Beautiful Disaster

Beautiful Disaster

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,...

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Title:Beautiful Disaster
Author:Jamie McGuire
Edition Language:English

Beautiful Disaster Reviews

  • S.C. Stephens

    Wow...Travis, Travis, Travis. I liked him, I hated him, I liked him again...I worried about his sanity...then I loved him. And, oddly enough, I had a lot of the same feelings about Abby! So many times I wanted to scream at her, then him, then her again! Great, complex characters. I loved this!! Wonderful story, wonderful world, wonderful author!

  • Shelly Crane

    I'm not sure what to write about this book. The reviews for the book were SOOO incredibly misleading. I thought Travis was going to hit her, or come close, the way everyone was going on about the 'abuse' in the book. I get it, it was intense. But having seen real abuse with my own eyes, in real life..I didnt understand what everyone else saw that made it be worse and stand apart from all other books.

    This is a book about an alpha male. Just because it's not a paranormal book and instead, a contem

    I'm not sure what to write about this book. The reviews for the book were SOOO incredibly misleading. I thought Travis was going to hit her, or come close, the way everyone was going on about the 'abuse' in the book. I get it, it was intense. But having seen real abuse with my own eyes, in real life..I didnt understand what everyone else saw that made it be worse and stand apart from all other books.

    This is a book about an alpha male. Just because it's not a paranormal book and instead, a contemporary, it's not ok for him to act like that? I'm a pretty (very) conservative person and I've read paranormal books where the guys act worse than that.

    Abby was the one who got on my nerves the most throughout the book for jerking Travis around all the time.

    It's a book, and only a book, and I enjoyed it. I think I'll stop reading reviews before I read a book. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I don't want to deterred from a book again. I want to make my own decision. :) And in my opinion, I LOVED Travis!

    Great book, Jamie. Life is not roses all the time and everybody can change.

  • Dd

    Okay,now the storyline!!

    Abby Abernathy has a secret.She has a past.A dark past.An

    Okay,now the storyline!!

    Abby Abernathy has a secret.She has a past.A dark past.And to escape it all,she makes a new beginning at Eastern University,with her best friend America.

    Okay,I'll be truthful and tell you that I have no special love for her.Now,coming back to the story,America has a new boyfriend Shepley.He takes them watch a ring fight.

    And there Readers,we are first introduced to Travis,room-mate and cousin of Shepley.

    Now,I wish I could tell only good things but it won't be fair if I don't tell that he is also.....

    Now,Abby's whole life goes topsy-turvy when she becomes Travis's

    Their attraction is instant.But Abby is not ready to become yet another conquest.And Travis is not ready to back down from such a refreshing challenge.

    That marks the start of their friendship.

    Readers,they are insane together.They are out of control.

    So together they are...

    Read on for that...


    I'll say once again--

    Okay,my greatest complaint about this book was...

    I was actually loving and enjoying this book when I watched in horror the events unfold.

    How could Abby not know that Travis was in love with her??I don't blame her for trying to keep Travis only as a friend.

    And she accepted to go on a date with Parker that very day.

    And after that....

    Why?WHY??Because you slept with him even though you knew you were leaving and he's crazy about you!!!

    And Travis...

    Seriously Travis,

    but you

    Be the Travis who never backs down from a challenge and say...


    Now,this was just the beginning.

    Oh God!When they broke up and were saying good-bye during was too much.

    She had already dumped him.And then she realized her mistake,and wanted to get back with him.But when he was letting her go and saying....


    The only thing I can think of is either she is a

    or she loves playing

    Their last make-up was weird too.I'm still trying to figure out how that happened!!


    I know that you are still thinking about....'Why 3 stars?' Though in a different sense.

    Travis,you are a disaster and immediately need a shrink!!

    In the end, I want to say that I can empathize with people who gave it 5 stars,as well as with people who gave it 1 star.

  • Sophia.


    If you're easily offended by cursing, and/or aggressivity, then don't FUCKING read this. *

    I am literally losing it.

    So here's one excerpt from the book.


    “Travis is a fucking wreck! He won’t talk to us, he’s


    … Shep [room


    If you're easily offended by cursing, and/or aggressivity, then don't FUCKING read this. *

    I am literally losing it.

    So here's one excerpt from the book.


    “Travis is a fucking wreck! He won’t talk to us, he’s


    … Shep [roommate] can’t talk any sense into him! He

    when he found out

    . Abby! It’s

    me! Abby, he’s gone fucking nuts! I heard him call your name, and then he

    looking for you. He barged into Shep’s room, demanding to know where you were. Then

    ,” she sighed. “His face was… Jesus, Abby. I’ve never seen him like that. He

    , and threw them away,



    ! It was


    It's not okay it's not okay it's not okay it's NOT NORMAL BEHAVIOR. A few lines later, Abby calls him and everything's back to normal. NO. I'M SORRY BUT NO. YOU NEED TO STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM HIM!

    It drives me insane to see how stalkerish behavior is considered as "hot". This book is really, really disturbing, and I don't understand how it could get published. I got 'til chapter 9 and basically I can't take it anymore.

    The guy, Travis, suffers from very, very, VERY serious problems that should lead him straight into a shrink's office (

    ). I'm serious.

    Hey you girls, out there, who gave that book 5 stars, saying you want a Travis in your lives, in WHAT language do we have to tell you :


    And thank God that you haven't met a guy like him because then that would be fucking dramatic! Don't you understand how pathetic it is - all this characterization into unrealistic, hyper-sexualized, robotic male figures? These stories are all the fucking same!

