Series: Beautiful #2
Published by: Atria Books on April 2, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
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Finally, the highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster. Can you love someone too much?
Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.
In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.
Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it's time to see the story through Travis's eyes.
This is a hard and surprising review for me to write. Before I begin, I feel like I need to make a couple things clear just so you know where I’m coming from. For starters, I absolutely adored Beautiful Disaster. That’s why I thought I would love Walking Disaster so much… but I didn’t. And secondly, I really struggled with how to rate this book. For the most part, I didn’t exactly hate it.. Ultimately, I felt extremely indifferent to Walking Disaster, but there were one or two times when I was really frustrated or pissed off. At the end of the day, I just feel like I’m doing something wrong by not loving this book. If you hated Beautiful Disaster then I totally understand why you might hate Walking Disaster. But I loved Beautiful Disaster so why didn’t I love this??? UGH!!
The biggest problem for me was the lack of development in this book. I felt like Walking Disaster had so much telling. On the other hand, Beautiful Disaster was so full of emotion and really fleshed out the relationship between Abby and Travis (for better or for worse—I loved it but I know some people hated it). We got a good balance between Abby’s internal dialogue/thoughts, and the actual relationship/plot. But in Walking Disaster I felt like it was 98% Travis’ thoughts and 2% relationship development. From the get-go, we just saw so little of Abby. Travis would say “We went there, we did this, we did that,” but we never actually saw these moments. I feel like I can count Abby’s speaking lines on one hand. From the very beginning I was just like, “Why is Abby not speaking? Where is her dialogue?” I swear, it barely existed. And because we saw so little of Abby, I didn’t understand why Travis fell in love with her… Travis would say stuff like “I know Abby so well, I know her smile and her favourite foods and her little quirks,” but as a reader I didn’t know any of those things because I never actually saw them! The connection wasn’t there at all, and therefore I didn’t feel it or see it myself.
Building on this point, I definitely don’t feel like Walking Disaster is a standalone book, and I didn’t like that. I literally wanted it to be Beautiful Disaster all over again, but from Travis’ point of view… but McGuire grazes over so many big plot points. They just aren’t as fleshed out in Walking Disaster as they are in Beautiful Disaster. I feel like if you were to read this book before Beautiful Disaster then you will be lost and confused—so I don’t recommend it!
Another thing that annoyed me was Abby. In Beautiful Disaster Travis was the annoying one. I still enjoyed the book, so obviously it didn’t bother me that much, but there were times when Travis bugged me. But in Walking Disaster it was Abby who really got under my skin, and I kind of didn’t expect or like this… Obviously, since I’ve read Beautiful Disaster I knew why Abby was doing the things she did, but that didn’t make it any easier for me to handle. For example, I hated how she kept leaving Travis. I get that she was frustrated with him, but I hated how she was NEVER upfront with him. She wouldn’t say, “I didn’t like how you did this, please don’t do it again.” She would just put on a pretend smile, say she was going to “BRB”, then pack her bags and bail on him with the intention of leaving him forever… I just hate that kind of lack of communication! UGH!
I also don’t really feel like I learned that much about Travis. Maybe that’s a problem with books like this in general (the same book from a different character’s point of view).. but ultimately I felt like everything I learned was stuff I already knew from Beautiful Disaster. I knew that Travis wasn’t really a bad guy; he was just damaged and didn’t always see the right thing clearly. And that’s basically what we get from him. On the bright side, we do learn a bit more about his family relationships—especially with his deceased mom—but that only really played a role at the beginning and maybe a bit at the end. It wasn’t as involved in the middle.
One thing I did really like was the epilogue. McGuire really built on it and expanded it so much further than in we saw in Beautiful Disaster. I didn’t expect this at all! She really gives us more insight into how Abby and Travis’ relationship develop years in the future.
So at the end of the day… I don’t know. I’m just so full of uncertainty and that annoys me. Is my 2.5 rating fair? Is it “right”? I honestly have no idea. I don’t even really know where my opinions are. I didn’t hate sitting through this book, but I didn’t enjoy it a fraction as much as I enjoyed Beautiful Disaster, which got five stars. Sigh…
I may not have been totally crazy about this book, but I know so many people are looking forward to reading it (like I was). So, I’d like to give away a copy of the book to one lucky winner! This is open internationally and the winner may choose a physical copy from The Book Depository or a Kindle copy from Amazon.