Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
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 America, 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 charming college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charms, 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’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.
I absolutely adored this book...and I'm a bit ashamed myself for it.
If you've read other reviews you know just how controversial the story is. Honestly, I agree with both sides! Travis is the bad boy, and he's good at it. He loves to fight and makes great money at it. He's never had a girlfriend before but he's "bagged" (I cannot tell you how much I hate that word!) most of the girls at school. Covered in tattoos and oozing testosterone most girls shamelessly throw themselves at him even though they know they'll only be a one night stand. But not Abby! Abby is running from a past and Travis is exactly what she wants to stay away from. She tells him from the first time they meet that she will not be one of his bimbos. They agree to be friends, but of course, they both fall head over heels. Travis, the bad boy turned Romeo...yeah, not so much. Yes, Travis loves Abby. Yes, Abby loves Travis...even though she tries her damnedest to deny it to herself and everyone else. If the fight to become a couple was the only fight between these two I'm sure we'd all sleep much better at night, but alas it can't be that easy. No matter how hard he tries Travis can't keep from messing it up. No matter how hard she tries Abby can't keep from messing it up. Are you seeing the pattern here? Travis is jealous, angry, obsessed, possessive, violent and volatile. He's like a live volcano and he erupts at ever turn. He is dangerous! So why is it that I love him so much?! And Abby...Abby, Abby, Abby...I spent most of the book wanting to smack her in the back of the head! Her constant denial irritated me so bad! Just admit you love him and it will all work out. But I really don't know why I felt that way, because, for the most part, her feelings are justified. That's just how much I love Travis I suppose.
So, in response to the reviews that comment on how disturbing and wrong the relationship is, I agree totally 100%!! Travis is a dangerous man to get involved with. He beats the hell out of anyone that looks at Abby wrong and he is obsessed with her to the point of being stalker-ish. Bad, bad representation of what a romance "should" be.
And to do a total 180...in response to the 5 star reviews that gush over how much they love the book: Me too!!!! I love how much Travis loves Abby! I love how possessive and jealous he is! I even love it when he beats the hell out of someone for looking at Abby wrong! I love how he never gives up no matter how much Abby denies their future...even when you start to feel like he's stalking her!! Is this bad...yeah, probably. But I don't care! I LOVED this book!! It really was a Beautiful Disaster.
5 stars * * * * *
**Beautiful Disaster is labeled Young Adult, but it involves college aged people and is full of rough language, situations and quite a lot of sex scenes. I would not recommend this book for young teens or anyone at an impressionable age. I can see how this book might make someone (particularly kids) think an abusive relationship isn't as bad as it appears.