Series: Beautiful Disaster #1
Published by Atria on 5/26/11
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
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 wants—and needs—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.
This is one of the most difficult reviews I’ve written. One of the few that I’ve endlessly revised and one that I wasn’t sure I really wanted to post. But here it is, a little different from my normal style of reviewing. I do not enjoy writing negative reviews but my thoughts are my thoughts.
There were two things I can say I liked about Beautiful Disaster. I thought the writing was good. And I liked Travis’ roommate and cousin Shep. He was the one warning Abby away and trying to keep the peace.
As far as the rest goes… I had some series issues.
There is so much wrong with Travis, I don’t even know where to begin. Now, I like bad boys in books, I like them a lot, but I have a limit of their badness, which doesn’t involve regularly beating the crap out of people for small petty reasons.Travis was completely unlikeable. I’m all about guys protecting their girlfriends, I think its sweet and can be really hot, when it makes sense. There is a scene in the book where this guy says something bad about Abby and Travis’s response is to beat the crap out of him. Repeatedly. That is not sweet or hot. I’m all for a guy defending his girlfriends honor (using words) and protecting her from an attacker (fists are ok here) but knocking a guy out for saying one, not so pleasant thing about your girlfriend is over the top and crazy and not at all ok. Travis also has this insane need to put Abby in harmful situations. He part of this underground fighting thing on campus (please, just don’t ask, ok?) and even though the crowds are rowdy and filled will big crazy drunk guys, he needs her there for his piece of mind, “he can’t fight without her”. And then of course he freaks out when something happens to her.
As if it’s possible, I think Abby is worse than Travis. Not only does she tolerate his crazy behavior but she is always apologizing like it’s her fault. She’s on a date with this other guy (who seems fairly nice) and Travis calls because he has a fight and needs her and she leaves her date to go be with him. No lie. At one point I thought Abby might be getting the picture and see what’s going on, but alas, she does not. In fact I was reading on just to get to “that moment” and her reaction was exactly what I didn’t want.
Abby’s best friend America is a total enabler! In the beginning she seemed ok and was warning her against Travis, but then when she “realized” how much Travis “really liked” (i.e. stared at) Abby she was all for it. Encouraging her and everything, even though she knew Travis has issues.
I’m pretty forgiving about stuff in books, but the whole story line with her dad and a trip to Vegas come out of nowhere and basically serve no point except to bring up something else for Travis and Abby to argue about. And there was a second trip that was also kind of thrown in there and I just… it didn’t work for me.
Overall I wasn’t really into Beautiful Disaster. For awhile I kept hoping it would get better, but then it turned into a “Fifty Shades of Grey I can’t look away from the train wreck” kind of read.