Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This was one of those books that I couldn't put down!! But it gave me many mixed feelings.... a little bit more depth of main characters would have been nice. Though I have pulled a all too familiar 'all nighter' with this one :P I'll have to gather my thoughts and come back later.
I am conflicted. On one hand I could not stop reading this book, however this is not a prime example of its literature awesomeness...
However, this book left me a with sour taste. But really, sometimes I crave lemons on a cold day! Ha ! So this is truly ambiguous. I kind of sort of feel like undecided about this one.
Beautiful Disaster is written from Abby's POV. She is a Easter University student who moved from Kansas to start with a clean slate. She purposely chose a place where she can be a different person, and her past/family won't interfere. She meets Travis 'Mad Dog' Maddox, a student who's way of earning extra money is through an underground fighting/betting ring called the Circle. He is a 'bad boy' in all its stereotypical glory: sleeps around without any strings attached, has little temper, is full of tattoos, smokes, drinks like crazy and becomes madly obsessed with Abby. He is majoring in Criminal Justice
Now, insert every imaginable drama+breakup+romantic plot you can think about + a couple of trips to Vegas, and voila! This is the Beautiful Disaster.
I felt that the characters were not very 'realistic' and their motivations were not very clear. Beyond the explanations of Travis and Abby's family and how they families were, it sounds a bit overstretched?
Abby's lack of agency is truly annoying and Travis' aggressiveness, protectiveness, jealousy, childish behaviour and obsession with Abby - AKA Pidgeon- got under my skin.
But again: I could not STOP for the life of me reading this addicting book. It's 416 pages went through very quickly and I felt like a zombie afterwards.
I have read a few contemporary fiction YA books with complicated 'tortured' characters. Bad boys and Bad girls. Full of issues and family drama:
Easy, Pushing the Limits and On the Jellicoe Road. I can imagine some good scenarios that could have been better described. For example the whole Parker issue was very unclear. Her relationship with her dad. He just shows up and briefly leaves a whole mess. What happened with her mother. What was her upbringing... I felt like there was much more substance to write about beyond this strange tortured relationship.
Maybe I had higher expectations about this book after reading these previous ones. Or perhaps I was just in another mind frame, by being on an incredible reading spree where each book I'm reading is simply amazing.
As a fellow Goodreader (Kerry) points out, this is 'a tale of toxic co-dependency.' And I am convinced that this novel is as toxic as the relationship it describes, mischievously making me an addict with each turn of the page.
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