Book Review : Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

December 21, 2013 Book review 8 ★★★


The name sums it up perfectly.  I liked parts, hated others.  It is at times beautiful but most of the time Abby and Travis are a disaster zone.  It is a prime example of how two dysfunctional individuals can create one big, messy, intense and at times heart-wrenchingly glorious love affair.

Book Review : Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuireBeautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Published by Atria Books on 26 May 2011
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 319
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon


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 wants—and needs—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.

First line of Beautiful Disaster:

“Everything in the room screamed that I didn’t belong.”

My Thoughts on Beautiful Disaster:

Long before I read this book I was aware of it.  I knew it was controversial and I thought it would be a book I either loved or hated.  What I did realise was that I would actually both love AND hate the book.  Well maybe love is a bit strong, it was more like like/hate and the bits I hated tainted the whole book for me.

Abby was a mass of contradictions and I can’t say I was a fan of hers.  She slept with Travis at night as “friends”, ignoring the chemistry that was pulsating between them.  And she dated another guy.  Seriously, she went on dates and came home and got into Travis’s bed, yes that’s totally normal.  I think the disaster part of their relationship is just as much Abby’s fault as Travis and during the book she plays the victim card most of the time.  But she is a big girl, she knew exactly what she was getting into.

The parts I hate, I hate with passion.  I hate violence, hate it.  So while there was parts of Travis ‘Mad Dog’ Maddox that I really enjoyed, I can’t say I’m a fan.  Yes, I love that he puts his heart on the line and never once tried to play down his feelings for Abby.  He knows how to love fiercely and with all his heart however when things don’t go his way, he comes out with fists flying and I could never accept that.

I know he would never hit a woman but any man who is as violent as Travis feels like a ticking time-bomb to me.  I think if I was Abby, I would be constantly on edge waiting for something to piss him off.  Trying to anticipate peoples reactions and behaviour around them and then trying to manipulate situations to ensure he doesn’t blow up.  Not a great way to live.  Something that really annoyed me early on was Travis making Abby change her clothes as she was looking too good.  Being territorial and possessive is not sexy, it’s a form of abuse.  And beating any man to a pulp who looks at Abby crooked is also not sexy, it’s a warning to get the hell out of the relationship.

However despite all the flaws, at other times the romance was sweet and most of all passionate.  I think Shep put it best:

“When you’re happy, it’s love and peace and butterflies.  When you’re pissed, you take the whole fucking world down with you!”.

Overall the book was ok.  It is a bit melodramatic at times and scarily realistic at others.  I don’t like that it portrays possessiveness in a romantic spotlight as it’s not romantic and it’s not ok.  Not one I’ll be rereading and as for Travis while I can see his good points; he is far too volatile for me.  Abby can keep him!


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-stars


Who should read A Beautiful Disaster?

If you are a fan of messy, intense relationships and lots of drama then you may enjoy this one a lot more than I did.


Never miss a bookish post! Plus you get a free download - Note to Book - to document your own bookish thoughts.

Signup now and receive blog posts by email.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

8 Responses to “Book Review : Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire”

  1. Chelsea @ Starbucks & Books Obsession

    Great review Trish! I agree with you, it was definitely a mixed emotions book. I felt like both characters were aggravating and their relationship was ridiculously dysfunctional. I hated that Travis had such a temper and threw so many tantrums. I think the like/appeal part is the drama. You can’t help but get sucked into it.
    Chelsea @ Starbucks & Books Obsession recently posted…Prank-tastic Blog Tour + Giveaway: Needing Her by Molly McAdams

    • trish

      I will! I already know he is trying hard but his temper frightens me and I’m a bit afraid of younger women thinking that is ok.

  2. Michelle @ In Libris Veritas

    I’m not sure I’ll ever read this one. I wanted to when everyone was upset over it, but now I just have very little desire. I can already tell I won’t like it even though people with similar book tastes have loved it. I’m glad you managed to enjoy it overall though and I hope it gets better in the second book!
    Michelle @ In Libris Veritas recently posted…Review: Minds Games by Kiersten White

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.