Beautiful Disaster: A Novel by Jamie McGuireBeautiful Disaster: A Novel by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Disaster: A Novel

byJamie McGuire

Paperback | August 14, 2012

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about

A New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller about a good girl dangerously drawn to the ultimate bad boy.

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 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.
Jamie McGuire is the bestselling author of Walking Disaster, Beautiful Disaster, and the Providence series.
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Title:Beautiful Disaster: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 8.25 × 5.31 × 1.1 inPublished:August 14, 2012Publisher:Atria BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1476712042

ISBN - 13:9781476712048

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Ok It wasn't bad, but it wasn't amazing either. I did have trouble completing the book, I'm just not a fan of the relationship in the book.
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie McGuire Wow...Travis, Travis, Travis. I liked him, I hated him, I liked him again...I worried about his sanity...then I loved him. And, oddly enough, I had a lot of the same feelings about Abby! So many times I wanted to scream at her, then him, then her again! Great, complex characters. I loved this!! Wonderful story, wonderful world, wonderful author!I’m honestly baffled by my response to this book because I not only enjoyed the story, but I also gave it high marks. In many ways this book is everything I hate in a Young Adult romance, but I still found myself enthralled, giddy, and starry eyed, regardless of how annoyed I became at time. In fact, I felt like I was at odds with myself during most of it. There was my latent teenage self, all starry eyed and idealistic, who loved everything about this book, warring with my more mature and realistic.I found I liked all the characters in this book. Not once did I become annoyed with them- shocking for a Young Adult story.
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I ADORED THIS Hands down the best book I've read in a long time!!! I recommend it 100%!!!! Dont even think twice. IT IS BEAUTIFUL AND AMAZING. It is a page turner for sure. Ive read it in 1 sitting.
Date published: 2017-08-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Extremely disappointing I do NOT understand how this book has received generally favourable reviews - this is exactly why I purchased this book. The main character is emotional abusive and no woman should be taught to stand for this nonsense. The book is poorly written, and not much happens beside the main characters arguing non stop, and his friends living in fear. Terrible book.
Date published: 2017-08-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Horrible! It makes me so sad to see how many people loved this book! There is nothing sexy in an abusive boyfriend who gets jealous if his girl talks to another one and who breaks things when he is angry with his girlfriend. This books shows unhealthy relationships that should not occur!
Date published: 2017-07-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Captivating read! This book launched me back into my love of reading! You need to go into it with the mindset that this is an unhealthy relationship, hence the word "disaster" in the title, and I think it gets an unnecessarily bad rap because people don't keep that in mind. It's a very captivating read up until about 3/4 of the way through, and then it just seems like the author had deadlines to meet and it became cringe-y and unrealistic really quickly. Still one of my favourite novels, though!
Date published: 2017-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this!1 I bought this book about a year ago and have read it twice since. I cold not put this book down which is a lot coming from me as I do not read often,
Date published: 2017-06-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Typical college romance HOLY! This book was a rollercoaster. Honestly, Travis was an ass half the time but it was entertaining to read.
Date published: 2017-06-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyed Enjoyed this book, however there was a bit of a lull in the middle. Overall though I would suggest this to someone looking for this genre of book. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-06-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting to say the least This was an interesting book with how others have perceived the relationship between Abby and Travis. I wouldn't say it was ideal in any sense, but I don't doubt that Travis loved her. In short, this checks off all the boxes for an average NA novel from the dramatics of the plots to the alpha hero.
Date published: 2017-05-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved the first half of the story... I loved the first half of the book, it was entertaining and fun. But the last bit of the story I found it hard to connect to and frustrating.
Date published: 2017-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book I honestly couldn't put this book down. This was the first book I have read by this author. I loved Abby and Travis's dynamic and how they started out as friends and had this electric chemistry between them and then it turned into so much more. I even loved the ups and downs these characters faced, it really added to the story and the secondary characters are just as important as the main ones!!!1
Date published: 2017-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a good read!!! Loved it so much when I read it at my aunts house that I bought it and bought Walking Disaster as well.
Date published: 2017-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! One of my absolute favorite books!
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED THIS BOOK!! Such an amazing book to read. romance novels r my favorite to read. and this book might have just become on of my favorites
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this Book Travis and Abby are meant to to be. I read this book a while ago but that was my first romance book and i loved it. I love that she write both pov. I have all the book that she made and i love everyone of them. I recommend those books.
Date published: 2017-01-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh Read it a few years ago and loved it. Re-read it recently and was kinda creeped out by Travis lol
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favorite books! Jamie has a way with words that simply cannot be ignored. I loved the flow and intensity of this novel!
Date published: 2017-01-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Really Did Not Enjoy I assumed this to be a harmless story of two opposites like many other books, but Travis was so obsessive and not a great character that a girl should swoon over. Did not enjoy at all. Couldn't stop thinking about the fact that Travis was so obsessive.
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! It's not the regular romance novel, but even more engaging! Reread this book over and over and never get tired of it. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Favorite This is by far my favorite novel. I have read and reread it so many times in a short time of owning it I may have to purchase a new one. The characters are compelling and diverse its a new way of imagining the bad boy angle.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from fantastic read! This is one of the best books I've read in a while. Its wonderful, exciting, overwhelming, and keeps you on your toes. I love it. It only took me 4hours to read and I was devastated when it was over.
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I Really Enjoyed This... This book was the second NA book I have ever read, and I gotta say, I was not disappointed! This book seems to have people either loving it or hating it and I am glad that I was on the loving it side. Travis is messed up and Abby is really no better, and watching their disastrous relationship unfold into something kind of beautiful was really entertaining.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Better Than Expected I originally thought that this book was going to be another cliche. What I didn't expect was Abby's background. I thought that brought a new and interesting aspect to this book and it was great. I can't wait to read the next book.
Date published: 2016-12-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from ugh... the relationship in this book would be a true disaster if it was real...
Date published: 2016-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved I really enjoyed this novel. I loved the wit and love between the two characters.
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Amazing novel by Jamie, as usual! I'm really loving those Maddox brothers!
Date published: 2016-11-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Okay...if you like romance novels I don't typically read these types of books (I like non-fiction), but this was decent. Well written, and kept my attention despite the fact this book isn't "my thing". If you enjoy this genre, you'll enjoy this book. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Passionate Love Story I enjoyed reading this book. It was nice to see the love grow between Abby and Travis although they spent so much time hating each other lol.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from YES! LOVED IT! Read the whole series, including all the brothers. Love, love, love it... can't get enough.
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourites I'm an avid reader and while I have read many books since I've read this one, this book is still one of my favourites! You just get sucked into their story and once you start reading, it's hard to put the book down!
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice! It was different from what I usually read (not romantic). Would recommended it to anyone who enjoys a good romance. The writing style was also really good, not the kind that would make you sick or cringe lol.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect for all New Adult/Contemporary Romance Fans! This book is perfect for all fans of new adult/contemporary romance fans! I literally could not put this book down... The relationship between the characters is addictive and a great start to an amazing series - The Maddox Brothers series by Jamie McGuire.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it I loved this book and series. I really enjoyed McGuires writing style.. highly recommended!!
