Friday, September 16, 2011
Jamie McGuire - Beautiful Disaster
Quote of the book: “Mr. Maddox, think you could tone it down until after class?” Professor Chaney said, reacting to my giggling as Travis nuzzled my neck. I cleared my throat, feeling my cheeks radiate with embarrassment. “I don’t think so, Dr. Chaney. Have you gotten a good look at my girl?” Travis said, gesturing to me.
This week, I read a book that just shocked me. First of all, I was shocked that I liked it because the cover art is just bizarre (see picture). Second, I was shocked that I liked a book that was generally geared for a younger age group (probably high school or college age). The subject matter is unusual for me - since I prefer fantasy or historical romance novels - and yet, when I started skimming the book, I was absolutely captivated by it. The book is Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. I still am digesting what I read, but I do know that I would recommend the book.
The book focuses on Abby Abernathy, a college freshman who goes off to college with her best friend (America) hoping to hide from her family and her past. She is someone who has grown up in unusual circumstances and she is a tough cookie with a desire to become an upstanding citizen. Or at least her own idea of what a model citizen would be. Exactly what she doesn't need is the growing attraction she feels toward America's boyfriend's cousin, the campus bad boy, Travis. But feel it she does. More confusing for Abby is that the campus bad boy seems to be changing before her eyes and settling down thanks to her influence.
Despite her growing feelings for her new "best friend", Abby tries to put up roadblocks by dating the campus prep. Parker is everything she thinks she wants and everything she thinks is good for her. He is smart, well off, and on his way to Harvard Med School. What wasn't to like? But Abby is continually surprised that as she gets ready for dates with Parker, all she can think about is Travis and his reactions.
Travis, on the other hand, knows exactly what he wants. He is just bidding his time, waiting for Abby to trust him. Heck, everyone on campus has picked up on the fact that Travis is a totally different guy since he met Abby and most of them believe he has fallen in love with her. Unfortunately, only Abby can't see the truth that is staring her right in the face.
But Abby's past gets in the way. Just as Abby and Travis begin to come to terms with what they could be together, Abby is reminded of the scars that her upbringing has left on her psyche. And in trying to navigate through the challenges, Travis starts to get sucked into what Abby was and what it could mean for the two of them. And since Abby was running away from those very challenges, Travis seems to prove to Abby that he is the last thing that she needs and that being with him would destroy any hope of her leaving her past behind.
The characters are likeable and believable. Travis is the epitome of bad-boy-turned-good-through-the-love-of-a-good-woman. He is, in fact, irresistible as he steps back, lets Abby work through her demons, and waits to catch her if she falls. And she does, repeatedly. And when he catches her, you just want to say, "Thank God!". The two characters admit that their relationship is a tornado and, at times, a disaster. But it is indeed a beautiful one! I devoured this book in a matter of hours and I think that, despite the cover (which I hate), this is a book that will touch your heart! :) I know that this book has stuck in my head since the moment I put it down. It is intriguing and disturbing, but in the end, a real pleasure to read.