Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Book Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Mcguire

3 Sep 2012

Beautiful Disaster 
by Jamie McGuire 
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Australia/Atria Books 
Release Date: August 14th 2012
Format: Paperback

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and 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 needs—and wants—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.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book as addictive as this one. I have to admit, I was captivated from the very first page;and no matter how much I tried to not like it, I couldn’t stop myself from continuing on. McGuire’s writing is like my own personal drug- it killed me to stop reading it for even 1 second. I just had to know what would happen next, and what would become of Abby and Travis’s relationship. Beautiful Disaster may not be my favourite book ever, but it’s certainly the most addictive book I’ve read to date.

Our main character, Abby, was surprisingly likeable considering I had already decided that I most likely wouldn’t like her based on the blurb. Despite the blurb mentioning Abby as a “good girl”, I personally wouldn’t call her that. Yes, she works hard. Yes, she enrolled at Eastern Uni hoping to begin afresh. But she drinks. She swears. She partys.. We only see her “good girl image” for literally 2 pages, and then she starts partying and going out.  I guess it was the fact that she wasn’t such a “goody-goody” that made me like her. I had initially thought (before I even read the first word) that she was the soft, submissive type who agreed to anything and did everything the first guy she meets asks of her. But I was pleasantly surprised when Abby turned out to be determined, tough and stood her ground. There were definitely a few times when I was annoyed with her *cough*two-timing*cough*, but for the most part, I found her likeable.

Travis’s behavior in the book has certainly garnered much attention from readers everywhere. I’m not going to lie; he’s violent. He’s impulsive. He’s hot-tempered. He’s unpredictable; and he certainly meets the criteria for the kind of guy that girls (or maybe just me) avoid. But he’s hot. He’s sweet. He’s loyal. And no matter how dysfunctional relationship with Abby is at times, I couldn’t stop loving the two as a couple. I think that Travis’s character should however, only exist in fiction; in the real world, I’d think the relationship/his character would be a different story. But regardless, I adored the two as a couple!

I should probably warn you (yet again) that this book is insanely addictive. It’s not the sort of book I’d purposely encourage you to read - I’d tell you to tread with caution rather than scream at you to devour it immediately. It all depends on what sort of book you tend to enjoy. However, if you DO decide to give this a shot, make sure you read it during a time when you won’t be interrupted. (Chances are, if you end up loving it, you won’t be able to put it down, OR you’ll have to suffer 20+ hours of not reading it and almost dying in the process. Like me!)

Beautiful Disaster surpassed every expectation I had, and despite it being a lengthy novel, I wanted it to never end. I didn’t want to stop reading about Travis and Abby. Even after I finished the book, I was desperate to re-read some of my favourite scenes! I’m officially in love with this book! I officially cannot for Walking Disaster, out next year! :)


  1. I really want to read this, it looks amazing! It cover is gorgeous too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, great review! :)
    New follower, love your blog x
    Zoe @

  2. Whoopee!!!! I'm so glad you adored this, Shirleyyyy!!!! It's had a lot of mixed reviews but I've been contemplating reading it since Jen loved it so much but then you hit me with all your bubbly enthusiasm so I know this is a -must-get-my-hands-on book!

    I absolutely LOVE addictive books and seriously her writing is like a drug? I want a taste of it ;) I'm giggling at the fact that Abby is only a 'good girl' for the first two pages... not so good after all, eh? I love characters who don't conform to what they're stereotyped as. I also have this strange eagerness to meet Travis - he sounds like the kind of guy I'd hate but if he's sweet and loyal as well...

    Dysfunctional relationships seem all the rage nowadays so I'll give this a chot! Thanks for the super lovely review, Shirrleyyy!!!!! <333

  3. I'm really glad you loved this. :) I've heard great things about it. I'll have to check it out soon and hopefully read it. Great review, thanks for sharing!

  4. Celine @ Forget-Me-Not7 September 2012 at 18:42

    EEEEEEEEE SHIRLEY! Can I just say 'YES YES YES YES YES' to every single word on your review? When I read Beautiful Disaster, I was honestly surprised at how much I actually enjoyed it. It was like you said, highly addictive. I could not put the book down at all. I had to keep going and read more about Travis and Abby. While I know that Travis and Abby's relationship is quite unhealthy sometimes, I just can't help but enjoy their story :P

    Anyway, awesome review, Shirley! ♥ SO glad you enjoyed it! Really can't wait for Walking Disaster ;)

  5. Well I just read a not so glowng revew of this one. This book seems to strike a chord with readers. I hear it is addictng either way. I am glad you loved it. i just need to get in gear and read it. I missed your fun comments on my blog! Glad you are back!

