Title: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1)
Author: Jamie McGuire
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Chick Lit
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 2012
Rating: 3.5 stars
Synopsis (from goodreads):
The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and 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 needs—and wants—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.
It’s at a college illegal bare knuckle fight that “cashmered, no-nonsense Abby Abernathy” finds herself face-to-face with bad boy Travis “Mad Dog” Maddox. His reputation as a motorcycle riding player with girls throwing themselves at his feet precedes him and not even his gorgeous tattoos will convince Abby to take a chance on him.
But with Abby’s best friend America dating Travis’ cousin and roommate Shepley, it seems almost inevitable that the two become friends. Straight A student Travis starts to tutor Abby in biology and from there the two become almost inseparable.
Then the Bet happened. Abby loses and ends up moving in with Travis for a month. Things get complicated with Abby refusing to become one of Travis’ one night stands… and proving this by dating another guy… and then going home to sleep in Travis’ bed.
I love butterflies and I have to admit that the shallow part of me wanted to read this book just based on the cover… I even have my own butterfly in a jar that lives on my bookshelves.
But the cover isn’t what drew me in. This story reminded me so much of a Sweet Valley University novel… with the fraternity parties, the bad boy who is just dying to prove to the good girl that there’s more to him that meets the eye… I really liked the college vibe to it all.
And in the beginning I enjoyed Travis and Abby’s banter and interactions. They flirt and fight and flirt some more – both of them playing all kinds of games not only with each other but with the people they use (either consciously or subconsciously) to try to one up the other. Travis is a borderline alcoholic with severe intimacy issues and Abby is trying to run from her past only to have it come back and bite her.
But after a while the drama just kept going on and on in circles with both characters expecting something to change when they keep making the same mistakes over and over again.
My heart did break a little each time Travis had an emotional break down but I started to wonder why no one ever tried to have him arrested for breaking their nose… The two of them are the Beautiful Disaster the title refers too. Unable to function together but completely miserable without the other. I was glad for the way everything ended but I’m not sure how exactly they overcame all that stood in their way and what happened to end the dangerous cycle that they were stuck in.
I can see this novel appealing to fans of the Fifty Shades series. The sequel will be released in 2013 and it will tell the story of Beautiful Disaster from Travis’ point-of-view.
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the digital ARC.