Monday, October 14, 2013

Book Review: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie McGuire

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: August 14, 2013
Publisher: Atria Books
418 Pages

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.

I hate this book. I truly hate this book and everything for which it stands. I had heard many things about this book before trekking through it myself. It got to the point where I had two reasons for reading this: 1) I requested a review copy before it received a ton of negativity, and 2) morbid curiosity. So reading Beautiful Disaster was less a matter of if I should read it, but rather when should I read it. Either way, I'm scarred for life and angry at myself for wasting my time. (But at least I didn't waste my money, AMIRITE?)

Beautiful Disaster reads right out of a police report when Abby Abernathy, who is a "good girl" meets Travis Maddox, who is a serial killer (or just a terrifying, man-whore, violent college student--same thing). They don't get together for awhile because both of them are determined not to, for annoying and overused reasons. When they do get together, they go through all of these trials that are over-exaggerated to make the book and relationship more dramatic, including mobsters, fist-fighting, fires, new boyfriends, parties, etc. And then they lived happily-ever-after (until Travis kills her in a fit of rage after another guy held the door open for her…because really.).

The characters were horrid. Not only were they only partially formed, but the parts of them that were developed made me want to sharpen my shank. Even the minor characters lacked the qualities needed to consider them "good people." The only character with a lick of sense was Abby's roommate, and I can't even remember her name, but I do remember that everyone hated her. All of the other females (besides Abby, America and Abby's roommate) in Beautiful Disaster were labelled sluts and shoved into a corner to be shamed. SHAME ON YOU FOR BEING ATTRACTED TO A GUY, HAVING SEX WITH HIM AND HOPING THAT HE WOULD CALL YOU THE NEXT DAY. WHAT IS THE THE 1800'S? Then there is Travis, who represents the worst kind of man. He's abusive, violent, crude, disgusting and just plain despicable. Yet every female on campus, except for Abby's roommate, thinks he's a hottie and would drop their panties for him. Because that's definitely realistic, everyone likes that same kind of man. Abby isn't much better. She's judgmental, hypocritical, and absolutely obnoxious. Abby's behavior about ninety percent of the book is appalling and immature. I wanted to kick her in the face. She also has the worst taste in friends because America, "Mare," or "Horse" as I prefer to call her, is horrid. If there was an award for worst fictional BFF, Horse would be in the top three (if she didn't win it all). And her boyfriend, Shep? He has no personality. He has no real part in the story, except (again) to enhance the drama the occurs for Travis and Abby. Shep could've been completely wiped off of the map and no one would've noticed. 

Not only were the characters awful, but the plot was completely unrealistic. The author seemed to just throw things into the book to cause more drama for the characters and she couldn't pull it off at all. Sometimes, simple is best. And I don't know about everyone else, but when I'm reading a contemporary novel about people in college, I like the book to actually be about the characters in college rather than them say… Taking a trip to absolve a debt for the main character's drunkard father. Because really when they go to Vegas and gamble with mobsters? I laughed my butt off because that was so unbelievably far-fetched. And what started it all? A bet. On what planet is someone like, "Oh, I lost a bet to you? Let me live with you and your cousin for a month." NEVER. THAT'S WHEN. Plus the pacing of the story was horrendous. The book immediately dove into the story, giving us no background and no chance to get to know our main characters. (Not that I really wanted to know them.) And then it dragged on f-o-r-e-v-e-r. I got to 52% and literally cursed aloud because I thought I was almost done. But no, the author wanted to suck the life from me completely. And then we get to the end and I almost did a double-take. YES, LET ME TATTOO MYSELF WITH YOUR NAME BECAUSE I AM YOUR PROPERTY, MASTER. YESSS. (Also, getting a tattoo does not hurt to the extent that the author writes. It feels more like you are repeatedly being scratched, so it's a bit tedious. I have three (including one on my hip) none of which were painful. So that annoyed the hell out of me.)

I'm just tired when it comes to Beautiful Disaster. It didn't make me feel anything but annoyance. I was so bored with the writing style and sickened by the characters that I couldn't find it in me to be angry throughout the entire story. That anger was reserved for a few specific parts, which if you've read the story, I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about. I'm actually quite disappointed that it didn't evoke a deeper emotional response from me.

I can't say much more that hasn't already been said, but I will say that I do not understand how this is so popular. And now I'm even more offended that my cousin, who read this before me (and loved it--I judged her so hard) said that she was surprised that I hated this because it, and I quote, "seemed like my kind of book." Be right back, crying my eyes out due to the shame I feel.
I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review via Netgalley.


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