Monday, December 31, 2012

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Maguire

Book:  Beautiful Disaster
Author:  Jamie Maguire
Publisher:  Simon and Schuster (originally self-published)
Date:  Available now
Source:  purchased
My grade:  A+

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 needs—and wants—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.
(cover and description from

Initial reaction
I’m confused by some of the negative reviews of this book.  Did they read the same book I just read?

Cover story
I love the title and cover of this book. The title sums up everything and the cover is gorgeous.  This is a book that I would pull out and read in public places without feeling like people were staring.

What’s the Story?
I. Loved. This. Book.

Now I see what all the fuss was about.  Well, sort of.  I see why people were raving about how great this book was.  I still don’t understand the people who talk about Travis being controlling and abusive.  Not sure where that is coming from, but I’ll get to that later.

This is one of those intense stories that will keep you attached to the book until you finish.  Even now, days after I finished reading the book, I’m still thinking about it.  Yes, this is one of those types of books. 

It’s hard for me to say that I loved the characters in this book.  I really didn’t, but I loved the story.  I honestly felt more sympathy for Travis, but he could be a real jerk at times.  I think that is where people are getting this whole “abusive” thing.  To those people I say:  Dude, there is a difference between being abusive and just being an asshole!  Sometimes, Travis was a jealous asshole with a temper.  But Abby was a total tease who played lots of mind games.  So in many ways, these two deserved each other!

This was not a book about an abusive relationship, but it was a book about an unhealthy one.  Both Abby and Travis have issues and in some ways that makes them perfect for one another, but it also brings up many problems in the relationship.  Sometimes Travis is to blame, but sometimes Abby is to blame.  I think they each shoulder half the responsibility for the problems in the relationship.  If you’ve read this book, I’d love to know how you feel and why.

I think the issue with this book is really that people who are too young to read it are the ones reading it.  It is NOT a YA book and even though the characters would probably place it in new adult, I think that as a reader, you need a certain amount of maturity to understand that relationships have problems, some people have tempers or insecurities that will cause those problems and in the real world, people have to learn to deal with those.  Travis is not the first man to have some issues with his temper, but he doesn’t abuse Abby in any way.  Abby has some real commitment issues and she does jerk Travis around a lot, but in the end, she comes around.  This is the messy stuff of relationships in the real world.  This is not a shining example of a wonderful relationship, but it sure as hell is an example of a real one.

I loved this book and I really foresee myself reading it again at some point in time.  It’s one of the best I’ve read this year.


As you can see, this book inspired me musically.  I may have gotten a little carried away here.  I would apologize, but I’m not really sorry. : )

Always on My Mind by Willie Nelson

Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis

Brand New Day by Joshua Radin

If I’m Honest by Missy Higgins

Hot and Cold by Katy Perry (This song is just perfect for Abby.)

Where I Stood by Missy Higgins

Lucky by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat

I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz

Goodbye My Lover  by James Blunt

The Final Grade
My grade for this book is an A+.  This was a captivating story about 2 broken people and their real world relationship.  It kept me turning pages late into the night.  At times, it left me aching for 2 broken people, but it also gave me hope and left me with that totally satisfied feeling when I turned the last page.


  1. I have another Music suggestion: Daylight by Maroon 5 for the nights that Travis lies awake watching Abby sleep when he knows she is leaving in the morning. ♥ this book. I don't get the negative reviews either!

    1. Thanks for the music addition! I'll have to run listen to that song now!

  2. This book could go either way for me, but all the hype around it really makes me want to read it. I hope I love it too.

  3. I haven't read this book yet. I've been back and forth because it seems like you either love it or hate it. I'm kinda interested in seeing how I feel about it. I'd kinda decided to hold off because of all the negativity, but maybe I'll put it back on my to-read list.

  4. I have different view about this book when I first read it. So I tried to reread it and I think it grew on me. But, I still have some concerns about the book. Anyway, love your song choices!