Title: Beautiful Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
Length: 432 pages
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So did anyone see the episode of New Girl where Jess realises she wants a relationship full of passion after this conversation with Ouli...
Ouli: "You know what it's like with Russell. It's this roller coaster, it's like standing on the bow of a catamaran, blasted with spray during a perfect storm. But you're naked and you're on fire."
Jess: "Yeah, I'm just like, 'Russell, put away the passion. And show me a moderately good time.'"
Ouli's description is a perfect description of the relationship between Abby and Travis in Beautiful Disaster. But I am getting ahead of myself here....
The book centres around the relationship between Abby and Travis, two university students, and is told from Abby's point of view. There are a number of events, both big and small, that happen throughout the book, but these are all directly associated with the relationship, rather than a plot line of their own. Normally I'm not too keen on this type of focus, where the main focus is the relationship, but Abby and Travis' relationship is so all-consuming that the book almost HAS to be told in this way, and so it works.
Travis is a massive slut. He is a sexy, heavily tattooed, hunk of a hunk, who attracts all the loose girls on campus, ready to drop their panties for a chance to try and change him. Oh, and he rides a motorbike, and fights in an illegal underground fighting ring. So when Travis tries his act on Abby, she calls bullshit, and they become friends. The chemistry and the tension is.... *fans self to cool down*... Hot stuff. So, at one of these secret fights, Travis and Abby make a bet- if he wins without being hit, Abby has to live in his apartment for a whole month. Obviously, he wins, and enter even more sexual tension, and their friendship being even more challenged, especially as she is temporarily dating another guy called Parker (who I just couldn't buy into as a love interest; in my head he was the guy from Legally Blonde who wasn't Luke Wilson). He was definitely there as a symbol of the life Abby had been trying to get for herself, but meh, I didn't like him.
As both friends and later when they are dating, there is no way in hell that Abby and Travis's relationship is a healthy one, at ALL! They are all passion, whether its good or bad they give it their all. But the book draws you in, and their relationship is addictive, for both the characters and the reader.
I think the blurb oversells Abby's good girl image; yes, she wears a cardigan, once, and is trying to turn her life around, but in the opening scene she is at an underground fight club. You don't really get to see Abby being a good girl, its more that she is trying to be a normal student. There were some other flaws too; after all of the sexual tension, you would think that the sex scenes would be sizzling hot too, but they are actually quite tame, and a tad disappointing. And as usual there are moments when you wanna slap most of the characters for the various things they say or do- this applies to not just Travis and Abby, but also to America (Abby's best friend) and her boyfriend Shepley.
In theory, this book should not work, because of the narrow focus on the relationship rather than on a definitive plot. But, I am a little bit in love with Travis, despite him often making an ass of himself, and despite his terrible behaviour. Plus, Abby can be strong and take charge when she needs to. That girl has cahonies! I know from other reviews that I have seen that this book is a real divider of lovers and haters of the book. But personally, I really enjoyed the book, and can not wait for the companion book that is to be released next year!
My advice to you; read this book, and watch New Girl! Do IT!!! 8 stars.