Intense... Dangerous... Addictive. Meet your new obsession.
As the release of Walking Disaster is right around the corner (2nd April, ladies and gentlemen), here is my review of Beautiful Disaster...
We have Abby, newly arrived at college with a past. All she wants is to settle down with her best friend and get on with her studies. She doesn't want to reminded of bad things, drunken brawls, gambling... anything that could lead to old habits and really bad memories.
Enter Travis, the college lover boy and resident hottie; the drop-dead gorgeous guy who has tattoos, fights and has far too many one-nigh-stands to count. He is maddeningly attractive... So Abby has to stay away.
But Abby being immune to his charms seems to fascinate Travis. As their friendship develops, a bet is made... and Abby loses. She must stay with him at his apartment for a whole month.
And then the fun begins and the romance starts.
At the top of the book (great cover by the way), it says INTENSE, DANGEROUS... MEET YOUR NEW OBSESSION... Well, they pretty much have it right there.
I am a romantic at heart, so Beautiful Disaster was right up my alley. But when I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. I read the entire book in three hours; all 420 pages of it, it was that good.
And here is why.
Beautiful Disaster is a novel that, though contemporary, follows one of the most basic romance plotlines: boy-meets-girl, boy-loves-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-wins-girl. And it does it well. The story arcs are well designed and the writing flows magnificently, taking the reader from one event to the other without the feeling of abandonment. I never felt lost while reading this novel and the comparisons to Pride and Prejudice and other romances are justified (not Twilight though).
The characters are yet another strong aspect to this story. As the novel is written in first person, the protagonist had to likeable, strong and yet have some interesting flaws; she certainly had to have a past (as all good heroines in the modern age do). Abby fit the bill perfectly. She was willful, brave, funny, realistic, and she had an essence of romance too. The fact that she drove me mad a few times is a testament to JM's writing brilliance. Abby really gets under your skin; at certain points I shouted at the book (at a fictional character, yes) because she was being an idiot.
Which brings me onto the yumminess of Travis Maddox... poor, muscular, built, tattooed, yummy, drop-dead gorgeous Travis. Now, here is a character worth writing about, and not just for the shallow reasons. I cannot wait for the 2nd April. He is one big complicated soul; I can imagine a psychologist having a field day with him. He sleeps with women all the time but hates the constant attention (which is why he's fascinated by Abby), he fights in an illegal fighting ring but takes Criminal Justice and is so uneblievably caring underneath all that hard muscle and moodiness that it just about tears your heart out. Travis is a vulnerable guy and quite often throught BD, I felt so sorry for him. I mean, who wouldn't love him?
My final thumbs up to Beautiful Disaster is the humour element. I mean, when you're writing a book about college students and romance, it isn't going to be serious all the time is it? JM has the fun down. Some of the one liners in the novel are superb; I was giggling for ages!
What was wrong with it?... I challenge you to find something... Maybe an 'off of' there and then but so what? I don't care; they were in the dialogue anyway.
This is one of my favourite books on the shelf. It's fun, romantic, dangerously quirky and the characters are awesome!
Bring on Walking Disaster!