    The guy is drop dead gorgeous, he's dangerous, he's sexy, he wants you even if you're plain like hell and what he feels for you goes beyond words: Edward Cullen, Christian Grey, Patch Cipriano, Kellan Kyle, Travis Maddox, Damen Auguste or Dimitri Belikov, they're all the same!


    If you ever have the misfortune to get involved with someone like that, GO FILE A FUCKING RESTRAINING ORDER already!

    I find it appalling that young girls actually read this thinking this is exactly how they want to be treated like someday!

    We're not pets! No fucking one in the world should be allowed to force you into behaving like a child!

    And I'm also thinking about boys, they're not exactly the target audience but still; reading this must lead to wonder if this kind of behavior is


    , "be aggressive, show your jealousy as well as the fact that

    , have no limits & be in control, use your strength to make a point, don't let her do what she wants because she doesn't really know what's good for her. You know better".

    It's so hard to be a teenager, to try to find who you truly are, fiction that is destined to be read by young people has some kind of role, it should

    instead of showing dysfunctional and extreme codependent relationships like they're



    Hey! YOUNG. ADULTS. That means you're becoming a damn citizen, that you'll study, get to vote, graduate, get a job and make a living! How could you

    want someone to be

    intrusive? To go as far as

    so you can't visit a friend?! (yes, Edward fucking Cullen I'm talking about you because


    Don't you realize it's an offense to your FREEDOM when a guy's literally forbidding you to get out of his house - even after you've asked him to let you go? When he's dragging you out of the car because you're making out with someone - all this when you're not even involved with him? When he's

    because you're seeing someone else?

    In fact, I won't even get started on all the stupid reactions of Abby. What

    dates a sweet guy and then goes sleeping in another man's bed every night, when she HAS a choice ? She's just a (stupid, lying and masochist) tease.

    Then she encourages Travis to beat the shit out of someone in the middle of the cafeteria? Seriously? Just because someone whistles at her or something, she says like "Teach him some manners!", and Travis throws himself on the man. Jesus,

    The poor guy ends up curled up in fetal position,



    No really, how can you read this?

    Where is your sense of civility, or your instinct of protection towards the human kind? How come

    in the cafeteria stands up and tries to stop this?

    It scares the shit out of me to see that some people are able to read such violence and yet remain flippant and oh-so-casual

    . It makes me wonder, if they ever witness a real beat-up, would they react? Would they

    ? Or has modern entertainment succeeded in making all forms of abuse look so cavalier that


    Travis kept opening the door when Abby was with her date on the porch late at night, or coming in the bathroom when she was taking a shower, refusing to get out, and generally being so nosy it was a shocking wonder how NO ONE told him to fuck off! And that bitch didn't even say ANYTHING!

    It's so genuinely dangerous when a guy's emotionally abusing/blackmailing you, or yelling at you for not obeying him, or trying to manipulate you! It is BUT romantic ! I don't give a damn whether the guy's a vampire, or an angel, or a fucking rock star, or if it was a bet or not,


    How could violence keep being depicted as something acceptable - let alone romantic?

    . Honestly! It's not a game! And she keeps forgiving him, every single time.

    What do you think are the profiles of the men who end up beating up their wives and/or showing extreme paranoiac behavior? ("Did you just look at that guy? Did you fuck him? Are you cheating on me? Don't you lie to me, bitch. I can see it in your eyes!" This is how it ends, people.)

    You just wait a couple of years, Abby. Just wait until he loses it, AGAIN, and ends up taking a fucking swing at you.

    Again, awfully stupid and arrogant Abby stays at Travis's apartment and she sleeps in his bed because she doesn't really have a choice. Fine. But the guy's bringing chicks in the living room, having a big loud threesome.. And one day later, he takes Abby's hand, acts all warm and fuzzy, saying stuff like "You're better than this [I'm not fucking you like I fuck the rest of 'em], that's why I treat you different, don't you ever get near boys or I swear I'll destroy them."

    . When you read something like that your fucking alarm must spark off! I don't know what to say anymore because honestly I feel like I shouldn't even have to say all this in the first place. This should be like, SURVIVAL INSTINCT.

    What is this message that's conveyed? Should we girls be standing on the corner, watching our love interest that pretendedly loves us fuck his brains out with the whole planet and calmly stating "I can deal with his behavior because, well, he's

    hot"? Or because he's so romantic that he managed to nickname her after

    , a.k.a Pidgeon?

    Why would you want to lock yourself up in some scary relationship where in the end, you just lose everything; your independence, as well as your right to have a life that doesn't exclusively revolves around him? Why would you want to give up your liberty as an individual in order to be so tied up with your love interest that you can't even

    on your own?

    (And for those who pretendedly realized that it wasn't healthy, but yet managed to like the book anyway: why would you want to witness such a relationship? What's the pleasure in contemplating two people who never, ever realize how deep they've fallen into violence and abuse?)

    I don't care whether Travis (supposedly) changes at the end of the book. I don't care for his pseudo redemption and/or efforts.

    , that Abby acknowledges them while they're horrible and

    manages to stay with Travis.

    I couldn't finish the fucking book because I was feeling sick to my stomach - and I insist on saying

    and should never be seen as something okay. So do you honestly think I care when you say I should have finished it before writing all this?

    . I have witnessed abusive relationships in real life; this book depicts the beginning of one, and the memories alone are enough to make me wanna puke. I sure as hell won't force myself to undergo the whole 400 pages.