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!! I loved this book and could not put it down until finished, I have read it 4x and it touches my emotions every time also I loved the sequel + the other books on the Maddox brothers.
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOOOVED THIS BOOK The concept of this book is really interesting, it deals with a boy named Travis who is a boxer in like this underground arena while still going to college. It also deals with a girl named Abby who is a good girl and cares about her grades and wants no distractions but when they meet they both kind of hate each other but are both put into a situation where they have to deal with each other and you are able to see how their relationship grows into something and how they deal with situations along the way.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I enjoyed it! I really enjoyed this book and would absolutely recommend!
Date published: 2016-11-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Disaster Enjoyed reading the book, could not put it down unril finished. Can't wait to read the next book in the series.
Date published: 2015-07-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Disaster Once again I enjoyed reading the book and could not put it down until the end. Can't wait to start reading the next book in the series.
Date published: 2015-07-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not great This is a rather dysfunctional relationship from the start and the love story is only so-so. I definitely won't be reading the sequel.
Date published: 2015-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely amazing!!! I love the plot, the characters, everything!!! Jaime is such an amazing author. You can really feel the intensity of the scenarios! JuSt simply amazing!
Date published: 2015-07-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it ❤ I loved this book the first time I read it. I loved the second time. Best book ever.
Date published: 2015-05-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good, Short Read Couldn't put this book down. Read it in 10 hours. Takes a turn I wasn't expecting, but overall was pleasantly surprised with this book.
Date published: 2015-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from obsessed with this series!!!! this is a book i would read many times over until i can find something i love just as much! lol
Date published: 2015-02-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down I absolutely loved this book. Couldn't put it down. Read it in two day! I highly recommend if you are looking for a young adult love story.
Date published: 2015-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from different from the typically love story but i couldn't put it down!! good read!
Date published: 2014-10-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Love this author,love all her book read this after reading fifty shades an its by far way better, amazing story line keeps you reading till the end,could not put it doen loved it :)
Date published: 2014-08-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Disaster Wow what a great read!! Once I started it, I could not put it down. Could not wait for the next one! Even read it over a few more times!! Thank you for this series.
Date published: 2014-08-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful disaster Frustrating at times but overall loved it !!!
Date published: 2014-05-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read Good story and great book.
Date published: 2014-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book Couldn't put this one down. Great book!
Date published: 2014-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved ittt! Such a good love story . Kept me hooked. Ill be reading Walking Disaster now !
Date published: 2014-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful disaster It was great felt all the emotions
Date published: 2014-03-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful disaster I could not put this book down so gripping
Date published: 2014-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful disaster This is a great book.. It's easy to read..
Date published: 2014-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful disaster I absolutely love this book! It was beautifully written and had me on the edge of my seat. This is the kind of love audiences want to read about. Fantastic!
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful disaster This book was pure "romance". Bad boy turns good because of his love of a girl. Intense at times, sweet and torturous at others. Every page turn is a new emotion and new perspective, I fell for them hard. Love scenes weren't bad either.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful disaster I loved this book! It had romance, excitement and a great love story.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from good fun easy read with the ending I hoped for
Date published: 2014-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely amazing! This book is definitely worth reading! I could not put it down for a second and ended up finishing it within a few days.. From the first few chapters, I was enveloped in the store of Travis and Abby (Pigeon). Very well written, kudos to the Author. I am picking up Walking Disaster and A beautiful Wedding tonight. Need my Travis Maddox fix! Hope this book makes it to the big screen, the story line is great :)
Date published: 2014-01-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from overall, a good book... wait, i forgot about the bad writing and crappy protagonist 2.5 stars I feel bad about criticizing this book, because really, it's good. I like the romance and, however annoying their relationship can be, it (mostly) makes for an entertaining story. But i'm not impressed with the poor communication skills McGuire has and the super annoying Abby who changes my view on the whole book... lets just say she's less than toleratable. Stay with me because this may get confusing... From what i hear you either love this book or hate it. And the reason for hating it is usually Travis. People think they're in an abusive relationship but i guess i see differently and think he is sweet. McGuire lets readers feel his pain when Abby does something bad, we can feel his anger - although he would never hurt Abby. Travis is great. He's not amazing, but i really like him. Yeah, he definitely has some problems, but he is sweet and caring. I dont like the hot-headed, overly-protective, controlling Travis, though he is real. He is confused and unsure about a lot of things, but unlike Abby, him and his problems seem real. I guess he's presented in a way that makes me feel more relatable and more real. No, it's not Travis i have a problem with. It's Abby. Abby is frusterating. Yeah, i guess some may like her, but i dont. Shes annoying and fairly selfish. I wish she could be stronger! She cares way too much about what other people think of her, and thats something i hate. I wish she would look the truth in the eye! And i know, i love many characters that do this cuz it makes for a good story and in the end they become stronger. But i dont think she becomes stronger at all, or maybe she does and i dont see it, or its not the way that i would like. As for the 'it makes for a story' thing, in this case its just so frusterating! She could be like this and i would feel for her and understand her and it would be real, feel real, but thats not how it is. Shes winey and, God, not in a good way. Not in a realistic, enjoyable and entertaining way. In a way thats 'give me a break!' And it just brings my whole view of this book down. Shes not COMPLETELY unbearable, but just not... the best. Abby just needs to get her head straight because i think she doesnt know what she wants, and she makes some stupid and bold moves that leave me shaking my head. It's not that Abby has unrealistic problems, it's that McGuire doesn't communicate with the readers to make Abby seem awesome, seem like she overcomes those issues in a good way. Which brings me to the writing. McGuire isn't a bad writer, she just isn't enjoyable... for me. In many cases, the writing is the foundation for any book, and i'm not saying that McGuire is a bad author, i just don't really like how she communicates. How she writes. So, yeah, you could say i don't like her. i feel like i understand Travis and feel for him more then Abby. You're supposted to understand the narrator, right? Not in this case. McGuire told us what Abby feels, but i would never actually feel it. But with Travis, it's different. Based on what McGuire tells us through the eyes of Abby, i understand him more then her and i feel sorry for him, if it's his mistake or Abby's, its Travis i feel for. Abby makes some bold moves that might, if the book was WRITTEN WELL, would be entertaining. But it's not. I was screaming at her to understand what is going on! But she is CLUELESS! And not in the 'awwe, i wish she could understand,' in the 'I WISH SHE COULD UNDERSTAND IT'S KILLING ME!' Shes freaking annoying and not enjoyable or entertaning at all. I will admit, Beautiful Disaster is a fun read. If i get past the awful narrator and not so moving writing, it's enjoyable and a nice read. But near the end, there's this really intense part which could've been more intense. I hate to say the lack of intensity is due to the writing. So, i wish this book had a better lead character, was written better with more feelings and emotions, and had me moved and crying and all emotional and smiling like a little girl. But those are wishes, and what this book really is is... good. Its fine. It is an entertaining love story and if i dont think about selfish Abby, i would give this maybe 4 stars. But it's too bad that she just happens to be the lead character. Sucks. Three stars. A good book, but not what i hoped it would be. I'm not impressed, although it is fairly deep. I know i'm contradicting myself but it's what i feel, so i hope you understand. I'm pretty confused myself. But Beautiful Disaster is good. I want to read the sequal because i want to see if anything's different in Travis's POV. Since i think hes the better character, hopefully it would be better. And i want to find out what Abby is like from Travis's eyes. I respect others opinions and i guess i can see and understand why you would hate it(Travis) or love it, i just think its fine. So 2.5 stars. Read or don't read, the choice is yours. But don't go in with expectations... any... at all.
