Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster is essentially about the dysfunctional relationship between two college students. Travis is a tattooed street fighter renowned for his one-night stands and Abby is a freshman looking for a fresh start away from her hometown. Of course, Travis couldn’t be further from her definition of the “right” guy, and wants nothing to do with him. However, when she loses a bet and is forced to live with him for a month, her resolve is tested.
I really enjoyed Beautiful Disaster – though it is one of those books that you can’t help but feel you shouldn’t like. Let it be said that Travis never physically harms Abby, but the entire story is spent hovering on the corner of “passionate love” and “restraining order” due to Travis and Abby’s co-dependence. Meanwhile, their relationship stands in sharp contrast to their friends Shep and America, who are sometimes drawn into the middle of Travis and Abby’s drama, but still manage to hold their own and cultivate their more stable relationship.
The book was a quick, entertaining read – McGuire did a great job keeping the plot moving, leaving out any unnecessary scenes without losing the tone – but readers should use caution, as some may be turned off by the intensity of the relationship and the intermittent violence displayed by Travis throughout the book (in his street fighting).
To be honest, it makes me think of 50 Shades of Grey for younger people – though it’s no secret I was not a fan of that book. I think the similarity comes from the characters’ volatile pasts that set them on the path that brings them together – paired with the fact that Abby is similarly “innocent” (to a lesser degree) like Ana Steele. Regardless, Beautiful Disaster doesn’t read like Twilight fan fiction – which probably also contributes to the reason I like this one when I didn’t like 50 Shades. The only reason I’m bringing this up is because I think readers who did enjoy 50 Shades of Grey will most likely enjoy this one as well.
Though no sequel is in the works, McGuire has recently finished writing Walking Disaster - a book telling Travis and Abby’s story from Travis’ point of view. You can read an excerpt from the upcoming book on Jamie’s website here. In addition, Warner Bros. has acquired film rights, so we might get a chance to see it unfold on the big screen sometime in the future.
Want to check it out for yourself? We’re giving away a signed copy of Beautiful Disaster! For details on how to win, check out our contests/giveaways page, or follow the direct link here.