    Besides, I read on some reviews that (spoilers):

    * At some point he won't let her get out of the apartment because he thinks her clothes aren't appropriate enough. Therefore he forces her to change.

    * They get married at Las Vegas (at 19).

    * That after him getting an "Abby" tattoo, she gets one too that reads "Mrs Maddox".

    I'd like to talk about this for a second. I'm a firm believer that you can love someone in an unconditional way without having to show it with material proofs. Marriage


    Travis unexpectedly got an "Abby" tattoo, without warning her, without considering the consequences of such an act


    Anyway, Travis emotionally challenged her, and so she got one too. Again, what is this? A leash that she will never, ever be able to free herself from? What if their relationship doesn't last? What if they get a divorce? Basically, until the day she dies, she will look at her skin and remember that at some point in her life, she chose to

    herself not as a person, but as a wife. As someone's something. And that's just terrible.

    So. *Breathe*. In my humble opinion, I think it is better that I just don't finish it. Like, ever.

    . Women fought and still fight every day so we can be treated as equals and not as objects.

    Because it did. It fucking did, big time.

    Also believe it or not but I'm not doing this to tear the author down, I don't really care about her, my review isn't about her but about the book. It's nothing personal, I respect her as a human being. I just feel very sorry for the messages she conveys through this


    : Yeah, so. About that. There seems to be some kind of

    here on Goodreads (but also on Amazon, Twitter, etc.).

    Since the author of Beautiful Disaster made me be a part of it, I've decided to join here two links. The first one is a

    , written by author

    . Check it out, it's


    , written by Nafiza, on her blog. And I have one thing to say: you go, girl.

    : One more, because McGuire just doesn't know how


    : Yes, I know this is way too long already but I wanted to add something. For the trolls who've been telling me for the past fucking year that this is just fiction: not only do you come off as stupidly paradoxical for being on Goodreads in the first place, because it's a website for people who feel passionate about books, but you're also wrong. When you read a book for entertainment purposes only, you're relaxed and receptive, almost vulnerable, as unconsciously, you assume that what you're reading is okay and right (otherwise it wouldn't be published, would it?) Therefore you don't really pay attention to the real meaning behind what you're reading. After all, "It's just a book", right? Wrong. Sometimes you have to wake up, and realize that what you're reading is in reality a dangerous stinking piece of shit. Yes, it's a book, but young girls read this and unconsciously absorb the messages that are being sent, and then it has an impact on the way they carry out their personal lives, without even realizing that stupid books like this one contributed to giving her a black eye and pushing her down the stairs. Because they've been reading about that "hot" behavior for so long, they've been sexualizing it and they've been associating it with good looks, and of course, with the

    . In reality, it doesn't work like that. You can't change someone who's damaged and unstable just because you love them, no matter what the books try to tell you. Don't waste your time trying.

    And the fact that Travis Maddox is described as being extremely hot is a manipulation that tries to trick you into thinking that if it's beautiful, then it must be good. Think about that: a weird, ugly guy who follows you around and destroys his apartment because you didn't pick up your phone wouldn't be hot, it'd be creepy as fuck. And that's what I'm asking you now: try to think beyond the "good looks" (and the sugarcoating that goes with it) that the medias are trying to feed you, and just think by yourself. By the way, it also leads to fucking idiotic bitches who tweet about how

    . What the fuck? There aren't enough words to say how wrong this is. What do I care, you say?

    Wake the fuck up, girls, and never accept being treated like that. You are an individual, you are important and you matter. Your decisions will have impacts. You deserve so much better than someone like this Travis-fucking-asshole. Let him go die in a fucking hole and go lead your own life like the independent and free person you are. And please, destroy the person who will so much as

    to tell you otherwise.


    . Due to some comments, it feels like it's time to

    some stuff.

    If this review pissed you off, or offended you, you should know that I don't give a shit about, well, what you think. If this is about my swearing, or my aggressivity, you were warned from the very first line and I don't have anything to say to you about it. You knew it was a 1 star rating so basically, no one forced you to read but yourself. Get over it and move on. Simple as.

    And I know I mentioned the 5 stars ratings girls and all, but really it was just semantics,

    , cause whatever you say, it won't change the way I feel.

    Because I don't give a fuck about what you have to say! Unless it is interesting, of course. But if you’re here to defend the psychopath and try to explain how in the end the relationship comes full circle, or why his unacceptable behavior is only masculine and protective, please SAVE YOUR TIME. (And mine).

    Obviously, we won't get along and if you can't understand what I'm trying to say then it's fine, keep loving



    , I mean, it's cool. Honestly, I'm serious, tastes and perceptions and

    are all different and I don't have a say in this, and neither do you. So, well, you can just save your time with the comments. And fuck off already. Thank you.

  • Hayley

    .4/22/16: Edited to add spoiler tag; didn't realize I never checked it 4 years ago.


    Now that I've read this book twice, I can say absolutely without a doubt that I hate it. It wasn't me being stupid and not realizing how great a book was until the second reading, like it was the first time I read


    . It really is just an awful book.

    Every single character in this book is an absolute idiot - with the exception of Kara, who is the only charact

    .4/22/16: Edited to add spoiler tag; didn't realize I never checked it 4 years ago.


    Now that I've read this book twice, I can say absolutely without a doubt that I hate it. It wasn't me being stupid and not realizing how great a book was until the second reading, like it was the first time I read


    . It really is just an awful book.