Date published: 2013-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Made its way into my favourite books! I absolutely loved this book. The emotions that Abby experiences were transferred over to me as I read, and I found myself smiling at certain parts and tearing up at others. I love books that are able to do that to me because it really makes me not want to put the book down. Jamie McGuire's word usage is incredible and I would definitely recommend this book to my other friends!
Date published: 2013-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it!! I didn't really know what to expect with this book but I absolutely loved it! I could not put it down. After reading 50 Shades I have wanted a good love story and this was it minus all the sex stuff which made it SO good (for me anyway). I rushed out and got the second one Walking Disaster but haven't started it yet because I don't want it to be over.... It was a great book and I highly recommend it!
Date published: 2013-07-10
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Yeah.. No. It actually scares me how many people think that this relationship is something that they want. This is a textbook ABUSIVE relationship. Travis is obsessive and violent not romantic and 'misunderstood'. He may not have hit her in the book but really.. would you have been surprised if he did? I was waiting for it to happen the whole time. I'm getting a little sick of these types of relationships appearing in books and having women swoon for the men, trust me ladies a relationship with someone so volatile is not what you want. If this book had been produced to show the negative impact of an abusive relationship and her overcoming said abusive relationship it would have been a much better read. As is though, I will not be reading the sequel or anything more by this author.
Date published: 2013-07-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Absolutely disappointing One of the worst books I've read so far. This is a story about a narcissistically annoying woman and a crazy, obsessively jealous man, whose relationship is far from anything romantic. If you think by the end of the book they become somewhat normal, think twice, the couple end up crazier than they started. The dialogue was plain awkward. The plot line was meaningless and shallow. The only thing helping this book was its side characters.
Date published: 2013-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Great Read I loved it. I heard so much great stuff about this book that I had to read it. I was addicted. I couldn't put it down. Like I said I absolutely loved it. Easy Read. I do recommend for mature audience.
Date published: 2013-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It was an amazing love story! This book.. Gosh theres never a dull moment at eastern university that's for sure. The characters are very believable and I think every girl can relate to Abby. Travis is the ideal man underneath the shell he puts up, and the quest for her to find it is romantically enchanting. I think any highschool/ collage girl should enjoy this book!!
Date published: 2013-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best books I have read in a LONG time :) This book is absolutely amazing. I could not put it down! I love the dysfunctional relationship between Abby and Travis.
Date published: 2013-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!! WOW THIS BOOK WAS AWESOME HOTT ABOUT THESE TO CHARACTERS WITH THERE UPS AND DOWNS OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP AND ITS WAS SIMPLY AMAZING . I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN THAT HOW AWESOME IT WAS AND IM NOT GOING TO TELL YOU THE ENDING CUZ ITS WILL RUINED BUT I LOOK FORWARD TO READING THE NEXT BOOK OF JAMIE MCGUIRE AND THERE WAS TIMES WHERE I WANTED TO CRY FOR ABBY BUT IN THE END SHE HAVE HER TRUE LOVERS AND THAT IS AMAZING!!!! I WOULD RE READ THIS BOOK ANY TIME ....
Date published: 2013-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book Very well written, I could not put it down. I would definitely recommend this book. Looking forward to Jamie 's next book.
Date published: 2013-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It I picked up this book, unsure of what it would be like. Reading the back of the book, I knew I just had to get it. I was hooked! This book is a page turner from start to finish! The story is well written. This is a must read!
Date published: 2013-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! The story is light yet captivating.. Read the book in 2 days..
Date published: 2013-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book -- couldn't put it down!! Beautiful Disaster was such a great book! I CANNOT wait for the next one (Walking Disaster) from Travis' point of view. I almost wish I didn't read it as quickly as I did but it was a story full of twists and turns that the pages just kept turning. I was hooked right away and kept wanting more and McGuire delivers. Can't believe this book started out as a self-published book. So glad I picked this up.
Date published: 2013-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dysfunctional relationship gets a happy ending I totally agree. I loved this book. It was full of suspense and action and for me, I found it hard to put it down until I was done. You are constantly being puled around my all the breakups and make-ups of this young couple. Everything Travis does is a profession of love to Abby. Reading this book will make you fall in love with the characters. By the end, you will surely be satisfied. I personally LOVED it. I spent 3 days reading this book (a record for me), I woke up at 3am to read this book, I was totally in love with this book. There needs to be a sequel of this book, I was in love. Read this book and you will not be disappointed. It truly takes you for a ride, but you gotta read it to believe it. Trust me you'll love it.
Date published: 2013-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the Best I've Read I found this book at Target--somewhere I never buy books--and at first I hadn't thought much of it, just as something to pass the time away with, but was I ever mistaken. I started reading this book one evening and didn't put it down until 6am at least, I was anxious to wake up just so that I could finish it. I thought it was absolutely amazing. I did find that the relationship between Travis and Abby was a bit too ultimate and fast-paced, which made me find it a little unrealistic, but that may have also been due how quickly I had read the book. The characters are amazing, for not having too many main characters to follow they are well developed and are very entertaining. I absolutely adore this book and would recommend it to any hopeless romantic such as myself--also in that Travis sounds gorgeous--I cannot wait for the story told through his point of view.
Date published: 2012-12-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Impossible to put down! I picked this book up because the cover art caught my eye. When I started reading it I was not expecting much, as for me a good book comes along once in a blue moon. Within the first 50 pages, I knew this book was going to be hard to put down. For 3 days I found myself staying up all hour of the night and waiting for work to finish so I could get back to it. This book take you on a wild ride. I laughed, became furious and even cried during this book. With each page turn, I fell more in love with Abby and Travis, wanting to just jump ahead to find out how it ended. The ending of this book was also very satisfying, it did not just cut off or jump like most books. I can not wait to order her new book where we get to hear the story from Travis's point of view. I am putting a reminder on my calendar tonight to order it. Buy this book. You will NOT regret it!
Date published: 2012-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could Not Put It Down! I heard about this book after searching for something new to read after 50 Shades and the Crossfire books and I have to say I could not put it down! This is a great read if you are looking for something quick and easy to get into. You will fall in love with the main characters and I can't wait to read it all over again from Travis's perspective when Walking Disaster comes out next year!!!
Date published: 2012-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ADDICTING!! I picked up this book on a whim. I started it and couldn't stop reading it. Every second consumed me until this book was done. I'm older than the characters too but until I knew how old they were, I didn't care and once I did, I still didn't care. I've since picked up the book and read several chapters over and over. I just learned that Travis's side of the story is coming out soon and I can't WAIT to read it. Abby and Travis are delicious, addicting, raw and truly, a beautiful disaster. This is a MUST read and a personal favourite now.
