Monday, December 17, 2012

Book Club Discussion: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Provisions and Paperbacks, my IRL book club, recently read Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. As I said in my previous post (you can read it here), I want to share some thoughts and ideas brought up during the book club and bring my blog readers into the discussion.

Not yet, but there will be spoilers. You have been warned.

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Published May 26, 2011
pages: 437

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.

There will be spoilers. You have been warned.

Here are some thoughts shared during our book club discussion after reading Beautiful Disaster:
  • Beautiful Disaster was a huge hit with all of the book club members - many claimed it was a five star read, 2 thumbs up.
  • While it was a interesting to see this love story unfold between these characters who initially seemed so different for each other, they were both completely frustrating because there were too many games between them
  • Each character had a back story which was supposed to be a reason why they shouldn't be together or fought their feelings for each other, but Abby's reason really wasn't as scandalous as she made it out to be. But it was her background that drew her to Travis from the very first moment she saw him fighting.
  • Travis's nickname for Abby, Pidge/Pigeon, is straight-up Lady and the Tramp. We started to do a comparison of Lady and the Tramp and Beautiful Disaster and there are a lot of similarities between the two stories.  
  • Channing Tatum (a few years ago) was deemed the likely choice for Travis, if a movie should be made. Alex Pettyfer was also mentioned. (I think several ladies still had Magic Mike on the brain because we were talking about that too during book club).
  •  Shepley seemed like the only character that had it together. He was the "wingman", the voice of reason, and all-around good guy.
  • America/Mare needed to be a better friend and tell Abby DIRECTLY to stop being so foolish and fighting her feelings for Travis.
  • Parker wasn't the most appealing second choice. While he may have been the "safe" choice in a boyfriend, he was boring. And when he showed up late or left early to go somewhere else, it was questionable what he was doing and where he was going. He may have not been the "good guy" that he led everyone to believe.
  • Travis was pretty brutal when he fought and he was quite frightening. This alpha-male syndrome, was appealing to some, but not all. The tough-guy with a heart of gold concept feel a little short for me. I wanted to know more about him and what made him this way. His rage wasn't something that he could turn on an off during his fights and it carried over into his day to day life.
  • The college setting seemed more like high school. The way the characters acted in the cafeteria and walking the halls together. This was explained away a little when Abby talked about how she wanted to go to Eastern University because of it's small size, but it really didn't read like they were in college (in those scenes specifically: cafeteria/hallways). 
  • There was always there fear that the story wasn't going to end well. Someone would get hurt, possibly die, or Abby and Travis would not end up together in the end. It was easy to see it go either way. 
  • A few tears were shed.
  • The ending did feel rushed and impulsive. It didn't necessarily have to end the way that it did, but it was also a satisfying ending for some readers.
  • We all plan to read Walking Disaster - the love story told from Travis's perspective. It may not be a book club selection (but probably will be). I think I may enjoy it a little more that this one because the entire time reading Beautiful Disaster, I wanted to know Travis's motivation, his background, what he was doing when Abby wasn't with him.
Beautiful Disaster generated one of the liveliest book club discussions yet. It's nice to once again to step away from the YA that we often read. 

 I'd like to invite anyone to join in on the discussion and share your thoughts on BEAUTIFUL DISASTER!! Just leave your thoughts in the comments! Thanks!!

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