    Every single character in this book is an absolute idiot - with the exception of Kara, who is the only character without her head firmly shoved up her ass. Actually, she nailed Abby and Travis right on the head when she said, "Do you know what co-dependency is, Abby? Your boyfriend is a prime example, which is creepy considering he went from having no respect for women at all to thinking he needs you to breathe." The one damn character who wasn't a total idiot - and every time she was mentioned in the book Abby made her sound like a complete bitch. Actually, I suppose Parker wasn't half bad either, save for his strange (but healthy!) interest in Abby. Oh, and he liked to call her "Abs." BIG FUCKING DEAL. Personally, I'd prefer "Abs" to "Pigeon". But besides Kara and Parker, everyone sucks.

    Travis is irresistible. To everyone. Absolutely everyone. Girls literally throw themselves at him in sickening, unrealistic ways, despite how motherfucking clear it is that he only wants sex. He is extremely smart and gets perfect grades but never studies at all. He doesn't even bother to pay attention in his classes. Not only that, but Travis Maddox is the hottest boy on the planet. He has a perfect, mind-blowing body although he doesn't work out. I'm sorry, but that is fucking impossible. Ask any guy with a six-pack and I'm sure he'll tell you what hard work it is to look like that. It is also fucking impossible for a guy who never, ever works out to easily take out two members of the God damn Las Vegas mob. Travis often says stupid things that clearly indicate the relationship between himself and Abby will turn to an abusive one sooner or later - when he makes her change her clothes before they go out because he thinks what she's wearing is too revealing, for instance. He is not only mentally destructive, but physically as well. He destroys his apartment when he wakes up and Abby has left him. He kicks the shit out of anyone who even looks at Abby. He breaks his fucking phone because if he doesn't, he won't be able to stop himself from calling Abby. THIS BEHAVIOR IS NOT NORMAL.

    I think the most annoying thing here is that everyone acts like Travis' behavior is okay. It's not, "Abby, Travis is destroying the apartment. Maybe he needs to visit a psychologist and talk his dead mommy/drunken father/rambunctious older brothers problems through." It's, "How could you do this to him, Abby?!" Instead of, "Why the fuck is an asshole with anger problems breaking into song in a cafeteria?" everyone joins him in song. Nobody, not once (besides Abby herself a few times), questions why Travis addresses Abby as Pigeon at the end of every other sentence. I know that if I heard someone addressing someone as an ugly ass bird I would question the origins of that nickname. But no. Travis calls Abby "Pigeon" a total of 97 times and "Pidge" 28. HE GETS "PIGEON"

    ON HIS ARM. What the fuck is this book?!

    Abby Abernathy just sucks because she's so damn stupid. She is so dumb that although taking Travis to Vegas was the cause of their most serious breakup, she decides she wants to go back there to marry him. In what way does that make sense? You don't need to fly all the way to Vegas to vow yourself into a mistake marriage, you fucking idiot. It's possible to go to a courthouse. I also don't really understand her rationing for needing to stay at Travis and Shepley's while the water heater was broken. She can just go there, shower, and go back to her dorm. That is possible. Apparently, none of the fucking characters in

    were able to reach that conclusion themselves, though.

    The irritating thing about Abby is that she has her moments where she's so close to a breakthrough. I remember specifically one time she was telling Travis they should take their relationship more slowly (naturally, he was on the brink of flying into a rage in response). That's very good. It's sensible. Then a couple chapters later she runs off to Vegas to get hitched and have herself "branded" as "Mrs. Maddox." In what world does this make sense?

    The bottom line is that

    is a shitty book. I could go on forever about it. I could post all the completely moronic pieces of the story I highlighted while reading, but it's really not worth my time. I've read it twice, and I still fucking hate the book, and I still don't see at all what other readers see that is so great. Believe it or not, this is not me bashing McGuire or her readers. While McGuire hasn't made the most mature comments or blog posts, I'm sure she's really a fantastic person. While I don't have a fucking clue about what people see in this book, I don't think less of a person for enjoying it - and don't give me reason to by attacking me and telling me why you liked it. I don't care. At all. I don't want to hear about your love affair with this story. I don't want you to list all the great things about it. You're not going to change my opinion or the opinions of others who disliked it. If you want people to gush with, go comment on a 5-star review and save your time commenting on this one. I've quit reading all the comments anyway, and skim at best.

    TL;DR I hate this fucking book, I feel justified in hating it now because I gave it a second chance and it was worse reading it a second time, and nobody should waste their time reading this stupid book unless they're really into reading about stupid motherfuckers with such deep co-dependency issues they can't even function apart.



    I've just realized people are actually reading, commenting, and liking this review, and I feel like I should

    review this book instead of angrily rant about it. So I'm (very slowly) going to force myself to reread Beautiful Disaster and hopefully be able to write a better review with fewer fucks. We'll see.



    Beautiful Disaster: a


    Talk about a book with seriously messed up people who can't even

    by themselves. These two are worse than even Edward and Bella. Abby and Travis are two absolutely psychotic people who should never have gotten together. Beautiful Disaster glorifies everything that should be discouraged in relationships.