Date published: 2012-10-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it! Abby is starting university with her best friend,when she meets up with Travis Maddox, the bad boy flirt that always gets his way. Abby resists Travis’s charms until she loses a bet. Will Travis win over Abby in a short period of time?
Date published: 2012-10-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read, can't put it down! I just picked the book up yesterday and can't put it down. I love the story, good girl falls for the bad boy. It even had me laughing out loud in some parts. Definetly recommend this one and can't wait to read Travis' side of the story.
Date published: 2012-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It! This book took me by surprise. I wasn't anticipating enjoying it as much as I did as I am a couple of years older then the characters, but I completely felt like I was part of the novel. I am not usually interested in these types of books, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading "Beautiful Disaster" and finished it in a day and a half...(also while working). Great casual read for anyone who wants to lose themselves for a little while and get away from reality.
Date published: 2012-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dysfunctional but, oh, so good! 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 past...one 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?!? MY RATING: 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!
Date published: 2012-09-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Unhealthy relationship made out to be romantic I had so many thoughts and feelings while reading it, I wanted to give the book a fair review, and my ususal style would not reflect accurately. I'm sorry if this review is slightly rambling but I just had so many thoughts while reading. TONS OF SPOILERS. Would love to hear my readers opinion of this book if they have read it. Please comment! Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire Atria (Simon and Schuster) ISBN: 978-1-4767-1204-8 Suggested Ages: 17+ Buy from Indigo Description: 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, 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 My Thoughts •Please remember my thoughts are based on the fact that I am a 42 yr old mom •I was a little hesitant to read this one as I had heard so much controversary over the relationship between the two characters •My real concern with the relationship is that it is partially romanticized. This couple in real life would be the ones you always here about in the news - you know the murder suicide headline ones •Without some serious therapy this relationship will never survive no matter how passionately in love they supposedly are •I had heard so much about how horrible Travis that I was actually slightly surprised that I actually had some compassion for him. I found Abby to be extremely damaged as well, and some of her behaviour inexcusable and just really frickin stupid (oh don't worry I was also disgusted by Travis on many occasion - the man has control and anger issues - also hello can anyone say stalker. Girls this is not romantic, this is sick ) •Abby's parents are so horribly awful, you are not surprised that she is damaged, but it also does not excuse some of the things she does - her reaction after she broke up with Travis and he ended up sleeping with a girl bothered me •Found characters were uneven & their actions didn't always fit with who they were supposed to be •Honestly - quite true to life at times -- there are many people who have been in this type of situation •Think this would be an excellent book for a discussion -- especially with teens •America's reaction to break up with her boyfriend because Travis slept with a chick when he and Abby were broken up made me want to slap her upside the head •Would have like more of Kara, she seemed the only one who had any sense •If Travis was so damanged by his upbringing - why does he have such a good relationship with his family. Also his Dad comes across as the type of guy who would never beat him (seemed uneven) •Travis is controlling and obviously needs some serious help - but he also seems to be trying to be different -- where Abby not so much - honestly really didn't like her •Makes kids getting married at 19 seem very romantic and beautiful - and I think we all know ho rare that kind of relationship lasts. •Author was a pretty good storyteller which actually kept me interested in reading no matter how disgusted I was by the subject matter (But I won't be reading the sequel btw - please don't send me) •Some nice dry humourous parts which also helped keep me reading •Did like the constant mentions of condoms - at least they won't procreate and damage more children like their parents obviously damaged them •I know this review really focuses on the unhealthy relationship but I was really offended by the romantisizing of it and it affected my enjoyment of the book. •Also girls and boys if this is the type of relationship you are in -- get yourself some serious help - please (sorry guys I'm a mom I care about all of you out there) Who Should/Shouldn't Read •I think you all know I am very relaxed on what I believe is an appropriate age for certain YA novels. In the case of this book I recommend teacher librarians and parents really think if the book is appropriate for each individual teen. (Hope that makes sense) •I would say for the more mature YA reader and not for the overly impressionable teen who might think that this is a beautiful romantic book •Great for a high school discussion on healthy vs unhealthy relationships 2.5 Dewey's I received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review - sorry guys have to be honest
Date published: 2012-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I will re-read this many more times I read the entire book in one sitting and sacrificed my sleep for it. And to be honest, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. It is THAT good!
Date published: 2012-08-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down Summary: Now that Abby is off to college, she can finally leave her old life behind and start over as a whole new girl. The only person who knows about her dark past is her best friend America – and Abby plans to keep it that way. When she meets Travis, she knows he’s everything she’s trying to leave behind, but she still can’t seem to stay away from him. In an effort to keep Abby in his life, Travis makes a bet with her… If he wins, Abby has to live in his apartment for a month. If he loses, he has to give up his steady stream of women for a month. But the bet is just the beginning of the roller coaster ride for Abby & Travis. Review: I had a love / hate relationship with this book. I loved the story and the writing, but I kinda hated the characters. And yet, despite being appalled by how incredibly stupid and messed-up the main characters were, I devoured their story and couldn’t stop myself from rooting for them. To be fair, I think characters were well developed and realistic; they just weren’t the greatest people. But, crazy and impulsive behaviour is pretty common when you’re in college so I could often understand the irrational actions even if I didn’t agree with them. That aside, the story flows well and sucks you in with a surprising amount of twists and turns. Just when you think it must be over, there’s another bump in the road for Abby & Travis. Verdict: I could NOT put this book down. While I can’t quite say that Beautiful Disaster a good book, I still loved it. And even though it makes no sense for this to be a series, I’m sure I’ll read Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2) when it comes out!
Date published: 2012-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED IT!! Honestly I couldn't put it down!! I read this after Fifty Shades & Bared to You. I'm 25 and found I was able to relate to this book more then Fifty Shades. But that could just be me. The relationship between Abby & Travis AMAZING!! I fell in love with this book. The only bad thing I could possibly say about it is that, it's just one book!! I want more lol!!
