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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Book Review: A Beautiful Disaster- Jamie McGuire

Author: Jamie McGuire
Publisher/Year: Atria Paperbak/2012
Genre:  Romance, New Adult, Young Adult, Contemporary, Chick Lit
Format: Paperback
Other Books By Author: Walking Disaster,  A Beautiful WeddingProvidence

The Juicy Stuff:
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

How It Made Me Feel:

This book was something else.  I wasn't sure if I really wanted to read this or not, but it had been recommended by Thing 2, so I decided to give it a shot.  After reading the back, I thought it sounded like a few of the others books I have read and enjoyed.  It had sounded like the entire book was going to be the duration of the month after the bet, but I was pleasantly surprised.   The book was a roller coaster of emotions for me that traveled from the time before a fight, through the duration of the month after the bet and even a year later.  There was definitely enough writing and conversation to keep me interested and invested through the book!  Very few books make me cry, but this one had me on the edge of my seat.  It was very easy to relate to and I felt some similarities with Abby and her relationship with Travis.  Not only did it make me cry, it made me laugh, shake my head in amazement, and even close the book and squeeze my eyes, hoping they wouldn't do whatever I thought they were going to do next.  This book definitely isn't for anyone who is easily offended, but it was a really great read. There are many reviews out there that are dissatisfied or even angry with Abby and Travis' relationship, but for me, it was something that I enjoyed seeing a different angle to.

What I Thought Worked:

I really thought the authentic and many dynamics of Abby and Travis' relationship was something that was very real and easy to relate to.  It was something that connected the book to myself and I was able to get a personal reaction from reading the pages.  I also really enjoyed how true and varied Travis and Abby's personalities were.  There were times throughout the book where I loved Travis, but then I just wanted to smack him for how stupid he was being!  I've found that sometimes, authors try to create characters that do everything right all the time.  Seeing characters that make mistakes and do the wrong things makes the book more real to me.

What I Thought Didn't Work:

I was a little disappointed in how little some of the characters were developed in the story.  I really wish  Jamie McGuire had told more about Finch's back story and how he and Abby had become such great friends.  I really enjoyed his character and I was hoping to hear more about him.  Also, every so often, there would be a feeling of discord in the book, when switching from one scene or activity to another.  It was noticeable for me, but did not distract majorly from reading or enjoying the book. 


Why It Got That Rating:

For myself, I related to the book and was comforted to know that other people have felt the same things I have.  I also greatly enjoy books that have the ability to draw me in and have me react so physically and emotionally to the words written on the page.  If I can be laughing, crying, rolling my eyes, and talking to the book, then it did it's purpose in getting me involved and active and books like that deserve a spot on my bookshelf.

Who Would I Recommend To:

I would recommend it to anyone who has had some difficulties in relationships or someone who wants to see a different side of personal and internal struggle.

Last Impressions/Remarks:

This book left an impression on me and I know I will be visiting it again a little later on down the road. I enjoyed my experience while reading it.  

Things We Should Talk About:

  • Have any of you guys read this book?  If yes, what brought it to your attention?  If no, do you plan to? 
  • Have you even heard of this book?
  • What do you think of Travis and Abby's relationship?

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