Friday, January 3, 2014
My take on: Beautiful Disaster and A Beautiful Wedding
Do opposites really attract? I would like to think so, but we all know that's not the case. Abby Abernathy and Travis Maddox are the definition of opposites. Abby is the good girl trying to escape her past. Travis is the tattooed campus lothario, with a fiery temper to match. They shouldn't be a couple, but against all odds they are. Author Jamie McGuire chronicles their story in Beautiful Disaster, Walking Disaster, and A Beautiful Wedding (novella). Although, ... the title of the latest book is a dead giveaway to the state of Travis and Abby's relationship. So if you haven't read any of these books, you might want to stop reading now!!
When I saw the pitch for A Beautiful Wedding, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to finally read Beautiful Disaster. You don't have to read the second book before reading A Beautiful Wedding, but it would help. In my case, it would have helped me to understand Travis a little better if I had read Walking Disaster.
Travis walks around campus without a care in the world. He spends his nights in the bowels of the campus, boxing in an underground fight ring. When Travis isn't earning money with his fists, he's charming the ladies around campus. Girls enter and leave his apartment through a revolving door. No romantic attachments for a boy like this. It would take a special girl to crack the rough exterior of Travis Maddox.
Abby Abernathy had no intention of attracting the attention of a man-child like Travis Maddox. He reminds her of everything she is running away from. Her father, Mick, is a disgraced gambler. Her life with him was a roller coaster ride. If she lets Travis into her life, Abby might never be the same. A silly bet, and I do mean silly, forces Travis and Abby to share an apartment together. I can stomach a silly college bet, but Travis' nickname for Abby is what really got on my nerves. Every couple of sentences he's calling her "Pigeon" or "Pidge." The first couple of reference are cute, but an entire book?!?!? Just call her "Abby" already!!
I did enjoy the banter between them. You know they're attracted to each other, but both fight against it. It's too hard to admit they are exactly what the other needs. What starts as a friendship, slowly blossoms into a turbulent, sweet, and dangerously co-dependent romance. How can it be all of those things? It's sweet that they can't imagine their lives without the other. It's sweet that they constantly worry about each other. However, they relationship reeks of co-dependency. Another guy looks at Abby or if she even thinks about breaking off the relationship, Travis is ready to fly off the handle. There is something seriously wrong with that. There's no explanation for this anger ... at least not in the two books I read. I will have to read Walking Disaster (it's been sitting on my shelf since BEA!! shhhh!!) soon.
The way Beautiful Disaster ends, you just know the story of Travis and Abby isn't finished. A Beautiful Wedding is all about their wedding and honeymoon. Travis and Abby go through all the normal emotions. Are they doing this for the right reasons? Is it the right time? Are they being impulsive? Are they too young? Is this all happening too fast? My take? No. No. Yes. Yes. And yes! If you've read Beautiful Disaster, then you know of the tragedy that happened in that book. Who gets married the same day as a deadly tragedy? Who? I'm all for love, but only for the right reasons. I love their relationship, but I also think its a cautionary tale for falling in love too hard and too fast.
"I thought about the first time I stood in front of Travis. He was sweaty, shirtless, and panting, and I was covered in Marek Young's blood. That was just six months ago, and now we're getting married. And I'm nineteen. I'm only nineteen. What the **** am I doing?" -- Pg. 42
I'm right there with you Abby!! What are you doing? Travis is all about honesty and Abby's motivations for marriage are rather dishonest. To understand what I'm talking about, you have to at least read Beautiful Disaster. But all my sniping aside, the wedding itself is quite beautiful! You can feel the depths of love and intimacy between Travis and Abby. There is A LOT of passion between them on their wedding night. If you're a prude, I suggest you skip those pages. By the end, I still felt like there was more to this story. I feel like there is more to Travis and Abby's story. Their lives have only just begun. I hope Jamie McGuire can give us one more book!
Beautiful Disaster rating: Give it a try
A Beautiful Wedding rating: Give it a try
Note: In the spirit of honesty, you should all know that I was a summer intern in the editorial department for the publisher (Atria Books) of these books. This did not influence my review. I received a copy of Beautiful Disaster during my internship. I received a copy of A Beautiful Wedding in exchange for an honest review.