Date published: 2012-08-08

Read from the Book

Beautiful Disaster Chapter One Red Flag EVERYTHING IN THE ROOM SCREAMED that I didn’t belong. The stairs were crumbling, the rowdy patrons were shoulder to shoulder, and the air was a medley of sweat, blood, and mold. Voices blurred as they yelled numbers and names back and forth, and arms flailed about, exchanging money and gestures to communicate over the noise. I squeezed through the crowd, following close behind my best friend. “Keep your cash in your wallet, Abby!” America called to me. Her broad smile gleamed even in the dim light. “Stay close! It’ll get worse once it starts!” Shepley yelled over the noise. America grabbed his hand and then mine as Shepley led us through the sea of people. The sharp bleating of a bullhorn cut through the smoky air. The noise startled me, and I jumped in reaction, looking for the source of the blast. A man stood on a wooden chair, holding a wad of cash in one hand, the horn in the other. He held the plastic to his lips. “Welcome to the bloodbath! If you are looking for Economics 101 . . . you are in the wrong fucking place, my friend! If you seek the Circle, this is Mecca! My name is Adam. I make the rules and I call the fight. Betting ends once the opponents are on the floor. No touching the fighters, no assistance, no bet switching, and no encroachment of the ring. If you break these rules, you will get the piss beat out of you and you will be thrown out on your ass without your money! That includes you, ladies! So don’t use your hos to scam the system, boys!” Shepley shook his head. “Jesus, Adam!” he yelled to the emcee over the noise, clearly disapproving of his friend’s choice of words. My heart pounded in my chest. With a pink cashmere cardigan and pearl earrings, I felt like a schoolmarm on the beaches of Normandy. I promised America that I could handle whatever we happened upon, but at ground zero I felt the urge to grip her toothpick of an arm with both hands. She wouldn’t put me in any danger, but being in a basement with fifty or so drunken college boys intent on bloodshed and capital, I wasn’t exactly confident of our chances to leave unscathed. After America met Shepley at freshman orientation, she frequently accompanied him to the secret fights held in different basements of Eastern University. Each event was hosted in a different spot, and kept secret until just an hour before the fight. Because I ran in somewhat tamer circles, I was surprised to learn of an underground world at Eastern; but Shepley knew about it before he had ever enrolled. Travis, Shepley’s roommate and cousin, entered his first fight seven months before. As a freshman, he was rumored to be the most lethal competitor Adam had seen in the three years since creating the Circle. Beginning his sophomore year, Travis was unbeatable. Together, Travis and Shepley easily paid their rent and bills with the winnings. Adam brought the bullhorn to his mouth once again, and the yelling and movement escalated to a feverish pace. “Tonight we have a new challenger! Eastern’s star varsity wrestler, Marek Young!” Cheering ensued, and the crowd parted like the Red Sea when Marek entered the room. A circular space cleared, and the mob whistled, booed, and taunted the contender. He bounced up and down and rocked his neck back and forth, his face severe and focused. The crowd quieted to a dull roar, and my hands shot to my ears when music blared through the large speakers on the other side of the room. “Our next fighter doesn’t need an introduction, but because he scares the shit outta me, I’ll give him one, anyway! Shake in your boots, boys, and drop your panties, ladies! I give you: Travis ‘Mad Dog’ Maddox!” The volume exploded when Travis appeared in a doorway across the room. He made his entrance, shirtless, relaxed, and unaffected. He strolled into the center of the circle as if he were showing up to another day at work. Lean muscles stretched under his tattooed skin as he popped his fists against Marek’s knuckles. Travis leaned in and whispered something in Marek’s ear, and the wrestler struggled to keep his stern expression. Marek stood toe-to-toe with Travis, and they looked directly into each other’s eyes. Marek’s expression was murderous; Travis looked mildly amused. The men took a few steps back, and Adam sounded the horn. Marek took a defensive stance, and Travis attacked. I stood on my tiptoes when I lost my line of sight, leaning from side to side to get a better view. I inched up, sliding through the screaming crowd. Elbows jabbed into my sides, and shoulders rammed into me, bouncing me back and forth like a pinball. The tops of the fighters’ heads became visible, so I continued to push my way forward. When I finally reached the front, Marek grabbed Travis with his thick arms and tried to throw him to the ground. When Marek leaned down with the motion, Travis rammed his knee into Marek’s face. Before Marek could shake off the blow, Travis lit into him, his fists making contact with Marek’s bloodied face over and over. Five fingers sank into my arm and I jerked back. “What the hell are you doing, Abby?” Shepley said. “I can’t see from back there!” I called to him. I turned just in time to see Marek land a solid punch. Travis turned, and for a moment I thought he had dodged another blow, but he made a complete circle, crashing his elbow straight into the center of Marek’s nose. Blood sprayed my face, and splattered down the front of my cardigan. Marek fell to the concrete floor with a thud, and for a brief moment the room was completely silent. Adam threw a scarlet square of fabric onto Marek’s limp body, and the mob detonated. Cash changed hands once again, and the expressions divided into the smug and the frustrated. I was pushed around with the movement of those coming and going. America called my name from somewhere in the back, but I was mesmerized by the trail of red from my chest to my waist. A pair of heavy black boots stepped in front of me, diverting my attention to the floor. My eyes traveled upward; jeans spattered with blood, a set of finely chiseled abs, a bare, tattooed chest drenched in sweat, and finally a pair of warm, brown eyes. I was shoved from behind, and Travis caught me by the arm before I fell forward. “Hey! Back up off her!” Travis frowned, shoving anyone who came near me. His stern expression melted into a smile at the sight of my shirt, and then he dabbed my face with a towel. “Sorry about that, Pigeon.” Adam patted the back of Travis’s head. “C’mon, Mad Dog! You have some dough waitin’ on ya!” Travis’s eyes didn’t stray from mine. “It’s a damn shame about the sweater. It looks good on you.” In the next moment he was engulfed by fans, disappearing the way he came. “What were you thinking, you idiot?” America yelled, yanking my arm. “I came here to see a fight, didn’t I?” I said, smiling. “You aren’t even supposed to be here, Abby,” Shepley scolded. “Neither is America,” I said. “She doesn’t try to jump in the circle!” He frowned. “Let’s go.” America smiled at me and wiped my face. “You are such a pain in the ass, Abby. God, I love you!” She hooked her arm around my neck, and we made our way up the stairs and into the night. America followed me into my dorm room and then sneered at my roommate, Kara. I immediately peeled off the bloody cardigan, throwing it into the hamper. “Gross. Where have you been?” Kara asked from her bed. I looked to America, who shrugged. “Nosebleed. You haven’t seen one of Abby’s famous nosebleeds?” Kara pushed up her glasses and shook her head. “Oh, you will.” She winked at me and then shut the door behind her. Less than a minute later, my cell phone chimed. Per her usual, America texted me seconds after we had said goodbye. staying w shep c u 2morrow ring queen I peeked at Kara, who watched me as if my nose would gush at any moment. “She was kidding,” I said. Kara nodded with indifference and then looked down to the mess of books on her bedspread. “I guess I’ll get a shower,” I said, grabbing a towel and my shower bag. “I’ll alert the media,” Kara deadpanned, keeping her head down. THE NEXT DAY, SHEPLEY AND America joined me for lunch. I had intended to sit alone, but as students filtered into the cafeteria, the chairs around me were filled by either Shepley’s frat brothers or members of the football team. Some of them had been at the fight, but no one mentioned my ringside experience. “Shep,” a