Review & Giveaway: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Walking DisasterWalking Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Series: Beautiful #2
Published by: Atria Books on April 2, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 448
Source: NetGalley
Buy on AmazonGoodreads
Rating: ★★½

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!

Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire - All the heartbreak

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…

Giveaway

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Verdict

meh

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53 comments

  1. OMG, I am dumbfounded. And sad. I hate that you didn’t like this book. I actually agree with you on most things, and I mentioned them on my review I just posted, but they didn’t bother me as much as they bothered you. This book is more like an add-on and not a stand alone, but I still loved Travis’ POV. I too loved the Epilogue. Wow. I was shocked.

    I totally get what your saying. Everyone is going to see this book for what it is and either like it or hate it. It’s not your average book, that’s for sure. It cannot be read without reading Beautiful Disaster. But, for me, anytime I get more Travis and Abby, I am happy.

    Jennifer Bielman recently posted: ARC Review: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire
    1. I really wish these things didn’t bother me as much as they did… It makes me SO SAD!! Like… I feel like I’m doing something wrong in life by not loving this book! I mean, if someone hated Beautiful Disaster, it makes sense that they would hate this book. But I LOVED Beautiful Disaster so I’m supposed to love this too! UGH!

  2. Ah Sweetie! I’m so sad you didn’t enjpy it more.. I did like seeing Travis vulnerable side, but I felt sad about the lack of development. I had hoped we would get more of the story, maybe a few more sidestories and deeper development. But basically it was just that… Beautiful Disaster from Travis POV.

    Anyway, I am sure the other Maddox Brothers will break our heart in no time ๐Ÿ™‚

    DannyBookworm recently posted: On Demon Wings by Karina Halle
    1. Ohh I would love to read more McGuire books about the other Maddox brothers! What a fab idea! ๐Ÿ˜‰ *fingers crossed*

    1. So far I do feel like the odd one out. From the reviews I’ve seen, everyone who loved Beautiful Disaster loved this book too (except for me…). So hopefully the odds are in your favour!

  3. Well, I haven’t read Beautiful Disaster yet but I heard that Travis is a real bad ass in it ๐Ÿ˜‰ so I really looking forward to his reformation. I also curious about what actually made him the way he is in Beautiful Disaster ^^

  4. I’m looking forward to America and Sheply’s fight!!! (On Abby’s birthday) and the day that Travis buys the ring!!!

  5. Omg. This review is so not what I expected. But your description sounds like something that’s going to piss me off too when I finally read this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to read it, but honestly, I’m not looking forward to it quite so much anymore. argh…..

    Ashley Robertson recently posted: Crimson Series Update!!
  6. Wow. Thanks for a helpful review! I was planning on slipping WD at the top of my TBR but after reading your review, I hesitated and put it a little behind instead. But I’d still love to read it <3 looking forward to the epilogue..

  7. I haven’t read BEAUTIFUL DISASTER yet, but I was kind of leery of this when I heard about it. It felt like more of an addon than a standalone, but that’s just the impression I got from the info.

    BTW, not sure if this is happening for everyone, but in my reader (still Google Reader for the moment) your apostrophes come up as question marks.

  8. Yours is the first review I’ve seen for this book, and I have to say that I’m really disappointed that you weren’t feeling it. I loved Beautiful Disaster as well, and I was hoping for more of the same and also getting to know Travis better. Too bad! I still want to read it though.

  9. I find it so interesting that you liked the first book but did not care for this book. I just sort of assumed that if you liked the first book then you would like this book. Now i am so curious. I enjoyed Beautiful Disaster a lot. But found it hard to read. So i know i am super curious if i will enjoy this book. Thanks.

    1. That’s kind of what I assumed too. That’s why I thought I’d really love Walking Disaster! I do hope you enjoy it more than I did!

  10. I think I’m looking forward to reading about why and when Travis falls in love with Abby. I think it’s great that we get to see what happened from his point of view.

    I am also really excited to see what Ms.McGuire does for the other Travis brothers.

  11. Sorry you just didn’t enjoy this one. I was on the few that didn’t like Beautiful Disaster, but I thought about giving this one a try to see if I would maybe like Travis more and understand him and Abby. I think I will still pass on it. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

    1. Yeah I honestly think that if you didn’t like Beautiful Disaster then you wouldn’t like this one either! We don’t really get a huge amount of insight into Travis anyway. It’s mostly slight expansions on stuff we already knew/guessed.

  12. I still go back and forth on if I’ll ever read the first one. I think it’s going to take someone literally putting it in my hand and saying “read it.” I’ve just heard so many negative things. I’m a big believer in making up my own mind, but for every positive review of it, I’ve read ten negative reviews. So…IDK Ashley! I like the idea of seeing the story through Travis’s eyes, and he seems like the type of character I’d like, if I can understand him. Meh, so frustrating! *shakes head at self*

    Anyway, your review is perfectly fair and honest, so don’t stress over it!

    1. Thank you so much Molli! I totally know what you mean though. This series seems to be so hit or miss for people. If I hadn’t already read Beautiful Disaster then I’d be pretty afraid of reading it too, just because it’s hard to know for sure whether you’ll love it or hate it!

