Title: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1)
Author: Jamie McGuire
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publiser: Simon & Schuster UK (14th August 2012)
Abby Abernathy doesn’t drink or swear and she works hard. Abby believes she has buried her dark past, but when she arrives at college, her dreams of a new beginning are quickly challeneged by the univeristy’s one-night stand.
Travis Maddox, sexy, built, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs – and wants – to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight club, and his days as the notorious college Lothario.
Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charms, Travis tricks her into his life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain celibate for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time.
OR THE START OF SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL?
Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match. Or that this is the start of an obsessive, intense relationship that will lead them both into unimaginable territory . . .
Rating: **** (4 stars)
I have to admit that it was the cover which first drew me to this book, then I read the blurb and I was intrigued. It sounded like it had a lot of potential, and then there were the reader quotes on the back of the book compairing it to Twilight and Shades of Grey. . . If that is the kind of book you’re looking for, then I suggest that you look elsewhere. There are no sparkly vampires, no Native American werewoves, and no BDSM. Beautiful Disaster is a dark, complex, messy story.
Beautiful Disaster is a New Adult* book, with Abby starting the book at eighteen and turning nineteen during the storyline. As such Beautiful Disaster is, without a doubt, darker and more complex than a Young Adult novel but the setting and the age range of the characters means it doesn’t quite fit comfortably within the Adult genre – hence, New Adult.
I really enjoyed the darkness, the messiness, and the complexity of Beautiful Disaster. Abby and Travis were two really strong characters, and they carried the story brilliantly – I kept wanting to know what was going to happen next. I really enjoyed the twist that McGuire put on the usual good girl/bad boy dynamic in the story and how that made the whole book feel more real. For all their strength, Abby and Travis also have their flaws and McGuire did a really good job of toe-ing the line between writing a good narrative and making them believeable and real characters.
McGuire also did a really good job with the secondary characters. Mare and Shep were brilliantly written, and served as brilliantly written best friends to Abby and Travis – and all that, that entailed. They were the main group of characters within the novel, and they worked really well particularly Mare and Shep’s relationship in contrast with Abby and Travis’s. McGuire did a good job of catching the feeling of university life.
The plot is pretty much what you would expect from a contemporary romance, but McGuire places some interesting twists and turns in the plot along the way. I never for a moment doubted the outcome of the story, but I really enjoyed the journey. The story in Beautiful Disaster isn’t always an easy one, but I loved reading it and watching it develop through the pages.
If you are a fan of contemporary romance and are looking for something a bit older than a Young Adult book, then you should consider reading Beautiful Disaster. It is a really enjoyable and engrossing read. A sequel, Walking Disaster telling the story from Travis’s point of view is coming out in April 2013.