Full review, complete with gif, over at my blog!
As much as I would have wanted to start reading "Beautiful Disaster" without any bias, it was impossible to do so. There's McGuire's involvement in the whole Goodreads drama llama early in 2012, as well as her hounding readers on Amazon. Not particularly endearing for an author, yes? So I started reading this book very biased.
By the time I put it down, I'd learned -- and un-learned -- enough information to form my own opinion about the book. Some things weren't as intense as I thought they would be, but some things were as horrible as I was led to believe. And some things were just plain stupid.
What were the things that I liked? On a purely physical level, I really liked Travis Maddox. Like I said earlier in this post, it's like Jamie McGuire read my high school diary or something.
The moments in the book when Travis was being sweet and sappy, as well as the sex scenes, were also doing it for me, but only when I examined them separate from everything else that happens in the book. I mean, who doesn't like being given a puppy? And I have to admit a guy getting a tattoo because of me is something I've fantasized about for I don't know how long.
While there was most definitely abusive behavior going on, it wasn't as intense as I thought it was ging to be. From most reviews, I thought that Abby was going to get herself beat up. She doesn't, but Travis does almost hit her accidentally and he's really apologetic about it. That doesn't make the rest of the abusive behavior that goes on in the books any better, though.
The abusive behavior that was in the book was definitely as horrible as I was led to believe. I like a little possessiveness in a guy, but to beat up people who look at you in a way he thinks is inappropriate? To actively prevent other guys from going out with you by threatening them with possible violence? Not cool. And the controlling behavior? Only cool when it's pre-arranged and in a safe BDSM environment.
And while I was adequately prepared for that, what I wasn't prepared for was how stupid some of the plot points were, and how hilariously Mary and Marty Stu Abby and Travis were, no matter how messed up they were portrayed in the book.
I mean, seriously, a lean, mean tattooed fighting machine who also aces his academics? And look! Abby not only attracts the school's top two guys, she also has magical poker playing powers.
And what was the deal with the "sacredness" of that bet? It was just a bet! It's not like it's a binding legal contract! It won't stand in court! And the utter hilarity of "I'll give him my virginity so he'll stay away from me!" and "Hello, date! Don't worry about that hot guy I share the same bed with, we're just friends!"
And on a totally personal note -- because apparently I'm the only one that had this problem -- who freaking names their child "America" and then comes up with "Mare" as a nickname? Where the hell did that come from? All I kept thinking in my head was mare = female horse, and I kept thinking America was Vice Ganda. And Vice Ganda is way more entertaining.
All in all, I wouldn't recommend "Beautiful Disaster" to any of you fine folks. There are worse books out there, but there are also books that are a lot better that you can spend your money on.