passing voice called. Shepley nodded, and America and I both turned to see Travis take a seat at the end of the table. He was followed by two voluptuous bottle blondes wearing Sigma Kappa Ts. One of them sat on Travis’s lap; the other sat beside him, pawing at his shirt. “I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth,” America muttered. The blonde on Travis’s lap turned to America. “I heard that, skank.” America grabbed her roll and threw it down the table, narrowly missing the girl’s face. Before the girl could say another word, Travis let his knees give way, sending her tumbling to the floor. “Ouch!” she squealed, looking up at Travis. “America’s a friend of mine. You need to find another lap, Lex.” “Travis!” she whined, scrambling to her feet. Travis turned his attention to his plate, ignoring her. She looked at her sister and huffed, and they left hand in hand. Travis winked at America, and, as if nothing had happened, shoveled another bite into his mouth. It was then that I noticed a small cut on his eyebrow. He traded glances with Shepley and then began a conversation with one of the football guys across from him. Although the crowd at the lunch table had thinned, America, Shepley, and I lingered to discuss our weekend plans. Travis stood up to leave but stopped at our end of the table. “What?” Shepley asked loudly, holding his hand to his ear. I tried to ignore him for as long as possible, but when I looked up, Travis was staring at me. “You know her, Trav. America’s best friend? She was with us the other night,” Shepley said. Travis smiled at me in what I assumed was his most charming expression. He oozed sex and rebelliousness with his buzzed brown hair and tattooed forearms, and I rolled my eyes at his attempt to lure me in. “Since when do you have a best friend, Mare?” Travis asked. “Since junior year,” she answered, pressing her lips together as she smiled in my direction. “Don’t you remember, Travis? You ruined her sweater.” Travis smiled. “I ruin a lot of sweaters.” “Gross,” I muttered. Travis spun the empty chair beside me and sat, resting his arms in front of him. “So you’re the Pigeon, huh?” “No,” I snapped. “I have a name.” He seemed amused at the way I regarded him, which only served to make me angrier. “Well? What is it?” he asked. I took a bite of the last apple spear on my plate, ignoring him. “Pigeon it is, then,” he said, shrugging. I glanced up at America and then turned to Travis. “I’m trying to eat here.” Travis settled in for the challenge I presented. “My name’s Travis. Travis Maddox.” I rolled my eyes. “I know who you are.” “You do, huh?” Travis said, raising his wounded eyebrow. “Don’t flatter yourself. It’s hard not to notice when fifty drunks are chanting your name.” Travis sat up a bit taller. “I get that a lot.” I rolled my eyes again, and Travis chuckled. “Do you have a twitch?” “A what?” “A twitch. Your eyes keep wiggling around.” He laughed again when I glared at him. “Those are some amazing eyes, though,” he said, leaning just inches from my face. “What color is that, anyway? Gray?” I looked down to my plate, letting the long strands of my caramel hair create a curtain between us. I didn’t like the way it made me feel when he was so close. I didn’t want to be like the scores of other girls at Eastern that blushed in his presence. I didn’t want him to affect me in that way at all. “Don’t even think about it, Travis. She’s like my sister,” America warned. “Baby,” Shepley said, “you just told him no. He’s never gonna stop, now.” “You’re not her type,” she hedged. Travis feigned offense. “I’m everyone’s type!” I peeked over at him and smiled. “Ah! A smile. I’m not a rotten bastard after all,” he winked. “It was nice to meet you, Pidge.” He walked around the table and leaned into America’s ear. Shepley threw a french fry at his cousin. “Get your lips outta my girl’s ear, Trav!” “Networking! I’m networking!” Travis walked backward with his hands up in an innocent gesture. A few more girls followed behind him, giggling and running their fingers through their hair to get his attention. He opened the door for them, and they nearly squealed in delight. America laughed. “Oh, no. You’re in trouble, Abby.” “What did he say?” I asked, wary. “He wants you to bring her to the apartment, doesn’t he?” Shepley said. America nodded, and he shook his head. “You’re a smart girl, Abby. I’m telling you now, if you fall for his shit and then end up getting mad at him, you can’t take it out on me and America, all right?” I smiled. “I won’t fall for it, Shep. Do I look like one of the Barbie twins to you?” “She won’t fall for it,” America assured him, touching his arm. “This isn’t my first rodeo, Mare. Do you know how many times he’s screwed things up for me because he one-nights the best friend? All of a sudden it’s a conflict of interest to date me because it’s fraternizing with the enemy! I’m tellin’ ya, Abby,” he looked at me, “don’t tell Mare she can’t come over or date me because you fall for Trav’s line of BS. Consider yourself warned.” “Unnecessary, but appreciated,” I said. I tried to reassure Shepley with a smile, but his pessimism was driven by years of being burned by Travis’s endeavors. America waved, leaving with Shepley as I walked to my afternoon class. I squinted in the bright sun, gripping my backpack straps. Eastern was exactly what I hoped it would be, from the smaller classrooms to the unfamiliar faces. It was a new start for me; I could finally walk somewhere without the whispers of those who knew—or thought they knew—anything about my past. I was as indistinguishable as any other wide-eyed, overachieving freshman on her way to class; no staring, no rumors, no pity or judgment. Only the illusion of what I wanted them to see: cashmered, no-nonsense Abby Abernathy. I sat my backpack on the floor and collapsed into the chair, bending down to fish my laptop from my bag. When I popped up to set it on my desk, Travis slid into the next desk. “Good. You can take notes for me,” he said. He chewed on the pen in his mouth and smiled, undoubtedly at his most charming. I shot a disgusted look at him. “You’re not even in this class.” “The hell if I’m not. I usually sit up there,” he said, nodding to the top row. A small group of girls was staring at me, and I noticed an empty chair in the center. “I’m not taking notes for you,” I said, booting up my computer. Travis leaned so close that I could feel his breath on my cheek. “I’m sorry . . . did I offend you in some way?” I sighed and shook my head. “Then what is your problem?” I kept my voice low. “I’m not sleeping with you. You should give up, now.” A slow smile crept across his face before he spoke. “I haven’t asked you to sleep with me.” His eyes drifted to the ceiling in thought. “Have I?” “I’m not a Barbie twin or one of your little groupies up there,” I said, glancing at the girls behind us. “I’m not impressed with your tattoos or your boyish charm or your forced indifference, so you can stop the antics, okay?” “Okay, Pigeon.” He was infuriatingly impervious to my rudeness. “Why don’t you come over with America tonight?” I sneered at his request, but he leaned closer. “I’m not trying to bag you. I just wanna hang out.” “Bag me? How do you ever get laid talking like that?” Travis burst into laughter, shaking his head. “Just come over. I won’t even flirt with you, I swear.” “I’ll think about it.” Professor Chaney strolled in, and Travis turned his attention to the front of the room. A residual smile lingered on his face, making the dimple in his cheek sink in. The more he smiled, the more I wanted to hate him, and yet it was the very thing that made hating him impossible. “Who can tell me which president had a cross-eyed wife with a bad case of the uglies?” Chaney asked. “Make sure you get that down,” Travis whispered. “I’m gonna need to know that for job interviews.” “Shhh,” I said, typing Chaney’s every word. Travis grinned and relaxed into his chair. As the hour progressed, he alternated between yawning and leaning against my arm to look at my monitor. I made a concentrated effort to ignore him, but his proximity and the muscles bulging from his arm made it difficult. He picked at the black leather band around his wrist until Chaney dismissed us. I hurried out the door and down the hall. Just when I felt sure I was at a safe distance, Travis Maddox was at my side. “Have you thought about it?” he asked, slipping