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Friday, September 7, 2012

"Beautiful Disaster" by Jaime McGuire ~Missed the Mark

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 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.

Published by:  Simon and Schuster/Atria Books
Pages:  432
Genre:  YA Fiction
Author:  Jamie McGuire


Jamie McGuire is the author of the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster and The Providence Trilogy. She and her husband, Jeff, live with their children just outside Enid, Oklahoma, with four dogs, four horses, and a cat named Rooster.

 Please visit JamieMcGuire.com.

"Beautiful Disaster" is not the best book I've read, nor is it the worst.  I rarely damn a book with faint praise, but this may be the fault of this one; it's mediocre and never hits its stride though I waded through the 400+ pages in hopeful anticipation.  Gave it the old college try.

The plot was thin and tired.  Poor boy from dysfunctional home meets poor girl also from dysfunctional home.  And, after much struggle over his propensity to sleep with every loose girl on campus, and her reluctance to be just another notch on his belt, they admit they have found true love in each other.

I kept trying to figure out exactly which of the numerous disasters in this book was "the" beautiful one!  His being bloody after major fights and saving her from being possibly raped, or her throwing up all night after he throws her a 19th birthday party and holds her head over the toilet for her.

The characters and dialog are simply trite and predictable as are the circumstances of the plot as it builds and ebbs without impact. Ridiculous disasters are just the norm in this book.

Ms McGuire fails to go into depth about her characters on any point which makes them shallow, shadow figures with whom I could not invest emotionally.  Her main characters Travis and Abby both seemed whiny and emotionally stunted...just plain unlikeable.  I guess it was not surprising they ended up together.  Perhaps that was the "beautiful disaster."

This is one of those rare books I found little to like about.  While I pushed through it hoping to find something redeeming to share with my readers, I found I couldn't.  I was in fact surprised that the author had received such praise for her writing on other books.  Perhaps this was her disaster after several other beautiful novels.

At best, this is a mediocre book for teens and college freshmen.  Simply put...a disaster.

2 dim stars                       Deborah/TheBookishDame




I started this one on NetGalley, but couldn't get into it. I thought I'd dive back in after awhile, thinking that perhaps I just wasn't in the mood. The more I hear about the rest of it, the less I want to read it. You've pretty much summed up everything that I found wrong, even in the first couple chapters. Very blah for me too, and will remain a DNF.


Kudos to you for finishing the book. I've read one other review and that reviewer couldn't finish it.


Thanks for your support, Ems and Kathy. I was so sorry to write this review since I love Simon and Schuster books as a rule, but this was a stinker of a book!!

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