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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Audiobook Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

TITLE: Beautiful Disaster 
SERIES: Beautiful, Book #1
AUTHOR: Jamie McGuire
NARRATOR: Emma Galvin
PUBLISHER:  Simon & Schuster Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: August 14, 2012
FORMAT: Unabridged Audio CDs, 12 hours on 10 CDs
GENRE: Romance/Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781442359482
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.


I received this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own. 

This book will rank among my favourites of 2012! 

Beautiful Disaster is a dysfunctional love story about a couple who meet in college: Travis Maddox and Abby Abernathy. Travis is your typical bad-boy with a heart of gold. He’s a good-looking guy covered in tattoos and has the reputation of being the college playboy. All the girls know that he is a one-night stand kind of guy, yet women still flock to him wherever he goes. Maybe it’s the lure of the bad boy, or maybe it is the challenge of wanting to be the woman who tames this Lothario.

When Travis sets his eyes on Abby Abernathy, his world is turned upside-down. Abby tries to down-play her attraction to Travis, and her hard-to-get attitude pays off. Travis is so used to women shamelessly throwing themselves at him that Abby’s unexpected ambivalence towards him is a bit of a turn on! The two wind up making a bet: If Travis wins, Abby has to stay at his apartment for a month; if Abby wins, Travis has to become celibate for a month. Travis ends up winning the bet, and Abby keeps her promise to move in. Her best friend, America, is dating Travis’ cousin and roommate, Shep, so America can’t be any more tickled pink with the arrangement! Shep, on the other hand, is worried that if Travis breaks Abby’s heart that it will be the end of his relationship with America.

Travis and Abby grow closer and closer, but still fail to cross that line from platonic to romantic. No one in school can figure out their relationship. They spend all their time together, yet they are not dating. When the end of the month comes and it is time for Abby to move out, she picks that moment to give in to her desires. She gives up her virginity to Travis, and then she sneaks out in the morning because she is unable to face him and say good-bye. For her, it was closure on their odd relationship. For Travis, he gets a piece of what he has been dishing out for years.

I love books that feature flawed characters, and Travis and Abby are both just about as flawed as you can get! Travis thinks that he doesn’t deserve Abby, and he tries to change for her. Meanwhile, Abby feels that she can’t get involved with Travis because he reminds her of her from which she is trying to escape. Abby has some secrets of her own, and she thought that sleeping with Travis was the best way to get him to move on and forget about her. She figured that once the thrill of the chase was gone for him that he would proceed to his next target. She couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead, Travis becomes obsessed with Abby and is a wreck without her. She won’t admit it, but she is also miserable without Travis.

I think that I probably fall into the minority on this one, but I think that Abby is more messed up than Travis! What kind of girl loses her virginity to a guy that she wants to get rid of? Abby is the one who is constantly pulling away and giving mixed signals. After they break up and she moves on, she gets mad when he tries to do the same. I kind of felt sorry for the guy, who couldn’t do anything right where Abby was concerned.

Memorable quote:

Travis to Abby: “You know why I want you? I didn’t know I was lost until you found me. I didn’t know what alone was until the first night I spent without you in my bed. You’re the one thing I’ve got right. You’re what I’ve been waiting for, Pigeon.”

I was initially shocked going into the book due to the mature content because I was under the wrong impression that this was a Young Adult title. It has been incorrectly labelled that way on many sites. I went to McGuire’s website, where she advises that she has classified this book as a Contemporary Romance and not as Young Adult.

I do not like stories with unrealistic couples whose relationships are perfect. McGuire’s characters feel so real to me, and her story had me absolutely riveted! I could not stop listening to this audiobook! This is my second time listening to Emma Galvin, and I much preferred her narration this time around to the last one I heard (The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer). Her voice conveyed the appropriate emotions in the story, and I was really caught up in this tortured romance.

It will be pure agony to wait until April 2013 to read Walking Disaster, which is told from Travis’s point of view. How will I ever make it until then?!?


5 stars!! It was superb! I loved it, and I will likely re-read it again in the future! You should definitely read it! Thanks to Simon & Schuster Audio for the review copy! 

This book qualifies as: 


  1. I adored this book! Great review. I'm looking forward to Walking Disaster, too!

  2. Thanks, Lori! I guess we are in for a long wait! :)

  3. Great review! I , also really enjoyed this story, even if I prefer paranormal romance, I couldn't put this one down!

    1. Thanks, Proserpine! Like you, I favour paranormal romances and don't usually read contemporary romances, but I had to see what all the hype was about ;)


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