Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{December 11, 2011}   {Review} Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

From Goodreads: 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 America, 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 charming college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charms, 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’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.


I hate to say it, I really do, but this book is, unfortuantely, not for me.  Now, I realize that I am in the minority here, because if you look on Goodreads, over 1400 people gave this novel five stars and absolutely loved it, but I’m afraid I”m not one of them.  This just goes to show that different people like different things; we all have different tastes, and that’s okay, because it makes us unique.  I may love a novel that my best friend absolutely hates, and vice versa, but that doesn’t mean either of us is wrong, only that we have different likes and dislikes, different opinions.  That being said, I really didn’t care for this novel.  In fact, it really turned me off, mainly because I know someone just like Travis Maddox, I’ve been in Abby’s shoes, and it’s not a pretty thing—it doesn’t end well.  I think I spent a majority of this novel sitting there yelling at Abby to get the heck out of there, and for Travis to get some therapy.  I know, it sounds terrible, but Travis is so unhinged, physically destroying things when he doesn’t get his way, that it was nerve-wracking to read about.  I felt like Abby was in danger throughout the entire novel, and even though things turn out okay, anyone as needy as Travis is dangerous, in my opinion, especially when alcohol is in the mix. 

Abby is trying to outrun her past, but in the end she seems to be right back where she started, making bad decisions and throwing in her lot with someone who I, personally, don’t think is the best person to hang around.  Yes, this is fictitious, and McGuire has tailored her story to go a certain way, making it almost fairy tale like in the end, but I felt like it was unrealistic, mostly based on my own personal experiences with my own Travis Maddox, so my bias tainted my reading of this novel.  I am not an extreme feminist, by any means, but I am an independent person, and watching Travis control Abby as he does throughout the novel really irked me, again, based on personal experience.  But, this doesn’t mean I don’t like McGuire!  McGuire is an extremely talented author, and the fact that she was able to make me feel so strongly about her characters is a testament to her sheer writing abilities.  Both Abby and Travis are extremely well written characters and, as I said before, the masses really do love them.  My personal issues with the characters don’t reflect on McGuire as much as they do my own past, and it won’t stop me from reading more of her work either.  Yes, I had a difficult time reading this novel, and, therefore, can only give it two stars, but remember it’s personal, people.  Unless you’re just like me, you’ll probably really enjoy it.


I am among the so many that absolutely LOVED this book! But, if I had an experience like this for myself, I may think differently also! This was a well written review, you did a great job getting your thoughts across while maintaining the “this is only my opinion” view. Thanks for sharing!

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