    These two people are so fucked up. It's portrayed as normal that, upon waking up alone, Travis completely destroys his apartment. He has outrageous jealousy issues and instead of being freaked the fuck out by that Abby is head over heels for him. Abby continuously makes the most idiotic damn decisions. These two fuckers have so many codependency issues that they can barely even function apart. Travis needs her in the room while he's beating the shit out of people or he can't even concentrate on punching the guy because he's so distracted wondering what she's doing. He literally threatens (if not beats up) EVERY. SINGLE. GUY. that looks at Abby--and that's supposed to be attractive. This shit is all viewed as normal. Travis bursting out into song in the cafeteria prompts everyone to sing along. Everyone. What in the HELL? Not to mention the random mob plot line? Or how somehow Abby is a fucking moron but is a card-playing genius? OR HOW EVERY FUCKING CHARACTER THINKS IT FINE AND DANDY THAT TRAVIS TERRORIZES THE SHIT OUT OF EVERYONE.

    How in the HELL did this get nominated for Goodreads awards? Or any award ever? How was this even PUBLISHED? This love story is not normal. Stalkers are not good. I don't know what the hell all these people rating it five stars and gushing over Travis are thinking, but if I dated someone who treated me like Travis treated Abby I would run for the fucking hills as fast as I could.

    And, last but not least:


  • Lucy

    opens up at night in the basement of an empty academic building on a college campus where a fighting/betting ring known as The Circle is being run. This is where we meet Travis 'Mad Dog' Maddox, the male romantic lead. He, of course, wins his fight. The female lead, Abby, is attending the fight club for the first time that night. She ends up with blood on her cashmere sweater and a new name given to her by Travis, who doesn't ev

    opens up at night in the basement of an empty academic building on a college campus where a fighting/betting ring known as The Circle is being run. This is where we meet Travis 'Mad Dog' Maddox, the male romantic lead. He, of course, wins his fight. The female lead, Abby, is attending the fight club for the first time that night. She ends up with blood on her cashmere sweater and a new name given to her by Travis, who doesn't even bother to ask for her name before arbitrarily deciding on 'Pigeon.' It is the way one might rename a dog one has adopted.

    We meet Travis again in the cafeteria. He is being

    Abby's best friend America, who also happens to be dating Travis's cousin and roommate, makes a snide comment. One of the blonde's calls her a skank. Travis

    because America is his friend. This little interlude sets up two major reoccurring issues: girl on girl hate and Travis treating girls like garbage to step over. Every girl in the book except for Abby and America is a skank, a bitch or a bitchy skank. As for Travis, this incident of deliberately humiliating a girl in public and dropping her on the floor like the used condom wrapper she represents to him is actually as close to a gentleman as he ever gets because this is one of the mildest examples of his behavior.

    After lunch, Travis and Abby conveniently have a class together although they seemed to have seen each other for the first time at the fight last night. Whatever, get used to this author making up shit as she goes along and writing inconsistently from start to finish. I can give you a list of minor (yet annoying) continuity issues in the comment section below if asked.

    Travis fixates on Abby and sits beside her, leaving disappointed girls by his usual seat. He indicates she should take notes for him and spends the rest of the class zoned out. Never fear though! Travis is a freaking genius. He doesn't need notes or studying or attending classes to ace the grades. On a similar note, he also does not need to eat healthy or exercise to maintain his muscle mass and six pack! I'm sorry, but every guy I've talked to with a body like Travis's could go on

    about his diet and workout regime. We don't have to worry about believability in this world because despite the lack of traditional fantasy markings nothing about this book remotely resembles reality. In this world, control and abuse can turn into a happily ever after.

    With minimal effort Travis pesters Abby into agreeing to come to his apartment after school with her friend America, who is there often to see her own boyfriend, Shepley, Travis's cousin. She agrees and then attempts to dress in the most disgusting way possible:

    I'll hold on while you get your favorite religious artifact to hold off this monster. This description pretty much matches me at the moment on my day off. Rawr.

    Anyway, Travis is not put off by this visual and decides to drag her out to dinner, which he *gasp* never does with the girls he sleeps with. Abby's friend America is the least helpful person when it comes to rejecting Travis's unwanted advances.

    (We still have no idea why he's calling her this.)

    (Dialogue is routinely shrugged and smiled rather than spoken.)

    I can't even tell you how much trouble my friend would be in if she did that to me. Still crappy friend aside, no one forces Abby to go with Travis, no one forces her to get on the back of her motorcycle. She does all of these things despite being extremely uncomfortable around him because Abby is an idiot. During dinner Travis opens up to her about his dead mother and they connect a bit. So much so that he insists on sitting beside her the next day at lunch by bullying someone else out of an already occupied chair. And it is bullying. He does not ask for the chair so much as claims it already belongs to him (much like Abby) and then he stares the guy down until he moves. Abby is pleased with the attention and the girls looking at her to see who Travis insisted on sitting beside.

    The next big plot movement involves broken boilers in America and Abby's dorm room. America's solution is that they move in with Shep and Travis until they fix the boilers. What... the hell? I can't comprehend how moving off campus to be near hot water could possibly be more convenient than living on campus and heading to an off campus apartment once a day for a shower. Really, you're not supposed to be thinking this much, but since Abby protests vehemently before capitulating you do get a lot of time to think about what a stupid idea this is. I would have preferred a day of skipping a shower or a cold shower to living with someone who made me uncomfortable.

    Abby and America arrive at the apartment just as Travis's latest fling(?) is getting ready to leave. She offers him her number and he declines in front of an audience of two other girls and his roommate, letting her know exactly what she means. They're not a silent audience either: "

    America's boyfriend must

    after she delivers this tirade even though the girl she insinuated was, at best, naive and, at worse, stupid is still standing there. Abby is not pleased with all of this because she didn't realize

    I love how other girls in this book are treated. It's just fantastic. My favorite is Abby calling the girls Travis sleeps with STD infested imbeciles.


