My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I FINISHED IT!!!
Yeah...that's about the most positive thing I can say about this train wreck of a novel.
I made many attempts to read this book over the last year. So many of my friends here on GR and out in the real world absolutely LOVED this book and kept promising me that once I got into the story I would fall in love with Travis the way they had. So, for that reason...and because I am just too stubborn for my own good...I kept trying.
A friendly warning...spoilers and ranting ahead. Consider yourself warned. :)
This book definitely seems polarizing. It seems like most people either have it on their list of favorite books, or they think it's the worst thing ever written. I really wish I was a part of the first camp. I mean, reading this would have been a helluva lot more enjoyable if I had loved it. As it was, Beautiful Disaster ended up being one of the most frustrating, trying-to-resist-slamming-my-Kindle-into-the-wall, migraine-inducing reads I have ever had.
First of all, I didn't have a problem with the writing, per say. Jamie McGuire is a decent author. My main problem were the characters and their behavior. I have never...and I mean NEVER encountered a book so full of annoying characters in my life. In fact, I would have to say the character that annoyed me the least was in fact Travis, and considering how unsettled and creeped out I was by some of his behavior...that statement is pretty damn scary to make. But, it's true.
America...the worlds most useless best friend. One second she's encouraging Abby to go out with her ken doll suitor Parker, and then the next she is raging at her for not being with Travis. I have never seen a character flip-flop more in my life. Another example: When Travis stumbles home from the bar with 2 girls and Abby gets her feelings hurt about it (even though she has repeatedly stated that she can only be friends with Travis and doesn't care what he does), America rushes to Abby's defense and flips out on Travis for disrespecting Abby. Then...she does a COMPLETE about face a short time later, and argues with Abby that she's being unreasonable by being pissed at Travis because she's giving him mixed signals etc. Oh...and let's not forget the fact that America not only supported Abby's decision to slam back 15 or so shots at her 19th birthday party...but berated everyone else for showing any concern for Abby's potential date with alcohol poisoning. Now that's friendship!
Travis' cousin, roommate and unfortunate boyfriend of America Shep, and Parker Abby's on again, off again, who-gives-a-sh*t-at-this-point suitor are both ridiculously one-dimensional. As are the "bad guys" who pop up at the end of the book. And then...we have Abby. Quite possibly the most annoying character of all time (or at least the most annoying character that I have come across in a looooong time).
She is obnoxious, flighty and self-centered. She is not satisfied unless everyone around her is focused on her wants and needs (despite her half-hearted claims to the contrary). And for someone who supposedly moved away to escape the stigma of her former life, she sure didn't seem all that phased by all the people talking about her at school. Travis and yes, even America seemed far more upset about the rumors swirling around the
Now, I would be remiss if I didn't comment on probably the most infamous scene in the entire book. The Post-Virginity-Taking-Freak-Out.
Okay. Now, for the first 40% of the book I knew that Travis was more than a little obsessive. Controlling. Had anger issues. But when we hit that magical 42%...that was when all hell broke loose and the crazy really began to fly! Let me just say that Abby's slinking out of the apartment in the middle of the night was beyond ridiculous and I could understand Travis being hurt by it. But....BUT...his reaction to it...ripping the door off it's hinges, tearing his bed apart, pretty much trashing his entire apartment? That was the point when this book went from Crazy Town, into run for the hills and bring a shotgun to protect yourself Raving Lunatic City.
Make no mistake about it....Travis' behavior is not right. It's not romantic. It's not the behavior of someone I would consider a Hero. The fact that so many people disagree with me, boggles my mind. I mean, he is the runaway leader in a GR poll for Favorite Book Boyfriend. What?!?! Sure he may love Abby and be willing to change who is is in order to keep her (even though 1 - she doesn't deserve the devotion and 2- having to change who you are to make someone else happy....even if you're a violent, possessive & controlling caveman...is not the basis for a good relationship to being with...but i digress...), but he is so far away from my idea of a true hero or leading man that it's kind of scary to think that so many women want...him. But...that's just me. Like I said, I am very much in the minority in regards to Travis, so if you dig that kind of thing....more power to you. I just think that if someone acted the way he did in real life? He would not be flying off to Vegas with Abby to tie the knot, he would be in prison.
*end of rant*