  6. I have this to read, but ohmygosh I'm so nervous about doing so. It seems as though this book either gets 1 star reviews, or 5 star reviews. People literally LOVE it or HATE it. I'm so glad that you loved it! It makes me more excited to give it a go.

    Ha, I'm glad Abby isn't a proper 'good girl', because that would make this book so typical! Thanks for your wonderful review, now I can't wait to read this.(:

  7. I love how enthusiastic your are about this book, Shirley! I have had the Kindle version for months now but haven't gotten around to reading it. Now you're reminded me of it and I can't wait to read it, I like that you mention their relationship is ok in a book, but wouldn't work in real life!

  8. Jen (A Reading Daydreamer)7 September 2012 at 18:47

    Great review! Hehe I just reviewed this one on my blog as well. :) I agree with you on A LOT of parts, the addictive factor, of course! And yes, Travis was hot. ;D But I have to say that yes it was good, but there were too many flaws for it to be 5 stars for me. :/ I like your warning: read with caution. So glad you are one of the people who loved this one, Shirley! :)

  9. PS - did you know there's an excerpt of Walking Disaster on the author's website??? The part when Travis decides to get a puppy! Squeee! ;D

  10. YAY, you loved this too! It's completely addictive despite all the flaws, and I completely agree, while Travis wouldn't be the best boyfriend in real life, in the book I loved them as a couple. I was so psyched when I found out about Walking Disaster, and this one has definitely made it onto my favourites list. Fab review! :)

  11. This book will not leave me alone. Every time I make a decision whether to read it or not, another review comes back to haunt me and TOTALLY mess up my feelings! It's one of those books that gets under your skin even before reading it haha. I have NO idea if I'm going to like it or not; all the flaws people point out and Travis less-than-stellar qualities have me thinking 'avoid! avoid!' yet then you all point out how goddamn ADDICTIVE it is and that it took you on such a rollercoaster. I need to read it to UNDERSTAND. Damn you all :P Amazing review, Shirley!

  12. I have to admit, this book really, really surprised me. I actually enjoyed it despite the issues I had with Travis and Abby's relationship. Anyway great review! Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  13. Jenny @ Supernatural Snark7 September 2012 at 18:47

    I'm really excited to read this book Shirley! It's earned such a wide variety of responses and I love books like that because they tend to inspire conversation and I love talking about books. I want to know how I'll react to Abby and Travis's relationship, and I'm definitely one of those people that is able to be attracted to someone like Travis in fiction knowing his real-life counterpart would be a different story:) Beautiful review!

  14. Great review, Shirley! This wasn't my sort of book, but I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'm looking forward to seeing what you make of Walking Disaster. I have to admit, I'm a little curious about that book (I wonder what it's like in Travis's head!), but I probably won't read it. :)

  15. I LOVE addictive books, this make me excited! Wow, this sounds seriously addictive. When I decide to read this, I'll be sure to clear my schedule. Travis sounds like a River Boy, this excites me even MORE. *swoons* *faints* I am SO excited to read this and I'm SO glad to hear you enjoyed this. Lovely review, Shirley!

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  17. Vivian the Spirit says: Wow Wow Wow!!! The reviews for this book have been SO insanely mixed, I honestly don't know..but the addictiveness of this ride really sounds worthwhile for me to give it a shot! I love a good, sticky book that you just cannot let go!! Sounds like quite a coaster!! Thanks for sharing the awesome and informative review, Shirley!! -POOF!-

  18. Ahhh man! I LOVED this book! the story and the characters are going to stay with me for a veery very long time I tell you that. I agree with everything you said here Shirley! Great review. x


  19. Wonderful review! I have heard so, so many different opinions on this one and I'm hoping that when I do get around to it, it'll be something I enjoy - it sounds like I would enjoy it, so I'm looking forward to it. I'm glad you enjoyed it too!

    Steph @ SOOTP


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