Monday, December 23, 2013

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

So, well, this is going to be a hard book to review.  I only picked it up because I saw the book Red Hill by this author, and it sounded really good, but I was told I needed to read this first.  So I checked it out from the library, thinking if I liked it, it would be one I'd recommend to my sister Sarah who is my fellow chick lit reader.  But, she and I have had many conversations about someone we know who was in a very co-dependent, dysfunctional, unhealthy relationship, and as I read this book, that was what I kept coming back to.  I read this over 400 page book in two days, it was definitely a page turner, and definitely hard to put down.  But I felt guilty rooting for them because of how the relationship was.  If people say that Twilight is a horrible example of an abusive relationship, then there is no way they could possibly like this book.  I never once felt that way as I read Twilight, but this book, I just felt it from the morning they really started getting involved.  I don't know if it is okay to go ahead and read about this, knowing this isn't a good type of relationship.  Is it condoning this?  I don't want to do that.  But the characters were at least interesting.  I can't decide whether to read on, as the next book is supposed to be the same story, but from Travis's viewpoint.
Abby has gone to college with her best friend America.  She is glad to be able to get away from her small town and all the looks she got for who she was, and who she was had to do with who her father was.  But here at school she gets to reinvent herself as a good girl.  And then she meets Travis.  Travis is America's boyfriend Shepley's roommate/cousin.  And he is exactly what she doesn't need.  He is a bad boy.  Tattooed, a fighter, a ladies man.  So they end up becoming friends.  And she seems to be good for Travis.  But she knows that he isn't good for her, so she keeps him at arm's length.  But he does seem to fall for her.  And really, of course, she does seem to fall for him.  It is a best friend type of romance.  But when they do get together, he becomes very jealous, and definitely what would be considered unhealthy jealous.  So she tries to break it off, but that doesn't go well either.  It's a very wild ride.  And maybe, very realistic as there are many people in this type of relationship.
I'm so torn on my review.  It was a good read, but I just feel like I shouldn't read about this.  But I have to stick to what I tell people, just because I read something, doesn't mean I'm going to go out and look for a relationship like that.  So, it's okay, right?
If you've read this, do you get what I'm saying?  Did you feel this way at all?  I'd love to hear some other points of view.

12 comments:

  1. I haven't read this book. But, if a book makes you uncomfortable, don't read it. However, I read a lot of murder mysteries, and that doesn't mean I condone murder. Same with cheating, stealing, kidnapping, keeping secrets, cons, etc. If it's entertaining, read it!

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    1. Yeah, but murder mysteries you're usually rooting for them to be solved, so that is okay. It didn't make me uncomfortable to read it, just worried about what people might say. But I sort of started reading the sequel, which is the first book retold by the guy, and I may be able to understand and get over that. Thanks for stopping by!

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    1. I did really get into it, and from the tiny bit of the second one I've read, I may like it even more.

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  3. I felt exactly the same way when I read this book. It was a page turner and I was entertained by the story, but in general I couldn't get behind "liking" the characters and supporting their relationship. I won't spoil for your readers who haven't read it, but the ending was just terrible for me because it seemed to validate their unhealthy relationship. I agree with Annette's comment above that we have to suspend our belief a little bit for the entertainment factor. But I also totally get behind your review, too! :) I'm also really glad I'm not alone because the reviews for this one seem to always be fully positive.

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    1. Yeah, when it is with Twilight, or those kind of books, I'm so easily able to suspend the believe/judgement. But, again, I have to go with what I do when I defend those books. It is fiction, and it's not going to make me go out and get into that kind of a relationship, or think it is okay for a friend. Glad to hear someone else felt the same little issue I did.

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  4. Reading about something bad doesn't mean you are promoting it. It sounds like the girl recognizes the relationship isn't good. Does she stay passive and remain in the relationship or does she doe something about it? It doesn't sound like the author is saying that this is a good relationship, so that is a good thing.

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    1. Both people know it is a dysfunctional relationship I think, but they stay in it, and even just eventually really solidify it. But as I begin the sequel, we may learn more about the guy, which make it not so bad maybe? I don't know. Thanks for your input!

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  5. I haven't read this one yet, but I want to simply because of all the hype.

    I also didn't feel that Twilight was dysfunctional, but I will probably think that about this book. Although, most NA books appear severely dysfunctional to me.

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    1. Yeah, I gave in because of a friend telling me to read it. It definitely kept me turning pages anyway. Thanks for stopping by!

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