Monday, July 14, 2014

Audiobook Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Disaster
(Beautiful #1)
Author: Jamie McGuire
Narrator: Emma Galvin
Release: May 26, 2011
Goodreads  Amazon

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 wants—and needs—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.

You've all heard of this book, whether you read the genre or you've read the book or not. This book took the blogosphere by storm with readers' love/hate (mostly love) relationship with it. At the time it was released I had zero interest in contemporary stories so I avoided it. BUT, now that I am branching out in my reading pursuits I bought the audio to check it out. Plus, the author is now releasing the first book in a spin off series that focuses on each of Travis' brothers so I figured this was a good time to get involved in this world.

Although you have most likely read a million reviews of this one, I've reviewing it anyway for those of you who love it so much you want to read another review of it, or for those of you who, like me, didn't read it when all the hype was going on! I adored this book and was addicted to the story the whole time I was listening to it. I couldn't wait to see what the author would put all the characters through next!

Beautiful Disaster is very aptly titled, as the characters in this book and their relationships are a bunch of beautiful disasters. I love everyone and I felt like author Jamie McGuire really fleshed out all the main characters and major side characters. Our MC, Abby, is a typical nice, smart college girl on the surface with some layers of darkness, feistiness, and frankly some serious lady balls. I liked her more and more as the story went on and I could see why Travis was so obsessed with her.

And Travis. Well, come on. You've all heard the talk about this character. Travis is a wonderfully damaged guy and even though I wouldn't exactly want him as my boyfriend in real life, he makes for an amazing love interest to lust after in the book world. Especially his tattoos. He is brash and emotional and has a tendency to throw fists instead of words. He's a fighter, literally, so punching as a first reaction comes easily to him. (Let's be clear, I mean punching other dudes in the story, not Abby or any of the female characters. Just want to make that clear.) Sometimes when Travis gets into fights it shows how impulsive and damaged he is, but other times you really cheer him on - let's face it, some of the guys he hits deserve it.

Abby and Travis' relationship is off and on. It grows from friendship and has MANY rocky points along the way. If you don't love the angsty feels of a new adult college romance then this isn't the book for you. There's a lot of crying and yelling curse words and breaking things. It's wonderful. Their relationship is not exactly healthy for most of the book. And this is brought up by a few different side characters so I'm happy that it was addressed. But this book isn't supposed to be telling the most perfect love story ever. This book shows us a relationship between two maladjusted people with issues (mostly Travis' issues and Abby's past) and how they fall in love and find a way to make it work. 

Abby's best friend, America, and Travis' cousin, Shepley, have been dating a while and they are the way Abby and Travis meet each other during one of Travis' underground fights. America and Shepley feel like two very real and important characters who raise the story to another level. Although their relationship takes a backseat to Abby and Travis, you still feel really invested in what's going on with them. I love all the scenes where all four of them are together because something always goes down. And Abby and America's friendship felt realistic. Another thing that felt realistic was the college experience portrayed by Jamie McGuire. These characters stayed out late, woke up after noon, drank an unhealthy amount of shots, used fake IDs with ease, drove after drinking when they shouldn't have, etc. The author didn't give us a candy coated version of college. I felt really immersed in the story the whole time.

Overall, I LOVED this book and see why it garnered so much praise back when it came out. I am was addicted to it throughout and love love love Abby and Travis.

Notes on the Narrator: Emma Galvin is a new narrator for me and I thought she was a great fit for this book. Her voice was a little girly and a little deep at the same that possible? It sounded perfect for Abby's character, just the same mix that she is. And she was able to make Travis Maddox sound sexy, which is a talent for a female narrator. I recommend the audio if you haven't read the book yet, because I think some of Travis' tirades were especially awesome to listen to rather than read. She really brought the emotion to those scenes. I also thought her voice for America was perfect, with the right amount of spunk that the character has.

Recommended for fans of: New Adult, books based in college, angst, men with tattoos, bumpy relationships, throwing things, underground fighting circles, books that are like crack.

  5 / 5 stars


  1. I love Emma Galvin! I'm going to see if the library has this on audio. I want to listen to it too =)

  2. I really liked it on audio. America was awesome on audio, lol!


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