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4.5 out of 5 stars1,099
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
It's hard to know where to start when it comes to reviewing Beautiful Disaster. This is the kind of book that readers have either loved or hated and I have to admit to enjoying every minute of it. If you want to read about a perfect and healthy relationship then this isn't going to be the book for you but if you like your stories with a lot of angst between two dysfunctional people then you'll be completely hooked. Whether you end up loving or hating it you are pretty much guaranteed to have a strong reaction to this novel and if you ask me that is the most important thing I look for when I'm reading a book. I want to have characters I connect with and care about - even if I don't agree with the decisions they make or their actions.

Abby has moved across the country with her best friend America wanting to start a new life where nobody knows about her past. She is determined to be the good girl, the one who works hard, finishes her homework and doesn't spend her time going out partying. The last thing she expects or wants is to attract the attention of Travis - the campus bad boy, king of one night stands and boy every girl wants to be with. But with America dating Travis's best friend Shepley they are thrown together socially. Abby has no intention of being another notch on Travis's bed post and is determined to remain immune to his charms but Travis isn't used to being turned down. The very fact that Abby tries to resist him makes him want her even more and when a bet ends up forcing them to spend more and more time together sparks are bound to fly.

I don't want to say too much about the story line because this is a very character driven novel, in fact until towards the end of the book the focus is very much on the developing friendship between Travis and Abby. Do you remember the intensity of your first relationship? When you couldn't stand to be apart for even a minute and everything was so new and exciting? Jamie McGuire has captured that feeling perfectly in Beautiful Disaster, thankfully my first relationship wasn't quite as obsessive as this one but it was just as intense!

You can probably guess from the title that things aren't all plain sailing and at times watching their interactions is almost painful. They both have issues from their pasts and they both behave in inappropriate ways that cause each other pain. I'm never going to say that I agree with some of the things Travis does - he is controlling and has issues with a violent temper (I will point out that he never raises a hand to Abby in case that is something you're worried about) - but I also felt that Abby knew exactly how to push his buttons and at times was trying to provoke a strong reaction in him. That doesn't make his reaction right but I don't think her behaviour was any better. I found myself just as irritated with the way she constantly played Travis and Parker off against each other as I was with the way Travis reacted to it.

When their relationship works it really is wonderful to watch but when things go wrong you'll find yourself unable to look away from the horror of it. In a lot of ways Beautiful Disaster works as a "how not to have a successful relationship" guide because I certainly wouldn't want to encourage anyone to emulate or accept behaviour like either Travis's or Abby's but that doesn't make it any less engaging to read about them. I think most of us are capable of separating reality and fantasy and I have to confess I had fallen for Travis in spite of his issues by the end of the book. I think this quote from one of their friends (I think it was Shep but I didn't make a note of who said it) sums up their relationship perfectly:

"You're a godd*mn tornado! When you're happy, it's love and peace and butterflies. When you're pissed, you take the whole f*****g world down with you!"