    Nice, right? Nothing about Travis or how he treated them, just the awful, dirty sexually active girls.

    Abby decides she can't possibly sleep on the couch so Travis offers her his bed. He does not fuck girls in there. This speaks volumes about how he views women, good enough for his dick, not good enough for his sheets. I'll kill the suspense here. He sleeps with her in his bed, but not before he keeps wandering in and out of the bathroom while she's showering!

    He brings her a towel and her toothbrush while she's showering and then ignores her shrieks at him to get out. He does not knock before entering the bathroom nor did he announce himself. He just opens the door and makes himself at home. It's creepy. He brings her stuff in, which means he went through her bags. She shrieks about him going through her stuff and he ignores her, not offering an excuse or apology. She shrieks at him to get out again and he insists he has to brush her teeth all while she's naked on the other side of the curtain. It's all invasive, scary, and the start of a very alarming and controlling relationship.

    I wouldn't have finished showering. I would have gotten dressed, soapy hair and all, before heading back to my home. Abby, who has stood in the shower with her arms wrapped defensively around her chest listening to him brush his teeth, gets out of the shower and SMILES at the night moisturizer Travis brought her while violating her privacy and personal space. Vomit. Vomit. Vomit.

    During Abby and America's long stay with Travis and Shepley (seriously, the campus couldn't open another dorm building for them to shower in?), they all go to a bar together. In an attempt to prove they're not sleeping together to the rest of the school Travis and Abby dance together? I don't get the logic there. Anyway he licks her throat. She is not happy. He's mad she's not happy and grinds up on some other girl. She flirts with the bartender, but Travis puts a swift stop to that! Because the guy is a rapist! He's been arrested for it and Travis knows all about it! Thank God for Travis. Thank God for his instructions not to take drinks from anyone but him and his cousin, because they treat girls with all the respect in the world and are the most upstanding citizens to take drinks from. Vomit. Vomit. Vomit.

    They are still a foursome when Travis gets called for another fight. He asks Abby to go with him. America gives her non-Abbyish clothes to wear (a deep cut, yellow halter top and tight, low-rise jeans). Travis takes one look at her and DEMANDS she change.

    Abby gets changed.

    Then she gets on his stupid motorcycle again while he drives dangerously. When they get there, Travis claims he can go his entire fight without getting hit. Abby calls bullshit. Travis offers to make a bet. He won't sleep with anyone for a month if he gets hit. If he doesn't get hit she has to continue living with him in his apartment for a month. I don't even have words to express how I felt when this stupid girl took this stupid bet, but she does. Travis wins. She must live with him. I think when you take away someone's constant choice to be with you then it becomes skeevy.

    Shepley gets angry at Abby for the agreement because she promised not to get involved with Travis. Whenever Travis screws around with the best friend of the girl he's dating it ends badly for him. Of course, he doesn't fight with Travis or demand promises of Travis, no he screams at the girl. Abby insists there's nothing sexual between them and that there never will be. Travis comes out of the shower during all her insisting and gets annoyed. As revenge he goes to a bar, comes home at two AM with not one but two girls. He goes into the room where Abby is sleeping, fishes through his bedside table for some condoms and heads back out into the living room to have a threesome. She sits there listening to him giggling and moaning etc because she can't leave the bedroom without walking through the living room where his little threesome is going on. When he's finished, he kicks the girls out, and he gets back in bed with her reeking of whiskey.

    She gets out of bed, steps over condom wrappers and sleeps on the reclining chair. In the morning, America acts like a real friend for the first time and packs Abby's things to take her home. Even Shepley is contrite. Travis wanders in during this conversation, having already been out to buy all of Abby's favorite foods for the month she will be staying with him. I'm going to pause and say gifts after emotional or physical abuse are part of a pretty common cycle. Abby stays because Abby is an idiot who insists a bet is a bet. Travis apologizes and hedges around letting her out of the bet. When Abby indicates it is the only thing keeping her there he holds her to it.

    While she's living with Travis, Abby starts a tentative relationship with a boy named Parker who seems pretty decent. Travis responds as one might expect even though he has made no real romantic gesture towards Abby when she leaves a party with Parker.

    Convenient how every guy except Travis is a rapist. Of course, Parker is not really a rapist. Travis is just insinuating it to scare Abby into going home with him. Because Travis is the safe choice. Vomit. Vomit. Vomit.

    Parker behaves like a gentleman, kissing her cheek goodnight. Travis is waiting so close to the door that he opens it before she can push which causes her to fall in. He does this just about every time she goes on a date with Parker. The only exception, I believe, was when he drunkenly went down to the car where they were kissing and pulled her out of it.

    (good for you, Abby!)

    (so much for it being her business.)

    More vomit inducing craziness in which Abby accuses him of spying on her. He tells her he doesn't want to know about when she sleeps with Parker. She says that would be a big step for her. He says that's what all girls say. Abby says,

    Yes, she's a virgin so she really is different from all the sluts he slept with! Ugh is right. I think waiting for someone you're really comfortable with and really in love with is a good thing, but I also never felt superior to girls who felt differently about it. The girl on girl hate in this book is ridiculous.

    After Travis humiliates Abby in front of her date, intimidates and threatens her date until he leaves, and laughs with delight and relief over her virginity he then attempts to drunkenly seduce her. Abby goes along with it. (This is where I felt a migraine coming on). The seduction stops because Travis doesn't want it to be like that between them. Lovely that the drunk Neanderthal calls all the shots.

