The new 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 needs—and wants—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.
©2011 Jamie McGuire (P)2012 Simon & Schuster
"Beautiful Disaster is insanely addictive. Beautifully sexy, beautifully intense, and beautifully perfect. Jamie McGuire has written a damn good book." (Jessica Park, author of the New York Times best seller Flat-Out Love)
Avid reader and listener. Especially (but not just) urban fantasy and romance
For the sake of transparency (so you know what your spending your credit on) I lined up 5 things I think you should know before you buy this book.
1. The main character Abby Abernathy (nicknamed 'Pigeon' by her love interest Travis 'Mad Dog' Maddox) is eighteen going on nineteen. She's just started out college with her best friend America (Mer).
2. The story is set in college but the dynamics between the students (and also between the main characters) seems more like high school. In other words: it's juvenile. If you're not a (very) young adult, you might end up rolling your eyes even more than Abby Abernathy does.
3. Travis Maddox has a temper (he's quite volatile) and is physically violent. Not against his 'Pigeon' or their friends, mind you. But pretty much against everyone else. Blood splatters quite often in this book.
4. Spoiler alert!: Somewhere past midway the book takes a turn and the cast goes to Vegas.
5. I should have stopped at the Vegas turn, but really I can't not mention this:
Travis, the hero, sports tribal art tattoo's.
And later he adds a new tattoo that declares his love for 'Pigeon'. In Hebrew.
I'm not saying anything else. Zip.
I didn't hate it. This novel is quite entertaining at times. But the storyline is all over the place (see 4) and overall it's very, very young adult.
If you read all of the above and you're curious. Go ahead. Buy it. I dare you. Just don't say I didn't warn you!
Much of the subtext of this book was foreign to me. My college experience was nothing like this. I am not familiar with illegal fight clubs, know very little about professional poker and the thought of getting a tattoo makes me queasy. But at its heart, this is the story of two immature kids, both raised in very dysfunctional families who become obsessed with each other and their final act, designed to give the book a HEA ending, ultimately seals their fate.
If this was nonfiction, even if the book ended exactly the same, everyone would know that the fate of the two protagonist would not, could not, end up well.
I believe that two people can fall in love at a very young age and remain in love the rest of their lives. But not these two. The mini-explosions throughout the book tell the reader that this relationship can't end well.
If the book were really well written, it could go part way towards making it an enjoyable book. But it isn't particularly well written. And the contrast between the sophistication we are told these two possess - her ability to walk into a Vegas casino and take on a table of hardened professional poker players then stare down a crime boss without blinking an eye and his ability to somehow calmly and methodically overcome all of his fight opponents, even those that are bigger and badder - and the immaturity they continually exhibit are impossible to reconcile. How much simpler it would have been if she told him why he scared her so much rather than sneak away from him and then hide out while he made a fool of himself. And how could you believe someone who was so controlled in the fight ring, would regularly trash his apartment, and throw temper tantrums in public. It is as if there were 4 main characters instead of two and the author kept confusing them with each other.
I did enjoy the narration. I will listen to more books by this narrator.
I read a lot of positive reviews of this book. I realized it was a little YA for my usual taste. And I admit part of my dislike of the book came from my inability to relate to the characters and their point in life. But the reviews gave me hope. I hoped the characters would have been far more consistently developed and that even if young, since they were old enough to star in a romantic yet troubled love story, they would at least be somewhat mature. I hoped the conflict and tragedy would be genuine and not contrived.
I was disappointed.
The 2 star struck lovers from dysfunctional families working their way through the baggage of the past. This book had the potential to be good, but it was not to be. Definitely a YA book written at a 6th grade reading level.
i'm very surprised at the high reviews for this book. I've listened to 100's of Audible books over the years and this is only the 2nd one I couldn't finish. I listened to 1/2 of it, enough to really give it a chance, but it was so absolutely juvenile and outright annoying I had to stop.
Teen angst is one thing, but really, is it like this now a days? America, one of the characters, is angry at her boyfriend because he was worried the main girl would get alcohol poisoning and wanted her to stop taking shots during a game. He was concerned about a girl drinking too much, so his girlfriend (who is also best friends with the girl drinking) gets mad at him and HE has to apologize?
The main character likes a girl, gets angry at something she says, so he sleeps with two girls (at the same time) downstairs so she can hear him? Really?
And it goes on and on and on...there are so many high school "games" in this, supposed, college book that I just had to stop.
I am a book junkie...I read and enjoy a variety of stories, so please don't "define me" by one book or review! :)
I loved this book, and was totally drawn in by the story of Travis and Abby. I found it to be pretty well written, avoiding the trappings of too much cliche or repetition. It had me hooked, wanting to keep listening for what happened next. I really liked the characters, they were not shallow and the writing served them well in bringing out their depth and complexities. This story certainly had it's share of angst and that exquisite drama unique to the passion found between two young people. Kudos to the author for avoiding crossing that line into unfortunate melodrama that is not empathetic or convincing, as that would be very easy with this type of story. Emma Galvin's narration is amazing as always, and only makes this story more addicting and "real".
