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Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire **SPOILERS**

 
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stl_reader



Joined: 03 Aug 2011
Posts: 231
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:30 pm    Post subject: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire **SPOILERS** Reply with quote

Noticed this book didn't have its own thread and thought it deserved one, seeing as how it's is so popular and is often mentioned in the FSoG threads.

If I had to grade it, I'd give it a C. Below are some random thoughts.

It took me about a week to get through the 400-odd pages of Beautiful Disaster. It's really hard to soldier on when you can't warm up to the H/h. All in all, McGuire certainly told a story, but it was kind of an appalling one to me, especially thinking that the audience (as far as I understand) is YA.

I'm in my 50s, and the H/h are in their late teens--maybe Travis is 20 or so?--but my college experience was so different, I could simply not relate to these characters. Even my more adventurous friends weren't like this.

Not to mention, I felt that these characters talked and acted like mid-to-late-20-somethings, not teens.

I was put off right away by the violence of the opening chapter. (And the violence resurfaces throughout the book.) Then we have Travis' annoying use of the nickname "Pigeon" or "Pidge". (He bestows that nickname on Abby, and I suddenly understand the concept of throwing up a little in one's mouth.)

I have to admit, I haven't been so annoyed by a book since Love Story was published. I was in high school at the time, and LS was this huge best-seller that had everyone talking. When I finally read it, I kept turning the pages, waiting for the promised magic that would blow me away...And suddenly I was at the end of what (to me) was a simplistic story with too-cool-for-school protagonists that I didn't really care for. Well, I found Beautfiul Disaster to be equally disappointing and annoyingly "hip".

McGuire's title is certainly accurate--though it could also have been "Beautiful Trainwreck," I suppose--because in the H/h's teen minds, they may be all effed up, both individually and together, but when it's good between them, it's beautiful. Rolling Eyes Good luck with that.

If you like a book where the characters don't really mature all that much, but forge ahead with the relationship anyway, knowing that they still have issues, this book may be up your alley.

If you don't mind a hero who beats people up if they so much as look at his girlfriend appreciatively, or who has a destructive tantrum when things don't go his way, again, this could be a book to put on your TBR list.

If you don't mind a story where the hero constantly apologizes for screwing up big-time ("oh, I'm just not good enough for you...I'm such a F-up..."), but more or less continues his bad behavior--but he apologizes, right?--this book shouldn't pose a problem for you.

If you like a heroine who at one point lets herself be blamed by the hero when something bad happens, even though it's his fault not hers, but she accepts blame and apologizes anyway, you'll like Abby.

If you're a big fan of regular drinking and smoking and dressing in provocative clothing as an integral part of the college experience--though how Travis can smoke and still always fight effectively puzzles me--and if you, like Abby, sneer at your roommate who is intent on studying and not just partying and messing around--you'll probably relate to this better than I did.

That's my two cents. I know that lots of folks love this, and God knows if I were in college, I might like it, too, because what did I really understand about relationships then?

As for me, I'm glad it's finally done--what a chore!--and I can move on to Jane Goodger's latest, The Mad Lord's Daughter.

Edited to Add: Speaking of FSoG, I've read books 1 and 2 so far--like, what, 1000 pages read in just a few days? I really liked FSoG (B or B+ for me) and understand that everyone has their own taste when it comes to books. Smile
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Judyblueeyes



Joined: 06 Aug 2012
Posts: 163
Location: Great Lakes

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

everytime i read an "If you liked" and listed is "Bare to You" and "Beautiful Disaster" a loud scream happens inside my head and it sounds like...NOOOOooooooooooooooooooo.

I am not as generous as you and give Beautiful a C-. I didn't have that college experience, the lunch room stuff seemed like high school to me, nothing like college. (but I only went to my college and have no idea if somewhere that is how things are) They really should and hook this book up with the old Brad Pitt move Fight Club and start a better campaigne that "if you liked Fight club then read this book......
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jaime



Joined: 23 Sep 2011
Posts: 527

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire **SPOILERS** Reply with quote

stl_reader wrote:
Noticed this book didn't have its own thread and thought it deserved one, seeing as how it's is so popular and is often mentioned in the FSoG threads.

If I had to grade it, I'd give it a C. Below are some random thoughts.

It took me about a week to get through the 400-odd pages of Beautiful Disaster. It's really hard to soldier on when you can't warm up to the H/h. All in all, McGuire certainly told a story, but it was kind of an appalling one to me, especially thinking that the audience (as far as I understand) is YA.

I'm in my 50s, and the H/h are in their late teens--maybe Travis is 20 or so?--but my college experience was so different, I could simply not relate to these characters. Even my more adventurous friends weren't like this.

Not to mention, I felt that these characters talked and acted like mid-to-late-20-somethings, not teens.

I was put off right away by the violence of the opening chapter. (And the violence resurfaces throughout the book.) Then we have Travis' annoying use of the nickname "Pigeon" or "Pidge". (He bestows that nickname on Abby, and I suddenly understand the concept of throwing up a little in one's mouth.)

I have to admit, I haven't been so annoyed by a book since Love Story was published. I was in high school at the time, and LS was this huge best-seller that had everyone talking. When I finally read it, I kept turning the pages, waiting for the promised magic that would blow me away...And suddenly I was at the end of what (to me) was a simplistic story with too-cool-for-school protagonists that I didn't really care for. Well, I found Beautfiul Disaster to be equally disappointing and annoyingly "hip".

McGuire's title is certainly accurate--though it could also have been "Beautiful Trainwreck," I suppose--because in the H/h's teen minds, they may be all effed up, both individually and together, but when it's good between them, it's beautiful. Rolling Eyes Good luck with that.

