[REVIEW] “Beautiful Disaster” By: Jamie McGuire


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, 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.

Rating: 3/5 Stars



When I first wanted to start getting into reading books set in college, “Beautiful Disaster” was always a title that was thrown around. My freshman year of college, (I’m a junior now) I remember the president of our campus book club recommending the book. So when I saw that it was on Kindle Unlimited, I knew I had to make sure I read it before my three-month subscription was up.

I’ll admit, prior to starting “Beautiful Disaster,” I had just read a three book companion series set in college, and adored it, so I went into “Beautiful Disaster” expecting to love it almost as much as my previous reads. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.

The book started off great. I liked the first 47%-ish of it, and then everything went downhill. It was 3 a.m., and I took a break from my binge-reading, and once I had taken a few minutes to digest what I had been reading, I started thinking about how problematic it all was. Granted, this was at the same time that Abby and Travis got together, so all of these things combined are what made the book start to lose it’s shininess for me.

I cannot stress how problematic he was. Well, they both were. Abby has more than her fair share of toxic moments, just like Travis does. Travis is prone to flying off the handle and beating guys up, which was not fun to read. At one point, Travis literally slammed one of his friends across the face with a cafeteria tray and everyone else literally shrugged and said the guy should’ve known better than to say what he had said. I’m not condoning being a total jerk to people verbally, but the reaction was so uncalled for. If this was real life, I would’ve hoped Travis would’ve been arrested for assault by now.

Once we learn more about Abby’s past, the book kind of goes wild. We enter a new, slightly unrealistic feeling world for the characters, which don’t help any of their dramatic-filled personalities.

Let me reiterate that the first 40-something percent of the book, I loved. Abby and Travis had great banter back and forth, and I loved them as friends. I was even rooting for them to get together, but when they did it was, as the title suggests, a disaster. Travis’s neediness began to feel less needy and more emotionally abusive, and I don’t want anyone reading this book (especially college kids) to think that this is a healthy relationship in any way, shape, or form. Major. Yikes.

(Side note: Can someone explain why he calls Abby “Pigeon?” Either I missed something huge at the beginning of the book, or I sat around waiting for the whole rest of the book for that to be explained and it never was.)

Abby’s friendship with her best friend America was pretty good. There was one point where something that Abby thought seemed to insinuate that her and America’s friendship was a little bit toxic, but that never really came to much fruition. America and Shepley, Travis’s cousin (and America’s boyfriend) had a much better relationship.

Overall, the wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, but I was disappointed by how much I didn’t like it. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to anyone. If you’re looking for some new adult college books, I’ll be putting together a more comprehensive list soon — but for now, I’d recommend reading the Fulton U series by Maya Hughes (also available on Kindle Unlimited) before this one. (“The Perfect First,” “The Second We Met,” and “The Third Best Thing.”)


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