This book is a 3.5 stars for me. I enjoyed it, but it isn't a book that I would return to over and over again like Slammed.
Abigail Abernathy was a young girl who went to a far away College (from Kansas) to get a new lease on life. She wanted to forget her past and reinvent herself in the new environment. She gets drawn into a friendship/relationship with the campus bad boy Travis Maddox. I don't know if I really think Travis is a bad boy, but he engages in underground fights to pay for schooling. He is academically smart, but a shameless womanizer. Abby's best friend America,is a relationship with Shep, Travis's best friend and cousin. So of course those two will get thrown together often. Abby is determined not to be one of the notches on Travis' belt, and she is very vocal about it. She begins dating a nice boy named Parker, but there is some magnetic pull to Travis. So Abby is stuck with a decision, should she be with the guy that appears great by society's standards or should she be with the guy who makes her feel comfortable enough to be herself at times?
Abby's answer was rooted in her past, and she had difficulty with her past so Abby made the choice to avoid the guy that resembled her past lifestyle---a decision that caused confusion and hurt to almost everyone involved with Abby.
The writing was a tad predictable and a tad unrealistic at places for instance Abby's venture to Vegas. Many of Travis' fights, but I still enjoyed the story. One of the things that I loved about Abby was that she wasn't that naive heroine who was attracted to danger and had to sneak out to meet bad boy over mommy and daddy's objections. Abby knew who and what Travis was, and wasn't really fazed. I also disliked the exact same thing about Abby because she should not have made so many bad decisions because she wasn't a naive, sheltered little girl. She had real life experiences so some of her rookie mistakes were unbelievable to me. She was very clear and communicative...except for when it counted the most.
Abby was the real enigma in this story and she didn't achieve peace and contentment until she made peace with herself and truly shared herself with her friends. That freedom allowed her to pursue her heart's desire and that was fun to watch.
The writing style was easy to follow, it wasn't emotionally charged to me, so I was entertained. I just wasn't blown away by the prose or the plot itself. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy that bad-boy-saved-by-the-love-of-a-good-girl stories. But not for those readers who want more mature love/relationships.
I love Audible! Being a full time wife, mother, and career leaves no time to actually read. Audio books give me my fix anytime and anywhere.
Unpredictable, Engrossing, Endearing. and Sensational!
Oops I broke the ruie on this but just couldn't stop at three...sorry
The puppy....I don't want to give anything a way but out of all the emotional upheavals in this book, that seen made me cry...only thing that beats diamonds is a puppy!
I really liked this narrator! Rather than finding a different voice for every character, which can strain and make some of them sound really strange, she changes her voice by mere octives so still making everyone sound distinct yet normal. Then her normal narration voice actually sound like a 19yr. old girl
I'm sure most people would say Travis, but if he existed I know he'd ignore me all together since he only has eyes for his Pigeon. I would say America...her character had me laughing through out the novel and often truely reminded me of my own best girlfriends! I think her and I would have a blast!
The best and most important part of this novel for was how REAL it could be! There are some unlikely situations...but why else do you read romance novels? And at times wished that there could be more elaboration on some details, but not much at all! I often get frustrated with fictional characters for the dialogue or situations they put themselves in because its way to far off from reality, but in Beautiful Disaster I related so much! I am 25, which is beyond the life experience of these characters, but isn't far from my memory or my age group. THIS is how young adults talk. THIS is how they really react. THIS is how they take on adult situations and stumble through because they didn't understand what had to be invested. Travis is certainly flawed but TRUST ME that guy exists, unlike Christian Grey or Edward Cullen (just to name a couple). I myself have been in the situation Abby faced with trying to reserve herself in order to preserve a good thing, so I could understand where she was with every decision/non-descision made. I think any girl could, really. Bottom line, there is a quality to each one of these characters that I think anyone could relate to which made this book so amazing! You won't want it to end, and wish you knew these characters so you can be sure they do OK once the audio is finished
Busy mom who loves to read but doesn't always have the time. I enjoy YA, Romance and the occasional Best Seller.
Even though I am not a "young adult" I do enjoy YA books....Hunger Games, Mortal Instruments, Daughter of Smoke and bones, The Selection and the list goes on.
At the start I was really pulled into the story and I really cared about the main characters. (yes there is a bunch of teen drama, but nothing that really bothered me) I love romance and HEA and I was really looking forward to another great YA read.
Unfortunately, after the first 1/2 of the book I was asking myself "where is this story going to go?" How much more "drama" could go on with these characters??? Apparently much more! So much more that it became seriously depressing! (and unbelievable) The main couple is so dysfunctional that I almost hoped there would be no HEA and everyone would end up in therapy.
Abby Abernathy, quintessential good girl meets and is challenged by quintessential Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand and bad boy Travis Maddox. And then the fun and heartache begins.
This is one of my top favorite books of all time! LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT!
I really enjoy the world of books! Narration just add layers to that world... don't u think? :)
What a freakin amazing story! Travis freakin Maddox! What!