    I'm only at thirty percent of the book here and I only have 25% of the room left to review so I'm going to start doing some heavy condensing.

    Creepy Things Travis Does:

    1. He buys Abby a puppy for her birthday to keep at his apartment so that she will always have to come back.

    2. He beats his friends to a bloody pulp in the school cafeteria for making sexual innuendos about Abby. In reality he would've got tasered by security. After several incidents he would've been kicked out of the university, but don't worry about reality in this book.

    3. He lets Parker and the rest of the school believe he's sleeping with Abby to chase him away.

    4. He refuses to allow Abby out of the bet even though he is strangling her healthy relationship with Parker.

    5. Immediately after Abby and Travis sleep together he calls himself her last first kiss then he destroys the apartment and rages at Shepley and America for helping her leave when his words creeps her out.

    6. After only a few weeks, he tattoos "Pigeon" on his wrist and a long Hebrew scripture quote about belonging to your beloved and your beloved belonging to you. Never has the word 'belonging' seemed so threatening.

    7. Screams at her for accepting a drink from another guy because it could have roofies in it and besides, she's HIS GIRL, HE will buy her drinks. NO ONE ELSE.

    8. Punches a guy who is touching her while her face is inches away from the guy's face.

    9. Stalks her after a break up. Lies to his family about them still being together. Manipulates her into pretending to still be a couple so she'll cook dinner Thanksgiving dinner for his family. Kisses and has sex with her even though he's promised he wouldn't cross those lines again. (I'm not absolving Abby of her stupidity here either.)

    10. Stalks her some more. Drags guys away from dancing with her. Threatens their lives if they go near her. Tosses her over his shoulder and drags her out of a party. Demands a designated driver take them to his apartment, drags her kicking and screaming out of the driver's car, tosses her in his apartment. Somehow they end up having sex. Don't fucking ask me. It grossed me out -- I can't stomach re-reading it.

    Awful Plot Devices:

    1. Zac Effron sing along. I read in another review that Travis had the charm to pull off a Zac Effron sing along. I thought this was meant to be an exaggerated comparison... it was not. He sings Rolling Stone's (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction in the school cafeteria with the football players as back up singers. This is really not a joke.

    2. A trip to Vegas where Travis fights to win money so Abby can pay the debt her big time gambling father has transfered to her. Oh, did I not mention she is the daughter of a famous poker player?

    3. Travis getting offered $100,000 per fight to continue fighting in Vegas. He decides to take the offer despite Abby's protests and then is shocked and a rage maniac when she breaks up with him because of it, despite knowing she wanted nothing to do with that lifestyle

    4. A basement fire at fight club bought on by gas lanterns. Because people really use those anymore.

    Don't worry! Everyone important lives. Because this is reality.

    5. Abby proposes, they go to Vegas again to get married, she gets a tattoo that reads Mrs. Maddox and mentally refers to it as a brand several times.

    Real Ways this Book Could Have Ended in Order to be Realistic and Send a Message:

    1. Travis kills Abby in a drunken fit of rage over something she's wearing, saying, and/or doing. Travis spends the rest of his life in jail.

    2. Travis kills some guy for interacting with Abby in a way he deems inappropriate. Travis spends the rest of his life in jail and either A. Abby visits him twice a week for the rest of her life or B. The guy's death serves as a wake up call for Abby and she spends the rest of her life far, far away.

    3. Travis kills Abby

    some guy in a drunken rage because he preceived a threat. Travis spends the rest of his life in jail.

    I don't believe Travis is smart enough to get away with any of the murders because he usually doesn't see any reason to hide his awful behavior. He does everything in front of many, many witnesses every single time.


    I purchased this book several months ago because I planned on reading a lot of self-published books in 2012 as a reading project. I purchased it before I read the author's blog post berating negative reviewers. I would not have purchased the book had the post happened before the purchase.

  • Kiki

    This book is a nightmare. It's as if Jamie McGuire reached into my brain, found my worst nightmare, wrote it down, and then charged me $13.99 to relive it.

    But that's not all. I read this book on an 8-hour flight from London to Toronto. This book and I spent 8 hours together, in coach seating, with nothing to do but surrender to the impossibility of an escape. There was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, as this book stared up at me, begging to be read.

    "Give me a chance," it said. "Just because

    This book is a nightmare. It's as if Jamie McGuire reached into my brain, found my worst nightmare, wrote it down, and then charged me $13.99 to relive it.

    But that's not all. I read this book on an 8-hour flight from London to Toronto. This book and I spent 8 hours together, in coach seating, with nothing to do but surrender to the impossibility of an escape. There was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, as this book stared up at me, begging to be read.

    "Give me a chance," it said. "Just because my author ostentatiously attacked reviewers like a spoiled brat last year during the Great War of Goodreads doesn't mean I'm a heap of shit. Read me. Read me, bitch. Read me."

    I caved to the demands of the book, and am now a quivering wreck on the floor. I will proceed to chronicle my transition from literature enthusiast to broken shell of a woman below.

    Take off: My spirits are high. The first page is fine, if a little poorly written. I make a note that this book kind of reads like fanfiction. Also making a strong effort not to blend the author's tasteless actions last year with the content of the book. Also laughing at the ridiculous character names, but reminding self that neither "America" or "Shepley" is as bad as "Eureka Boudreaux".

