Apr 14, 2013

Series Review: Beautiful - Jamie McGuire

Title: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1)
Author: Jamie McGuire
Release Date: August 14th 2012
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: Borrowed (Thanks, Ren!)
The new 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 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.
I don't give much thought to genres, but say New Adult and my eyes and ears automatically perk up. Like the other novels I've read that fall under that category, Beautiful Disaster was sexy yet emotional, hooking me in from page one. 

The prose wasn't outstanding, what with the steep and weird turns that the conversation sometimes took, but the mediocrity ends there. This book shone with its wide cast of characters—most of them college kids whose level of freedom added more possibilities for the plot to stretch out. But I'll focus on our main couple for the story truly centered on them.

First, Travis Maddox. I'd seen so much love for this Walking One-Night Stand that I didn't think I'd be so much of a fan. But who was I kidding. I love bad boys, and Travis was nothing if not one of them. What made me swoon, though, was how he was a bad boy with the heart of a good one and the brain of a nerd. Yeah, he's smart; color me surprised. He saved his sweetness for Abby, but every time he showed it, I couldn't help but giggle and gush like mad. The only thing I hated about him was his violent and manipulative streak.

Abby Abernathy, on the other hand, made me raise an eyebrow most of the time. The blurb promised a goody-goody all around, but I felt like in the story, that "innocence" was only justified by her cardigans (which she didn't even wear much). I also didn't like how Abby let what other people thought affect her so much, and her characterization was very inconsistent, oftentimes making her a hypocrite. For me, her initial hesitance to take a chance with Travis was pure cowardice—sure, he had a very bleak reputation, but it was nothing a good, lengthy conversation couldn't solve. 

And then came the big event when her one month at Travis' apartment was up. What in farking hell was that?! I was so enraged that I saw red, and if only the copy I'd been reading wasn't borrowed, I would've thrown it across the room. Seriously, it's Abby who's disturbing, not Travis, even with his womanizing—which he'd totally stopped because of Abby, by the way. And aside from the unhealthiness of their relationship, I also didn't like their constant push-and-pull, especially because the story dragged because of that.

Fortunately, the story took an unexpected turn when the drama with Abby's dad came in—unexpected, but not surprising because the whole time, I was just waiting for, excuse my French, shit to hit the fan.

Beautiful Disaster was one of those books that kept me on the edge of my seat with worry for the characters. When I had to put it down because of mundane reasons, my mind kept wandering to it; that's how addictive it was. And when I reached the end, I was relieved that I could finally stop worrying about them, but at the same time, I craved for more. Thankfully, I had Walking Disaster at the ready.


MY FAVORITE PART was "I CAN'T! Get... no... satisfaction." Totally cracked me up.

RATING:
The .5 is for the second half of the last chapter and the epilogue, both of which made me grin like a clown on steroids.


Title: Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2)
Author: Jamie McGuire
Release Date: April 2nd 2013
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
How much is too much to love?
Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.
In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. Just when he thought he was invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.
Every story has two sides. In Jamie McGuire's New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster Abby had her say. Now it's time to see the story through Travis's eyes.
When I was halfway through Beautiful Disaster, I started reading reviews for Walking Disaster. Most of those reviews expressed disappointment so before I dived into this, I lowered my expectations even though I was truly enjoying the first book. 

Thank God for those lowered expectations because from the get-go, I found the story to be rushed and the writing choppy, and I'm pretty sure it didn't confuse me only because I read it right after Beautiful Disaster. The chronology was sometimes vague, jumping too far forward without enough explanation, unlike in the first book where Abby's every move was stated.

Being in Travis' head was both fun and offending. I loved seeing firsthand his erratic behavior and sweet gestures, however crazy they were. But I didn't like how disrespectful he thought of the girls he'd slept with, and how he saw Abby as a conquest at first. Also, I couldn't put my finger on it in Beautiful Disaster, but now, being in Travis' head, it was disturbing to know that his need to be with Abby was greater than her safety, i.e. he wanted her to be present in his underground fights even though it had already put her in danger.

I also had a problem with how Abby's character seemed so one-dimensional, although I'm pretty sure that's not how Travis viewed her, and that added to how this much-awaited sequel became a letdown. That said, I still had fun reading it, but I would advise everyone not to expect Walking Disaster to exceed its predecessor.

MY FAVORITE PART was the ending, which gave me what I craved for when I finished Beautiful Disaster.

RATING:
(covers and blurbs from Goodreads.com)

2 comments:

  1. I have been waiting for forever to read this book! You're reviews totally made me want to read it more(: Too bad I'm broke :P

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    Replies
    1. I hope you'll get to read them soon, Jackie! :D

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