Ok. Now that is over... I totally think Travis character made this book. I have never seen the bad boy done this way. The bad boy is either completely bad or secretly bad, not a popular, campus hot boy jock, but an inner demon sadistic crazy fighting streak. Travis is such a hidden emotional character but you don't actually realize this until later on in the story, and when you do, it's like WHAM! McGuire really did an awesome job in developing Travis Maddox.
Pige... or Pigeon or Abby is running away from an ex-famous gambling daddy and it that ruff life and starting over in college and meets Travis. One thing leads to another and they become friends but as you know, this is a love story... they fall in love. They are totally wrong for each other but totally right for each other. They bring their best friends along for their tor relationship. It’s just soo emotionally. I think I actually got teary there a bit...
This was my first time listening to Emma. She kinda reminded me of Madeline Maby a bit with her whimsical style of reading the female characters. That I don't give a crap, independent attitude she brings to female characters is really good and is something Maby is known for, and Emma had that in this book with Pigeon and America ( Pige’s best friend).
This book was a total buy on a whim, but so glad I did. I am totally on a romantic novel kick right now. I would buy and credit this.
"Really not my thing"
For readers of the Twilight series. Ok, that might be slightly unfair but not by much. Abbey is a much more feisty character than Bella (who is not?), but still. Stereotypical descriptions of relationships and some quite stalkerish behaviour, admittedly acknowledged by Travis. I didn't enjoy the unreal "conflicts" which are set up between the main characters to keep the suspense, the "will they/won't they", going.
"Angst, tears, romance, shock and joy it's all here"
I read this book on my kindle after seeing a recommendation on a website. I was so blown away I read it all night, but couldn't get the characters out of my head. I'd heard of Audible and it occurred to me to see if it was on the site. Wow was I relieved to find it. The audiobook version is amazing it adds further dimension to the characters without ruining your own vision of novel. This book is like a car crash waiting to happen, it's unbearable. It's so cleverly written you find yourself having sympathy for a character, Travis who has some very big personal issues he needs to resolve. Abbey is the good girl with a secret you'll never guess. Her story has a massive impact on their troubled relationship and she is totally frustrating in some of her choices, but never a victim. In fact she controls everything that happens from the start to the finish.
Travis fights with his fists and protects himself by being emotionally detached, when Abbey sees more than a thug in him their problems begin.
This audiobook is read beautifully, with true insight of the characters actions and feelings. It's an emotional journey where you'll laugh, cry, sigh and wince at the situations Jamie McGuire has created. It's a total suspension of reality but wouldn't it great if your dreams could come true?
Great story, fabulous narration and a thoroughly fantastic experience.
"Strong Love Story"
The emotional strength of Travis when Abby (Pige) is running him round in circles.
The scenes involving Travis's family - real depth of emotion. Abby can see herself being part of a real family
I could not listen to this book at one sitting - for one - it's too long and two - some of the emotions are so strong I took a break and came back to continue a hour or so later
I am glad I tried it and will read it again - don't know if I will bother buying any more love stories they are not my preferred genre
"Bad boy love story that's excellent"
Yes, it's so gripping wanting so bad for them to get together but not knowing if it'll happen
Had to be Travis. Broken but wanting to be loved
Don't want to give it away but the moment he brought two girls home!
"Beautiful, heart warming, endearing"
Such a sweet story. Wouldn't it be great if there were more men in the world like Travis Maddox? He's frustrating, adorable, gentle, aggressive... How can you not love him and want one for yourself?
It is a standard boy meets girl with various obstacles to their happily ever after story but the characters are endearing and the quality of the writing is above average.
Of the two, I preferred Travis. Pigeon is a bit much, really. Besides, how cute is his nickname for her?
The narrator is above average. Overall, it's an above average audiobook.
You need to read this one before Walking Disaster for it to make sense.
I usually do not listen to audiobooks again, but I am certainly going to listen to Travis' point of view in "Walking disaster" as I loved the story so much. The story is well-written and does not progress too slow or too fast.
Both Travis and Abby were my favorite character; they are impulsive, vibrant, young and surprising. I liked the way Abby grew in the book.
The book is full of bloodcurling scenes, which makes it very addictive to listen to and difficult to tear yourself away from listening.
Yes! I did not want to stop listening. I even skipped my work duties to listen to the last hour and a half.
I really really loved this book!
Basically a load of soppy claptrap, only suitable for those who thought 50 Shades was a good read, but without the soft porn. I am in a generous mood so have given it 2 stars as think that some teenage girls will love it but definitely not for the more mature and discerning audiences.
"Romance with an edge"
Good story. I loved the main man Travis - flawed but exciting. Abbi could have done with a shake but I still liked her.
Well worth a listen to.
"Couldn't stop listening..!!"
WOW - this book is absolutely fantastic; I simply could not stop listening...!! The story is brilliant and the characters are enchanting. Sometimes I found myself wanting to shout at Abby, but the 'will they, won't they' tale of the book was so compelling, I couldn’t turn off! I fell in love with Travis.....I wish I was someone’s Pigeon!! I immediately downloaded Walking Disaster, and although it the same story, it just as captivating!
"love it and cant stop listening"
this is great listening, obviously it is a romantic mushy book but well written and inthrallingly read
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