with a sweet, possible boyfriend in his car, Travis comes and nearly rips off the door in his Hulk Smash, and every. single. time. you so much as mention possible boyfriend, he gets super pissy and stuff.

And after the bet is over, the night before Abby goes back to her dorm, they have sex. She gives up her virginity in hopes that he will forget about her….

And then she takes off in the middle of the night because she can’t handle her sheer lack of brain cells. Of course, now Travis is obsessed in love with her. And what do guys do when they’re in love? Be all cutesy and stuff by throwing stereos and basically trashing his apartment before nearly punching the lights out of his cousin/housemate.



And then Abby being so totes in love breaks up with the sweet nice guy to date this abusive neanderthal, and lets him go around punching people for bad-mouthing her or touching her and chastises him, but we know that isn’t going to work.

SO THEN, Travis turns into a really creepy stalker after Abby turns down his marriage proposal. If you love someone, you chain their ass to the radiator in the basement buy them flowers. Okay, so he didn’t chain her stupid butt to the radiator. It was actually the sink.

Kidding! He didn’t do that.. but I totally would have not been surprised if he had.

Travis was alright in the first half of the book, and he turned into a level five creep factor. Hasn’t Mark Wahlberg and Reese taught anyone a lesson with their 1996 film, Fear?

And Abby is not totally blameless. She’s kind of an idiot, getting together with Travis and leaving him over and over again with reasoning like “I love him, but… -insert extremely stupid reason-” when it should be, “He scares the absolute eff out of me and I fear for my safety.”

I hated her the most, because she put herself into a lot of these situations by:

  • Dating Parker and then sleeping in Travis’s bed for a month with the excuse being “a bet”
  • Encouraging Travis to beat shit out of guy in cafeteria. “Show him some manners,” and he beats a guy silly.

excreta, excreta…

Honestly, it scares the hell out of me that this book is praised, among others like Hopeless (Colleen Hoover) where a guy ignores your wishes and basically does whatever he wants. I feel like all the NA stuff I’ve read is chock full of these violent relationships that people love it and consider it romantic. I’m sure all the news stories where boyfriend murders girlfriend, those couples started out cute and sweet and then it turned into this book.

Travis even tells Abby that he’d end up in prison if he heard she slept with someone else. WARNING BELLS, heeelloooo. Why is it okay – because Travis is hot and “loves” her? 

Anddd then, they go get married at like 19 in Vegas, and he gets a tat with her name on it, whatever, but she gets one permanently and forever marking herself as “Mrs Maddox”, a wife and not an independent person.

These guys win the most dysfunctional couple award!

On another note, I can see why that butterfly on the cover is trapped in the jar, just like Abby and Travis are trapped with each other.

Leave a comment


  1. Love love your writing style. I noticed this book on a couple of bestsellers lists and intended to read it but something told me not to. Thank God. I hate stupid female characters or as I call them… Vaginas. And I hate how writers are allowed to make up a male character who is the prick to end all pricks, but it’s okay because you know, love does that to you and he’s hot. Great review. Ohhh and Troian Bellisario is on your banner-thing! You are officially awesome.

    • Thank you, and yes it seems to be a trend. I love when authors can make a bad boy who doesn’t end up being an abusive douchenugget. And thanks, I love Troian. I have way too much fun making banners, if you ever want one, let me know

  2. Your reviews always crack me up : ) I’m glad I read your review of this book because I was actually planning on reading this. Yikes! I’m gonna take this off of my to-reads list now…

    • Thank you! It makes me sad, it has such high ratings for a book that is essentially an abusive relationship. It had such promise and it was butchered around page 170


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