Jan 15, 2013

Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Title: Beautiful Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: 5.26.2012
Pages: 437
Genre: New Adult
Series: Yes (Beautiful Disaster #1)
Source: Purchased ebook

Rating: C-

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

Beautiful Disaster is the latest read in my sudden infatuation with the new adult genre. A few friends recommended this book by Jamie McGuire, and I will admit I waffled a bit about buying this one because of the drama/controversy surrounding it in the past and the varying reviews. It’s one of those love or hate books, and I have to say I fall somewhere in the middle.

I can see where McGuire was going with this, but I feel like the execution of the plot was lacking here, and I honestly believe that’s something an editor or agent could clean up. There is great potential in this story, but something need to be scaled back. There’s a term tossed around in fiction called “Mary Sue.” Mary Sue is a character where everything bad happens to this character, but she’s still the hero. She’s flawed, beautiful to everyone but herself, and is often put in a multitude of perilous situations. I felt like this was Abby all the time.

A lot of people criticized the way Travis acted in this, but Abby was just as bad, in my opinion. Not that that’s saying much because Travis has more issues than Congress. They were both horribly dysfunctional, and while I can appreciate them being a beautiful disaster, they were more of a trainwreck. Both were immature and petty.

There honestly is a diamond in the rough in this story, but it’s hard to find because there are so many layers on top of it. McGuire is one of those authors that can absolutely excel in being a writer, but still needs a bit of guidance. She has a natural, but unrefined, grace to her writing that you just can’t teach. Some of the situations and characters need to be toned down, but there’s something earnest about this story that kept me going to the end.

Buy: Amazon (ebook)


  1. Great review! I agree. A lot of focus is on Travis, but Abby was petty and immature, too. I fell somewhere in the middle myself. I think I'm still going to read the sequel, though, because.. well.. I just can't help myself. =)

    1. It is kind of addicting ... hence why I didn't stop even though I was shaking my head the whole time. LOL

  2. Great review! I feel pretty much the same way about you when it comes to this book. I'll probably be reading the next book because it's a pretty addicting story! :)

  3. Even though I gave it a higher rating, I agree with everything you've said :) So the questions is - will YOU read the sequel?

    1. Honestly? I probably will. LOL. LIke I said, there's something THERE. I'll be curious to see if McGuire's writing evolved any between now and then.

  4. Great Review. I wanted to love this book but in the end it was just okay. I thoroughly did not like the last 1/4 of the book. I actually think the new book Walking Disaster will be better only because I am hoping Travis's POV is better. Not sure when I will read that though since there are other books higher up on my list to read

  5. I'm surprised because I loved the book! But I do agree with some points that they're both a bit too immature at times over ridiculous things and they seem so lost in the world.

  6. I gave this book 2 stars. It was a bit overrated tbh. Travis' behaviours are just ridiculous sometimes. I agree with lots of points of yours.

  7. I so agree with your review. The book could have been loads better with some more work. And yes Abby was not goody two shoes either. She has a lot of issues herself. Though I liked the book and I will probably read the sequel.

  8. I haven't read this one yet. I really need to, just to see where I stand on it! Thanks for your review!

  9. This sounds like a decent guilty pleasure for a rainy weekend. Thanks for the great review!
    Tracy J.

  10. I really liked your review I hope to read this book ASAP:)!


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