Customer Review

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why in the Hell did I love this book so much?, January 16, 2012
This review is from: Beautiful Disaster (Paperback)
Why in the Hell did I love this book so much?

The only explanation I can come up with: Morbid curiosity. A morbid curiosity is something that is pathologically unhealthy and yet still arouses intense, often addictive interest. Aristotle says, "we often enjoy contemplating the most precise images of things whose sight is painful to us." Well this novel often hurt to read, not because it was poorly written, but because of the disaster that was Travis and Abby. The relationship between the two is at times pathologically unhealthy, and yet I was addicted and absorbed beyond logical reason. Despite all of that, I could not put the book down. I read it in less than a day, hanging on to every word and wanting with equal parts to finish the story, and also hoping that it would never end. Jamie McGuire chose the absolute perfect title for this novel; it really was a Beautiful Disaster.

Travis is a real bad boy and a definite player, and he makes no bones about it. He's exasperating and truly unapologetic about his penchant for using women for sex. One of my favorite scenes in the book happens one morning after Travis sleeps with a woman and then refuses to take her number. Abby, thoroughly disgusted, tries in vain to impart some morality onto Travis:

I stared at the couch with revulsion. "She's someone's daughter, Travis. What if, down the line, someone treats your daughter like that?"
"My daughter better not drop her panties for some jackass she just met, let's put it that way."
I crossed my arms, angry that he made sense. "So, besides admitting that you're a jackass, you're saying that because she slept with you, she deserved to be tossed out like a stray cat?"

I love these dialogues between Travis and Abby, I found myself laughing at so many similar arguments throughout the book. The strange thing is, even though Travis is the way he is, you can't help but love him. I could forgive him because he never lied about his intentions. He never made false promises or said one thing and then did another. He was open and honest, not only about his debauchery but also his feelings. And of course, I can love him because he never treats Abby with the blatant disrespect that he's treated every other woman.

Abby on the surface seems well put together, a good girl, completely opposite of Travis. Although, the more we get to know Abby the more we learn that she's just as screwed up as Travis--she's just better at hiding it. Abby, unlike Travis, does lie. Don't get me wrong she is not a dishonest person, the only person she really lies to is herself. She tries to pretend that she doesn't want Travis. In her attempts to convince herself of that fact she goes so far as dating another man, a man she thinks she should love. She insists that she and Travis can only be friends, but with Travis' help she finally admits to her feelings.

Looking back I feel like I shouldn't like this novel, but I loved it. I shouldn't like Travis as a hero, but ultimately he is one of my favorites. Abby's character would normally irritate me with her indecision, except I really liked her. Their relationship is all kinds of wrong, and I still rooted for them to make it work. Overall, I was equally confounded and enthralled by the story, and I can't stop thinking about it. Excellent job Ms McGuire!
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