Saturday, December 29, 2012

Nara's Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Title: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1)
Author: Jamie McGuire
Genre: Young Adult, Chick-lit


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 gloating 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 Nara

I began reading Beautiful Disaster after a glowing recommendation by Chantelle. From the start I had very high expectations for this book. Perhaps too high. I have read this book twice now. The first time I read it (in Dec 2011), I was not impressed.

I came upon cliche after cliche after cliche. The plot was average, the execution clumsy. In fact, I almost gave up halfway through, and I realise that I was probably bored with it and skimmed it completely, seeing as though I can hardly remember anything that happened in the second half of the book (yep it was just that memorable). This year, I was encouraged to read it again, so I did, but for some reason the more I read on the more annoying the book became. Basically, the problems I had with this book can be summed up with two words: 1. Abby and 2. Travis.

Abby was just really annoying. She was the typical "good girl" that you see in these bad boy meets good girl books: virginal, naive, and somewhat uptight about bad boys and the like. Now, I have nothing against these types of characters. What annoyed me about Abby was that she was incredibly moronic. Abby apparently hates Travis at the start of the book. Then why they hell is she getting on the back of his bike, sleeping in his bed and not really protesting when America insists that she stays in Travis' apartment because the hot water is broken? ARE YOU FREAKING STUPID?! Why don't you borrow someone else's shower, and stay at home??

In addition, I am slightly confused as to why Abby didn't know about Travis before the fight. I mean, they SHARE A CLASS. Wouldn't you normally notice the hot guy being fawned over by half the class? The only conclusion (other than continuity issues by the author, but of course, it can't possibly be that *cough cough*) is that Abby must have been very unobservant prior to the beginning of the novel.

And let me share with you this beautiful quotation to illustrate how great a character Abby is:
The night moisturizer Travis had brought caught my eye, and I couldn't help but smile. He was thoughtful, and almost nice when he wanted to be.
Hate to break it to you Abby, but this was after he WALKED IN ON YOU WHILE YOU WERE SHOWERING and REFUSED TO LEAVE WHEN YOU TOLD HIM TO GET OUT.

This nicely sums up my feelings regarding Abby:

Firstly, Travis' fighting name: Travis "Mad Dog" Maddox? Really??

Secondly, Pigeon? I really don't think that it would be that flattering to be called by the name of a species of bird which are regarded as the rats of the sky. But whatever, what do I know, maybe Abby would equally as enjoy being called Rat.

I find it difficult to believe that Travis can be so incredibly good at fighting (has never lost before) without having practiced. Childhood abuse really doesn't seem sufficient a reason for his skill. For example, if I played tennis really well as a kid, but then didn't practice at all when I got older, do you think that I would win a grand slam? Unlikely. I also find it hard to believe that he gets near perfect grades without really studying at all (that we see) or even concentrating in lectures.

"First of all...I have standards. I've never been with an ugly woman. Ever." 
Well, good for you, Mr Maddox, because that makes it so much better that you have a different woman on your couch every day. Woe betide those of us who think that "standards" includes factors other than physical appearance. Also, just thinking in terms of logistics, if he basically never sleeps with the same person twice (being the "Walking One-Night Stand"), and he only accepts beautiful women, wouldn't he eventually run out of people to sleep with? (assuming he only sleeps with people integrated into the college community)

Travis is also overly violent. He really goes beyond being overprotective. He threatens/beats up almost every guy Abby even talks to. He also makes statements such as this:
"If you sleep with him, I don't wanna know about it. I'll go to prison for a long time if I find out he...just don't tell me."

All I can say about Beautiful Disaster is that I really don't understand all the hype.

Similar Books:
1. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
2. Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens
3. Double Clutch by Liz Reinhardt

Hated it

Overall: 2/10
Plot: 1/5
Writing: 2/5
Characters: 1/5
Cover: 2/5