Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Title: Beautiful Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Release Date: August 14th, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 361
Format: Electronic Copy
Acquired: ARC; Netgalley
Interest: Series
Age Group: Adult

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and 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

Wow. Just wow.

I don't even know what to say exactly. I feel like I'm in a weird roller coaster with this book. I loved Abby and Travis, I hated Abby and Travis, I wanted to hug them both, I wanted to kill them; I was just all over the place with them.

Honestly, I don't know what to make of this book. Obviously I loved it because I gave it five stars, but I have conflicting emotions about this book. Abby and Travis are one of those couples that are so wrong for each other that it makes them just right for each other. There was a lot of breaking up and a lot of misery and there was just a lot of laughs, and as one character put it, when their happy it's all peace and butterflies, but when their angry at each other they take the whole world down with them.

I found myself laughing, at the edge of my seat hoping for the best. McGuire had my heart in my throat in one scene and she had me about to burst into tears in another. I started this book at 8pm and finishing up at 6am the next day. Once I was pulled in I wasn't able to pull out because this world just made no sense to me.

I'm a hardcore feminist, I am of the opinion that no woman needs a man to survive they just think they do, and for a moment I was afraid Abby would become one of those women. She was so strong and had her head on straight in the beginning, but when she got entangle with Travis it was like all that went out the window. I don't think at all that someone will look at this book and say, "Hey, I need to have a relationship this twisted and confusing because it looks fun!" Honestly, Abby and Travis are just one of a kind. That's the best way to put it. Like another book I reviewed, these two somehow work for each other even when they want to kill each other.

Now, this is where I would typically end, but I looked at other reviews that expressed how much they hate this book because of the "abuse" that goes on. And that's fine, not every book is liked (even Harry Potter has some haters) but I just want to point out to people that throw that word around just exactly what it is. Everyone knows that abuse has four different forms and each with a distinct definition:

(NOTE: These definitions are obviously my paraphrasing but I think by this point we all know what they mean when we see them. If not, Google is everyone's best friend). AND: There are some minor spoilers, but hopefully not too much.

Sexual Abuse: Also known as rape, improper touching, unwanted sexual attention, and making inappropriate sexual comments that make someone else feel uncomfortable. Does sexual abuse happen in this book? Absolutely not. Abby gives consent each time they are having sex, including when they weren't even together! Does he touch her in ways she doesn't want? Again, no.

Physical Abuse: We know this has hitting, pinching, leaving some physical mark on someone. Does Travis ever hit her? No. He even says himself he would never hit a girl. Now, there was a scene when he hit a guy and the guy fell taking Abby with him, but that punch was never meant for Abby and Travis didn't even know what he was doing when he hit the guy. The guy was touching her and he went like a raging bull. But he realized his error and did his best to make amends.

Verbal Abuse: Insulting or name calling. Putting someone down with words. Does Travis ever put Abby down or call her names? No. Not once, even when they were just friends or having one of their arguments.

Emotional Abuse: Also known as Psychological abuse. When someone is causing another character psychological trauma, such as anxiety, depression, or stress. Now, an argument can be made that Travis does cause have some emotional baggage that makes Abby feel completely out of her element. She does experience stressed and in someways she is depressed. BUT she is also doing the same thing to him. He feels just as much emotional turmoil as she does when they are apart. Its not like its his intention to make her suffer emotionally, or she him. It just happens because of the way things are happening between them.

And now, there is also the topic of stalking. First, he never crawls into her window to watch her sleep. But, when they are in bed together he does. I would like to know of one lover that has never done that to another lover. That's not called stalking, that's called appreciating what you have next to you. Almost every lover does it at one point or another.

Also, he is not following her around campus. If you wanted to talk to someone really badly who was avoiding you, I think just waiting for them to show up doesn't constitute stalking.

So, not everyone is going to like this book. I'm not even sure if I like it or not, but I do know that when two people have been through what they've been through I think that says a lot about where their relationship is going. I for one found myself enjoying this book just as much as I was having issues with it, but I do not think there was any form of abuse going on. Travis is just like any alpha male out there. Its what you make it and that's that. I highly recommend this book though. This is one that cannot go unnoticed.

1 comment:

Nana said...

Hi! I have also read this book and I think the story is interesting and enjoyable. I don't think Travis abuses Abby btw. He's just so overprotective and possessive because love was really something new to him and sometimes I found it cute and the other times I found it annoying. But their chemistry is great.