Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful DisasterBeautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Series: Beautiful #1
Published by: Atria Books on August 14, 2012
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 432
Source: NetGalley
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★★★★

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.

Guys. I feel like I have read every amazing book on the planet this year. But this one.. this one tops the list.

I was terrified going into Beautiful Disaster. I don’t know why I got so worked up over it, but I did. I was scared because Beautiful Disaster seems to be a “love it” or “hate it” kind of book.. and I so badly wanted to love it. All my worries ended on the very first page. I was totally hooked. I was in love.

I barely even know how to describe my reading experience. The physical experience was every bit as valuable as the story. I spent one entire day reading this book in extremely awkward positions (including laying on the floor with my feet up in the air on a, I took this book with me to the bathroom because I couldn’t possibly part with it, and I quoted every other line to my amazingly tolerant boyfriend. I laughed, I giggled insanely, and most importantly, I cried like a little girl. I think my eyes were in tears the entire last quarter of the book. I went from sad, to desperate, to happy, to insanely happy, and back to sad when the book ended and I had no more amazingness to read.

Jamie McGuire is a freakin’ genius. I’m usually very picky about my bad boys, but Jamie set up Beautiful Disaster perfectly so that I would fall head over heels for Travis. Normally in stories like this there’s the asshole bad boy and then there’s the nice guy, and I always fall for the nice guy. Not this time! Travis had a great mix of bad boy jerk and sweet, sensitive, affectionate man. That way, when compared to Parker, Parker just looked like the boring, “safe” option, and Travis looked like the passionate, head over heels, to die for option.

I think a lot of people don’t like this book because they look at Travis and they see a troubled guy who’s a bit of an asshole and objectifies women. That’s why I was scared going into this book, because I normally hate that kind of thing. But when I looked at Travis, I saw so much more than that. In the first scene he has a bimbo on his lap, but as soon as she insults his friend, he’s like “Get the fuck out. Now.” I knew right then and there that I would like Travis. He may have flaws but he is loyal. He’s not a jackass. He loves his friends, he sticks up for them, and he’ll go the lengths of the world for them. His relationship with Abby isn’t perfect, but my god, it is passionate. I honestly think the title for this book is so perfect, because their relationship was absolutely beautiful.. but it was also a disaster. It was a little dysfunctional, and a little crazy, and there were definitely highs and lows. But that’s what made this book an absolute delight of a roller coaster. When things were going badly, I was desperately clinging onto every page, waiting for things to get better again. I rarely get that invested in books, but I literally felt like my life would end if Travis and Abby couldn’t make their relationship work.

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire: I was his exception and he was mine

Even the side characters were amazing and so full of life! America.. how I LOVED LOVED LOOOVED America! She is like the best friend I never had and always wanted. She’s so fiercely loyal and always siding with Abby and always supporting her no matter what. I love how they always run to each others’ sides when things get tough.

My only ‘problems’ with the book are two small things:

The blurb isn’t exactly accurate. It says, “The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear..” Abby isn’t as much of a “good girl” as the blurb implies. It clearly says, “She doesn’t drink or swear,” but Abby actually does drink and she has a fake ID. So if Abby is a “good girl” who has a fake ID and goes to clubs and drinks, what the heck am I? 😛 I don’t drink, I never had a fake ID, and I don’t go clubbing. I must be the virgin mary! I know that there is a big back story behind this, but I felt like there was never a point in the book where Abby was a good girl. Yes she was trying to start over with a new slate, but she was never ever innocent and never turned down a drink.

The other thing isn’t really a problem with the book, it’s just something that kept making me laugh. Travis always calls Abby “Pigeon” or “Pidge,” and I could never keep a straight face. Lady and the Tramp, anyone? The Tramps calls Lady “Pidge” ALL THE TIME! I just couldn’t help but think of those cartoon characters every time Travis said it! I immediately messaged my boyfriend and instructed him NOT to call me Pigeon. He pouted and asked if he could call me Archimedes instead.

Team Fortress 2: Archimedes

Team Fortress 2: Archimedes

Archimedes is a miscellaneous item for the Medic. It is the Medic’s white dove splattered in blood, as seen in Meet the Medic. It sits on the shoulder of the Medic just like Demoman’s Bird-Man of Aberdeen. On BLU Archimedes does not have blood splatters. This item is awarded in genuine quality to those who purchase the real life version from the Valve store.

The Official TF2 Wiki

I said yes. I love my boyfriend to bits.

I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface with this review. This book really shook me to my very core. Do you ever feel silly when you yell at characters in a movie for making a mistake? Because obviously they can’t “hear” you and nothing you say will change the movie. But when I was reading this book I was yelling at the characters and wishing like crazy that things would work out.. despite the fact that obviously my yelling and wishing wouldn’t do any good. But that’s how much I fell in love with this book and that’s how much it affected me. I know my boyfriend will vouch for all the times I pasted him quotes from the book over Skype, and my mom laughed at me for shrieking in delight over the exciting parts and for screaming, “I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!”

There is no doubt in my mind.. this is the best book I have read this year. Period. This is one of my all time favourite books. Danny: I first heard about Beautiful Disaster when I read your Bewitched Bookworms review. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I’m so incredibly thrilled that I discovered this book and I have you to thank! I feel sorry for whichever book I read next, because there’s just no way it will top this one.

I can’t think of a single guy I know that’s good enough for you.

Your skin was three inches from my face, and you’re beautiful, and you smell fucking awesome when you sweat. I kissed you! I’m sorry!

You’re all I think about. You’re all I dream about. You’re all I want.