Beautiful Disaster is an addictive read, it is a story that you will obsess over with complex and flawed characters who you will love and hate with equal intensity. It's been a while since I had such a strong connection to characters in this age range and I can't tell you how excited I am to read the sequel when it releases next year. Walking Disaster will be the same story but told from Travis's point of view (although it will also include extra scenes) and I can't wait to get inside his head and understand exactly what he was thinking during the major events!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 25 November 2012
I was very pleasantly surprised when I started reading this book. It caught my full attention right from the start and I built up a rapport with the characters immediately. If you're looking for a down to earth romance full of love and longing then this book is for you. When I initially read the book description I was put off by the age of the characters as I am 40 and wasn't sure if I would relate to them, but I so did. Abby Abbernathy the leading lady and Travis Maddox are two very strong characters with past relationship issues which leads to many misunderstandings. Travis is so needy and at times obssessive about his feelings for Abby that it borders on being uncomfortable. Abby on the other hand is a little overwhelmed by his need but slowly becomes a little obsessed herself. The love and lust in this book is very young and innocent but the violence is a little grotesque at times. I know it's part of the story but it is sensationalised a little and it made me cringe at times. Also if you're looking for hot and steamy scenes then you may be a little disappointed. Its not in the same league as some other erotic books such as FSOG but it doesn't need to be. The emphasis is well and truly on the blossoming relationship and I desperately wanted them to get together, forever. The end stages of the book are exciting and the ending was an unexpected surprise. I loved this book and will definitely be reading more from Jamie McGuire.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2013
I literally can't fault this book. I advise any hopeless romantic to give it a read, I'm pretty certain you'll fall in love with Travis Maddox like I did. I couldn't put the book down, as soon as it came in the post I started to read it and couldn't stop. I finished it within 2 days and then began to re-read it before walking disaster came!! Honestly the best book I've ever read. Can't wait to read it again :)
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146 of 161 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2012
I'd been buying books for my new kindle and this one was repeatedly recommended. At first I was a bit put off, thinking the title sounded a bit too much like a twisted romance novel for me but then, after seeing it recommended a good eight or nine times, I caved in and bought it. Oh. My. GOD! I am so pleased I did. I literally sat and read the whole thing in a matter of hours. Complete and utter page-turner. I couldn't get enough of it and loved the ending (it caught me completely off guard!). I don't often go for books I haven't heard of or authors I don't know any work by, but this truly is a fantastic book and you will not be disappointed. The characters were realistic, the emotions were raw and I found myself tearing up multiple times during the end of the book. I honestly cannot recommend enough. You need to read this book!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2013
I've just finished the book and I've read a few reviews about it that shocked me enough to write my first review in months. This book has been compared to twilight & fifty shades which is fair enough because it is also about an intense romance that can be a bit OTT at points.

Abby is a freshman at Eastern U & she's trying to get away from her difficult past. She then meets Travis who is described as a 'walking one night stand'.. They have a bet which ends in Abby staying at his apartment for one month...I'm conscious about spoilers but i will say it is an intense read where I found you can't put the book down because you need to know whats going to happen next. (Surely this is a sign of a good book?)

Now, as with Twilight & Fifty Shades there are some elements that a lot of people aren't happy about when they look at the relationship between Abby & Travis. Mainly that the guys in all these books are very intense & at points appears violent & angry. Firstly, I have to say just because I like this book doesn't mean I advocate toxic relationships. People make out that the main men in these books put the women down and may as well beat them, but they don't! (Slightly different in fifty shades lol)

In this book, Travis takes part in organised fights for money at uni & has a bad temper but he never once touches Abby.

I use goodreads and when I was reading the reviews on beautiful disaster there was one review that irritated me because it basically said women or girls that like this book or books like it are sad because they think these relationships are normal. I can't express how much this annoyed me! I enjoyed this book because I'm a romantic and yes, not all relationships are as functional and normal as Id like them to be in books but i appreciate it for what it is... Books would be so boring if it were a simple boy meets girl, falls in love.. The end. That would be quite pathetic reading. Its like soaps, they are about normal people.. But normal things don't happen to them. Would be boring if it did.

Of course at points in this book Travis was over the top and stalkerish & Abby was annoying & dramatic but it was harmless & makes the story.

I will be recommending this book to my friends and I'm pretty certain they will like it. Because romance books are meant to be like this. I appreciate its not for everyone but i think its unfair to slate someone that enjoys a book you disagree with. You don't see me laughing at those that enjoy sci-fi books. Each for there own! No one forces you to finish a book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 April 2013
It’s taken me a while to get put ‘fingers to laptop’ (somehow doesn’t sound as good as ‘pen to paper’ does it?) on this book, partly because I’ve found it difficult to separate my thoughts on the story in itself from the split reaction Beautiful Disaster has had among other reviewers (very few people give it a middle-of-the-road rating - it’s a love it or hate it book it would seem).

Firstly – the story – the characters are certainly YA, although I would honestly characterise them as ‘older YA’ – they are not 19 year-olds in the Bella Swan mould, but pretty ‘real’ from a drinking, partying, first-time-away-from-home, frequently reckless side of things. This is why the synopsis features a clear indication of suitable audience (it did when I purchased for Kindle at least).