If you like a book where the characters don't really mature all that much, but forge ahead with the relationship anyway, knowing that they still have issues, this book may be up your alley.

If you don't mind a hero who beats people up if they so much as look at his girlfriend appreciatively, or who has a destructive tantrum when things don't go his way, again, this could be a book to put on your TBR list.

If you don't mind a story where the hero constantly apologizes for screwing up big-time ("oh, I'm just not good enough for you...I'm such a F-up..."), but more or less continues his bad behavior--but he apologizes, right?--this book shouldn't pose a problem for you.

If you like a heroine who at one point lets herself be blamed by the hero when something bad happens, even though it's his fault not hers, but she accepts blame and apologizes anyway, you'll like Abby.

If you're a big fan of regular drinking and smoking and dressing in provocative clothing as an integral part of the college experience--though how Travis can smoke and still always fight effectively puzzles me--and if you, like Abby, sneer at your roommate who is intent on studying and not just partying and messing around--you'll probably relate to this better than I did.

That's my two cents. I know that lots of folks love this, and God knows if I were in college, I might like it, too, because what did I really understand about relationships then?

As for me, I'm glad it's finally done--what a chore!--and I can move on to Jane Goodger's latest, The Mad Lord's Daughter.

Edited to Add: Speaking of FSoG, I've read books 1 and 2 so far--like, what, 1000 pages read in just a few days? I really liked FSoG (B or B+ for me) and understand that everyone has their own taste when it comes to books. Smile


Ouch, that sounds painful. It's been a while since I was a teenager, the late Eighties, cough, and I find more and more that I can no longer relate to older teenagers and college age adults at all. Therefore I don't do too well with a lot of the contemporary YA and early Twenties fiction. Oddly enough I do a lot better with YA books where the characters are in their early teens or with YA fiction that has a fantasy aspect - I just read an old book called Tithe by Holly Black, and the teens in that one didn't baffle or annoy me at all.
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stl_reader



Joined: 03 Aug 2011
Posts: 231
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More thoughts:

I'm pretty sure that as a young adult, I believed wholeheartedly (as do Abby and Travis in BD) that love could overcome any obstacles in a relationship. In that sense, I did buy that the H/h were very young and idealistic in the way that you are at 19 or 20.

I think the author did a pretty good job fleshing out Abby's character. Her reactions and thoughts about the relationship are what I might expect of an inexperienced young woman caught up in a dysfunctional relationship but too dazzled by "love" (and remember, (spoiler)Travis takes her virginity (end spoiler)) to realize that Travis is (or will likely be) bad news.

Travis confused me: He's obviously gorgeous (he "bags" chicks left and right wherever he goes), gets good grades, and has a scholarship, yet he feels like he's not good enough for Abby. Why, because his mother died when he was young? I didn't get it. And he got a scholarship, so I ask myself, how much of a problem child could he have been?

How was Abby paying for things at college? She'd saved some money, apparently, but I don't recall her having a job, and she would buy clothes, etc. Were America's parents paying for her? Or did I miss something?

Oh, one more thing that bugged: The lack of consequences for Travis' actions. When you practically land a couple of students in the hospital for being disrespectful to your girlfriend, how is it no one sues you? Calls the police? And how do the H/h manage to get home at the end of Travis' final fight and then go off to Vegas? Somehow, no cops come to speak with Travis? They just go off and celebrate their love, while (spoiler) so many dead bodies are lying there in front of the burned building? (end spoiler)

Again, YYMV!
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Judyblueeyes



Joined: 06 Aug 2012
Posts: 163
Location: Great Lakes

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read this book a few months back then put it out of my mind, other than that loud voice screaming NOOOOOoooooo everytime I see it recommended.

but I believe Abby's money is she saved it from playing poker before running away to college. I think that is why when her dad contacts her and needs bailed out with the loan shark it would leave her without anything, but then it turned out he needed more than she had anyway.

When I read I don't mind suspending reality, somewhat, but for this book I felt like it was a little much and I just couldn't relate to the behavior or the situations in anyway. but some of that might be my age, it was a lot of the little things that go under my skin.

(but I have also said the same about E.L.James in everything she threw into FSoG. I mean who has a week with an attack from your boy friends ex-sub followed two days later by an attack by your boss, followed by BF cashing his helicopter, followed the next day by said BF's ex Dom cornering you families home etc etc etc)

If the ride on the story train is enjoyable enough I will over look some of the bad scenery, but with BD, it wasn't a good enough ride IMO.
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Judyblueeyes



Joined: 06 Aug 2012
Posts: 163
Location: Great Lakes

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read this book a few months back then put it out of my mind, other than that loud voice screaming NOOOOOoooooo everytime I see it recommended.

but I believe Abby's money is she saved it from playing poker before running away to college. I think that is why when her dad contacts her and needs bailed out with the loan shark it would leave her without anything, but then it turned out he needed more than she had anyway.

When I read I don't mind suspending reality, somewhat, but for this book I felt like it was a little much and I just couldn't relate to the behavior or the situations in anyway. but some of that might be my age, it was a lot of the little things that go under my skin.

(but I have also said the same about E.L.James in everything she threw into FSoG. I mean who has a week with an attack from your boy friends ex-sub followed two days later by an attack by your boss, followed by BF cashing his helicopter, followed the next day by said BF's ex Dom cornering you families home etc etc etc)

If the ride on the story train is enjoyable enough I will over look some of the bad scenery, but with BD, it wasn't a good enough ride IMO.
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 4708

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been a while since I read this one, I remember feeling pretty eh about it. The kids - they act like college kids, drinking, parties, relationship drama that's pretty silly at times, not really something I can relate to as a reader. I remember thinking this was a book aimed at a younger audience, or maybe I'm just getting old, haha

Linda
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