I was his exception, and as much as I had tried to fight my feelings, he was mine.

The Verdict


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  1. Holy fucking Awesome! (sorry for swearing..) Your review nailed it my friend!!! Seriously, I think you remember how incredible excited I was about this book, like…. I couldn’t get enough, I couldn’t praise it enough and I was freaking sad wehen the book was over!

    Just like you, this book was all I could think about for days! I had to part with it because I actually needed to work and I had to think about Abby and Travis ALL DAY long !

    Gosh how I love this book!
    I want this feeling back!
    I want to read it again for the first time !

    And. I freaking LOVE your review — The End!

    DannyBookworm recently posted: The Dark Light by Sara Walsh – Review
    1. Oh Danny! Thank you so freakin’ much for introducing me to Beautiful Disaster! I feel like my life is so much better with this book in it LOL! I want to read it again too! I keep trying to start new books but all I can think about is Abby… Travis.. Abby.. Travis.. America! I want them all back in my life!!

  2. I know the feeling this book brought on because I felt the exact same way web I finished reading Under the Never Sky! But I have heard some extremely disconcerting things about THIS book, and I don’t know if I would want to give it a shot, especially after Jamie McGuire decided basically spark the whole review vs. author war (not that I care much, but… that kind of behavior towards receivers of your livelihood is TACKY, and rude). But boy I tell ya, if I didn’t have this knowledge already, I’d prolly give it a shot based solely off this review. 😛

    Also, I’m just now catching up with this “new adult” genre, and my tastes definitely align much better with what it seems to entail as opposed to young adult. Cool!

    Sierra recently posted: The Reel Radar | 1
    1. Well as for the book itself, it’s pretty controversial. I think the main ‘problem’ is that Travis is a bad boy. Before Abby comes along, that’s who he is. He’s very laid back, is all about the one night stands, does some crazy illegal underground fighting stuff, and so on. So when he suddenly wants a relationship with Abby, he doesn’t perfectly fall into the “boyfriend” role. He’s not perfect, their relationship isn’t perfect, things fuck up a lot, and so on. Some people just see Travis as being an asshole when he makes a mistake, but other people see him as a guy who’s trying to change and isn’t doing it perfectly but is still making an effort. The point of this book is that it’s not a perfect relationship (hence “Beautiful Disaster”), but that’s why it tends to be a “love it” or “hate it” kind of book! The imperfections aren’t for everyone.

      As for the author drama, I am seriously sooo out of the loop! I can’t keep up with all this drama stuff so I literally just know nothing about it. Is there a super quick version you could fill me in on??

      I’m also totally loving the New Adult genre! Like, where has it been all my life?!?!

      1. As far as people not taking a liking to Travis, I don’t think it’s because he’s a “bad boy,” I think it aligns more with the fact that he is an “abusive boy.” :\ I’ve seen examples from the text itself and I really have to say that I agree. I have a friend who is going through something like that and it is not healthy. Nor is it beautiful. Yes, there are imperfect relationships out there, and, yes, there are people out there who try and get it right but just don’t. But when someone becomes overbearing and possessive and *abusive* in their attempts to “get it right,” that’s of course where you draw the line.

        I mean, you said it yourself in the review, whenever he has some chick in his lap and she insults his friend, he immediately tells her off. Sure, he’s loyal to his friends. Any guy is. That’s no great feat. It’s the ability to divide loyalty, or transition it altogether, that promotes goodness in men towards women in general–and, eventually, their own woman.

        But I’m not here to debate that point. 😛

        Anyway, as far as McGuire’s dirty behavior goes, check out these two links:
        Pretty much gives the most thorough rundown of the thing that exists on the internet. They’re very informative and (mostly) objective heehee.

        The only reason I know is because I stalk Goodreads. Religiously haha. And sworn off authors were, a while back there, constantly popping up on the radar of some of my friends there. S’all. It’s good to know, though! See what McGuire thinks of you, as a reviewer, and then you, as someone who loved her book, then reconcile. Decide for yourself, of course. :]

        Sierra recently posted: The Reel Radar | 1
        1. I can see where you’re coming from since that’s really how I felt about Fifty Shades of Grey and a bit of Twilight. I guess you’d think I’d feel the same way about Beautiful Disaster, but for some reason it struck a totally different chord with me. Who knows why!

          I do completely understand and respect your opinion though. I can see where you’re coming from.

          Thanks for providing those links! It kind of sucks that Photobucket seems to be having major issues right now so a lot of the images aren’t working. 🙁 So I might check back a bit later though. But I read a little bit and sheesh! All this drama makes my head spin!

    1. Oh Jennifer I’d looove to see what you think of this book! I hope you read it so I can see what you think!

  3. This just got bumped up on my TBR. I’ve been eye-ballin it’s badass cover for quite sometime now. I’ve seen the mixed reviews which kept me a bit hesitant. Love your review. Hopefully this book doesn’t invade my potty breaks LOL

    1. That’s exactly how I was Ashley! I saw Danny’s review (first commenter) and she totally RAVED about it so I was so excited! But then before I got a chance to read it, negative reviews started popping up.. and I mean really negative.. like 1 or 2 stars. So then I got scared and put off reading it for week! Wow, worst mistake I ever made!

      If you do read Beautiful Disaster I REALLY hope you love it!! But I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you that it doesn’t invade your potty breaks 😀 *Giggle*

    1. I’m so, so, sooo glad you’re loving it!!! Squee!! It’s amazing, isn’t it? And I’m just dying to get inside Travis’ head! I think Walking Disaster should probably be up on NetGalley in the next few weeks!

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