Friday, November 23, 2012

Chantelle's Review: Beautiful Disaster By Jamie McGuire

Title: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1)
Author: Jamie McGuire
Genre: Mature Young Adult

Goodreads rating: 4.20 out of 5.00 (57, 000+ ratings)
Goodreads link

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.

Review By Chantelle

Warning! This book is ADDICTIVE!

I stumbled across Beautiful Disaster with the help of Goodreads about a year ago, back when it had a rather intimidating cover featuring bright red lipstick and a tongue covered with tattoos. However, once I started this book, I couldn't stop until I had finished, never even mind that I had work that night! 
Beautiful Disaster was the first book I'd ever read, that I was so engrossed by that I immediately started reading a second time once I had finished. 

I must admit that the premise good girl meets bad boy, good girl resists bad boy, good girl catches the heart of said bad boy is hardly an original concept. 
However, Jamie McGuire manages to blend the perfect amounts of innocence, wit, humour, love and angst making it a stand-out addition to your chick-lit bookshelf.  There are plenty of authors that attempt this story line, and either feature characters that are almost caricatures of over done stereotypes, or plots that are so rushed, illogical or drawn out that it is impossible to stay invested and supportive of the main characters. I believe the success and addictive quality of BD comes from the fact that Abby and Travis follow the good girl, bad boy stereotype, but with an edge, so slightly left of centre which keeps the reader interested. 

Abby Abernathy is a college freshman who is trying to escape her past by starting anew as a "good girl". However the insight and skills that she has from her past is a double edged sword; at times her decisions are agonizing yet understandable, at other times you can't help but sit back and admire her game. 

Travis or should I say, "Travis fucking Maddox" is a protagonist that I can't help but swoon and root for every time I read BD, which may I add is a lot. The continual juxtaposition of his irrational, impulsive and occasionally destructive nature coupled with his sweet, gentle, impossibly considerate feelings around Abby made for a male lead impossible to resist.

Click me to read spoilers

“Make way! Move it, people! Lets make room for this poor woman's hideously disfigured, ginormous brain! She's a fucking genius!”

"Not like this," he whispered, brushing his lips across mine. "I want you, but not like this."

“To douchebags!" he said, gesturing to Brad. "And to girls that break your heart," he bowed his head to me. His eyes lost focus. "And to the absolute fucking horror of losing your best friend because you were stupid enough to fall in love with her.”

If you are part of the minority who dislikes a guy who is tough, overprotective, with a slight alpha complex, unfortunately BD is not for you. Most of the mixed reviews for this book are from those that refuse to see past the "controlling" aspect of Travis. Since reading this book a year ago, this book has been racing up the best-sellers charts and I couldn't be happier for Jamie McGuire who has now been picked up for a sequel by ATRIA publishing, whether a sequel in Travis' point of view is a good idea is yet to be seen. 

For readers that want a romance that is raw, intense, and sexy with the best kind of gut clenching, hand tingling angst, Beautiful Disaster is a must-read!

The common problem with this close to perfect chick-lit read however, lies in what to read afterwards. It is a legitimate problem whereby all other young adult reads just seem too dull after the highs and lows of BD. A simple google search will reveal many a forum that tries to tackle this issue. 
My top 3 picks for books to read after Beautiful Disaster are:

  1. Fifty Shades of Grey By E. L. James
    (No judging, this book for mature readers develops on those feelings of angst and sexual tension post BD)
  2. Slammed By Colleen Hoover
    (This poetic novel about unconventional love is fast paced and very well written, for the more literarily inclined)
  3. Flat-Out Love By Jessica Park
    (Another 'college' book, this book is lighter, incredibly witty with a male lead off the swoon charts to relieve the Travis addiction)

Overall: 10/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 2/5