  13. Hey, weโ€™re review twins today! And our reviews are along the same lines. I was disappointed by WD and I actually ended up DNF-ing it. I wish it were the exact same story but told from Travisโ€™s POV but it wasnโ€™t. We missed the important parts from BD and got some other kind of random Travis scenes instead. I was confused at times too thinking: wait what about that one part? You definitely canโ€™t read this without reading BD first. I hated Abby in BD and hated her even more in this book. She was the reason I stopped reading. I just couldnโ€™t take her stupidness anymore. Once the Vegas scene came up I gave up. Great review!

    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted: DNF Review: Walking Disaster by Jaime McGuire!
    1. I just read your review and I totally loved it!! Even though it sucks we didn’t like the book, it’s kind of nice to find another person who felt the same way I did. I was afraid I’d be the weird oddball who loved book 1 but didn’t like book 2!

  14. Too bad this wasn’t as good as yo were expecting. I’ve seen mixed reviews and I ony found out recently that it was just the same book but in Travis’ POV. Maybe it’s why she concentrated more on his thoughts and perspective vs developing the story more. I haven’t read book 1 yet but I have it on my shelf waiting for me I’m so curious after all the polarizing reviews!

    1. I’d be really curious to see which side of the spectrum you fall on for Beautiful Disaster! It’s so hit or miss with people that I feel like I can never guess who will love it and who will hate it!

  15. Oh! I haven’t read this book yet, but I’m agree with you that in BD Travis was annoying, I think it was because the book is told from Abby’s point of view and I was always saying “you’re right, girl. Show him that you are worth of fighting for”. It’s just a guess. ๐Ÿ™‚
    P.S. Anyone loves the cover so much as I do?

  16. I haven’t read Walking Disaster yet… well, because it’s not out. But I LOVED beautiful disaster. I have seen other reviews for this book thought and it seems that people either love it or hate it!

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy it! I really hope I do. I just want to get in Travis’ head!

  17. I’m really bummed that we don’t get to learn too much about Travis because that’s EXACTLY what I wanted from Walking Disaster. I don’t really ~get him to be honest (although I still loved Beautiful Disaster), so it would have been nice to hear more of inner thoughts.

  18. So, I haven’t read Beautiful Disaster, but a friend of mine has been begging me to read it, and from what I’ve heard, Travis is a real hunk. So I’d be looking forward to his POV.

    Marianne Robles recently posted: Gone Girl
  19. i haven’t read walking disaster but for beautiful disaster i read,,and i love travis maddox,,,
    i wanna read coz I am looking forward to Travisโ€™ point of view

  20. Uh oh! I’m kinda afraid to read it now. I enjoyed BD, but I think I ended up only giving it like 3.5 stars in the end. It was kind of a love/hate relationship we had, BD and I. But the fact that there’s not much development kind of scares me away from this book. I still want to read it, because I want to be in Travis’s head…but I want to actually SEE the relationship, not just hear about it. Hmm.

    Jessi @ Auntie Spinelli Reads recently posted: I've moved to Wordpress!
  21. I really want to read more of Travis & Abby…so sad you didn’t love it! Hoping for good things from it!!

  22. I’m excited to get inside Travis’s head and see how he thinks. I’m a bit nervous though..Walking disaster has not been getting good reviews (or simply average reviews) from bloggers. I will still read it though!

  23. I loved “Beautiful Disaster” so I can’t wait to hear it from Travis’ point of view. I hope “Beautiful Disaster” gets made into a movie. I’d be the first in line to see it!

    mestith at gmail dot com

  24. Before I read the book I was looking forward to more Travis time but mostly I was really excited to read the ending because Jamie had said that we’re going to see a fraction of Abby and Travis’ future.
    Now that I’ve already read it and time has passed after the original euphoria that came immediately after finishing the book I start to see things that could have been done differently but I still love the story so I’m not going to change my review.
    Thanks for the great giveaway!

    Marti @ The Story Behind the Book Cover recently posted: New Adult Review: Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2) by Jamie McGuire
  25. This one’s not been getting all that much love, especially from people like you and me who actually really enjoyed the first one. I’m scared to read this one just because people keep telling me it’s a letdown but I also want to read this really great epilogue so I might just get it from my local library. Either way, I have to say I’m not in a real big rush to go read it.
    Lily @ lilysbookblog

  26. I’m sorry to hear that you weren’t crazy about the book ๐Ÿ™ I’m really excited for more Travis (been waiting to read this book like forever) but at the same time, I’m trying not set myself up for disappointment by expecting too much. I know for sure that I love Travis (Happy Birthday, my love!) and I would like to read his thoughts and feel his emotional struggles. I’m pretty certain I’m going to love the book (ALOT!) but I’m going to read with an open-mind nonetheless ๐Ÿ™‚ Haha, I’m guessing it’s going to be pretty biased, but it really can’t be helped! I’m crazy about Travis Maddox!!! Thanks for sharing your honest opinion and for this giveaway!

    Tess xx

    tess_halim(at)hotmail(dot)com

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