on his sunglasses. A petite brunette stepped in front of us, wide-eyed and hopeful. “Hey, Travis,” she lilted, playing with her hair. I paused, recoiling from her sugary tone, and then walked around her. I’d seen her before, talking normally in the commons area of the girls’ dorm, Morgan Hall. Her tone sounded much more mature then, and I wondered what it was about a toddler’s voice she thought Travis would find appealing. She babbled in a higher octave for a bit longer until he was next to me once again. Pulling a lighter from his pocket, he lit a cigarette and blew out a thick cloud of smoke. “Where was I? Oh yeah . . . you were thinking.” I grimaced. “What are you talking about?” “Have you thought about coming over?” “If I say yes, will you quit following me?” He considered my stipulation and then nodded. “Yes.” “Then I’ll come over.” “When?” I sighed. “Tonight. I’ll come over tonight.” Travis smiled and stopped in his tracks. “Sweet. See you then, Pidge,” he called after me. I rounded the corner to see America standing with Finch outside our dormitory. The three of us ended up at the same table at freshman orientation, and I knew he would be the welcome third wheel to our well-oiled machine. He wasn’t excessively tall, but still he towered over my five feet four inches. His round eyes offset his long, lean features, and his bleached hair was usually fashioned into a spike at the front. “Travis Maddox? Jesus, Abby, since when did you start fishing in the deep end?” Finch said with disapproving eyes. America pulled the gum from her mouth in a long string. “You’re only making it worse by brushing him off. He’s not used to that.” “What do you suggest I do? Sleep with him?” America shrugged. “It’ll save time.” “I told him I’d come over tonight.” Finch and America traded glances. “What? He promised to quit bugging me if I said yes. You’re going over there tonight, right?” “Well, yeah,” America said. “You’re really coming?” I smiled and walked past them into the dorms, wondering if Travis would make good on his promise not to flirt. He wasn’t hard to figure out; he either saw me as a challenge, or safely unattractive enough to be a good friend. I wasn’t sure which bothered me more. FOUR HOURS LATER, AMERICA KNOCKED on my door to take me to Shepley and Travis’s. She didn’t hold back when I walked into the hall. “Yuck, Abby! You look homeless!” “Good,” I said, smiling at my ensemble. My hair was piled on top of my head in a messy bun. I had scrubbed the makeup from my face and replaced my contacts with rectangular black-rimmed glasses. Sporting a ratty T-shirt and sweatpants, I shuffled along in a pair of flip-flops. The idea had come to me hours before that either way, unattractive was the best plan. Ideally, Travis would be instantly turned off and stop his ridiculous persistence. If he was looking for a buddy, I was aiming for too homely to be seen with. America rolled down her window and spit out her gum. “You’re so obvious. Why didn’t you just roll in dog shit to make your outfit complete?” “I’m not trying to impress anyone,” I said. “Obviously.” We pulled into the parking lot of Shepley’s apartment complex, and I followed America to the stairs. Shepley opened the door, laughing as I walked in. “What happened to you?” “She’s trying to be unimpressive,” America said. America followed Shepley into his room. The door closed and I stood alone, feeling out of place. I sat in the recliner closest to the door and kicked off my flip-flops. Their apartment was more aesthetically pleasing than the typical bachelor pad. The predictable posters of half-naked women and stolen street signs were on the walls, but it was clean, the furniture was new, and the smell of stale beer and dirty clothes was notably absent. “It’s about time you showed up,” Travis said, collapsing onto the couch. I smiled and pushed my glasses up the bridge of my nose, waiting for him to recoil at my appearance. “America had a paper to finish.” “Speaking of papers, have you started the one for History yet?” He didn’t bat an eye at my messy hair, and I frowned at his reaction. “Have you?” “I finished it this afternoon.” “It’s not due until next Wednesday,” I said, surprised. “I just plugged it out. How hard can a two-page essay on Grant be?” “I’m a procrastinator, I guess,” I shrugged. “I probably won’t start on it until this weekend.” “Well, if you need help, just let me know.” I waited for him to laugh, or to show some sign that he was joking, but his expression was sincere. I raised an eyebrow. “You’re going to help me with my paper?” “I have an A in that class,” he said, a bit miffed at my disbelief. “He has As in all his classes. He’s a freakin’ genius. I hate him,” Shepley said as he led America into the living room by the hand. I watched Travis with a dubious expression and his eyebrows shot up. “What? You don’t think a guy covered in tats and that trades punches for a living can get the grades? I’m not in school because I have nothing better to do.” “Why do you have to fight at all, then? Why didn’t you try for scholarships?” I asked. “I did. I was awarded half my tuition. But there are books, living expenses, and I gotta come up with the other half sometime. I’m serious, Pidge. If you need help with anything, just ask.” “I don’t need your help. I can write a paper.” I wanted to leave it at that. I should have left it at that, but this new side of him he’d revealed gnawed at my curiosity. “You can’t find something else to do for a living? Less—I don’t know—sadistic?” Travis shrugged. “It’s an easy way to make a buck. I can’t make that much working at the mall.” “I wouldn’t say it’s easy if you’re getting hit in the face.” “What? You’re worried about me?” he winked. I made a face, and he chuckled. “I don’t get hit that often. If they swing, I move. It’s not that hard.” I laughed once. “You act as if no one else has come to that conclusion.” “When I throw a punch, they take it and try to reciprocate. That’s not gonna win a fight.” I rolled my eyes. “What are you, the Karate Kid? Where did you learn to fight?” Shepley and America glanced at each other, and then their eyes wandered to the floor. It didn’t take long to recognize I had said something wrong. Travis didn’t seem affected. “I had a dad with a drinking problem and a bad temper, and four older brothers that carried the asshole gene.” “Oh.” My ears smoldered. “Don’t be embarrassed, Pidge. Dad quit drinking, the brothers grew up.” “I’m not embarrassed.” I fidgeted with the falling strands of my hair and then decided to pull it down and smooth it into another bun, trying to ignore the awkward silence. “I like the au naturel thing you have going on. Girls don’t come over here like that.” “I was coerced into coming here. It didn’t occur to me to impress you,” I said, irritated that my plan had failed. He smiled his boyish, amused grin, and I turned up my anger a notch, hoping it would cover my unease. I didn’t know how most girls felt around him, but I’d seen how they behaved. I was experiencing more of a disoriented, nauseated feeling than giggly infatuation, and the harder he worked to make me smile, the more unsettled I felt. “I’m already impressed. I don’t normally have to beg girls to come to my apartment.” “I’m sure,” I said, screwing my face into disgust. He was the worst kind of confident. Not only was he shamelessly aware of his appeal, he was so used to women throwing themselves at him that he regarded my cool demeanor as refreshing instead of an insult. I would have to change my strategy. America pointed the remote at the television and switched it on. “There’s a good movie on tonight. Anyone want to find out where Baby Jane is?” Travis stood up. “I was just heading out for dinner. You hungry, Pidge?” “I already ate,” I shrugged. “No you haven’t,” America said, before realizing her mistake. “Oh . . . er . . . that’s right, I forgot you grabbed a . . . pizza? Before we left.” I grimaced at her miserable attempt to fix her blunder, and then waited for Travis’s reaction. He walked across the room and opened the door. “C’mon. You’ve gotta be hungry.” “Where are you going?” “Wherever you want. We can hit a pizza place.” I looked down at my clothes. “I’m not really dressed.” He appraised me for a moment and then grinned. “You look fine. Let’s go, I’m starvin’.” I stood up and waved to America, passing Travis to walk down the stairs. I stopped in the parking lot, watching in horror as