“Adopt a philosphy of ‘approval neither desired nor required.'”
“‘It’s dangerous to need someone that much. You’re trying to save him, and he’s hoping you can. You two are a disaster.'”
“It wasn’t just me, and it wasn’t just him, it was what we were together that was the exception.”
On January 2nd, one of my oldest and dearest friends sent me a text message stating that I had to read A Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. I received a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas this year, and considering my goal of a book a week for 2014 I wasted no time in purchasing it and getting started.
This is the summary that can be found on the GoodReads website:
“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.”
I will admit, I was immediately hooked. My friend had said that she couldn’t put it down and frankly, for the first 30% of the book neither could I. However, the intrigued dropped off shortly after that.
Abby seems like a smart enough girl, and her and Travis’ relationship starts out innocently enough, however it doesn’t take long for loverboy to go full blown stalker on her by trashing his own apartment after she leaves without saying goodbye, beating the crap out of guys who show any interest in her, and ripping her a new one for letting some guy at a bar buy her a drink. I don’t know why so many girls seem to think that stalker behavior is attractive, but I know for myself that I am more than a little turned off by the idea of someone 1) watching me when I sleep 2) refusing to let me go to my own home for days at a time 3) not letting me hang out with my friends 4) telling me what I can and can’t wear when I leave the house 4) beating up any guy that smiles at me 5) needing me to repeatedly tell him that I’m “his” and that I “need him” and… I could continue but I won’t.
Girls, emotionally abusive guys like Travis are not sexy, or romantic, or even remotely desirable. They are the kind of guys that will sit outside your house for days when you wake up with enough sense to break up with them, and then when they actually realize that it’s over for good they will either try to kill themselves, or kill you. Travis even says at one point, “I’ll end up in prison if I hear you slept with someone else.” Okay, red flag anyone?
While I really loved the first part of the book as it was amazing cotton candy for the brain, once Travis feels like he’s made Abby his own, I lost interest. I prefer my protagonists strong, smart, independent, and free to choose where they sleep at night. Just sayin’.
Who knows though – to each their own. As Edmund Wilson once said “no two persons ever read the same book.” If this kind of masochistic, misogynistic and derelict love story appeals to you, I hear it’s the first part of a trilogy.
Despite all this, I will not write off my friends future recommendations. She’s got fantastic taste in every other aspect, and is an absolute gem. Another friend of ours who read this book loved it, but I guess it just wasn’t for me.
On to the next!