Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

after reading this book all in one sitting (seeing a trend here w/ me?) – i looked online and found out that Jamie McGuire recently went from self publishing to working with a small publishing group.  This is great for all of you guys that haven’t read her stuff and really ought to.

**MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS BELOW – BE FOREWARNED**

The cover art is kind of what drew me in at first and i’m not sure how that all ties into the actual story, but i have to say that this is a book that i LOVED! and i don’t say that too often i don’t think.

We are introduced to our characters right in the middle of a fight – and that’s kind of the basis of this whole story.  everything for everyone seems to be a fight – but for most, it just works

Abby/Pigeon – Abby is our focus for the book – she’s the one telling the story and she’s the one that we are drawn to.  Abby is a Freshman at ‘Eastern’ University, where she’s gone with her best friend America to escape her past and hopefully hide it.  What is she hiding – well we don’t find that out for a long long time, and you kind of want to think the worst.  The impression of Abby that we’re given is that she’s really naive, and innocent, but if you just listen to how she stands up to people, especially Travis (we’ll talk about him in a sec) – you see that maybe there’s more that her package has to offer.  Anyway, she’s the good girl who falls for the bad boy (Travis) – and yet doesn’t want to fall for him so she instead tries to aim for the friend zone.  which isn’t a good thing anyway.  what i love about her though is that she’s trying to do the right thing and not compromise herself too much when ultimately she puts herself and Travis (and all their friends) through so much more stress than is actually necessary.   her secret mind you – her father was one of the best professional poker players ever until Abby turned 13 and some how managed to have the tables turned and became the better player.

note – i loved that it was Thomas – Travis’ brother that figured it out – that was great

Travis – he’s THE guy from every book that’s got massive sex appeal and a temper, yet you want to root for him.  you just know that there’s going to be some innocent little thing coming along to make him turn his life around and this time it was Abby (or Pigeon as he likes to call her)  Travis grew up hard, as he likes to say, little money, drunk father (who changed – and from what we see is actually a great father after all) and lots of older brothers.  he had to fight to survive in his family and how he is now is a result of that.  what i still don’t get w/ him though is how he’s such an amazing fighter.  no one can beat him, yet that can’t just be from dodging punches from family can it?
America/Shep – these are our usual suspects of supporting characters.  america is Abby’s best friend from Kansas *ahem* Vegas  who’s goal is to make sure that 1) Abby’s identity is a secret 2) make sure Abby is happy/safe.  Shep is her boyfriend and ironically enough, Travis’ cousin/roommate.  makes for some cozy stuff right?  anyway, i found that i liked Shep a bit more than America.  I felt like he contributed a lot to the story  the insight on who Travis was and why he did stuff – how he tried to help be voice of reason, and what i LOVED was the scene towards the end when he thinks that Travis is bringing a random girl home, he stomps out and yells at Travis, only then to see that it’s Abby and all is right in the world.  America – well she’s a sweet enough girl, i just didn’t feel like she contributed as much as she probably could have

if you don’t read anything else this week – please get this book.  here’s the short of it:

innocent girl meets bad boy fighter.  eyes lock – instant connection, however girl doesn’t want to be another notch on a bed-post so here comes ‘friend’ strategy.  that kind of backfires when REAL feelings develop between the 2.  virginity is taken, fight ensues, break ups follow – then reunions of course.  a scummy father comes in to the picture luring Abby to help pay off gambling debts – revealing her true identity – calling for a road trip to Vegas – where another BIG TIME fight comes along causing yet another break up and then moping by all folks involved – and then a drunken reunion, followed by ANOTHER trip to vegas where there’s a wedding and everyone lives happily ever after.

yes i made that sound all very cliche and blase – but really it’s a GREAT book, and again, i don’t stay that often – so please just trust me ok?  i’m sitting here waiting on the edge of my seat for ‘Walking Disaster’ – the follow up story all from Travis’ perspective – that’ll be good.

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