he straddled a matte black motorcycle. “Uh . . . ” I trailed off, scrunching my exposed toes. He shot an impatient glare in my direction. “Oh, get on. I’ll go slow.” “What is that?” I asked, reading the writing on the gas tank too late. “It’s a Harley Night Rod. She’s the love of my life, so don’t scratch the paint when you get on.” “I’m wearing flip-flops!” Travis stared at me as if I’d spoken a foreign language. “I’m wearing boots. Get on.” He slipped on his sunglasses, and the engine snarled when he brought it to life. I climbed on and reached behind me for something to grab on to, but my fingers slipped from leather to the plastic cover of the taillight. Travis grabbed my wrists and wrapped them around his middle. “There’s nothing to hold on to but me, Pidge. Don’t let go,” he said, pushing the bike backward with his feet. With a flick of his wrist, he pulled onto the street, and we took off like a rocket. The pieces of my hair that hung loose beat against my face, and I ducked behind Travis, knowing I would end up with bug guts on my glasses if I looked over his shoulder. He gunned the throttle when we pulled into the driveway of the restaurant, and once he slowed to a stop, I wasted no time scrambling to the safety of the concrete. “You’re a lunatic!” Travis chuckled, leaning his bike onto its kickstand before dismounting. “I went the speed limit.” “Yeah, if we were on the autobahn!” I said, pulling out my bun to separate the rats with my fingers. Travis watched me pull hair away from my face and then walked to the door, holding it open. “I wouldn’t let anything happen to you, Pigeon.” I stormed past him into the restaurant, my head not quite in sync with my feet. Grease and herbs filled the air as I followed him across the red, breadcrumb-speckled carpet. He chose a booth in the corner, away from the patches of students and families, and then ordered two beers. I scanned the room, watching the parents coaxing their boisterous children to eat, and looking away from the inquisitive glances of Eastern students. “Sure, Travis,” the waitress said, writing down our drink orders. She looked a bit high from his presence as she returned to the kitchen. I tucked the windblown hair behind my ears, suddenly embarrassed by my appearance. “Come here often?” I asked acerbically. Travis leaned on the table with his elbows, his brown eyes fixated on mine. “So what’s your story, Pidge? Are you a man-hater in general, or do you just hate me?” “I think it’s just you,” I grumbled. He laughed once, amused at my mood. “I can’t figure you out. You’re the first girl that’s ever been disgusted with me before sex. You don’t get all flustered when you talk to me, and you don’t try to get my attention.” “It’s not a ploy. I just don’t like you.” “You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t like me.” My frown involuntarily smoothed and I sighed. “I didn’t say you’re a bad person. I just don’t like being a foregone conclusion for the sole reason of having a vagina.” I focused on the grains of salt on the table until I heard a choking noise from Travis’s direction. His eyes widened and he quivered with howling laughter. “Oh my God! You’re killing me! That’s it. We have to be friends. I won’t take no for an answer.” “I don’t mind being friends, but that doesn’t mean you have to try to get in my panties every five seconds.” “You’re not sleeping with me. I get it.” I tried not to smile, but failed. His eyes brightened. “You have my word. I won’t even think about your panties . . . unless you want me to.” I rested my elbows on the table and leaned into them. “And that won’t happen, so we can be friends.” An impish grin sharpened his features as he leaned in a bit closer. “Never say never.” “So what’s your story?” I asked. “Have you always been Travis ‘Mad Dog’ Maddox, or is that just since you came here?” I used two fingers on each hand as quotation marks when I said his nickname, and for the first time his confidence waned. He looked a bit embarrassed. “No. Adam started that after my first fight.” His short answers were beginning to bug me. “That’s it? You’re not going to tell me anything about yourself?” “What do you wanna know?” “The normal stuff. Where you’re from, what you want to be when you grow up . . . things like that.” “I’m from here, born and raised, and I’m a Criminal Justice major.” With a sigh, he unrolled his silverware and straightened them beside his plate. He looked over his shoulder, his jaw tense. Two tables seating the Eastern soccer team erupted in laughter, and Travis seemed to be annoyed at what they were laughing about. “You’re joking,” I said in disbelief. “No, I’m a local,” he said, distracted. “I meant about your major. You don’t look like the criminal justice type.” His eyebrows pulled together, suddenly focused on our conversation. “Why?” I scanned the tattoos covering his arm. “I’ll just say that you seem more criminal and less justice.” “I don’t get in any trouble . . . for the most part. Dad was pretty strict.” “Where was your mom?” “She died when I was a kid,” he said, matter-of-fact. “I’m . . . I’m sorry,” I said, shaking my head. His answer caught me off guard. He dismissed my sympathy. “I don’t remember her. My brothers do, but I was just three when she died.” “Four brothers, huh? How did you keep them straight?” I teased. “I kept them straight by who hit the hardest, which also happened to be oldest to youngest. Thomas; the twins, Taylor and Tyler; and then Trenton. You never, ever got caught alone in a room with Taylor and Ty. I learned half of what I do in the Circle from them. Trenton was the smallest, but he’s fast. He’s the only one that can land a punch on me now.” I shook my head, dumbfounded at the thought of five Travises running around in one household. “Do they all have tattoos?” “Pretty much. Except Thomas. He’s an ad exec in California.” “And your dad? Where’s he?” “Around,” he said. His jaws were working again, increasingly irritated with the soccer team. “What are they laughing about?” I asked, gesturing to the rowdy table. He shook his head, clearly not wanting to share. I crossed my arms and squirmed in my seat, nervous about what they were saying that caused him so much aggravation. “Tell me.” “They’re laughing about me having to take you to dinner, first. It’s not usually . . . my thing.” “First?” When the realization settled on my face, Travis winced at my expression. I spoke before I thought. “And I was afraid they were laughing about you being seen with me dressed like this, and they think I’m going to sleep with you,” I grumbled. “Why wouldn’t I be seen with you?” “What were we talking about?” I asked, warding off the heat rising in my cheeks. “You. What’s your major?” he asked. “Oh, er . . . General Ed, for now. I’m still undecided, but I’m leaning toward Accounting.” “You’re not a local, though. You must be a transplant.” “Wichita. Same as America.” “How did you end up here from Kansas?” I picked at the label of my beer bottle. “We just had to get away.” “From what?” “My parents.” “Oh. What about America? She has parent issues, too?” “No, Mark and Pam are great. They practically raised me. She sort of tagged along; she didn’t want me to come alone.” Travis nodded. “So, why Eastern?” “What’s with the third degree?” I said. The questions were drifting from small talk to personal, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable. Several chairs knocked together as the soccer team left their seats. They traded one last joke before they meandered toward the door. Their pace quickened when Travis stood up. Those in the back of the group pushed those in front to escape before Travis made his way across the room. He sat down, forcing the frustration and anger away. I raised an eyebrow. “You were going to say why you chose Eastern,” he prompted. “It’s hard to explain,” I said, shrugging. “I guess it just felt right.” He smiled as he opened his menu. “I know what you mean.”

Editorial Reviews

"Characters, backstory, goals, motivations and conflicts are a great mix of angst, crippling inner demons and harsh real life. The pace has a rhythmic beat of two steps forward, four steps back as Abby and Travis grapple with their fierce attraction. Jamie McGuire writes with no holds barred. She writes with honest reflection on young people who move through life by their own rules...The entire cast lives hard, fights hard, and certainly loves hard. Deliciously intense."