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 America, 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 charming college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charms, 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’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.
I can honestly say that this was one of the most frustrating and conflicting books I've ever read. Never have I had such warring emotions during a read! Do I hate it? Do I love it? Even after finishing the book I'm unsure where I stand, which is rare for me because I normally have such strong opinions about a book.
In Beautiful Disaster, we meet Abby Abernathy, a college freshman with the dream of escaping her torrid past (which honestly, without giving anything away, was a bit far fetched and a little unbelieveable in my eyes- you'll see if you read this book). It was refreshing to read from an older character's POV and have a book set in college instead of the typical high school drama. I definitely enjoyed the older and more mature themes of this book, being an older reader myself. There were parties, drinking, sex, violence- typical college right? Everything just seeemed a little more intensified with this book.
The intensity runs rampant, especially in the relationship between Abby and bad boy Travis Maddox. Everything from their fights to their makeups is chaotically insanse. What frustrated me most was the logic (or lack thereof) behind Abby's thought process. Here she is, standing in front of the most notorious bad boy in her school, red flags waving in her face, and she decides to go in on a bet with him, move into his apartment for a month and then date him. He's a known womanizer with a temper and bit of an alcohol problem, but none of that seems to influence Abby's decision. She overlooks his overbearing protectiveness of her, his rash decision making skills, and unhinged temper because she knows that she can change him. I'm just not a fan of that type of thinking.
What's worse though, is that I couldn't help but fall for Travis too! As much as I complain and scrutinize Abby's choices, deep down I was rooting for them to work out. After every break up and apology I was hoping the couple would fix their problems and move on. And even despite his moronic tendencies, Travis isn't painted as a villanious boyfriend in this book. Behind his hot temper and jealousy issues, Travis is actually a loving and passionate boyfriend who actually needs Abby to ground him.
Now if this review isn't frustrating enough, try reading the book, and you'll understand my conflicting emotions. You'll constantly be back and forth trying to decide if you love or hate the Abby-Travis relationship. The plot isn't anything spectacular, but the characters are developed individually, both main and supporting, so that you can truly feel their voices in the story (as well as their warring emotions). They'll be the ones who will suck you in and take you on a roller coaster ride of drama and emotions throughout the story.