Abby and Travis are certainly not perfect individuals – and at times border on having some serious personal flaws – however, (aside from being a fighter for money [Travis] and poker player supremo [Abby]) they are reasonably realistic in their behaviour: they behave quite randomly in their relationship, antagonising each other one minute, then in perfect bliss and harmony the next. I certainly saw a number of similar ‘car crash’ couples like this during my late teens and early twenties, who would veer from one end of the spectrum to another with seemingly endless frequency. Some people will never experience this, or will do it to a lesser degree, then ‘grow out of it’. There are others still who will remain in couplings like these where volatility appear to be the basis of attraction and even the relationship itself.

Abby and Travis quite often lack self-awareness and this drives many of their misunderstandings and subsequent conflicts. But this for me, felt realistic. When you’re really learning about yourself for the first time and what it is like to be away from family influences and your past you do some weird things – that’s because it’s all new. You decide something because it seems like the best thing to do – maybe you think that’s how ‘grown-ups’ behave, or you saw it on TV and want to emulate that behaviour in your own life as you begin to understand where your own morals lie. You certainly get lots of things wrong, but that is the whole point – it’s a time to make mistakes and the right choices, but there’ll always be a mixture of the two.

So for a book rating I’d say 3.5/5 – I enjoyed reading it, got through it quickly and I engaged with the characters. Overall – the book flows well, the dialogue is quick and the dramatic episodes are fun. As a YA romance/coming of age book it works. Yes there are some spelling issues (latter half of the book) but you can see for the majority of readers that doesn’t bother them. The plot is a rollercoaster ride with Abby and Travis veering from one experience to another as they work out who they are and what they want – I liked the uni life and parties the best. The Vegas episode was fine, but it didn’t especially add to the story for me, but I can also see why it was there. Travis and Abby are ‘big’ characters and so you get some spectacular fireworks around them – which you’ll know from other reviews is probably one of the most divisive features for reviewers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 July 2012
I stumbled across the book on Kindle and all I can say is THANK YOU, THANK YOU AND THANK YOU. I absolutley adored it. Abby and Travis are both very complex characters and it was one of the few books that I absolutley did not have a clue how it was going to end. Their relationship is so up and down and they are truly a disaster together but it is beautiful and they are what each other needs. My heart was pounding through some of the chapters not because of the sex (which is not to raunchy, just enough) but because I could feel the tension between them, their love and fights. I did not know if they were going to end up together or apart because for all their love, boy, can they fight!! It didn't end they way I expected to and for that I am thankful. The end is amazing such I pile up of events that can only end for them in a beautiful disaster.

I've just read that the author is re-writing from Travis's perspective and I for one will be looking out for that one!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2012
What can I say that probably hasn't already been said? Well firstly the names of some of the characters, America and Brazil I mean come on, I kept tripping up at the start over America's name and was relieved when they started calling her Mare, this is my only gripe of the book - those names to me were so unrealistic and not proper names, saying that though it didn't warrant knocking a star off for two stupid names. Gripe over.

As to the story, well it captures you from the start and I love that Abby aka Pidge is a different kind of heroine, fighting her past demons and trying to change her future to be a nothing like her past. I loved the glimpses of where she came from though for example the drinking competition on her birthday and when she met Travis' family.

It's a great modern day love story and I was hooked in from the start, Jamie has a great easy writing style and captures the essence of her characters extremely well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2012
Awww wot a beautiful love story I didn't find Abby annoying like others said she reminded me myself and her side of was told perfectly from a typical complicated stubborn proud woman as us women can see problems where there's not or twist things in our minds to hear what we think we heard, and swop and change our minds as often as we like and expect the other half to know and sulk and get mad if they don't!! Lol x Travis is totally adorable and you find yourself falling for him immediately you want to jump in and help him out but I like seeing him work to get her he's a proper man's man and every woman's dream loyal and loving! Loved it just as much as fsog but this is much better written and has a full story and has a thorough ending x just downloaded more of her books! Can't wait to read more xxx
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 2012
i was recommended this as something to read after 50 shades and twilight (both of which i love for their love stories not the TMI sex scenes of 50 - if that's what your looking for i wouldn't say this book is particularly raunchy) and have to say I loved this story more than either of them! the story is far more believable and realistic, all the characters are great and really likable - Abby is such a better heroine than Bella or Ana, no sappy "oh but why would he ever love me when I'm just a normal gal" rubbish and she had a decent close female friendship which was refreshing! If you want an easy to read story about a couple falling madly in love and all the glitches along the way, then look no further! A great read!
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