    Growing distaste for random "Pigeon" nickname.

    Hour one: Surprised by route taken by book. There appears not to be instalove, which really

    be surprising, given the nature of the absolutely deplorable love interest who is a walking caricature of male privilege, misogyny and rape culture rolled into one physically unappealing package. Writing grinds on my nerves:

    and contextless swearing, as well as random British words and phrases, pepper the text.

    Parker/Abby/Travis love triangle is unrealistic, twisted, and does not hang together. All Abby does is fuck Parker over, and all Travis does is fuck Abby over, and all Parker does is belittle Abby and walk around looking perfect, and no trouble stirs from this despite Travis and Parker being frat brothers? Why the fuck is Travis even in the fraternity, because all he does is beat the shit out of everyone? (Then again, this sort of antisocial clique mentality and culture of gender binary is what fraternities and sororities thrive on). Constant and aggressive misogyny against every other woman who shows interest in Travis is a motif within Abby's narrative. They're bimbo twins, or they're short-skirted sluts, or they're "giving themselves up". Of course, Travis engaging in promiscuous behaviour is sympathized with because he's "troubled".

    Hour two: All sympathy for book waning. Abby and Travis revolve around each other like the doors at Macy's and whine about loving each other but not being sure about the other person's feelings, meanwhile the entire college watches them as if they are the centre of the universe and Abby shrugs off this fame while smoothing down her modest cardigan and flipping her modest hair like a "good girl".

    "A really popular misogynist/date rapist is in love with me," she says, in front of an adoring freshman audience. "But we're just friends. Whatever. I don't let it go to my head."

    Self-indulgent narrative sympathizes aggressively with dysfunctional central relationship and tries to convince reader that said dysfunctional central relationship is not abusive by addressing this threat of abuse through the lens of characters set up by the narrative to be villainous/bitchy/slutty. All women except those in committed relationships are portrayed as harpies. This 400-page book, narrated by a female character, written by a woman, just barely passes the Bechdel test.

    Hour three: Cabin fever sets in. The book and I stare each other down, with the seatbelt sign looming over our heads as a hellish omen sent to warn us of the impending five hours of the journey, in which we will remain locked in a turbulence-fuelled death grip at 40,000 feet. Determined not to succumb to the throes of insanity, I throw the book under the seat and watch

    . Movie is just as misogynistic and cheesy as book.

    Book finds its way back into my hands. I open it and go hard at it, determined to finish it in the next three hours. However, I am forced to gag into my white paper vomit bag when a sex scene with all the romantic appeal of the "guts" sequence from

    blindsides me. I read another hundred or so pages filled with nothing but belly button fluff, and then the proverbial towel is thrown in again.

    (Bonus points for Travis trashing the apartment like a fucking gorilla in heat after Abby leaves in the morning without saying goodbye.

    bonus points for having

    apologize for his appalling, violent, frightening behaviour.)

    Hour four: Insanity sings a siren song. I am barely able to hold on to my mind as a huge convoluted plot involving Vegas, poker and "cronies" springs up out of thin air.

    Abby and Travis break up because Travis wants to join the Mob (???), and the sun seems to shine again.

    Hour five: Abby and Travis fuck each other over again, constantly pussy-footing around the truth and their feelings. However, hilarity ensues when one realizes that they have broken up and Travis is stuck with "Pigeon" tattooed on his wrist. What a fucking idiot.

    (Aside: book seems to spookily endorse tattooing other people's names and script related to other people's names on one's body.

    This is pretty much a renowned fact. Tattoo artists everywhere will strongly advise against it.)

    Abby and Travis fuck again in his father's house (???) but they don't get back together.

    Hour six: The plane has entered Canada and the end of the longest flight in history appears to be in sight. However, the book refuses to wrap up. There is more misogyny to be had, more violent behaviour from Travis, more pussy-footing, and a reunion which oozes with cheese. Side characters America and Shepley continue to be aggressively boring.

    Hour seven: weird fire-at-the-fighting-ring subplot appears, and fizzles away to nothing. Motif of weird fizzling subplots emerges and it becomes apparent that there is no plot to this book, only an abusive and codependent relationship and its hurdles. Nothing actually happens except a few immature and bratty kids behaving like dogs in heat, spattering period blood all over the floor and pissing on strangers' pant legs. They are the most inconvenient, self-absorbed and antagonistic group of people who all need a good, solid kick in the pants.

    (Bonus points for pretending to be inclusive by having a gay character. Yes, pretending. Book is not inclusive when book portrays a gay character as an extreme and commodified caricature with absolutely no expression of sexuality, no agency, and no reason for existence outside of consoling the main character when her straight romance breaks down.)

    Hour eight: Travis and Abby are married (!!!) in Vegas (!!!) at nineteen years old (!!!) which I suppose is meant to be a happy ending but in fact leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. Cheesiest scene in the history of the universe proceeds, along with fifty pages of surrounding filler. Book seems to drag on forever - chronicling Abby and Travis as they check in at the airport, as they drive somewhere, as they hug, and as they recycle the same conversation filled with sweet nothings that they have exchanged at least twenty times before. I am crying inside, begging for this ordeal to be over.

    When it is, a tsunami of relief washes over me. I arrive home, go to bed, and do not awaken for eleven hours.

    In conclusion: this book is not beautiful. This book is just a disaster.


  • Emily May
  • Kat Kennedy

    Nope. Can't do it. It's just too horrible. I've reached my max saturation point of stupidity.

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